2018 A Year in Review and What’s Coming in 2019

I had great plans for 2018.  I finished up the last three sets of 4th great-grandparents’ posts which I had started in 2017 under the 52 Ancestors banner. I continued to do my monthly posts for The Slave Name Roll Project up until my much-needed break in October.

I took on the huge project of analyzing the census record of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS and each of his sixteen children. The project became Rewriting the Biography, an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

I’ll continue the theme during 2019 although likely not regularly. I have not even begun to work with the huge collection of books and papers which were sent to me several years ago by Rose Mary Sims Rudy.

Posts in 2018

I wrote only 50 posts during 2018, down from 88 in 2017 and 129 in 2016. An average of about a post a week. This did not, however, have a negative effect on the stats for the year.

Total Views Increased During 2018

Traffic on my blog since I began blogging in 2014.

25,584 viewers visited my blog during 2018, a little over 5,000 more than in 2017. Total views were 44,453 up from 36,782 in 2017. Followers have increased from 397 in 2017 to 463 at the end of 2018.

Graph of 2018 by months

Views by months show a constant above 3,000 viewers per month except for November and December when I was on my break. The three best months were March, August, and October when sharing of posts in social media brought extra traffic.

Top 10 Countries in 2018

The USA remained in 1st place in 2018. Canada took 2nd place (up from 4th) and Germany remained in 3rd place.  The United Kingdom jumped up from 7th to 4th place. Luxembourg which had been 2nd every year since I began blogging in 2014 dropped down to 5th place in 2018. Australia remained in 6th place. Brazil moved back down to 7th compared to 5th in 2017 but the number of viewers is still amazing. France remained in 8th place. Ireland is new to the top 10 list of countries at 9th place pushing Belgium down to 10th place. The Netherlands is up and coming, doubling views from 2017 to 2018, but missed tying up with Belgium by 9 views.

Top 10 Posts for 2018

#1. Dear Cousin- We Have a DNA Match, Now What?
#2. How I Got My MISSING AncestryDNA Circles Back
#3. Rocking the Shared Matches on AncestryDNA
#4. How DNA Results Helped Discover Luxembourg Emigrants
#5. A Visit to the Kreisarchiv Bitburg-Prüm in Germany
#6. The Tragic Death of Phebe Sims

#7. Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Jordan, Winny, and Thomas

#8. SOLVED – The Mystery of James C. Crouse Sr.’s Grave Marker

#9. Jordan N. PETERS’ War of 1812 Pension File is Online!

#10. Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Hannah

It wasn’t surprising to see DNA as the subject of the top 4 posts from 2018. I was happy to see at #5 a post I wrote about visiting a German archive with my genealogy society, Luxracines. I’m especially proud of #6. My first attempt at storytelling based on facts:  a fictional version of the last day in the life of my 5th great-grandmother Phebe SIMS along with the coroner’s report which gave me a glimpse into the day. And as in previous years, two of my Slave Name Roll Project posts made the top 10. The list was rounded out with a solved mystery and an 1812 pension file.

What’s Coming in 2019?

Should I set goals for genealogy research in 2019? I think not. I’m going to take it as it comes, working on whatever needs to be researched, reviewed, or updated. No resolutions and no promises except first up will be a post on why I’ve been missing in action since end October.

Happy New Year to all my readers!

Thank you to all of my readers and followers for making 2018 a great year! I loved seeing traffic to my blog even when I was not blogging during the past two months.

Happy New Year 2019 and, as always, may you find new keys to open the doors in your brick walls!

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.






2017 A Year in Review and What’s Coming in 2018

I can’t resist numbers and statistics. On June 8th I reached a milestone when the counter on my blog reached 100,000 views since I began blogging in January 2014. Another milestone came in December when I published my 500th post.

Content in 2017

The year 2017 was dedicated to my children’s 5th great-grandparents who were featured under the theme of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – a challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in 2014. If you’ve been wanting to “do something” with your genealogy, but it feels overwhelming, Amy will be sending out prompts in 2017.

As these ancestors were for the most part from Luxembourg, hundreds of civil and parish records were consulted. Because of this time-consuming research, I did not fulfill my goal of completing the series in time for the New Year. Three sets of great-grandparents’ stories will be written during the month of January 2018.

As a service to the African American community, I met my goal of writing one post a month for The Slave Name Roll Project.

The Old Photographs Saved from Trash Can series came to an end after the last nine posts in January through March. A final post, a synopsis of the family connections made during the process of writing about each of the over 150 photos was pushed off to the back burner where it is still simmering. 😉

There were also miscellaneous posts written to help other researchers including a post about Luxracines’ visit to the State Archives in Arlon, Belgium.

I wrote about one third fewer posts in 2017 as in 2016, 88 compared to 129. During 2017 the quality of the content was considered more important to me than quantity.

Total Views Remained the Same

20,442 viewers visited my blog during 2017, 58 less than in 2016 when the number was 20,500. Total views were down by a very small 263 as compared to the total of 36,782. These numbers are not the most important statistics. Nearly twice as many people are following me. An increase from 203 to 397 – which amazes me.

Top 10 Countries

Visitors came from 122 countries compared to 98 in 2016. The USA and Luxembourg remained in 1st and 2nd place. Germany and Canada switched 3rd and 4th places, Brazil moved up from 7th to 5th place, and Austria slipped by Ireland to make 10th place.

Top 10 posts during the year

  1. Step by Step Guide to Accessing Browse-only Records on FamilySearch
  2. Using the Back Door at FamilySearch for Missing Records
  3. Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: William, Mary, and Orange
  4. A Latin Rule You May Not Have Known
  5. Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Letty, Cyrus, and Nelson
  6. Source Citation Trick for WordPress.com – HTML Code
  7. Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Evaline (formerly seen as Evoline)
  8. Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Mark, Mary, Jane, Dick, and Eliza
  9. Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The 1766 Luxembourg Census is Online!
  10. Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Matt, Egg, Judge, Jinny, Jack, Rachel, Mose, Mary, George, Franky, and Wilson

Posts on finding records on FamilySearch were popular as can be seen by #1, #2, and #9 in the Top 10. Thanks to people sharing on social media, half of the Top 10 were posts for the Slave Name Roll Project. None of my 52 Ancestors posts made the Top  10. This was not a big surprise as I knew from the beginning that they were for my children and family and not intended to draw views although they received many likes and comments.

What’s Coming in 2018?

I’m going to leave this question open until my Blogiversary on January 23th. I want to finish up the planned posts on my Frisch-Huberty family of Capellen, Majerus-Cornely family of Strassen, and Trausch-Hames family of Mamer. As many of my readers know, I will be spending more time on DNA results. I am still mulling over a few ideas.

Happy New Year to all my readers!

Thank you to all my readers and followers for making 2017 such a wonderful year! Wishing you success in your genealogy research and blogging, joy and happiness in your lives.

Happy New Year 2018 and may you find new keys to open the doors in your brick walls!

bestwishescathy1© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.






2016 A Year in Review and What’s Coming in 2017

I love numbers! Once upon a time, I wanted to be a math teacher and worked as a credit analyst for a few years before becoming a stay at home Mom. I still get to play with them, in genealogy and when analyzing the stats on my blog.

Total Views

Exactly 20,500 visitors came to my blog during 2016. Total views on were 37,046 compared to 27,673 in 2015. The increase was about the same as from 2014 to 2015. If all goes well I will be celebrating 100,000 total views since I began blogging by mid-2017.

Viewers came from 98 countries compared to 84 in 2015. Below are the top 10 countries.

2016mapviewsMy top 10 posts during the year

  1. 6 AncestryDNA Notes for Easier Comparison (I reached my all-time high of 1,198 views in one day on 3 October 2016 when this was posted)
  2. How I Use and Manage AncestryDNA Notes
  3. How to Find Your 18th Century Immigrant’s Signature
  4. Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Amy, Addison, Henry and his Enslaved Family
  5. James SIMS (1754-1845) Pioneer of Nicholas County, West Virginia (originally written in 2002, updated and re-posted in 2013)
  6. Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Cato, Sold on Christmas Day 1821
  7. Henry RUPE’s Estate and his Widow Catherine’s Last Days
  8. 52 Ancestors: #47 Johnny CASH’s 1C5R – Kesiah LIVELY (from 2014, this posts gets lots of hits due to my famous cousin)
  9. Where I Found the Land Records of my RUPE Ancestors in Maryland
  10. Here We Go Dancing ’round the Hill

I don’t know if I should be surprised or not with the success of my two top posts. Writing posts on DNA, a subject I have only started learning about, was not planned. I haven’t done the test but have been administering my brother’s DNA results for the past seven months. There is so much I need to learn about DNA and how it will help in my genealogy research. I’d like to be able to write at least one post in 2017 about a great discovery made through DNA. Don’t we all?

The success of my posts for the Slave Name Roll Project helped me to continue searching for more names to write about each month and this will be continued in 2017.

The Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can series will soon be coming to an end. Fifty posts were written in 2016 from #37 to #84 with a couple being done in two parts. Each week I learned more about vintage photography and fashion of the era. I think this shows in the latest posts I’ve written. Before completing the series I may re-visit some of the earlier photographs which did not include descriptions.


200followersDuring the last few days of 2016, my WordPress followers went over 200. At the end of the year, I had 203 WordPress followers (compared to 126 in 2015) and 77  email followers (compared to 45 in 2015).

Top 5 Referrers

The top five referrers were Facebook, search engines, RootsWeb, Tangled Roots and Trees, and the WordPress Reader. #1 Facebook is not surprising as I use it to promote my blog. #3 RootsWeb reflects how often people view my GEDCOM file and then visit my blog. #4 is Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog. Without her, we would not have the Slave Name Roll Project. I get a lot of traffic from her blog since she mentioned my blog in her introduction to the project.

Search terms

Not all search engines reveal search terms due to privacy, however, it is still interesting to see what may have brought people to my blog. Many search terms are places and ancestral names.

What’s Coming in 2017?

I began blogging in January 2014 when I joined Amy Johnson Crow‘s challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. In 2015 I did the 2015 Edition and by the end of the year, I had written about my children’s ancestors from their grandparents to 4th great-grandparents as well as 1/4 of the 5th great-grandparents. During 2017 I am going to do a NEW SEASON of the challenge, working on the rest of their 5th great-grandparents and posting on Fridays instead of Mondays.

Once the Old Photographs series has been put to bed, I plan to get back to doing the heirloom posts, Tuesday’s Child’s Family Heirlooms.

Happy New Year to all my readers!

Very special thanks to Amy Cohen of Brotmanblog: A Family Journey for being my most active commenter for the past two years.

Thank you to all my readers and followers for making 2016 such a great year! Wishing you success in your genealogy and blogging, joy and happiness in your lives. Happy New Year 2017!

bestwishescathy1© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.