I had been thinking about checking my family history for a long time but did not begin until about 1997 or 1998. At that time I wrote down all that I knew and started asking questions of my immediate family. This gave me information about my immediate family and my grandparents.
Then my mother gave me some typed (remember typewriters?) papers that were so old that the staple holding them together was rusted. It was titled "The Stauffer Family" and gave me incomplete information about my Stauffer ancestors back to the Civil War.
About 2001 or 2002 I went on Ancestry.com and started looking for information on my grandfather Clifford S. Hunsicker. The search led to a page in a book. This book, A Genealogical History of the Hunsicker Family, would give me my Hunsicker ancestors all the way back to 1700. Up until this time my entire family believed that our ancestry was German but it turns out that our first ancestor in America was Valentine Hunsicker who was from Switzerland.
Since then I have identified myself as the Family Historian and have received a lot of items (mostly photos) but also some documents and copies of documents.
My father, William Robert Hunsicker, passed away in December 2002. My mother, Dorothy Mae Stauffer Hunsicker, passed away in 2007. Fortunately, I was able to share most of this information with her before then.
I received a communication through Ancestry.com from someone who asked about Emily Farquahar who is my grandfather Clifford Hunsicker's mother (my great grandmother). It turns out that she is my first cousin once removed (daughter of one of my grandfather's brothers). I learned about a great uncle and a great aunt that I was not aware of.
I was recently given a much updated version of "The Stauffer Family" in a loose leaf binder which included tombstone pictures for a lot of the persons listed.
My efforts to this point have been infrequent and inconsistent (a lot of the items I have been given are unorganized). I am now going to learn from the resources available within the Genealogy Community so that I can bring order to the chaos that I have created.