I was never too much interested in family history but in 1998 my daughter and her husband went to a Highland Games in our city and came back all enthused after finding out their family name Crawford was a sect of the Lindsey clan. My grandson was 12 at the time and as a result of their enthusiasm he became interested in learning the bagpipes. We found a youth band, Trad Na Trad. The band particpated in competitions at various Highland Games and I was usually drafted to go to them also. Of course I came upon the Clan Donald tents and my interest in my family history was born.
Here are some websites to start your family research.
Ellis Island Organization Passenger Lists and ships manifests
http://www.familysearch.org/ Ancestral database contains over 36 million names linked to family names
The Federation of Genealogical Societies is an umbrella organization whose membership is made up of the hundreds of genealogical and historical societies in the United States, as well as some international organizations. With more than 500 member societies, FGS has a collective membership numbering in the tens-of-thousands. Each year, representatives an delegates from many of these societies gather for an annual conference. A quarterly publication, FORUM, contains an assortment of articles of interest to societies and their membership.
The online home of the National Genealogical Society, this non-profit organization was formed in 1903 for the benefit of all levels of genealogy (beginner to professional) and promotes education, a high standard of research principles and scholarly practices, and interest in genealogy, family history, and a range of other related activities.
The Association of Professional Genealogists is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a high set of professional and ethical standards for genealogy research. With more than 1,500 members, the expert knowledge of their members covers a wide range of geographic, ethnic, and other specialties. You can also see more details about APG on our Web site by clicking here.