Rev. Erastus Smith Barnes, 1872 (My great-great-grandfather.)
So you've been bitten by the genealogy bug! You are in good company, as there are millions of others who are also seeking their ancestors and other relatives. Hopefully I can assist you in your quest.
Genealogy is the scholarly study of family relationships among people. In order to establish such relationships, we rely chiefly on documents and artifacts, both public and private records. Finding pertinent items, extracting data from them, evaluating their reliability, and drawing conclusions from them, comprise genealogical research.