All I have ever wanted was for my students to know just a little bit about their own family. I learned very quickly my first year that not all students came from a family like mine – a mother, father, and two sets of grandparents. I learn VERY QUICKLY that many came from split parents, single parents, remarried parents, so by the second year all I asked of my students was to do only one parent if that’s all they knew, Fill in what you can. It made things much easier for them and me. I no longer wanted birth dates, birth places, native languages, etc. Just names so that students would know that they too are part of history.
My own family research has extended back over 30+ years. My own genealogy dates back to 1867 where I hit a wall. My great grandfather was born in Texas but no one seemed to know his father. He had died very shortly afterwards leave me no census records – nothing. I do think I know where he was born, but I can't find any records anywhere. I do know his wife's name and I think I know where she was born plus her maiden name. but she even got married shortly afterwards.
On my wife's side I have done her family history back to the Great Deportation of the early 1700s but she is Cajun French and they and the Catholic Church has kept great records.