I wish to allow others to know my family. They were pioneers in many parts of our country. I am amazed at the hardships they endured and survived to live long fruitful lives.
When I begin to research a branch of the family, I get in touch with relatives and ask them to tell what they know about this person or these people. Then I go to a genealogical web site to gather more information. If possible, I go to cemeteries to consolidate birth and death information and to get a feel for the locale. And finally, I try to go to as many courthouses as possible to confirm all information. When it is available, I look at local newspapers, local libraries, and any other available source of information.
I also ask my relatives for copies of Bible pages, letters, photos, or any other documentation. I would never take original documents but copies are good enough. Then I sit down and write it up into book form, adding copies of document and photos. Finally, I put it into notebooks labeled with family name.
It is great fun but takes much time to finalize. But since I am retired, it has become a passion--even an obsession.