If you look up the word genealogy in a dictionary, you will find that it has to do with the study of the history and descent of a family or families. So genealogy is not only important to individuals who want to compile a family tree; genealogy is also a form of historical study that will show us where important world figures originated.
Barack Obama's Genealogy
For example, consider the first black president of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Christened Barack Hussein Obama, this amazing man was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. His father was a black Kenyan man, and his mother was a white American, Ann Dunham from Kansas. Obama's parents had met at university in Hawaii, and their marriage didn't last more than a few years. He was about two when they divorced. Then, when the now President Obama was just six years old, his mother married an Indonesian man.
If you are interested in genealogy, trace this family tree. Even from the limited information given here, you will see that the branches go in various directions - across the continents and across different cultures. You will also see that President Obama isn't strictly black - he is in fact what many people define as coloured or of mixed race.
If you are serious about tracing this family tree, make sure you have a huge sheet of paper, because the now president's father, who died in 1982, had three wives, six sons and a daughter. To accurately trace where they came from and who their descendants are, you will need to follow each one of these lines. There's loads of information on the Internet that will help you to track this fascinating family history.
Chances are you will need quite a large sheet of paper to trace your own family history as well. However there are quite a few Internet sites that offer the facility of pre-organised family tree structures. Just be aware that if a site claims you can create and produce (and even print) your own family tree in a very short space of time, you will need to know who the people are who fit into those branches. Nobody can do this instantly. There is too much involved in personal genealogy.