Over the past decade or so, it has become quite common for families to want to find out their heritage through ancestry searches
First and foremost, there are some pay sites that compile quite a bit of information from around the country including census records, birth records, death records and marriage records. Just about every state is included in these pay sites, making ancestry searches quite a bit easier through this venue rather than trying to find these records on a state by state basis. These, of course, do cost some money. In my opinion, these sites are worth the money because it is very nice to have all the information at your fingertips, especially if you are unable to spend very much time on your ancestry searches.
If you choose to not pay for these websites, there are other options available. There are now family search libraries in many cities around the country that are available to do free ancestry searches in their record collections. These are operated and compiled by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but you do not have to be a church member in order to utilize these services. In addition to their libraries, there is also a website available to do name searches for mother, father and spousal information on particular queries. This is a very useful site, and again it is free.
During my ancestry searches, I have found that a combination of using the pay sites and the free Latter Day Saints site is the way to go. There have been some pieces of information that I have found on the pay sites that was not listed on the fee site, and surprisingly there was quite a bit of information available on the free site that was not able to be found on the pay sites.
It is always good to have a starting point with ancestry searches, preferably at least two generations back from you. However, even if you just know your parents’ names, you should be able to navigate yourself back pretty far to find out your relatives. It can be frustrating work, but ancestry searches are well worth the time when you see where you came from.