To start from nothing so to speak, use Add New Person which is in the drop down menu at the top of the page under Add. It does not matter where you start or if you are even related to the profile. All that really matters is does the pudding bear the proof. I would suggest starting with the profiles you have the best documentation for, government records, newspaper accounts, etc.
You can't get around the data entry. Lists of names without sources are barely better than useless.
Matching is very hit and miss and works best when the name is unusual or you use the filters on FamilySearch to limit responses. To use FamilySearch, start with an open profile in public view and click the RootsSearch link under Research at the right. Then click the FamilySearch tab at the bottom.