I think of family history, aka genealogy, as putting a face on history. Enough history is written so generally that it can be difficult to see how it matters to you, especially if you don't know what people made up your family. If you start to find out what family members were involved in important events, then the events start to matter to you. I fail to see why some people aren't more interested in their family history. Doesn't everyone ponder "Who am I?" How can you answer that question without knowing about your family and its place in history?
Some family lines are easier to research than others, especially famous ones. I almost fell off my chair in the computer lab when I discovered that I was a direct descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. I guess I should be glad that Priscilla fell for John instead of Miles Standish. OK, that's only a legend, but it proves the point. I'm now a little more interested in what happened at Plimouth Colony.