Have you seen the tv show 'Who do you think you are'. It was made by the BBC in the United Kingdom. In Australia it is on SBS.
Each program follows a well known person as they begin to follow their family roots. The format is the same for each program. The well know person is introduced to us the viewers with an account of who they are ,what they have been doing in the past few years. Usually, one family line is traced, research takes the personality sometimes far afield in search of their past.
It is a program that i have enjoyed watching and in England it really started many people on their own task of finding their family roots. It is a programme that i would recommend.I have just had a good look at their web site and it has lots of information for the beginner researcher,so take a look.