I first talk to living family members, getting all their information and as many memories as possible. Then, I go on line to confirm or negate that information by looking compatible sites. Later, I go to cemeteries and take photos of tombstones to verify birth and death records. And finally, I go to the courthouse for final verification.
I do this mainly for my family. Many seem interested in genealogy but some seem not to care. I think it is important to be aware of our roots. I have found many interesting stories about ancestors and keep a record of them. Maybe some day one of my children, grandchildren, etc. will have a need to know.
I especially like the little stories of our ancestors. To me, it makes them more than a name and a date. I am always glad that my cousin got me interested in genealogy. Through it I have met so many interesting people who share by passion--or is it obsession?