A little over a year ago, in a post titled New Discoveries are Delightful, I wrote the following: "my genealogy research is pretty casual these days." I went on to say how I was running out of information and was content to sit back and take it slow. I also acknowledged that "new stuff shows-up." Those thoughts were all pretty genuine but what I did not realize was that just around the corner, a massive amount of family history was waiting for me. First, some background information,
|Green County Historical Society|
Finally, in late May of that year I wrote "David Herman - Arrived 1862." This was the first post that was strictly about the history of a family, their ancestry and journey. It has also consistently been the most read post on this blog. Others have followed, including the Wilderman Family, Zweifel Family and, most recently, the Hollister Family. Also, in August of 2011, I started writing short biographies of individual family members. This "Short Biography Series" allows me to focus on one individual and produce a faster post. Five of these have been posted with three more in draft mode.
The gist of it is that while the blog is now about 16 months old, it took a good six months until content started to resonate with others. Sometime last year, I activated the "Counter Gadget" and also started paying attention to my stats. This blog has a fairly narrow scope and so I do not expect many visitors but what I noticed was that, in fact, as I started writing about family members, the visitor count picked-up. I now get a dozen or more visitors every day and even the occasional comment. This means 400 - 500 visitors per month with a general trend upward. It is nice to have a few visitors but the real payday from this blog has come from three places:
- New family information from people I did not know. I have been contacted by lost relatives and gained a substantial amount of information about some branches of my family. Without this blog, I would probably have never met these people.
- New research required to write posts. As I am writing a post, I start with accumulated research but then go back and search the Internet and sites like AncestryDotCom. This leads to information I missed in past searches or that has just come available. Once again, new information that I may not have looked for if I was not writing a post.
- Reaching out to family members who have information I need. These are people I know-of but did not know personally. This turned out to be a really good place for new information. The blog helped push me to contact them.
|Family documents on display|
at the Peterson Family Reunion
What is the lesson here? The more you search, the more you find? Perhaps, or maybe it should be, the more you share the more that gets shared with you! I may want to be "taking it easy" but the flow of information sees no end in sight and I still find all of those new discoveries delightful.
The Genealogy Mother Load
New Discoveries are Delightful
1040 Census - Once in a Lifetime