Quest breaking through dead ends

Get into genealogy at next week's event

A friend recently remarked that my column in the Mirror wasn’t what she had expected. She had thought it would focus on the different strategies and sources genealogists use to do their research. She made the point that relating stories of people and places of the past was historical commentary and not genealogy. Of course I argued otherwise (that’s what I do), but nevertheless I went away and considered what she had said.

Technically speaking, she’s right, but as I pointed out in my first column, the purpose of tracing our families is to find the stories.

We dig to find the dirt.

Does it matter that the stories told are of someone else’s family? I don’t think so. And, if the success of programs such as Who Do You Think You Are? are any indication, a lot of other people don’t care either. There is something magical about uncovering pieces of people’s lives – the quirkier, the better. It is as if they come back to life. I know that sounds corny, but it’s true. As long as the stories survive, the people live on.

Of course, when it’s your own family you are making discoveries about, it is even more exhilarating. But every now and then, you run into a brick wall and need some help.

That’s where the CRGS Quest Team jumps in. Every year the team takes on the task of breaking through an apparent dead end in someone’s family search. This requires thinking outside the box and following avenues of investigation not previously pursued. Normally, the team unveils its results at the June meeting, but this year unforeseen circumstances postponed the reveal until September. It is an event not to be missed. The Quest Team took on my brick wall a couple of years ago, and what they found blew me away. They opened a door that took me all the way back to the seventeenth century, and put me in touch with family in England and Australia. How cool is that?

So, if you’ve been thinking you might like to try tracing your family’s roots, but you don’t know how to go about it, join us for an evening of fun and enlightenment to see if genealogy is for you. (It’s always entertaining to poke through someone else’s closet.)

What: Campbell River Genealogy Society Meeting & Quest Reveal

Where: Thulin Room, Maritime Heritage Centre

When: Thursday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.

Hope to see you there.