“Family Archaeologist” explores a century of family letters, diaries, and artifacts, and how they illuminate history and our shared humanity. To get an overview of the blog, click: “Welcome to Family Archaeologist”
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Happy Birthday, "Redlined"! Today, April 3rd, is your special day. I feel like I should buy you a birthday hat, wrap you in colorful streamers, and sprinkle you with confetti! But you’re like the one-year-olds who smear cake all over their face and stare goggle-eyed at the crowd singing to them—clueless.
“I’m an executive!” my mother shouted at her family. “But nobody respects what I do!” An executive? We sniggered. My dad was blatantly dismissive. My brothers, and even I, a young woman of the 1960s and ‘70s,thought she was losing her marbles.
Antarctic Journey My husband, Bill, and I, just returned from a trip to Antarctica, an other-worldly land on the "bottom of the world," traveling on a ship designed to cut through the Antarctic ice. The National Geographic ship, Orion, was a cruise ship built for just this kind of expedition, which was co-sponsored by Lindblad Expeditions. Lindblad originated the idea [...]
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO ALL ACROSS THE DECADES! Here's an adorable valentine, February 14, 1942, from Lillian Koroschetz to Fred Gartz - before they were married. Love is timeless.
"Russell Baker died Monday at his home in Leesburg, Va. He was 93." That's the opening to the New York Times obituary after the death of one of the twentieth century's greatest newspapermen, memoirist, writer, and overall high quality human being. I didn't know Russell Baker personally, but after reading and rereading his Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir, Growing Up, to the point I could quote passages verbatim, I wanted to know him.
On Jan. 11th, 1911, (1/1/11) a massive steamship, named "Friedrich der Grosse" (for Frederick the Great, a one-time Prussian ruler) pulled into New York Bay. My dad's father, Josef Gärtz, was on that ship, peering out at the Statue of Liberty, greeting him and the other hopeful and exhausted boat-load of immigrants. It was the beginning of a life entirely different from the lives of the family and friends he left behind.
On New Year's Eve, 1910, a young immigrant boards a steamship from the Port of Bremen to head out into the unknown, across the Atlantic to America. Using his wits, Josef Gärtz overcame every obstacle in his path—and recorded how he did it in letters and diaries. That's why I can share with you today a first-hand account of what he experienced 108 years ago. Read on to find out what happened.
On Christmas Eve 1910, my grandfather, Josef Gärtz, set off on what would become a harrowing journey toward America. His burning dream of a far-off land and the fiery drive he needed to get there, turned out to be the best Christmas gift he ever could have imagined for his future bride and their children and grandchildren. It was a gift that would keep on giving for decades to come.