Genea-Musings posted a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post asking the question: What event or person inspired you to start your genealogy research?
I started doing genealogical research on my family in my sophomore year in high school (1994). During the previous summer, I attended my paternal grandmother's family reunion where I had received a tree full of names. I wondered if anyone knew more about these people. What did they do? How did they meet? When I started school, my psychology teacher mentioned that she was into genealogy (I had no idea that's what this art/science was called) and she wanted to start a Genealogy Club. So, I gathered the names and recruited some folks and served as President for 2 years (until she left and we couldn't find an advisor).
I think what really hooked me was the trip to the National Archives. We didn't have the wealth of genealogical resources on the internet that we do now and I had no idea back then how fortunate I was to live 45 minutes away from the Archives (wish I lived there now...Houston is SO far). Anyway, I found my family names in the Archives and there, in the census, my first questions were answered: my great grandfather was a sharecropper. He couldn't read or write, but his grandson had a scholarship to a university and his great granddaughter would eventually go to MIT.
That trip was inspiring for me. I've been doing genealogical research ever since then. Every year, as more documents become available, I learn more and want to go out and find more. I've found cousins and documents that tell stories about my family that were long forgotten. In those stories, I see my past and my future.