01 August 2009

Tracing the Tribe is 3!!!

It seems like just yesterday that Tracing the Tribe went live! That was in August 2006 at the 26th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, in New York City.

Tracing the Tribe will celebrate its third blogoversary at this year's conference in Philadelphia, which begins tomorrow (Sunday, August 2).

For three years, Tracing the Tribe has informed readers around the world about new resources, books, people, events and much more, helping them to find information on diverse topics of interest.

We've blogged from Jewish genealogy and general genealogy conferences, participated in two Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree geneablogger panels with some of the most famous geneabloggers and have met some of the nicest people in person and online. Special recognition goes to Thomas MacAntee of geneabloggers.com, footnoteMaven and Randy Seaver, but there are many more!

Tracing the Tribe has been honored: Ranked 10th (and the only Jewish genealogy-focused blog) in 2009's most popular 25 genealogy blogs by ProGenealogists.com, and named as "Best for Jewish Researchers" in the 2008 Family Tree Magazine's best 101 sites for researchers.

Recognition has brought additional opportunities, such as writing a major Jewish research article for Family Tree Magazine and future projects with other outlets. This goes along with previous credits in JTA.org, The Forward, Reform Judaism, Outreach and many US Jewish media outlets. Of course, all of this grew out of our stint as Jewish genealogy columnist at the Jerusalem Post from 1999-2005.

Alongside Tracing the Tribe, of course, is my other hat, the MyHeritage Genealogy Blog, a general topic blog at MyHeritage.com. Randy's "Best of the Blogs" has included postings for both blogs in his weekly feature (thanks, Randy!).

As a sort of recap for the past three years and to see how this third year (from last year's Jewish genealogy conference to today) compared, here are some general stats.

Nearly 210,000 visitors entered Tracing the Tribe through some 6,600 pages, resulting in more than 335,000 page views, which means about 1.6 average page views. There were some 135,000 unique visitors.

Countries of visitors totaled 189, with the top ranked being US (141,000+), Israel (12,600+), Canada (11,900+), UK (11,900+), Australia, Germany, France, Netherlands, Brazil, Spain (nearly 1,000), Italy, Poland, South Africa, Belgium, India, Ireland, Sweden, Argentina, Finland, New Zealand, Switzerland, Mexico, Russia, Philippines (400+), Turkey, Norway, Hungary, Austria and Denmark. Other interesting visitors: Japan (211), China (206), Iran (200), Egypt (110), Indonesia (100), Saudi Arabia (76), and even 1 from Vatican City!

They used 81 languages, with the top being English (US), English, English (GB), German, French, Hebrew, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Polish, Italian, Spanish (Spain), Chinese, Swedish, Turkish, Hungarian, Finnish and Portuguese.

How did readers find Tracing the Tribe?

Some 54% arrived through search engines, about 26% via referring sites and about 20% directly. Search engine traffic was nearly half via Google, followed by Yahoo, AOL, Search, MSN, etc. with the new Bing in 10th place (well, it is new!).

For referring sites, there were nearly 53,000 visits via 2,265 sources. Top referring sites were Google.com, followed by Blogger.com, JTA.org, my.yahoo.com, RootsTelevision.com, Bloglines.com, FamilyTreeMagazine.com, Jewishgen.blogspot.com and blogcatalog.com.

As far as content, 10,358 pages were viewed some 321,000 times. The 20 most-read stories of all time:

Aug. 2007: Jewish history of Sicily
Aug. 2008: Jewish athletes at Beijing Olympics
Aug. 2008: Italian Americans' Jewish roots conference
Oct. 2006: Jewish Vikings DNA
Dec. 2006: Judaism in Appalachia
Oct. 2007: Abraham's Children
Aug. 2006: Jews in Italy
Dec. 2006: Anger at Simon Wiesenthal's posthumous baptism
May 2007: Sarkozy's Jewish roots
Jan. 2009: Iranian Jews
March 2008: Curacao Jewish history
Dec. 2006: Genealogy video clips
Dec. 2006: Bad Arolsen on '60 Minutes'
Nov. 2006: Genghis Khan DNA error
March 2008: Crypto-Jewish conference in Texas
April 2008: Sephardim in Caribbean
March 2008: Ellis Island myth and fact
July 2007: JRI Poland update
June 2007: Calabria, Italy Jewish history
March 2008: Cracking DNA Code
The top 20 stories since August 2008 have been:

Aug. 2008: Jewish athletes in Beijing
Jan. 2009: Iranian Jews
Aug. 2008: Sicily's Jewish history
Jan. 2008: Italian Americans' search for Jewish roots
Oct. 2008: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean
Sept. 2008: Obama's rabbi in family
Aug. 2008: Chicago conference: JewishGen/Ancestry
March 2008: Curacao Jewish history
Sept. 2008: Ashkenazi Sephardim
Sept. 2009: New DNA Study Spain
March 2008, Crypto-Jewish Symposium, Texas
Aug. 2008: Chicago conference: JewishGen logo controversy
April 2008: Caribbean Sephardic records
Feb. 2008: Italian Jewish roots conference
May 2008: DNA Sephardic mtDNA
May 2008: JRI Poland data added
Oct. 2008: Decoding Russian names
Nov. 2008: Sicily two lists of Jewish names
Dec. 2008: Canada Ancestry's Jewish records
Sept. 2009: Lisa Kudrow WDYTYA U.S. series
To read these, search via Tracing the Tribe's archive by month or by keyword.

As Tracing the Tribe begins its fourth year, even more exciting developments are coming on line, and this week many announcements made covering the entire world of Jewish genealogy.

As is the custom, the next event (Los Angeles, July 2010) will be announced at the current conference. Details will soon be announced by the hosting Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles, so watch for information very soon.

Stay tuned for Tracing the Tribe's fourth year!


  1. Mazel tov! I enjoy TTT very much and it was great to meet you in the flesh at Jamboree this past June.

    I'm sure your readers are looking forward to another great year of Tracing The Tribe!

  2. Happy Blogiversary to Tracing The Tribe and to you my good friend. You look mahvelous!

    I am looking forward to year FOUR. Like wine, you're just getting better with age.


  3. Schelly,
    Congratulations and happy third blogoversary! I am so honored to call you friend.

  4. Happy Blogiversary, Schelly!

  5. Happy Blogiversary Schelly! I always appreciate your writing talent and your dedication to furthering Jewish genealogy research. Looking forward to the next year!

  6. Mazal Tov Schelly,
    I'm late reading your pre- & during conference posting.
    You were probably the hardest working person in Philly. Each time I passed by, you were sitting with your laptop and typing...
    So thanks for the hard work.
    Looking forward to another year of blogging & tracing the tribe :-)
    Alexandra G.