Chicago — a view over time

The Cash and Song Book

The Cash and Song Book

When we asked my grandfather why he had come to America he always said, “Nothing from nothing makes nothing.”  A...

Hidden Message Behind Women’s Work

Hidden Message Behind Women’s Work

This photo hung in my grandmother’s house for her entire life. The image has been carefully stylized to depict what...

Blended Family Breakthrough

Blended Family Breakthrough

Samuel Ebner, my great-grandfather, did not remain a widower for long (see how my great-grandmother died at Life and Death Abbreviated). In...

Life and Death—Abbreviated

Life and Death—Abbreviated

My grandmother kept a photo of her hometown church tucked into the hymnbook she brought with her from Romania. No...

Remember Me in 1910

Remember Me in 1910

About the time Josef Gärtz received his Military Draft Summons (see Drafted 100 years ago), this photo was taken of my grandmother,...

Drafted 100 Years Ago!

Drafted 100 Years Ago!

The summer before Josef wrote his sweet postcard to Lisi (see Can Love Last 100 Years?), he had received a written...

Can Love last 100 years? Nov. 18, 1910-Nov. 18, 2010

Can Love last 100 years? Nov. 18, 1910-Nov. 18, 2010

Funny thing about love. We know it when we feel it. We know it when we see it. I can...

Welcome to Family Archaeologist

Welcome to Family Archaeologist

My family’s ancestral roots are in Transylvania—known more for its Dracula legend than the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans,...

On Jan. 23, 1943, my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, (photo in uniform, above) reported to the draft board in Chicago...

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