this is a great place to start, I did. They may be affilited with ancestry, but the site is free and has a great search engine. I started by finding someone in my grandmothers family on this site that had already done a ton of research and was willing to share. I think they are a second cousin twice removed or some such. Also some of the software for research reallly does help organize it and you can add photos into a scrapbook so you can see your ancestors. I have Family Tree Maker and love it. They also usually come with a years subscription to one of the sites.