The Internet and Genealogy:
To me the Internet is one of the most useful tools that someone trying to trace his roots has. Now it doesn't replace going the library, court house, state archives, or cemeteries, but you will find a few documents that have been digitized and put on-line. If your families' national origin was Scotland or Ireland, you can probably find out what clan the family was in and find information on that clan. You might find out the meaning of the surnames you are researching. But the most success you will probably on the internet is joining one of the researchers forums and finding someone else that is researching the same family as you. You can share information so that you and others won't have to "reinvent the wheel". You can share clues that can lead you both past those dead ends. Here are a few good starting points that I have found.
Digital Archives by state and then by county, or use the search engine.
USGENWeb Archive Project
USGENWeb connects you to the state you interested in and then in each state page you will be connected to the specific county you are interested in. The USGENWeb Project
Looking for an online census?
This page list pages by state and county.
Here is another at Ancestry.com
Looking for a Native American Ancestor? Check these out.
Native American Genealogy
American Indians - National Archives Research Site
Online Records Search Engine:
The Record Room
Cemetery Records On Line
Find a forum or another person researching the same surname or researching families in the same geographic location:
RootsWeb's World Connect
LDS Family Search
Find Your Clan:
Sgian Dhu Interactive Clans
Clan Map of Scotland
Irish Clan Links
Trying to figure relations, try this Relations Chart.
Having troubles with nicknames? Check here.