I have put some basic information on my LOOKING INTO THE PAST page which may be of interest to people who are thinking of exploring who they are. It is possible to do a lot of research without incurring any cost whatsoever.
The National Archives digitization of the 1901 and 1911 census papers has been a revolution and an astonishing development for those of us who have questions to ask about ourselves. It is absolutely free to view and search and it is possible to look at the original documents that have been scanned to a very high quality.
In my family, my father and his siblings did not know the former surname of their paternal grandmother. By searching through the 1901 and 1911 census records I found her forename and because it was relatively unusual, it was possible to find a marriage certificate (albeit in Latin) which showed that the bride and groom were actually 1st cousins!
It certainly can be frustrating for us here in Ireland, as the majority of our census records prior to 1901 were either pulped or lost in the social unrest of 1922; burial records largely do not exist, graves were often unmarked, birth and marriage records may not be available if the local clergy was not particular about preserving them.
If you are considering looking up your ancestors, I urge you to do it! It will be a great journey and you will enjoy discovering who you are !