Like many genealogists, I began documenting my family's history as a hobby. For me that was back in the 1980's, (big hair and all). At that time there was no way to do research online, except maybe through sharing with other researchers in email lists.
My goal in the early days was to find out what country we came from. That turned out to be a challenge because I found generation after generation still in the mountains of North Carolina.
It astounded me that for almost every line I followed they lived nearby to where I lived. My third great grandfather's log cabin is still standing, and some of the land is still in the hands of family members.
I found ancestors who fought in the Civil War, some of whom came home and some who didn't. And then later I found ancestors who were Patriots in the Revolutionary War.
I know that some of my ancestors probably came from England, Ireland, and Scotland, but that's based on lines that others have researched, and what the DNA shows. I'm still following the American paper trail until I get back to the first generation immigrants myself. With these deep American roots, it could take a while.
Some of my lines have dead ends and those brick walls have consumed quite a lot of time and energy. I have one illegitimate birth and one orphan that have really engaged my stubborn nature a few times. DNA will solve at least one, and maybe both, I think.
Spending time on these two has kept me from making progress on other lines, but it's the challenge that keeps me interested.
In future posts I'll share stories, research experiences, and genealogies of interesting families, so check back soon.