It's amazing how much genealogy has changed since I started it in my college days at BYU as a hobby back in 1960. In those days, you had to travel to a library sort through shelves and drawers of files to find anything and maybe you found nothing or had to look at it on a microfilm or microfiche reader. Now in just a few minutes in your own home you can have vital record certificates of deaths, marriage and births on your computer screen. Even stories and photos of your ancestors or their headstones.
If you haven't tried it you should. One site I really enjoy is FindAGrave.com in just a few minutes after typing in a name of a deceased ancestor and the state that person died in, you can be looking at their headstone. Saving yourself a trip to a distant cemetery and possibly adding other info like their spouse's name and any children or siblings in that same area. Try it, you'll be amazed.
Wm. Marion Johnson Sr. Click on his name to read more about his gold seeking adventures and saloonkeeper days. I discovered his parents' names from a will his aunt Julia Johnson Ewers made in Ohio leaving her money to her neices and nephews as she was a childless widow.
Now I'm discovering more about Wm. Sr. family. Born in 1837, Wm. lived during the Civil War times and two of his brothers were killed fighting for the Union army. His older brother was James Madison or Monroe that I'm searching for info on. More details next time.