Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Year-End Review

At the outset of 2017, I dedicated myself to maintaining the consistent blogging habits I developed the prior year. My goal was to publish a blog each week.

Blogging Family History
This year-end recap is my 47th post in 2017. It's the exact same number of posts I wrote and published last year. 

Like last year, I took a three-week blogging respite when I traveled to Ireland to walk the footsteps of my ancestors. I also took a week off in both November and December.

One of those 47 posts was a Tuesday's Tips contribution to Carolina Girl Genealogy about planning your summer family reunion (Summer is Coming: Time to Plan Your Family Reunion).

While I didn't publish 52 posts, I'm pleased with my publishing frequency and aspire to maintain the number in the new year.

Readership Rises
I was very pleased to see my blog readership continue to rise. While I certainly don't write about genealogy for fame and fans (although both are welcome), I do have immense gratitude for those who follow, encourage, and advance my work.

In 2017 there was a whopping 83% increase in readership over the prior year. This year's 47 posts were read nearly 20,100 times! 

That's 20,100 connections with possible cousins who have that family bible I've long been searching for or the missing daguerreotype of my 19th century great-granny. 

If we're talking cousin bait, 2017 was the year of 20,100 fishing lures all bobbing in the family history pond. And you better believe I've got my eye on each and every one of those lines. Now quiet or you'll scare the fish cousins!

Did You Read It?
Of my blog's all-time top 10 most-read posts, five were published in 2017. The top three most-read posts this year were:
Those were the year's most read posts, but there were many others that told important stories and are worth a glance, including:
Lights! Camera! Action!
There were many research finds and blog posts this year that I take great pride in and that advanced my genealogy.

One of this year's most exciting discoveries, though, was finding film reels of two of my second great-grandmothers.

The reels were recently digitized and allowed me to see two of my ancestors come to life leaving their staid and stoic photographic depictions behind.

Eva (Lamb) Stevens Fagan - about 1957

Minnie (Hawks) Lumpkins Barber - 1950s or 1960s

Minnie (Hawks) Lumpkins Barber - 1950s or 1960s

Read more about this fantastic find in Ancestors in Motion: Lights, Camera, Action!

A Year of Accomplishment
2017 was clearly a year of great accomplishment. I am thankful to have you along for the ride, and I look forward to our continued success. 

Happy New Year and may all of our genealogy brick walls crumble in 2018!


  1. I haven't worked through the numbers yet but it looks like even though I wrote about 45% fewer articles than last year I will be coming in at the finish line at only a hundred or so views less than 2016 - I've got about 26 more hours 'til the 1st. Quality wins over quantity. Congratulations on a great year, Michael. Happy New Year and may you find many keys to open the doors in your brick walls during 2018!

    1. Without seeing the numbers, I attribute your sustained readership to the fact that you write an awesome blog! :)

      You're definitely right that quality should win out over quantity. That said, it's important for me to keep at it consistently so I don't fall out of the habit of writing. Thanks for all your support over the past year, Cathy. Happy New Year!

  2. Congratulations on staying consistent with your writing. And you know all of your stats and all. I started two years ago with no goals or intentions in mind. I have written every week since then and sometimes I even have an extra bit of info that requires a two posts that week.

    I post my stories and photos on FB, so I just notice which posts get the most likes or comments. Not that I keep track of it or anything. Maybe I should be more structured. My cousin set up the blog for us and I have no idea how many visits it gets. Maybe I should ask him about it! LOL

    Here's to cousins reading our posts and getting inspired to send us scans of their most treasured photos of our ancestors!

    1. I think your approach is best - no agenda and just write. I really only pay attention to the stats when it comes time to write this year-end recap each year. And then I have to dig into the bowels of blogger to cull the data. Otherwise, the numbers take a backseat to the genealogy.

      I love your blog's layout, by the way. Very polished! Looks like great cousin bait to me. :) Happy New Year!

  3. Great job on the consistency. I have not read all of your postings, but do frequent your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed those I have read! Thank you for contributing to the genealogy blogging list!

    1. Thank you, Michael, I appreciate it. I'm a fan of your blog, too. The genealogy blogger-sphere is a robust, supportive community. Glad to be a part of it.

  4. Congratulations on all your accomplishments! I really enjoy reading your blog and so glad I discovered it (through Facebook's Genealogy Bloggers group). I look forward to following your adventures in 2018!

    1. The feeling is entirely mutual, Amy! The Facebook group and your blog are great resources for the genealogy blogging community. Happy New Year!

  5. You have more readers because your writing is excellent! Great job on the consistency.

    1. That's so kind! Thank you, Linda. Of course, I'm a big fan of your work on explaining and promoting the value of Big Y DNA testing. Your blogs have been a real boon for bringing clarity to a complex subject. I'm excited for what 2018 holds on the Y-DNA front.