Through censuses, ship logs, the social security index and a few other easily accessible resources, I have uncovered some of the basics -- birth and death dates, addresses, marriages, occupations, etc.
My great grandfather (my father's mother's father, born 1868) was a photographer. He had an art studio in Pennsylvania (and later in England) beginning in 1894. The family traveled a lot between England, New York and South Africa. I knew that photography was in by blood somehow. My father still has his German lens made in 1880.
Below is a picture of my great grandmother (b. 1893 in Romania) -- her husband would be the above photographer -- and her father, my great great grandfather. His hat and beard are absolutely amazing.
Lots of gems like this to uncover over the course of the next year, but I could never have gotten this far in my genealogy challenge without the help of the magnificent Kyle Williams, a true ancestry artist.