Years ago, it was a rare family
indeed that didn't have strong ties
to a church. Of course the first
place to try, is the local church
your ancestors may have attended.
Making your first genealogical
trip to a cemetery will be interesting -
provided you can find the cemetery,
no kidding. Several hundred years
ago, it wasn't unusual for people to
be buried on their own property or
in small private cemeteries and
sometimes these burial locations
have been incorporated into other cemeteries, or sometimes are still
private plots, but so grown over with weeds and tall trees that finding
them is extremely difficult.
It may seem strange to suggest that you could enjoy people who
probably died many, many years ago, once you get truly "caught up"
in the spirit of the times in which your ancestors lived, you'll find
yourself getting to "know" and "understand" them quite well. In fact,
it's safe to say you'll share their ups and downs, their sorrows, their
periods of prosperity and their moments of depression.
And as these personality traits work their way out of people's
memories and long forgotten letters or documents, many of your
ancestors will really "come to life" before your eyes. You'll realize all
this is happening when you begin to talk about your ancestors as
though they were alive and living just down the street.