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 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.
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.
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 [...]