You know when politicians and people like Bono talk about the salt of the earth people? Ends up, it's me they're talking about! My family, at least on my mother's side, were farmers and truck drivers from Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, etc. My roots began in the heartland of America before we got all “California”.
I had a great, great, great, great grandfather named Abraham Lincoln Waggoner, and another relative named Lille Fair who I can only imagine was a singer songwriter.
My friend Mike, who is also a fan of Ancestry.com, found out that one of his great aunts actually lived in our neighborhood, and was killed by a trolley right outside the current Starbucks (which was a movie theater in her days).
It's been a nice family project for my mom and I, and the historical documents can be extremely exciting. For example: I found the New York Passenger form my Nana filled out on her voyage to the US from London in 1947.
It helps to have as much information as you can, but searching historical documents and other family trees can provide missing information.