To a lot of folks, they're just names and dates in a family Bible. But mapping out your family tree -- learning just who your ancestors were -- has never been easier, or faster.
Every picture has a story to tell, and each ancestor now has their fingerprint in cyberspace.
"It's a great time to be doing family history," says the Tyler Public Library's Chris Albertson.
"What has in the past taken hours, days, weeks, and months of research can be done in seconds."
Albertson's click of the mouse at Tyler's Public Library brings up matches for an ancestor.
"Every town -- every hamlet -- is preserving it's history by digitizing and loading onto servers and making available to everyone these records," he says.
There are millions of searchable names -- through the libraries connections or at home -- that bring your ancestors to you.
The old way was to look through page after page after page on fuzzy microfilm.
"We've essentially stopped buying those because now they're available online. And it has saved us not only the cost and the storage space, plus amplifying the opportunity of finding your particular ancestor," Albertson says.
Public libraries everywhere are helping those who don't have a computer join the ranks of online genealogists, by offering computer access and lots of help every step of the way.