What's the latest in Legends? (March 2018)


March, 2018
Guess it's time to write another note, especially since  I actually wrote two posts this month - one about my oldest uncle and one going all the way back into the 1700s.  My uncle's story was made more meaningful for me, thanks to the enthusiastic input I received from his daughter who was willing to dig through some of the dust covered boxes in search of more information.

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read my stories.  As of now, there have been 43,000 page views!!  Wow!!  I especially enjoy reading comments which have been added onto the stories by readers (thankfully they have been positive).

A real treat last month was hearing from one of my previously unknown Dickerson second cousins who had read my blog and sent me a nice letter and some of his family materials.  What a treat!   

Every time I finish a story I am afraid that's it - I'll never find another subject, but before long another idea pops into my head which propels me into people's stories that had been pretty much forgotten.  The story about the Noes and Patricks was  my 78th and the only one that combined two historical figures!!  Stay tuned.

August 2017
Another couple months between posts but I think my latest character was worth the wait.  One doesn't hear very often about women who were paid soldiers during the Revolution, but Mary Ramage Dillard was one - and a heroine as well.  Almost hated to finish writing the story!  Hope you enjoy her as much as I have.  Now it's back to the drawing board and a search for another legend whose story speaks to us today.

June 2017
I knew it had been "awhile" since I had written a new story about one of the many family legends whose lives had had an effect on all who have followed them through the generations. But I was really pulled up short when I realized that "awhile" was actually six months.  Evidently, however, "Legends" continues to be popular and, as of today, its readership passed 30,000 page views  WOW!!  I am so grateful to those of you who have encouraged and supported me through both the productive and the lazy times.  Happy to report that I am getting back on track and should have a new story researched and written in the next several weeks.  Keep an eye out.  Again - thanks for your support and encouragement!

December 2016
In case you think you've not seen any new posts in Legends for awhile, you're right.  My last effort was the story of  Francis Posey (a very fascinating figure indeed), after which I decided it was time to take a short break to re-charge the tank (so to speak).  After all, 72 stories is a lot of writing - and researching.  But I promise I'll have all new stories soon.  In the meantime, my family and I wish you a wonderful Holiday season and a future full of joy.

September 2016
A banner month!  Despite all my doubts that "Legends" would exceed 5,000 page views or - by a stretch - 10,000, it just sailed past the 20,000 mark in just a little over two years - thanks to readers from 88 countries who, even indirectly, have let me know that they are enjoying my stories!!  And even more thanks to those who have supported and encouraged me to keep looking for stories even when I start fearing that I have "tapped out". 

Even turning over "leaves" in Ancestry has led to unexpected treasures, some of which have been hidden from sight for centuries.  69 of my stories are about real people whose lives had an impact on those of us still living - and one was the legend of a supposedly haunted colonial house.  

Watch for the new stories about people whose lives had an impact on those of us living now (I have no idea yet who they will be so they will be new to me too).

July 2016

It's amazing to realize that even though I have cut back on posting my stories to once a month instead of twice, I seem to be spending just as much time researching and writing as I did before!  This month's post was very dear to my heart because my grandmother often spoke of her Cherokee Indian ancestor, who I have come to know in a whole new way since beginning my research into her life.  

It's also very confirming to note that my page views have now shot up to more than 18,000 as of the end of July.  WOW!  I never thought I'd make it past 5,000!  As in previous months, I have listed countries whose readers have supported my blog.  The number of page views from Russia was amazing and gratifying.  I have to admit that when looking at this list of countries I am in awe!  There are even some that I didn't know existed until now! My thanks to all of you in:  Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Antigua/Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium,  Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Congo, Croatia, Czech Republic, Curacao, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia,  Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malawi*, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad/Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen* and, of course, the United States!   Come back and see me any time.

* Added after July 31

May, 2016
I'm very pleased to report that page views have taken another big leap and now total more than 15,000 (it's really fun to watch the numbers grow).  I am also honored to have added readers from five more countries during the same period (American Samoa, Angola, Ghana, Pakistan and United Arab Emirates) for a total of 76 countries  (a geography lesson in itself).  My next post is being finalized and it's one close to my heart - since the man I am writing about was my second cousin and very dear to my grandmother's heart.  She had encouraged us to connect when she learned we were living in the same town (Philadelphia) and we did talk several times by phone, but he transferred to New York before we could actually get together - and the rest, as they say, is history. 

April 2016
I was surprised to realize that I hadn't written any editorial comments for four months!!  But the response to my blog has grown from 11,000 in January to 13,600 now!  In January,  I celebrated the accomplishment of writing 63 stories, the last one about Anne Sapcoate.  If you had never heard of her before, I believe you'll find the story as intriguing as I have - full of intrigue and courage.  

I'm waiting for that proverbial light bulb to direct me toward my next legend and right now I have no idea where my inspirations will lead me.  I'm always open to suggestions and welcome them.   Stay tuned!

January 26, 2016
Guess this date is close enough to February 2016 to celebrate the second anniversary of Family Legends (born in February 2014).  As of today, the blog has attained over 11,000 "hits" on 63 stories. Although I often think there couldn't possibly be anyone or anything more to write about, I have discovered that if I just relax and don't force the brain to get busy, the ideas for new stories suddenly appear.

I'm proud of my stories and am grateful that I am finally able to write creatively about real people in real-life situations.  Thanks to my sisters, husband, and sons, our family DNA has been tested, the results of which have opened whole new doorways into previously untold stories about people I had never even heard of before.

My sincere thanks to each of you who have helped to make this blog such a success.  I welcome your comments and appreciate your interest and support over these last couple of years.

December 2015
No I haven't given up writing my short stories about real people - just took a short break after writing  62 stories in less than 2 years.  I am working on another one that will be finished once Christmas is over and our visiting family members have returned home.  I have to admit at times I am afraid the well of creativity will go dry, but - never fear - now that I am refreshed, I don't see that happening for a long time.  Even when I am not publishing a new story, the interest in my blog has continued and we went sailing past the amazing 10,000 mark of page views a week ago and are well on the way to the new arbitrarily set goal of 11,000.  The list of countries represented by my readers has grown once more with the addition of Curacoa, Finland, Guernsey, Iceland, Morocco and Qatar (the complete listing can be found under my August notes below).  Thanks for your support!  Hope you experience great joy during the Holidays and new excitement for the year to come.

November 2015
Yeah, I know I haven't been writing as often as in the past!  Life got in the way, especially when my sisters, husband, son and I sent in our DNA samples and discovered that even my sisters and I aren't all the same, even though we know we have the same parents.  If you haven't done so yet, it is well worthwhile - if nothing else but for using as a conversation starter.  It finally explained why I have green eyes, one of my sisters has blue and the youngest brown, plus the differences in our height which is taller than many of our female relatives.  If you haven't had yours tested yet, I highly recommend it.  There are some interesting surprises which seem to debunk family stories passed down through the generations - like our Cherokee woman, for instance. 

I have now published my 62nd legend and I am very proud of each of them.  Sometimes there's plenty of documentation about an ancestor's life but little about the world they lived in, which makes up the body of a story, I've found.  Since August, there have been readers from even more countries, including Bahamas, Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Nambia, Nepal, Qatar, Spain and United Arab Emerites.  With the addition of these, we have truly become a United Nations blog reaching out to people in 67 countries.

I have no idea who will be my next legend, but know he or she will pop up in my head soon and not let me go until I get the story written.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

August 2015
When I said last month that I was planning to back down a little from producing a new story every couple of weeks, little did I know that I would be forced to slow things down because of unexpected major surgery which took place July 22.  Happy to say I am convalescing and getting stronger ever day. The last couple of weeks,  I was even able to write up my great great grandfather's legend (I learn so much about these people as I look at where and how they lived - and what was happening around them),  It will be published Friday, August 7.  Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have writing it.

Surprisingly, the blog has continued to draw more readers all the time - even during this down period -  and its showing  close to 7,500 pageviews  since I started publishing.  

July 2015 - What's new?

With summer getting a foothold, I have decided to back down a bit on writing my stories - not that I don't have many I still want to tackle.  But the every-other-week goal I have set for myself this past year can - at times - be overwhelming to research and then turn into readable and enjoyable stories (57 stories so far).  So I have decided to keep finding and writing stories  - just not as often.  

This past month I added two more countries (Algeria and Argentina) to the list of countries where my readers reside.  My hope is that all of you will continue to enjoy these family legends which are based on fact but colored by fiction - thus giving them life.  All of this just encourages me to keep going.  In an endeavor to keep expanding my horizons, I broke down and sent in a DNA  sample.  It will be so interesting to see where those results lead me.  Stay tuned!!

June 2015 Update

Every month the blog stats have changed - in May, I was celebrating 5,000 views by people from 44 countries. As of today, June 6, there have been over 6,300 views, and people from three more countries (Montenegro, Slovakia and Singapore) have joined us, making the total 47 countries (as of the end of June).   WELCOME ALL!

I hope you continue to enjoy reading about these fascinating people who formed our history - and I fervently hope I will be able to continue to find more people to research and write about!
 May 2015 Update

Now it's been a month since I wrote my last update, and have added two more stories - one about my Swedish ancestors and one about my husband's shipbuilding English ancestor. These two bring the total of stories up to 54!  

Last month I celebrated passing the 5,000 reader mark and now - just a few weeks later - I am delighted to report that the new goal is 7,000.  Not only did we sail through the 5,000s, but readers from several more countries were added, making a total of 47 (listed below).  

I've thought of adding a survey, asking those of you who have been reading my stories to give feedback on what led you to the blog and which of the stories you especially liked/would like to see more of.  Maybe someday!   So far, I have stayed with my self-imposed goal of publishing every other week but of course that might slip once in awhile, especially those times when we RV to non-internet sites and I have to rely on the Hot Spot on my phone.
 April 2015 update:
Amazing news indeed!!  It has been only 14  months since I started writing my blog and instead of lessening in popularity, it's growing every day.  As of today, April 2, 2015, the page views have passed what seemed to be an insurmountable goal I set for it in the beginning: 5,000!!! 

Can't wait to see what happens now.  Hopefully the next goal of 10,000 page views won't take even as long.  So far I have published 52 stories and am always working on a new one. Thanks to all of you who have shown such great support.  It encourages me to keep on keeping on.

The rest of the story:
It's hard to believe that less than a year ago, I took my first stumbling steps into “blogdom”, using as a reference "Blogging for Dummies" and some very supportive friends.

Even after all these months I am still convinced that "legends” best describes the stories being told.  It frees me from getting stuck when trying to source them as if they were genealogical studies.  Instead I can concentrate on making the stories interesting and very readable. I do stick to the truth revealed through various sources and can assure the readers that none of these stories are fiction - they are about real people in real times. 

When asked where all these stories came from, I explain that some of the sources are readers who have fed me ideas and even gave me sites that might reveal more details about these legends.  Other stories come about after stumbling into family names and stories as I browse through Ancestry "shaking leaves" or are just tales I had heard while growing up.  I suspect that if you were to diagram all the names that have impacted your family through the generations, you would soon realize that your tree, too, has many branches which are  full of leaves and fruit just waiting to be opened.   

After choosing someone to feature, it's time to look into details of their lives. My research might consist of delving through some old family papers, searching for tidbits on line, leafing through helpful books in my personal library or the local library, and of course spending lots of time on major genealogical sites. 

I make no claim that every nuance shared in a particular legend is as written. What I do claim is that none of the stories have been plucked out of thin air - and many were based on what other researchers had garnered from their sources. 

In my June “State of the Blog” message, I described my amazement at having received 1,000 page views during the first four months "Legends of the Family" existed. Now, I can report that we have gone sailing over the 3,600 mark - and the momentum seems to be building!

It would be great to be able to ask the readers if they had been looking for something specific in Legends, or simply scanning the internet and stopped to check out my blog. Some friends have opined that perhaps they had bad intentions and were trying to glean personal information from my stories.  I'm glad to say there is very little to learn about me personally from my site, the blog isn't attached to my computer, and the stories themselves are about people long dead. Actually, I'd prefer to think that people throughout the world are just as curious as I am about ancestors who had contributed to our world through their adventures and misadventures.

As time has gone by, I have also discovered that occasionally I've had to take a break (either because of a dip in ideas or a busy period in my personal life).  So despite my original goal of writing a new story every week, I now realize that the pen might have been willing  but the will was weak.  Life happens (mine included)! I now realize  that I needn't write something just because I made an unrealistic promise to myself.  So I've adjusted my goal to publish only a couple of legend each month without feeling guilty if it should slip up here and there (after all, one has to take a vacation from fun every once in awhile).

I hope you have enjoyed reading these stories and that they have provided a different slant on the times in which my heroines and heroes lived.  Every one of them – whether direct ancestors or not-so-direct family members - were bricks in the foundation on which we live today.

January 26, 2015

1 comment:

  1. Judy - Has some time this afternoon for myself, and stumbled onto your blog again. Read some of the stories, and this Jan. 2015 and I must say, I am so impressed by the stories and the presentations of them into this blog. Your writing is so easy to follow and the stories are very interesting. Keep it up friend, I will be back! Thanks for your time and efforts to share with many other. Sally Baker