Many people, especially Americans, are anxious to establish cultural identity - tracing their family tree back to the country of origin. In general, however, it's generally impossible to jump right into genealogy research in a foreign country without a strong base of preliminary research. You'll need to know who your immigrant ancestor is, when he decided to pick up and move, and the place where he originally came from. Knowing the country isn't enough - you'll usually have to identify the town or village or origin in the Old Country
to successfully locate your ancestor's records.