Hi Donna, I am not Gordon Brindley :-))but I though you would not mind if I answered, as a year has gone by since you posted. I cannot help you with your questions specifically but I can offer a little advice.You need to start by writing down what you know so far. Write names down in full and when and where they were born andmarried etc. Write down everything you know about each person.
I am not familiar with USA genealogy methodsso you can try to get that info elsewhere, but for instance get a marriage certificate for a deceased relative and from there you can probably get information re their ages and places of birth.
You can then get their birth certificates to get parents full names etc. work you way back, write everything down , fill in the blanks.
You can get alsomore information from censuses; they are wonderful sources.
When you get back into your English origins, you can look on the Free BMDhttp://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.plhttp://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl This source covers the time from when registration of BMD's started 1837 to(so far) the 1920's.
You can buy BMD (Births marriages and deaths) UK certificates online from the GRO. (General Register Office)http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/
If you can provide the GRO with the information from the Free BMD, for example:location of the registration( egthe city where the birth or marriage was registered)thequarter of the year of the registration, March means registered in the first qusrter, (Jan Feb Mar,)2nd Quarter, shown as'June'( April May June). and alsofolio and page number you will find that this can save you money.
Providing these details can help the GRO find your certificate more easily so they let you have the long form( preferred) certifcate at a reduced price.
You can write to the GRO to get application forms for certificates and they will send them. Good idea to anticipate you made need several of each if you are seriously researching your family.Some people buy BMD certs. onlinefrom the GRO with a credit card. ( My personal bias is: I prefer the mail )
There are other websites where you might start looking to familiarize yourself with the areas of interest such as localFamily History societies.
'Rootschat'( www.rootschat.com)is a great site for genealogy forums too and it is free and people are helpful and sharing. It's mostly oriented towards the UK.There is a 'beginners forum'.
If you request more information on a forum,be sure to write all the information you have on that person, so people know who you are talking about,and whatyou are asking. I foundreading your posting was confusing. I know its hard when you are just starting out. I hope this has helped a bit. Remember, it's easier one step at a time. :-))Good Luck!
'Bookmark' these sites I have mentioned, you will use them a lot.