2016: A Look Back and Ahead to 2017
This year was a great year for me in blogging and I’d like to “Thank” my readers who have faithfully read my blog. I look forward to my 3rd year in 2017, as I have many new posts planned.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my somewhat comical posts of Conversations with Mom, and I’m thankful I had the hindsight in writing them down many years ago… and continuing them. Not only have many posts results from those nightly chats, but it keeps me up on her daily activities, living so far away from her. Out of the blue one night she mentioned….”when I was young there were planes that used to land here in Siloam.” Of course I soon asked a thousand questions and Just When I Think I Knew it All... became a story.
Like many of my genealogy blogger friends, one of my main objectives is to brick down those stubborn brick walls… and I managed to break down a few this year.
After years of searching for my gg grandfather John Wilson with no information other than his name, I managed to bring him to life this year. On a whim, I clicked on a John P. Wilson – civil war soldier on Ancestry – and it linked me to Find A Grave where I was rewarded. Once I discovered his complete name, I was able to find him in the census with my great grandmother to make the connection. He died in the Confederate Veteran home in Atlanta… a place I had never known existed. This brickwall was a double whammy for me as I also discovered information on his father, Robert C. Wilson.
Through blogging, I have made new friends and learned many new ideas, which has resulted in more blog posts. Blogging is a daily adventure and very addictive.
In April I joined a 2016: Blogging from A to Z Challenge and really enjoyed this type of daily posting. We were able to choose our own topic, but each day’s post must start with a continuation letter of the alphabet. After much thought…I decided on Southern Foods & Memories. If you haven’t read them, I hope you’ll check out my link. I was on vacation during the month of planned blogging, so I wrote many of them before leaving and tweaked them nightly. As I wrote about Southern foods, it helped to be vacationing in Georgia and encouraged me to search out certain foods so I could photograph them. I didn’t mind the eating part… as when I am home I’m always searching out places where I can get my Southern favorites. On one of our daily trips, we visited Whistle Stop Cafe in Juliette, Georgia – it was featured in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. By the letter Z, I was feeling sad that my 30 days of whirlwind blogging was ending and I’m already planning my A to Z for April of 2017.
And if one blogging monthly event wasn’t enough, I signed up again in October…. and also again on vacation! I didn’t want to pass up this one run by Amy Johnson Crow.… . and if you haven’t heard of Amy, do stop by her page – she’s a powerhouse of information. The October challenge was 31 Days to Better Genealogy: Ver.2.0, and every morning Amy sent out a new genealogy tip to write on; I learned many new ideas and search tips on those posts. As I was on vacation for part of the challenge, I often wrote my post in the car and tweaked at night.
My “Two” biggest months of views!
OCTOBER 2016 REFERRALS
In reviewing my 2016 October referrals I noticed a high amount of Search Engine Views from a blog at FamilyTreeMagazine. In clicking over I discovered a mention of my blog post Cemetery Sunday: St. Bernard’s Cemetery – West Haven, CT. on the blog of Diane Haddad at Family Tree Magazine. It was mentioned in her online blog post at 9 Things You Can Learn About Your Ancestors From the Cemetery
My mention in her article on cemetery research was:
- immigrant place of origin. This is one I haven’t encountered in my own research, but genealogy experts recommend checking burial records and gravestones for immigrant birth places. I found a photo on the Everyone Has a Story blog of an Irish immigrant’s tombstone with his county and parish of birth.
Facebook on social media continues to be my highest referrer as that is where I mostly promote my blog posts on my page along with Facebook groups… Genealogy Bloggers and Greene County Georgia History group.
It was an email from Ancestry featuring Amy’s post in 2014 inviting bloggers to blog weekly stories in the 2014: 52 Ancestors of 52 Weeks that encouraged me to set up a blog. A definite push in the right direction, as it resulted in me writing family history on my ancestors in story form vs just typing names and dates into my genealogy program. This was all new to me and I was soon hooked… and so enjoying it. I’m proud to say I completed all 52 stories!
Like so many others, I also took the Ancestry DNA this year, and while I’m still trying to figure out all the DNA matches and matches, it’s been interesting in trying to understand and match up to new cousins. It’s always exciting to see a new DNA circle appear on my page, and I’ve blogged about it in DNA: My Results are in, with a final post today announcing my new count of DNA Circles!
Happy New Year to all my Family and Friends…. See you in 2017 with more stories.!
© 2016, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved