Today marks the 4th anniversary of Steve’s Genealogy Blog. Initially, I had planned to set up a web site where I could display my family tree and link the events in the tree to the actual images of the source documents from which I obtained my information and, instead, I decided to set up a blog. Little did I know then that my project to document my family history would become such a big part of my life.
I try to write something every day and, over the past 1462 days, I have written 1445 articles. So, I’ve been relatively faithful to this blog over the past four years.
Readership has been up and down: up when I write about methodology or tell stories from my family’s past, down when I post images of documents from my family history. That is to be expected. Most people probably find the endless stream of documents from my own family’s history to be rather boring.
Consequently, some of my most popular posts have been those I’ve written for the Carnival of Genealogy, especially those I wrote about the elementary school and high school I attended. Other popular posts are those from my trip to Poland last year when I wrote about the Saxon Garden and the milk bar in Warsaw. By far, the most popular article I’ve ever written was my contribution to the Carnival of Genealogy on Ethics in Publishing Family Histories. That single article was republished (with my permission) in a quite a number of genealogical society newsletters.
Most rewarding for me, however, have been the responses to the documents relating to my family history because those posts have allowed relatives with whom my family has not had contact for decades to find us once again. I have met distant relatives and learned stories of my family history through those new-found relatives.
Other readers, unrelated to me, have left helpful hints, corrections, and even links to online records I was having trouble finding on my own. Recently, one reader left the following comment:
“What I really like about reading your blog today —- was— that after I read about little Joanna, I glanced down at the related posts. And what I saw was the structure of that family history — and they came alive for me in that instant.”
I never noticed that phenomenon before but, if you check out yesterday’s post on the marriage of my cousin Teresa Chodkowska, you will notice that the automatically generated list of related posts include the birth records and death records of all of Teresa’s siblings!
No doubt, this blog has benefitted my family history research.
I have made so many new friends through this blog! Over the past four years I have had the pleasure to meet many of my faithful readers and my fellow bloggers, who always seem like old friends even when we meet for the first time. Indeed, when genealogists write blogs, they share their lives, families, goals, successes, and disappointments with the world. My readers feel like they know me before they ever meet me, and I feel the same about other authors of genealogy blogs.
I began this blog on April 18, 2006, which happened to be the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake which struck at 5:12 AM on April 18, 1906. Today is the 104th anniversary of that earthquake. Since I am a San Francisco resident, one might think that I purposely started this blog on that day but the timing was simply a coincidence. It was, however, a very significant coincidence. As the 1906 earthquake changed San Francisco, this blog has changed my life.
So thank you, my friends and my family who have followed Steve’s Genealogy Blog for the past four years. Your support means the world to me!
Copyright © 2010 by Stephen J. Danko