Now in its 17th year online, Minerd.com continued to attract visits and publish the stories of thousands of forgotten lives in 2016 involving a frenetic pace of research, travel and writing. Not a week went by that meaningful content of some type was not added to the site.
Among the indicators are the number of biographies added or expanded during the year – the number of archival images posted – the number of cousin deaths recorded – and the number and variety of blog posts.
Last year, 17 new biographies were added – many so lengthy that they will be subdivided into new ones in 2017 – and many hundreds more bios expanded with new findings – bringing the total on the site to 1,610. Some 1, 034 images were added as illustrations, bringing the overall site-wide count to 14,541.
In 2016, some 48 deaths were recorded for the year, and scores of deaths back-filled our records for earlier years. Since we began counting in earnest on July 1, 2000, the known number of deaths of cousins and spouses is 1,629, or one every 3.7 days. While many of these are related to old age or illness, some are in fact due to domestic violence and heroin addiction. In some periods of our heaviest losses, such as in the 2002-2003 timeframe, we lost a cousin/spouse once every 2.94 days. Future research will identify even more deaths which have occurred in 2000-2016.
All of this material has some connection with the Pennsylvania pioneer Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor clan and its heavily interrelated German families of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
Travel – As always, the core focus of Minerd.com content is research-driven writing and sharing. During the year, I traveled to 10 destinations to pursue that objective — Washington, DC (2); Morgantown, Wheeling and Elizabeth in West Virginia; Wellersburg, Kingwood and New Brighton in Pennsylvania; and Columbus and Cutler, Ohio.
Writing and Publishing – Other major research was conducted and published on a wide variety of topics. Perhaps the most emotionally moving new content added to the site was a collage of photographs and essay by cousin Linda Marker of Rockwood, PA, “A Mother’s Lamentation Over the Heroin Overdose of a Beloved Step-son.”
During the year, scores of cousins reached out to me to share knowledge and rare images of their immediate families. Eight in particular unselfishly provided extensive, detailed and encyclopedic material and need to be recognized here – Richard Rosswurm (branch of Emanuel and Elizabeth [Minerd] Krick) – Brent Lowell ( branches of Josiah J. Dull and John Dull) –Donald Kuhns Jr. (Annabelle [Trout] Hower) – Yvonne Bonnie (Blair) Morgan (Unknown Shelkey Faces album) — Linda Marker (Jacob and Salome [Weimer] Younkin Jr.) — Denny Shirer (Barbara [Minerd] Firestone) — Mark Terry Youngkin (John Harrison and Eliza Jane [Coble] Youngkin) — and Barb Nelson (Jacob and Ruth Ann [Adams] Minerd Sr.).