It’s hard to believe it, but I started this blog six years ago today as a way to share my family history discoveries and my enthusiasm for genealogy with fellow genealogists, distant cousins, research collaborators, and everyone in between. For six years, you’ve celebrated my successes with me and commiserated with my stumbling, offering encouragement for all those “brick walls.” I’ve shared my musings, insights, resources, and strategies, and you’ve shared your own tips, kind remarks, and research challenges. I’ve gotten to know new living cousins, and discovered dozens of “new” ancestors and deceased relatives to add to my family tree.
So what does six years of blogging look like, by the numbers? Like this:
- 142 posts
- 175 categories, including 97 surname categories
- 787 comments
- 1,003 followers
- 263,999 page views
- 162,964 site visitors, who come from
- 175 countries
- Most popular post: Those Infamous Border Changes: A Crash Course in Polish History
- Top ten most popular categories: Poland, Tutorials, Methodology, Kowalewo-Opactwo, and Geneteka, Polish Archives, Dąbrowski, Łącki, Kołaczyce, Metryki.genealodzy.pl.
- I’ve written about ancestors who came from 57 unique places in 5 countries (the U.S., Canada, Poland, and Germany, and France), as well as my efforts to identify the unknown places of origin of my Irish-Canadian Walshes and my Scottish-Canadian Grants. They’ve been tough nuts to crack!
My favorite discoveries from the past six years, in no particular order:
- The origins of my immigrant Causin/Cossin ancestors from Alsace.
- The marriage record of my great-grandmother’s brother, Władysław/Walter Grzesiak, who unexpectedly married in Warsaw, 150 miles from his birthplace, which opened the door to additional new discoveries for my Grzesiak family.
- The marriage record from Buffalo, New York, for my great-great-grandparents, Marianna/Mary Łącka and Andrzej/Andrew Klaus, and the baptismal records of Mary’s first two sons, which finally disproved the family myth that the Klaus family ever lived in Texas.
- The identification of distant cousins on my Klaus, Słoński, Wilczek, Panek, Dodds, Zarzycki, and Causin lines, made through DNA testing, which led to a clearer understanding of the migrations and dispersions of those families.
- The discovery of a baptismal record for Ellender Hodgkinson, which spurred further research into her godmother, Mary Hodgkinson, which in turn led to the discovery of the last will and testament of John Hodgkinson, Sr., which identified previously unknown siblings of my 5x-great-grandfather, John Hodgkinson, and offered direct evidence that his father also immigrated to the U.S. from England.
- The marriage record for my 3x-great-grandmother, Catherine Grentzinger, and her first husband, Victor Dehlinger, which opened doors into further discoveries into the origins of the Dehlinger and Grentzinger families.
- The death records from Młodzieszyn for the siblings of my great-grandfather, Joseph Zielinski, which allowed me to piece together a timeline that finally explained why my grandfather returned to Poland with his parents in 1921.
- The grave marker of Joseph and Gertrude (Wagner) Riel from Mt. Elliott Cemetery in Detroit, which identified Joseph’s place of birth in Germany, which allowed me to leverage the FAN principal and definitively identify the the place of origin of my Wagner ancestors.
Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun! I’m looking forward to further adventures in genealogy, and I’m excited to be able to share my discoveries with you. Thanks for all the positive feedback and encouragement over the past six years. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to have your company on this journey.
© Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz 2022