Thanks to Jasia, at Creative Gene for once again hosting the annual I-Gene awards, an opportunity for the genealogy blogging community to look back over the past year and salute each other’s best posts in five categories. Here are my choices for Family Archaeologist for 2011 Let the awards begin!

Best BiographyDress Designer Extraordinaire My maternal grandmother, Aloisia Woschkeruscha, earned a dressmaker diploma in Vienna, Austria. In honor of Women’s History Month last year, I posted a brief biography of her, accompanied by this photo of Aloisia posing in her graduation masterpiece

Best ComedyGoing to the Dogs My trip to Romania in 2007 confirmed my grandfather’s warning: It’s a bad idea to name a girl “Linda!”

Best Documentary: It has to be the series of my paternal grandmother, Lisi’s, journey to America as recorded in her diary from Transylvania to New York. It begins when she ships her trunk to America: Farewell, My Homeland, and continues with her Train Journey (Part I), then onward to the Port of Bremen, Train Journey Part II-To Catch a Ship. On board the steamer, Kaiser Wilhelm II, it’s Lisi’s Moveable Feast and From Ship to American Soil until, finally: Central Park, NY “I’ve Arrived!”

Best Screenplay, a love story:  Falling in love––70 years ago My mother’s diary of meeting and falling in love with my father begins with this post on October 11, 2011, and unfolds in a weekly series over the next several months (it’s ongoing even now on this blog), as she pours out her heart in these “engaging, sweet, and vivid entries, full of hope and promise.” If you ever were madly in love, this serial “screenplay” will take you right back to that emotional high.

Close up from above photo: Josef Gartz, age 23. 1912

Close up from above photo: Josef Gartz, age 23. 1912

Best Picture: Joe Nelson’s Saloon, 1912. Free Sandwich with that Beer! My grandfather, Josef Gartz, finally landed a decent-paying job at this saloon, at Crawford and Madison on Chicago’s West Side. And it came with food! This photograph of an early 20th Century saloon, with my grandfather (background, above, and close-up, right)  at age twenty-three, is a classic. It’s the oldest one we have of Josef after his arrival in America in January, 1911. My grandmother’s letter, in which she references this job, is included with the post and brings their monetary struggles to life.