May I Introduce To You . . . Diane Boumenot

Diane Boumenot

I have the pleasure of introducing you to, Diane Boumenot and her blog, One Rhode Island Family, described as, “ . . . My Genealogical Adventures through 400 Years of Family History.”

How Diane Got Started in Genealogy

“My dad’s family were Scottish Highlanders from Nova Scotia, and very proud of their heritage.  My mom’s family was close, but never talked about their family background. As life went on I became more and more curious, and began collecting pictures and documents.  About three years ago I decided to start a more official search, during a week long vacation at home.  Little did I know that week-long chore will probably take me 40 years, and still never be done. My mom and I were so surprised at all that I found out.

Since her grandmother died in Newton, Massachusetts when mom’s father was 4, my mom never even knew that her grandmother was born in Nova Scotia, to a family of New Englanders who had gone to settle the farms forcibly vacated by the Acadians.  Those folks have Mayflower roots.  And almost every other family line leads back to the earliest settlers of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They have wonderful stories – Quakers evicted on foot from Massachusetts, evolutionary War Minutemen, a cousin sentenced to death in Shay’s Rebellion, a runaway bride, and the stories of many of Rhode Island’s traditional industries – fine jewelry, silversmith, machinery, and cotton mills.”

Diane’s Thoughts on Creating a Genealogy Blog

“I started the blog to tell stories to my family, to get opinions from other genealogists about my problems, and to make it easier for people to find the Rhode Island resources that I’ve gathered. I’m always fascinated by the process of things, so I like to break down a discovery I might have made into the step-by-step details, hoping others will find clues that might work for their problems.

The blog has been a much more meaningful experience than I really expected. Genealogy has gone from being fairly solitary to having a real group dynamic.  In addition to the blog, I have ongoing discussions in social media with other genealogists that mean a great deal to me.  My social media genea-buddies seem like more of a community than any other genealogy group I’ve experienced.  And, through a blog you encounter a lot of 4th and 5th cousins, which is fun.”

Diane’s Favorite Blog Post

“I think my favorite post is about the unusual story of my first visit to the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston.  I saw my great-great-great-great-great grandfather Nathan Aldrich’s Bible.  He had CROSSED OUT the name of my 5x great grandmother Marcy Ballou from the family record.  I had been wondering what happened to her – that tipped me off to a possible divorce.  The post is ‘What I saw at the NEHGS.’

Along the same lines, a more recent post: ‘How to Use NUCMC to Perform a Miracle’ may also give hope to those who think their ancestors’ lives were too obscure to have surviving personal records.”

Diane’s Tips for New Genealogy Bloggers

“My only tip is to imagine you are opening someone else’s blog … in the moment it takes to click the link and open a blog you’ve never seen before, picture what you are HOPING to find.  What combination of writing, layout, stories, resources, tips, or atmosphere would strike you as a great find? THEN, go out and create THAT blog.  Your own interests and attitudes will resonate with others far more than any guided, safe method you could adopt.”

How Genealogy Improved Diane’s Life

“Finding a passion of my own for this hobby and experiencing how it feels to join a community has helped my career in association management.  Watching myself making decisions about what to spend money on, how to reach out to others in the community, what conferences to go to, and how it feels to be welcomed gives me renewed energy for helping others connect with their passion.  Plus, I find there are many connections between the technical skills needed for a job and those needed in genealogy and blogging, and I learn new things all the time.”

What Diane Loves Most About Genealogy

“Genealogy has completely changed my view of history.  I was an American history major in college, but I had absolutely no idea my family was intimately connected to the important events of southern New England history.  I love reclaiming this for my family.

But I also am glad, in some small way, to build a more personal history, where there was a complete blank. I know it changed my mom’s life somewhat to now know more of the details of her father’s difficult childhood, and the tragedies that beset that family for several generations. It gave her a better understanding of her parents.  I think for most people, knowing the enormous struggles of your ancestor’s makes you realize how fortunate you are.  And I always think, when I turn up bad stories, that the next generations had that much more to overcome – and did.”

* * *

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!

© 2012, copyright Gini Webb

Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, recently retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her now seven 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.

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