Carol Wells: Some Interesting Facts about Genealogy

When Carol Wells retired, she asked herself “What do I do now?”  It wasn’t long before she became involved in ElderCollege and in researching her family tree.  What propelled this research was something she referred to as “The Box.”

   “The Box” as so many of us know is something one is handed down from a past generation, in this case it was her Mother’s photo album. From that, Carol started doing her research and ended up not only doing family history books for nine nieces and nephews but also teaching Genealogy at ElderCollege and being on their programming committee.

   What is Genealogy?:  According to Collins English Dictionary it is: the history of a family over several generations, for example describing who each person married and who their children were.

   Carol spoke about the reasons for researching one’s family history:  Curiosity, discovering your family history, possibly also your medical history.  You might be asking “Who am I?” and “What are my relationships?”

   She spoke about only being able to go back so far before you run into “pedigree collapse” which (according to Wikipedia) describes how reproduction between two individuals who share an ancestor causes the number of distinct ancestors in the family tree of their offspring to be smaller than it could otherwise be.

Carol also gave some tips on getting started:  by tackling “The Box” and by talking to relatives.  She also recommended one use paper and pencil initially rather than a computer.

She also dealt with the issue of privacy concerns, of getting permission when necessary.

 She left us with the words that despite all our diversity: “Humans all belong to one family and have one family tree”; something to ponder.

   For those of you who want to pursue your past, Carol Wells has kindly sent us some excellent sources:.   

  1.  National Institutes for Genealogical Studies –
  2.  The Juggler’s Children by Carolyn Abrahams
  3.   Carol Wells e-mail –
  4.  Boolean Operators –
  5.  Ancestry –
  6.  Cyndi’s List –
  7.  Family Search website –
  8. Family History Centre – 591 Arbutus Rd., Qualicum Beach, B.C.   250-752-2233, Open Hours – Mon: 9am to 4 pm and Tue: 9am to 4pm
  9. Qualicum Beach Family History Society – /


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