I have the pleasure of introducing you to Diane Gould Hall and her blog, Michigan Family Trails, described as, “. . . As I research mine and my husband’s family, I share with readers my experiences and take them along on the journey. In the process, I share tips and advice, along with some current genealogy news. I also post lessons on how to do things like organize digital folders, analyze evidence, follow a trail of leads, as well as a few tips about how to use the Legacy software database.”
“I was born in Detroit, Michigan. I named my blog in honor of Michigan as my parents, siblings, grandparents and some great grandparents were also born in Detroit. I am happily married to my husband of 24 yrs., Ron. I have lived in San Diego County, CA. since my sophomore year in high school.
I belong to genealogical societies both near and far, as follows: The San Diego Genealogical Society, the North San Diego County Genealogical Society, the Ohio Genealogical Society, the Lawrence County (Ohio) Genealogical Society and the Aberdeen & North-east Scotland Family History Society.
I was privileged to facilitate a Legacy Users group for the San Diego Genealogical Society for 2 years. I regularly attend seminars and listen to webinars in order to increase my knowledge.”
How Diane Got Started in Genealogy
“I began researching in 2000. I became interested in family history many years ago, as a young girl. I would ask my maternal grandmother about her family. I would learn later on that she had left me a lot of information about the family and even a handwritten family tree. I also used to ask my Dad to tell me about his family. My grandmother always told me that we could belong to the DAR. She passed away in 1986 and would be happy to know that I am now a DAR member.”
Diane’s Thoughts on Blogging
“I started my blog back in January 2010 as a way to share with cousins and other family members. I wanted to do a website, but blogging seemed like a better way to really share our story. I only wrote a few posts from 2010-2012. Then last year I began again in earnest. The reason I stopped and started frequently was because I felt like I really didn’t know what I was doing and thought ‘who is going to want to read this anyway?’ I’ve since learned from reading other blogs and by watching tutorials and webinars.”
Diane’s Tips for New Bloggers
“Be yourself when you write. Read and re-read your posts before you publish them. It’s your blog so make it whatever you want it to be.”
Diane’s Favorite Blog Posts
“There are several that seem to have been very helpful to readers. Here are two of them:
Diane’s Time with the Ancestors
“Now that I’m retired I can spend much more time. I generally do something every day. It could be as little as responding to an email or a post on a genealogy Facebook page, or as much as hours looking for records.”
Diane’s Favorite Ancestors
“I’d have to say it’s my paternal Great Grandfather, William Val Gould.
My Dad used to talk about his grandparents all the time. He was the only grandchild born to them, even though they had 6 children. I have many pictures of my Great Grandfather and consider him the patriarch of our family. He wasn’t rich or famous, but he was always well dressed and he had a sparkle in his eyes. He was handsome too. “
How Genealogy Has Improved Diane’s Life
“Genealogy has improved my life by bringing me closer to my family. I have connected with cousins who are now close friends. I have been located by a half-brother, given up for adoption, who is now one of my best friends. I have met some wonderful people all over the United States and in Europe. I have traveled to places I might not have gone to if it weren’t for genealogy. I’ve learned more about history and geography. I think that I’m a more complete person because of my knowledge of the history of my ancestors. “
What Diane Loves Most About Genealogy
“I love the hunt and the discovery. I love the surprises we find along the way. I also enjoy that genealogy keeps me learning new things all the time. We are always learning about the history of an area, looking at maps and reading newspapers and books. And, we need to keep up with current technology too.”
Diane’s Time Capsule Message
“When we are young we don’t really pay much attention to the ‘old folks.’ But, they will one day be the people you would give anything to have 10 minutes with. They are the ones who know all the important things about the family. How did your parents or grandparents meet? Who were the rebels in the family? What brought the family to a certain location? There are so many questions that you can’t find in census reports and vital records. Once those family members are gone, you can never ask them questions, and oh my, how you will want to. TALK TO YOUR FAMILY NOW!”
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Please take a moment to head on over to Diane’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Diane, it’s great to have you here!
© 2014, copyright Gini Webb
Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her grandchildren! Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Gini Webb via e-mail.