You can get started on your family tree with no expense other than paper and a pen or pencil so it is an easily affordable hobby to start off with. All you need to do is set down what you already know from personal knowledge and then speak to other older family members to see what they can add.
The key information you need for each person on your tree is as follows:
- full name
- date and place of birth
- date and place of marriage (where applicable)
- spouse name (where applicable)
- date and place of death (where applicable)
- names of any children
By word of mouth you may well be able to go back in the late 1800s or early 1900s with very little effort. It maybe that some of the key bits of information are missing but these can be filled in at a later date.
You can then construct a very simple family tree starting with yourself and moving backwards:
I got this one free from http://www.obituarieshelp.org/ .
Once you have filled in what you and your family already know then you can start to work on the blanks.