I've been researching my roots almost daily for the last ten years. Why do it? Some may want to claim a famous person in their line. Though, I hardly see how they can take any credit for such. Some may search for their nationality or origin.
Personally, I do it for the history. How did they survive the difficult living conditions? What was their occupation? What was the terrain like where they came from? A while back I stood on the land my G-G-Grandfather homesteaded in Virginia. I was also standing in the parking lot of a high school. Only through the miracle of GPS was I able to do this.
Staying with it is the key to progress. Sometimes a few minutes at a time and sometimes for hours. The next ancestor is just over the hill or around the corner.
I have one line back to 1386. Usually that would be almost impossible to do. I was fortunate to have a high ranking church official only ten generations back. His pedigree was well documented. Other lines are waiting for the great-great-great-parents to be found.
For only five generations back, there are a total of 62 names to be located. They may have come from all over the world or they may have been very territorial. It is not unusual for first cousins to marry. They were the only available mates in an isolated location. Therefore it is not unusual to have the same ancestor appear on your family tree more than once. I have one three times. It is common for a popular family given name to appear in successive generations.
It is interesting that the descendents of brothers can be at opposite ends of the spectrum. One group becomes bankers and the other sharecroppers. A twist of fate as simple as the weather or an accident can dictate the path taken.
Some of my lines are:
Asberry (changed from Asbury 4 generations back)
Leonard, Ewing, Sparks, Richardson, Sprague, Martin, Bullard, Ferguson, Greenwood, Stillwell, Mauck, Anderson, Hyden, Wright, Arrington, Cooper, (another) Wright, Jennings, Pate, Reed, Hilton, Hardwock, Lewis, English, Durrant, Wheeler, Bennett, Williams, Hendrick, Thompson, Kemp, Favor