When I began tracing my family history a few years ago no one in my immediate family knew my great-great grandfather's name, or that my great-grandfather had had any siblings. Well we know a lot more now. I think many of my family are still skeptical I was able to turn up so much information in so short a time.
I remember my grandfather had a plaque on the wall in his study with the short history of the name HAGAN, and information about some of the people who bore the name. I'm sure you've seen something similar. When I asked him if we were really related to the people the plaque described he said "No, we're just simple Kentucky folk." I think even my child's mind knew that even "simple folk" came from somewhere, and certainly my grandpa did, he probably figured it just wouldn't be very interesting.
Today I have traced back my family line through eleven generations, met cousins I didn't even know I had, and learned all kinds of things about the history of my family, Ireland, the United States, Maryland, Kentucky, and early Catholic settlers to our country. And I have found it all very interesting.
The best thing about the whole experience has been the people I've met over the years, related or not. Everyone has been very helpful and polite. I have always tried to be the same.
Of course I alone didn't compile all of this data myself, but have been greatly helped by many of the people mentioned above, but specifically by: MaryD. McCauley, DVM., John C. Hagan, Jessie Hagan, Pat B. Obrist, AnthonyD. Bowlds, Larry Bowlds, and especially Father Harry Hagan, OSB., whose book is indispensable for any serious scholar of the Hagan family.
I hope my work can be of help to you, best of luck in your research.