Don Taylor Genealogy – 2020 Year in Review

The primary purpose of my blog is to help me understand my genealogical findings. It is like a diary or journal that helps me to focus on what I know. It helps me to stay focused not to become distracted. As time has passed, it has become more and more a vehicle for me to share some of what I’ve learned and what I am working on. I think both are important. I would like to remind readers that I do accept guest submissions. If you would like to write something, particularly of interest to readers in my six primary topics (Brown, Darling, Howell, and Roberts lines as well DNA discoveries or understanding and Donna Montran’s vaudeville career), I’ll be happy to consider your submission as a guest post.

What I do.

  1. I am the Historian and the “genealogy & technology guy” for the Scarborough Historical Society. As the “technology guy,” I manage their web page and regularly post to their website. Before Covid, I also recorded monthly presentations and edited them for uploading to You Tube. 
  2. I lead a genealogy group at the Scarborough Public Library. We meet on the 4th Monday of the month. Learn more about it on the SPL-GG Facebook Page.
  3. I am a past president and regularly participate with the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society,
  4. I attend meetings of the DNA Special Interest Group for the Maine Genealogical Society (Gray, ME).
  5. I also attend the South Portland Library Genealogy Group.

I am so looking forward to the elimination of Covid-19 protocols so that all these groups can return to normal meetings. I really miss the people.

I must mention, I am not selling genealogical services. (I gave that up.) I do, however,  participate in an affiliate program. I am phasing that feature out of my postings.  We’ll see how that goes over the coming year.

2020 Website Statistics.

I wrote 137 posts during the year, up from 122 in 2019.  My goal was to post, at a minimum, once every three days, so I made my goal.

The number of page views stayed virtually the same between 2018, 2019, and 2020, and the number of visitors and subscribers.

I currently have 524 followers/subscribers – up from 460 at the beginning of the year. Besides direct subscribers, other individuals follow my blog via Facebook, Twitter, and Google. If you do not subscribe to dontaylorgenealogy.com, please do so.

Referrals to my site are as I would expect; Google is, by far, the most significant referrer. Bing is a distant 2nd and third was Facebook. My old Blogspot site still referred individuals 24 times, so I guess I still can’t delete it.

My Top Five Postings for 2020

My number one post during 2020 has been #1 for five years in a row. “Why I’ll never do business with MyHeritage Again.” I guess people love reading rants.

My number 2 article was My Top Ten Free Genealogy Websites – Part 1. I think that article’s success and several of my other articles “website” articles have convinced me to do more of that type of essay.

Dropping to number 3 last year was the 2017 “OMG – Another Half-Sibling,” which spoke about learning of a half-sibling here-to-fore unknown for my mother—quite the surprise for my mother and my half-aunt, Barbara.

Staying at number 4 was my “Surname Saturday” article about the Howell surname. I am surprised that none of my other “Surname Saturday” articles have made it into the top 10. (“Swayze” did make it to number 11.)

Sliding into 5th place is another of those “Top Genealogy Websites” articles, this time “Top Fee-Based” websites.

Next Year – 2021

I’m going to focus more next year on my activities. Being part of several societies, genealogy groups, I think I want to write a bit more about issues that arise through them. Also, some of my genealogical research is overlapping with other organizations and activities. For example, I was doing some research for my nephew, Paul, and learned he has family lines in Scarborough during the 1700s. That brings my genealogy research and my Historical Society activities together. I’m excited about that type of thin. Likewise, I expect to do more presentations, even if through Zoom. Those should provide some new and interesting postings.

I started a new project for “Photo Friday” to identify individuals who had pictures taken in the 1930s at the Ethel Wight Studio in Portland, Maine. I try to determine exactly who it is in the photo (name, child of Parents, birth and death dates) and then post the image to a profile for the person on Family Search or share the photo with others who know the family via Ancestry.  There are over 800 photo packets in the collection and I am trying to analyze about five packets each week. I truly love receiving a “Wow, thank you for the picture of my (relative) that I’ve never seen before” message. It makes the work worthwhile.

Have a happy, safe, and healthy new year.

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