Professional genealogists say you start your family tree with YOU. You find the records for YOUR birth, for YOUR education, YOUR travels, YOUR relationships and family AND your photos.
Do you need a copy of your birth certificate? a marriage or divorce record? a death record? If you were born in the United States or one of our territories, you can find the sources for these records at Where to Write for Vital Records.
When you are doing genealogy on other people in your family, if the event (the birth, marriage, divorce, death) occurred in the U.S., this will help you find out where the information you need may be found (and costs associated with obtaining it.)
As you look through your papers, the family file cabinet, the attic or other storage places for your records, keep an eye open for documents that will help you know where and when the important life events for other family members occurred.
If you find information for other family members, ask their permission to copy it. You will be able to use it as you move on to research the generations before you.