My father's parents were from Canada. That's all I knew about my family.
A year later, I have a family tree which includes all my direct descendents back to the 1630s in New France.
All of what I learned was by searching the internet, e-mailing people with similar names and checking-out surname newsgroups.
Two distant cousins generously sent me the complete family tree including copies of documents, coat of arms and family motto.