I love Heritage Quest for searching family. Many libraries have the service and can walk you through the very easy basics. Often by using your library card you can access and search anytime you want FOR FREE. I love the census records, enter a surname, first name and choose a state you think they may have been in and add a census year. It can be a challenge reading through all the old census records but it so much fun when you get a "hit", right name, right spouse name, right age and if you are lucky you will find children and maybe a future spouse living right next door! Sometimes you can check an unusual name and do the entire U.S. if you don't know where to start. What is really fun is seeing how they moved and following them from state to state.