The best defense is an offense, and that was as true in the past as it is today. A century ago, a deceitful notary took advantage of my grandfather’s absence to wrongfully sell his property. My grandmother's father, Samuel Ebner, (left) wrote her and her new husband, Josef Gartz, a letter dated May 11, 1913. Samuel was clearly in great distress over the illegal sale.
I'd always known my grandfather was often impatient, and apparently was so as a young man. He didn't want to wait for the long visa process, so he just took off for America before his exit papers were in order, hoping to start the new year of 1911 in a new country. His diary "Meine Reise Nach Amerika" (My Trip to America), and letters to his sweetheart show that he almost didn't make it.
This post was originally published on my blog on February 1, 2011 Evangelische (Lutheran) Kirche Neppendorf (near Sibiu)Historically, the Gärtz family church TRAVEL TUESDAY Church as History On the second day of our 2007 roots-finding trip in Romania, [...]
This post was originally published on Jan. 11, 2011, and the the references to the 100th anniversary are based on that date. Today is the 100th anniversary of Josef Gärtz, my paternal grandfather, arriving in America, losing the umlaut over [...]
Friedrich der Grosse from NorwayHeritage.com This post was originally published on Jan. 5, 2011. Crossing the North Atlantic in the heart of winter was a grueling experience, as Josef reports in his diary. The first and second days [...]
12/30/1910—First page of letter from Josef to Lisi on F. Missler stationery This post was originally published on Dec. 31, 2010, 100 years to the date that Josef Gärtz boarded the ship for America. Once Josef arrived in [...]
This is a repost, originally published on 12/28/10. Josef wrote both in his diary and to Lisi about his terror atop the train from Pressburg (Bratislava) to Vienna, one corroborating the other, but each using slightly different language. In [...]
This post was originally published on Christmas Eve, 2010, on the centennial of my grandfather’s departure for America, and his diary record of his harrowing journey. Josef Gärtz, 1909 or 1910, age 20 or 21 I’d always known [...]