I had heard various stories about the family -- mostly from my Mother. Stories like -- "one of your ancestors invented this or that"or "another one was a well-known politician" . . . and some others -- but nothing "set in stone" so-to-speak.
So as a young adult I watched the TV spectacular -- "Roots" and that really helped me realize that if someone like Alex Haley could trace his family back a few hundred years, so could I.
Shortly after "Roots" appeared I traveled to Salt Lake City on business, and remembering that Haley had done a lot of research there at the Genealogical Library, I visited the library and became "hooked" on doing my family history.