Monday, January 9, 2017

Top Blog Posts for 2016 and other statistics

The new year caused me to explore my 2016 blog statistics.  I decided to post the top ten stories just for fun.  My blog is not monetized, so I check my stats just out of pure curiosity. 

Here are the top ten blog posts for Nutfield Genealogy – in reverse order.  I’ve provided the links, just in case you missed these stories the first time they posted.

1.  "Ten Things to Know About Researching A Witch in Your Family Tree"
The 1692 Salem Witch trials are always a popular event in American history, and it seems that many people want to know if there is “witch” in their family tree.  Personally, this episode makes me very sad, and finding a witch in my tree was not a happy occasion for me.

2.  "My Mayflower Passengers"
I’ve published this list a few times over the years, and it is always popular, especially near Thanksgiving time.  I’ve also made a lot of cousin connections this way!

3.  "Ten Things to Know About Researching a Pilgrim in Your Family Tree"
This story posted in 2015, but it made the top ten list for 2016.  See #2 on this list.

4.  "Fruitlands Exhibit of “New England Portraits”
This story posted in 2013, and it was not very popular at all.  Then it was picked up by social media knitting groups and it went viral for a few years.  It still made the top ten list this year.  Apparently one of the nineteenth century portraits of a woman knitting is of particular interest to knitters. Check it out for yourself to see what all the hoopla is about!

5.  "Surname Saturday ~ FOWLE of Charlestown and Woburn, Massachusetts"
I have no idea why this story is so popular.  FOWLE is not a very well-known surname in New England, and it is not attached any famous figures in history.  I have written over 250 Surname Saturday stories, and this one consistently makes the top ten list every year since it was written in 2012.  Is there a FOWLE in your family tree, too?

6.  "Ten Ways to be a Good Ancestor"
This story was my attempt at a bit of humor, and I guess I pulled it off!

7.   "10 Unexpected Places to Find Family History Online"
This was one of my first “Top Ten” stories, written nearly two years ago, and it is the most popular of all. 

8.  "University of Durham Team is Reaching Out to the Descendants of 17th Century Scottish Prisoners"
This story went viral for a few days when this event was happening in Saugus, Massachusetts just a few months ago.  I usually don’t blog much about current events, but since two of my ancestors were Scots Prisoners of War I was very interested in this story and attending the lecture.  I guess a lot of other people were interested, too.

9.  "Flora Stewart – Black History Month in Londonderry"
Over 10,000 people have read this story over the past five years.  I have no idea why this story is so compelling to readers, although the photograph of Flora Stewart is interesting and her story is quaint.  But I’m glad that a story about a minority figure from New Hampshire has captured the imaginations of so many readers, because New Hampshire has a dearth of minority and African American stories.

10.  "A Favorite Christmas Gift!  You might want one, too!"
This post is my top most popular of all time.  The story was posted in 2012 and immediately went viral on Pinterest and Buzz Feed.  I was a bit resentful at first because I would have preferred that a history or genealogy story was my most popular.  However, according to my blog statistics, there have been over 210,000 hits to this story.  I’m hoping that all the crafty people who read it also clicked on a few genealogy posts, and maybe a few of those readers became hooked on genealogy, too. 

Top Ten Traffic Sources for 2016
1. Facebook
2.  Google
3.  BuzzFeed
4. Pinterest
5. Mobile Facebook
6. All Created
7.  Yahoo
8.   Bing
9.  “Family Tree Maker User” a blog  by Russ Worthington
10.  “Nutfield Genealogy”

Other odd facts
First blog post -  27 July 2009
Total blog posts - 2362
Published comments (minus spam)- 4781
Page views all time history (as of January 4, 2017)-  1,930,145

Top Five Search Keywords (phrases)
1.  “White Horse”
2.   “Maria Del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa…”
3.   “Flora Stewart”
4.   “Kilcher Family Tree”
5.   “Thanksgiving Proclamation”

Total Blog Posts by Year
2009  - 75 posts
2010  - 337 posts
2011  - 341 posts
2012  - 346 posts
2013  - 349 posts
2014  - 309 posts
2015  -  291 posts 
2016 –  286 posts


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Top Ten Blog Posts for 2016", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 9, 2017,  (  accessed [access date]). 


  1. Anotber successful year for you Heather. Well done.

  2. Congrats and I always enjoy reading your do you find the time to further your research and write meaty/witty posts so often? Oh, and how did you figure out a way to distinguish between those fake clicks and real readers? I'd love to know. As of now, I can't trust my stats.

    1. Hi Marian! I have no way to distinguish between "fake stats" and real readers. I'm just reporting what I saw on my statistics page. As you can see below, my time for personal research has suffered in the past few years because I devote that time to blogging now. However, I started my research in 1975. I had over 30 years of research notes to draw on for my blog posts. Now when I do, for example, a Surname Saturday post I am mostly just checking for the most recent updates to my research. I'm not starting from scratch. I have piles of paper research, and several hard drives of notes, sources, photos and documents to draw from for blogging.

  3. The number of posts you write each year is so impressive - how do you do it? I find researching and writing two,per week is about my best shot.

    1. Hi ScotsSue! Thanks for your comment. Every week I do a Tombstone Tuesday and a Weathervane post. These are formulaic and although they sometimes require a bit of research, I sit and write several at a time and pre-publish them to my blog. I have weathervane posts pre-posted through May 2017, some are photos contributed by readers. Most of my Surname Saturday posts are from research I did years ago. The posts are time consuming, but not as time consuming as they seem. What does suffer is the time I have lost in the past few years for my own family research.

  4. Like you, I've done a lot less research in the three years I've been blogging. But the research I am doing is so much better. Congratulations on 2016 and the years before. Looking forward to seeing a post when you hit the 2,000,000 milestone, Heather.

    1. Yes! I'm almost to 2 million reads! That will definitely be a blog post, Cathy

  5. Congrats on a great year, and on all of your blogging! I'm with blogger, too... can I ask how you see/saw the top posts for the year? I can see my top all-time posts, but I don't see how to limit it to 2016. Thanks!

    1. Dana, I guess my list is "all time" not just 2017. I can't find a way to sort them for just this year. Some other bloggers use other websites to give them statistics, but I don't know the names of these website, nor do I use them.

    2. No problem. :) Thanks, Heather!