Tuesday, November 24, 2020

5th Blogiversary of Debby's Family Genealogy Blog

A look back at the last year:

Over the past year I have created and published only 28 blog posts. This is about half of what I normally post… but wait a minute, a lot has happened over the last year. Everything in life was going well and in the second week of March I became the proud owner of a 2020 Winnebago Travato. I was making plans for retirement and getting on the road in my new RV. A week later Covid hit and everything changed in all our lives. Similar to many others I was suddenly working from home and everyone was trying to determine what exactly was going on and when our lives would ever get back to ‘normal’. I had a very difficult time blogging in March and April and May with everything that was going on. While I was safe many others were not. With the uncertainty of the time blogging just didn’t seem that important to me.

I continued to dream of retiring and taking my genealogy road trip. At the end of June I did retire after 35 years as a Special Education Teacher. Retirement during Covid was very different. Eventually I made the decision that I could safely travel in my camper with my dog Harley. I knew what to do to be safe.  I believed I could travel, be safe and still do many of the things on my genealogy road trip list. (see post Genealogy Road Trip 2020) After about 10,000 miles and a little over three months I am back home safely with my trusted companion Harley. The unpacking is done and I am ready to start blogging again … and adding to the list for the next road trip.

Some of my Favorite Posts this year:

Visiting the home where my grandfather was born and grew up - The History of the Warner Homestead and Visiting the Warner Homestead.

Going to places where my ancestors lived is so important to me.  Completing my post Gerald G. Warner, Land Owner was a success because I found my great uncle’s land in South Dakota and was actually able to stand on land that once belonged to him. 

Finding out about my great grandmother’s siblings (The Missing Rowan Children-Who Were They?), who died very young, was important to me so that these children would not be forgotten.

All time History Page Views - this year went from 96, 989 to 115,077.

Followers – this year went from 22 to 24

In Case You Missed Them, My Top Five Most Viewed Blog Posts Were:

The Missing Rowan Children-Wo Were They?

Visiting the Warner Homestead

The Wyoming Massacre and Congress

Genealogy Road Trip 2020

The Life of Merrit Howell, Jr.

What I’ve learned:

When possible, being able to actually visit repositories is invaluable when searching for those elusive records. (See post- The Twists and Turns of Finding Baptismal Records for 1878 )

Visiting the land/area where my ancestors lived gives me more insight into who they were and how they lived. I can’t get the ‘feel’ for an area from pictures alone.

Developing chronologies of my ancestors’ lives in a story format helps me better put together the pieces of the data that I have found.

My Frustrations:

Finding the time to write the posts about all that I have learned about my ancestors continues to frustrate me.  I hope that retirement will give me more time to write.

Several ancestors remain elusive but with time I hope I will learn more about them.

I have several projects in the works related to my ancestors and hope that being retired will help me accomplish them sooner.

My goals for this next year:

Now that I am retired, I am hoping to finally complete my edit of my paternal great grandmother Carrie’s Letters in a digital format so that my cousins and others can easily read them.

To once again publish at least 50 posts.

To figure out how to add writing blog posts to my agenda while camping. This year as I embarked on my first genealogy road trip I focused mainly on how my camper works, traveling with Harley, seeing family and friends and doing some research.


I was able to meet three cousins (a first cousin, a second cousin and a third cousin) in the last several months that I had found through DNA. What an amazing experience!! I cherish the time I was able to spend with them and look forward to our time together in the future.

I have been blogging now for 5 years and have published 234 posts. When I look back that seems like a lot but I have so much discovered information that I want to write about. Now it’s just setting aside the time to write the posts and get the information published to continue to tell my ancestors’ stories.

Despite all that has been happening since March I was able to publish 28 blog posts over the last year.

A VERY SPECIAL THANK-YOU TO ALL MY READERS!  I enjoy the comments you make and/or questions you ask.  I’m always looking for new directions to search or information that is questionable and needs verification.

My updated Surname word cloud:

It has been an interesting, and at times, very exciting year for me as a blogger.  On to new discoveries and new cousin connections.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.

Enjoy the journey,


  1. Can it really be 5 years?! Huge congratulations Debby. Every year is an adventure that’s for sure. Certainly, this one tops the list. It’s been so hard to focus and I too faltered in my blogging. Hopefully, we’re both back on track now.

    1. Thank-you so much! I am sure many of us have been affected by everything going on around us. Yes, can't believe it's already 5 years.