They and their father led the Noldor from Valinor to Beleriand in pursuit of Morgoth, who stole Fëanor's greatest work, the Silmarils. Since Fëanor died in an early battle, his sons were the driving force behind the ensuing wars. Their heroism was great and they were mighty leaders and foes of Morgoth, but because of the Oath of Fëanor (which they all swore) their actions were ultimately turned to evil.
Only one survived the First Age. Because of the nature of their Oath—that they would not permit anyone else to have the Silmarils, originally meant to refer to Morgoth but ultimately encompassing their fellow Elves and even the Valar—their deaths were generally not in battle with Morgoth but rather in desperate, Oath-driven assaults on other Elves. The only three not killed in such a manner were Maedhros, who killed himself at the very end of the First Age, and Maglor, who survived only to wander despondently alone along the shores of Middle-earth, and - in The Peoples of Middle-earth - Amras, who perished at Losgar by a terrible accident. In The Silmarillion, though, Amras is killed along with Amrod when they, along with Maedhros and Maglor, attack the refugee camp near the Mouths of Sirion.