During the recent "SNOWPOCALYPSE" that we had up here in Indiana (and most of the north, but this is about me, not them), where I had two snow days from school, I decided to work on my family tree for a bit. Of course, it helped that my sister had emailed me and told me that she received a notification from the family tree site about upcoming birthdays of her children. I had inadvertently misspelled one of her kids middle name.
So I started researching more and more information about my ancestors and had a great time doing it. I found information that took my moms side of the family back to the 1600's. My fathers side of the family was much harder, as most information I had was contradicted by other research that I was conducting. I just recently found out that the reason my moms side has been so easy, is that Missouri has just about everything online from before 1959 for deaths and before 1910 for births. While I thought that my fathers family was from St. Louis, Missouri, I located my Grandfather (Robert Raymond McKeown) death certificate in Missouri where it stated that he had been born in Illinois. I go to Illinois and find that just about nothing is available online from that state, so if my fathers side of the family is more from Illinois than from Missouri, that would explain the lack of information available online. As a side note, I was able to locate death certificates from the state of Missouri of other relatives that I knew had passed before 1959.
The use of Census records has also been helpful; however they are sparse and only really include names, ages, and current location. It does help determine a pattern and verify information, some of it is difficult to read. The census records have helped me determine that information listed on a photograph of my great-grandmother (Edith Moody) was incorrect in that it stated that she had come to the U.S. from Scotland around 1918. The census records state that she was born in Illinois and that her parents were born in Illinois.
I will continue to do more and more research when I have time, I really do find this stuff interesting.