Tuesday, March 3, 2009

RobertBallHughes.com is One Year Old

I started this research in February 2008 at age 55. I was "Googling" my family name and found a reference to my cousin's Ball Hughes poker work at the Antique Hall of the E-Museum of Pyrographic Art. The E-Museum of Pyrographic Art is the premier site for Pyrographic Art by Kathleen Menéndez. That site lead me to search for more information about Robert Ball Hughes.

The books, Good Old Dorchester by William Dana Orcutt and The History of American Sculpture by Lorado Taft provided more information. In March 2008, I started the Robert Ball Hughes website on Googlepages. I was finding information on the Internet and at a university library faster than I could edit and publish it online.

I had valuable help from many people including Kathleen Menéndez, Boston author Anthony M. Sammarco, and several numismatist experts. At the end of May, after I saw a new Wikipedia entry about Robert Ball Hughes, I announced my site to the sculpture, pyrography, and numismatist communities and added a link to it on Wikidepia.

In the next few months, I found the descendents of my grandfathers brother. My branch of the family had lost touch with them after my grandfather died in 1935. The two brothers had moved from Boston to different states in the early 1900's. Both Brown families had inherited artwork and documents from Ball Hughes and his family. Many of the items are already on the website including the portrait of Robert by Col. John Trumbull, family photographs, The Gold Medal, The First Poker Work, images of sculpture, and the Hughes Crest.

The greatest discovery was the Sketch of the Life of Robert Ball Hughes by Mrs. E. Ball Hughes, wife of Robert. My offer is still open for anyone to help with the transcription of portions of the 49 page hand-written book. As sections are transcribed, I can add them to the website for all to read, so please volunteer! See Biography of Robert Ball Hughes Rediscovered for more information.

In August 2008, I purchased the domain name www.robertballhughes.com for $9.95 a year to make it easier to find the site. It's gratifying to see the number of visitors to the site (see What's a Web Tracker?) and I enjoy meeting new Friends of Robert Ball Hughes online.

There is so much more work to be done. The Please Help Write This History webpage lists additional information that I'm looking for. Check this blog and the What's New webpage for updates in the coming months and please let me know your comments.

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