Wow! You don't know what you've taken on! As you go along it's a learning process and you get absolutely hooked on the detective work necessary to find the origins of your family.
Best place to start is in your own family, ask all the oldest members of the family who their fathers and mothers were, where they came from, when they married, how many children they had and their names etc., use a tape recorder and back that up with written notes. Also get a reliable family tree computer package (you just type in the data and the package does all the hard work for you). On the internet start your research with Cindi's List, it lists just about every genealogical site on the net.
When looking for people/names remember the golden rules - start from yourself and work back, use wildcards to search for variable spellings and allow a few years for a margin of error on ages stated(our ancestors were not very literate or numerate). Read the history of the times and places involved too it helps you understand the background of migration, name changes etc and puts everything in perspective.
Oh and by the way the very best of luck to you!
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