When I was a kid, my parents would often talk about their family. Grandparents, uncles and aunts, and cousins who I would never meet because they died years before I was born. I liked hearing their stories, but I didn't write them down. Sometimes I would remember the names, but more often than not they disappeared from my memory.
Both of my parents died in 1999. My last living ancestor, my grandmother, was showing signs of alzheimers and was begining to forget things. My uncles and aunts remembered some information about my family, but not really enough to satisfy my need to know more. And I needed to know more. I was 30, and I began to get very curious about where my ancestors came from and who they were.
After my father's funeral, I asked my sister if she knew about a family tree that my father put together. I vaguely remembered a bible with names in it. My sister asked her son if he knew anything. He walked back to my sister's car and brought back a family tree that my father put together. It wasn't the bible, but it was more information than I thought he would have collected. It was four pages and went back five generations on both sides of the family: his and my mother's.
When I began doing my own research, I discovered that his information was remarkably correct. He made only one mistake: he put an ancestor of his as an ancestor of my mother's. Both of my parents had the surname "Baca", so it's easy to see why he erred. He also included names of his and my mother's siblings, nephews and nieces, and cousins.
I have discovered a lot of information about my family in nine years. At first, it was just names and dates. Now I'm discovering the history and personalities of my ancestors. I'm sure as I go along, I'll make many more discoveries. Your genealogy is never finished: you'll always find more information with each hour that you research.
This is why I do genealogy. It is a quest to find out more and more about my family.