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.
May 15, 1911: L-R Katarina Gärtz, Lisi Ebner, a cousin This photo of my grandmother, Lisi Ebner, and her future sister-in-law, Katarina Gärtz, dated May 15, 1911, was in our family photo collection for decades. Only when I was able [...]
Front of Easter postcard from Josef to Lisi. Note Cupid appears to be rowing an eggshell boat filled with flowers and a chick guides the rudder. […]
First page of Josef Gärtz’s diary on right; lower left he wrote “Kronprinz Wilhelm” see detail Even handwritten documentation from our ancestors can lead us astray as we search for the details of their pasts. In my case, [...]