I am a day late and a dollar short on this Carnival topic, but have decided to write on it anyway. When I first saw this as a genealogy topic to blog about, I was curious as to what it meant. After reading several blogs, it made sense to me. That feeling of elation a researcher feels when something you have been looking for is found…when your heart stops a beat….oh glory…..eureka!
I have welcomed it often over the 15 years of working on my roots. With the computer age of genealogy and all the various documents that are now available on line, the frequency of having a Happy Dance seems to have escalated.
My paternal great grandfather, John George Hughes, died relatively young at age 47. The Hughes family was from West Hartlepool, England arriving in the United States in 1906. John worked in the Jones & Laughlin Steel mill on the South Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and around 1915 the family moved into a new home in Woodlawn, Pennsylvania. There John was a millwright and foreman working for J & L’s Aliquippa Works.
Photos of the family from back in the early years in America are precious and rare. Those that I have found are taken on the front steps of 131 Spring Street in Woodlawn.
I have photos of my Great Grandmother Hughes, in fact, I knew her. She lived until 1961. I was fourteen when she died.
The mystery is John George Hughes. There were no stories passed down about him and I didn’t have the foresight to ask about him when there were family members alive who would have an answer.
He was tall, over 6 foot….like his only child, my grandfather. He opened his home to various family members from England over the years. Hughes family children back in West Hartlepool were named for him. He was asked to stand up for weddings and christenings. I believe Great Grandfather Hughes had a personality similar to my Grandfather Hughes, his son.
My grandfather would talk to anyone who passed him on the sidewalk. He invited numerous folks home for dinner, usually unannounced. He had friends everywhere, was high spirited, and always had a good joke and a hearty laugh. The traits had to come from somewhere, and I think he patterned himself from his father, John George Hughes.
The Happy Dance moment came a couple of weeks ago. I was doing my usual searching on ancestry.com, decided to put in John George Hughes and up popped something new. It was his application for a passport. I had looked at these applications on ancestry for some other family members and knew that there should be a photo on the second page. With trembling hands I hit the key. And there was my Happy Dance--A new photo of my Great Grandfather staring back at me from the screen. YAHOO
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