It doesn't take much to get me to do the Happy Dance. Give me a new little scrap of information and I'm on my feet.
I think the first time was when I first got internet access and discovered that many of my ancestors had already been well researched. To be able to just sit in front of the computer, wait a half hour for a page to load and have three generations added to my tree was magical. It was probably a year before I learned that everything I had found wasn't quite accurate!
In some of my early research I was floored to learn that some of my ancestors had actually made it into history books. It didn't matter that they didn't get a good write up, only that they were there. I danced again when I discovered that a cousin actually wrote history books.
The most interesting experience I've had that led to the dance was when I was photographing monuments in a cemetery and was approached by the caretaker. He asked if they were my people and when I said, yes they were cousins, he said they were his daughter-in-law's people too. He took my name and phone number and within days I was in touch with previously unknown cousins.
My best dance was last year when I traveled to Michigan to see the letters that my family had donated to the University of Michigan. I was totally unprepared for the size of the collection and the treasures that the letters held. The letters themselves still cause me to get on my feet occasionally as I continue to discover new little bits of my ancestors lives.
Most recently I found myself twirling around the living room when I discovered that another collection of letters, written by my great-grandfather during the Civil War, were donated to Western Michigan University. I will be returning to Michigan in April to retrieve these letters and dance a little more.
This was written for the 65th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: The Happy Dance, to be hosted by Becky Wiseman at kinnexions.
Carnival poster courtesy of footnote Maven.