Here's a confession I have: I don't think I would be interested in genealogy if not for technology.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy libraries, but I've yet to actually use them for any genealogy research. The thought of spending hours looking through microfilm or making special trips to courthouses and the National Archives does not appeal to me, and I applaud my literal and figurative forebears who did such work. Fortunately, there are now plenty of online options for a young and casual researcher like me to get started.
The drawback is that it becomes doubly frustrating when you "hit the wall" - when you have a relative who should be in a particular place in a given year but Ancestry.com or Familysearch are just not turning up any results. One example of this is my 2xGreat Grandmother Sarah Margaret (Maggie?) Medley (née Corfee). I knew from her obituary that she was born in Leon, WV and eventually lived in Morgan County, OH. But I had not found her or her family in any Census results, and, since this was the "shortest" branch of my tree so far, I was eager to learn more.The Times Recorder, Zanesville, OH
Then one day, I unexpectedly received a message on Ancestry.com. Another user had been searching for someone else, came upon a Census page that was not accurately transcribed, searched for the listed people and found that one of them was my relative. She sent me the page in question - and there they were: Joseph and Sarah M. Corfee in Mason County, WV; farmer and housekeeper in 1880. I quickly responded with many thanks - and this person went further and found the Corfees in the 1870 Census as well! It seems the Corfees moved from PA to WV around 1860, with Joseph possibly being born in Germany.Excerpt from 1880 US Census, via ancestry.com.
Despite these discoveries, I have yet to learn about Joseph and Sarah's respective parents. But I'll explore that more in the future. For now, I'll reiterate that technology is great, but the combination of technology and people is truly amazing. Thanks, curlygirl_3d.