So I will tell you both.
I can honestly say I felt a drive and push to know my family. It was a feeling that wouldn't stop. Almost a nagging feeling that if I didn't do it I would be making one of the biggest mistakes of my earthly life.
I had no clue how to search or where to start.
So the first thing I did and I do think it is where anyone should start is the begging. Take your name and see how far back your line goes. Find out if there is anyone who has any family information. I was lucky. My parents had started a family file. It hadn't been searched in years but I took the file and put it on my own computer.
I took the line that was pressing on my mind the most and looked up the last known name in that line. For that line it was instant. I put her name in and the first census that came up was her with her father! I of course didn't believe that I had the right person. It couldn't really be that easy. So I looked under every stone before I would put her fathers name and then her mothers name down.
Two things stand out to me from that memory. They were ready and waiting for me to look and the information I needed just jumped into my lap. I can remember the tears of joy at finding someone who was lost. Someone that belonged to me! Someone that I belonged to! You can't mistake the love you feel.
It isn't always that easy. Some lines just jump into my lap. Some I have been digging at since the beginning and every tiny bit of information gets my so excited that I dig harder. Sometimes it is slow, hard and discouraging. I have never wanted to give up though. When your heart turns to your family I don't think you can ever go back to who you once were. You wouldn't want to go back to who you were.
So I started one census at a time to fill my heart with more love than I can express.