While Olive Tree Genealogy is a great website, this shout-out goes to the blog Ask Olive Tree a Genealogy Question, also run by Lorine McGinnis Schulze. Where do I begin when it comes to that blog? I could start by mentioning the fact that every time I read one of her posts I learn something valuable. I could start by mentioning the fact that she always addresses questions that most any regular researcher would ask. I could start by mentioning that through her posts, I've gotten obituaries, vital records, and about a hundred other things that have helped my research immeasurably. I could start by pointing out the fact that Lorine always answers my questions even before I've had a chance to ask them (in fact, I've never submitted a question to her because by the time I've thought of one I discover she has already addressed it or something similar).
I know where I'll start, I'll start by stating the obvious: when a new post goes up on her blog, it pretty much makes my day. It also, more often than not, ends up dictating where and how I'll be spending my research time that day.
I've broken down long standing brick walls thanks to Lorine's blog and I've made significant head-way on other, still standing brick walls to the point where I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. I can't say that about any other blog I follow (though I love them all) and it is because of that that I want Ask Olive Tree Genealogy A Question to be my first Follow Friday post. If you don't follow this blog, you are really missing out (and so is your genealogy research).
Here is a perfect case in point, from the most recent blog post on the "Meaning of Markings on Ships' Passenger Lists." I'd been looking at my great-grandparents passenger list for years. I'd even noticed the little scribbles all over them. But, I'd always written them off as nothing but bureaucratic this and that. I never gave them much mind until someone wrote in asking as to their meaning. An hour later, I had both my great-grandfather's and his daughter's (my grandmother's sister) naturalization information. Turns out that is EXACTLY what those little scribbles were. I haven't been able to find their naturalization papers anywhere, but thanks to that little post I now have their application numbers, an idea as to where they applied and the dates when they applied.