Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Genealogy Happy Dance

Many genealogists experience the “Genealogy Happy Dance” after finding something special on their ancestor. I have experienced this on several occasions. My first Happy Dance experience came early on in my research sometime after 1994, when I received a picture of my great-grandmother Luvenia Jeffress Bullock (1864-1951). I was talking to my mother’s brother about information I had found on Grandma Ven. “I sure wish I had a picture of her,” I told him. I was shocked when he told me that he had a photo. He was visiting from New Jersey and promised to send me a copy when he returned home. Uncle John kept his promise and it was a “Happy Dance” day when I received a copy of the photo in the mail.

Another “Genealogy Happy Dance” experience occurred one day when I was in the Register of Deeds office in Vance County, NC looking birth certificates where Grandma Ven was named as midwife. During this visit, I found numerous birth certificates where she was named as midwife. As I looked through the 1936 book of birth certificates, I came across the document below which was in front of one of the stillbirth certificates. After reading it, I realized that this was a statement from my ancestor Luvenia. I wanted to scream and holler with joy, but held back since I was in a public place.

At this deeds office, copies had to be made by the staff. “This is a statement from my ancestor,” I exclaimed to the staff person as she made a photocopy of this document. My face was lit up with a smile from ear to ear and I felt that I had to tell somebody the good news. The staff person didn’t share my excitement and I don’t think she even responded to my statement. Nevertheless, I didn’t let this spoil my “Genealogy Happy Dance” feeling and spent the remainder of my time at the deeds office full of joy.

Dancing is an act for showing pleasure and joy. Happy dance styles vary depending on personal style, taste, and culture. It doesn’t matter if your “Genealogy Happy Dance” is a twist, a river dance or holy dance. What matters is that all genealogists experience this pleasure from time to time.

Chubby Checker and the Twist

River Dance

Holy Dancing


Bill West said...

Hi Dru!
Some clerks at government offices
seem to dread genealogical researchers! I read an article a
few months back about one who was
retiring and she said the worst part of the job was dealing with folks
like us.

That's alright. We'll keep smiling and doing the Happy Dance anyway!

Barbara Poole said...

Hi Dru,

I enjoyed your article and thought your examples of the Happy Dance were very clever. I am going to save the Riverdance one on my computer. Thanks.

Greta Koehl said...

Brilliant idea to post some Happy Dances!

And I can't resist: here's a link to a really "wild and crazy" happy dance:

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

Hi - I just noticed your little homage to Chubby Checker - what a coincidence because I wrote about him on my blog recently too. I was displaying one of my Bathurst, New Brunswick vintage postcards and when I enlarged a detail showing a movie theatre marquee it started me down memory lane.
A fellow Chubby checker fan,
Evelyn in Montreal