I thought I'd offer a few suggestions for the novice researcher or old ones for the experienced researcher:
1st - the old standby - start with yourself and work backwards!
1. Check around the house [or your parents' house, etc.] to see what might be on hand. [a] family photos, [b] birth, marriage & death records, [c] newspaper clippings, [d] military discharge papers & similar documents, [e] diaries/journals, [f] letters, [g] hopefully, a relative's genealogy notes
2. Talk to family members about their reminiscences of their lives & the lives of deceased family members. [You may need to draw up a set of specific questions to ask. Be patient! Record or take notes.]
3. If an aunt, cousin, sibling or whoever has compiled a genealogy, contact them to see if they are willing to share the information.
4. Take clear, concise notes as you proceed.
5. Document every piece of information you find - including the "family lore." [Where you got it, date acquired, who gave it to you, & so on.
6. Decide on a system to help you keep the material organized.