This year is the 15th anniversary of the beginning of this project. Although it has only had the name "Catholic-Hierarchy.org" since the Feast of St. Damien de Veuster (10 May) 2002 [
years]. Here's a quick overview:
early 1997: The beginning: consisted of 3 manually created pages. "Who's New" (list of bishop changes in the US), "Open Sees" (list of vacant US dioceses), and "Age Limit" (list of US bishops at or near the age limit).
March 1999: Automation: the basic framework is created in Corel Paradox (a database program) to support basic information on both current bishops and dioceses in the US. It was named "CITUS" (Church in the United States).
April 2000: History: structures were added to support changes in dioceses over time (i.e., name changes, elevations, etc.). In addition a method of storing yearly data on dioceses was added.
June 2000: Name changed to "CCINA" (Catholic Church in North America) since it now covered Canada and Mexico in addition to the US.
August 2001: Going South: "CCISA" (Catholic Church in South America) created as a second site but based on the same database code. The following year it is merged with CCINA to create "CCITA" (Catholic Church in the Americas).
August 2001: the first "Group" is created to announce changes.
Spring 2002: Going Across the Pond: "CCIE" (Catholic Church in Europe) is created as a separate site. Later in the year "CCIAA" (Catholic Church in Africa and Asia) was also created as a separate site.
May 2002: New Name: "Catholic-Hierarchy" was chosen and registered. It goes live on the Feast of St. Damien de Veuster (10 May). On the first day there were 45 visits viewing a total of 495 pages.
August 2002: Unification: CCIE and CCIAA were finally complete enough to merge into the main website. Catholic-Hierarchy now covered the entire world. It has entries for 8,700 bishops and 5,300 dioceses.
November 2002: The major roman curia offices and diplomatic posts were added. The site also passes the 10,000 bishop mark.
2002 Overview: During 211,000 visits, folks saw 1.5 million web pages. As more historical information is added the site now has over 11,000 bishop entries.
June 2003: Bishop Lineage: With many thanks to Charles Bransom for most of the data, initial support is added for episcopal lineages.
2003 Overview: During 1 millions visits, folks saw 7 million web pages.
Spring 2004: Titular Dioceses are now handled like real dioceses with their own pages, etc. This expands the number of diocese entries to over 8,000.
Summer 2004: Support for Cardinal Titles was added.
2004 Overview: During 1.3 million visits, folks saw 8.9 million web pages.
Spring 2005: In part because of the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, a number of additional pages were added covering popes.
Fall 2005: New menu scheme added to make it easier to find things on the site.
October 2005: The Catholic-Hierarchy-News blog is introduced to announce changes on the website. It mostly gives a quick overview of bishop changes.
2005 Overview: During 2.1 million visits, folks viewed 14 million web pages. The large uptick was largely due to the massive traffic related to the Papal death and election.
July 2006: As more historical data is added, the site now covers more than 20,000 bishops.
2006 Overview: Very close to 2005, during 2 million visits, folks viewed 14 million web pages.
2007 Overview: Not much change from the previous year: during 2 million visits, folks viewed 14.5 million web pages.
May 2008: added Cardinals by Seniority pages to the web site.
July 2008: the site receives visit number 10,000,000 since getting its own domain in May 2002. (There are very few statistics available before that time.)
December 2008: Drop-down menus, Google-based site search, and Google-based automated translations are added to the web site.
October 2010: the site passed two milestones: 15 millionth visit and 100 million pages viewed (both since May 2002, when the site got its own domain).
January 2011: added the Quick View of Bishops for a country pages.
February 2011: The site now includes over 30,000 Bishops.
2012: the 15th birthday of the website. As noted above, it began as just a few manually created webpages and has continued to expand.
10 May 2012: 10th anniversary of the website name! (The website had several homes on various web services before getting its own domain.)
October 2012: the site had its 20,000,000th visit since gettings its own domain in May 2002.
December 2012: "Year Overview" pages introduced and bishop lineage database was expanded to include more data.
February 2013: a number of adjustments to handle the resignation of a Pope (Thanks Pope Benedict XVI! ;-)
January 2014: revamped the handling of particular churches (eastern rites); also now covers 35,000 bishops
May 2014: the site passed 25 million visits since gettings its own domain in May 2002.
February 2016: proper support for bishops with no last name. 30 million visits.
February 2017: 200 million pages served
May 2017: 15th anniversary of the website name - and about 20 years from the beginning of the site. In the 15 years since getting its own domain, it has had 32.9 million visits and viewed 204.5 million pages.
August 2018: now has entries for more than 40,000 bishops