On Jan. 23, 1943, my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, (photo in uniform, above) reported to the draft board in Chicago to start his training for WWII. So began the correspondence between him and family & friends, comprising almost 300 letters going both ways. I’m posting many of these World War II letters, each on or near the 70th anniversary of its writing. To start with his induction, click HERE.

This blog began in Nov., 2010, when I posted a century-old love note from Josef Gärtz, my paternal grandfather, to Lisi (Elisabetha) Ebner, my paternal grandmother, and follows their bold decision to strike out for America.

My mom and dad were writers too, recording their lives in diaries and letters from the 1920s-the 1990s. Historical, sweet, joyful, and sad, all that life promises-- and takes away--are recorded here as it happened. It's an ongoing saga of the 20th century. To start at the very beginning, please click HERE.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Family Archaeologist––First Blogiversary!

It reads "Heartfelt Good Wishes for your Name Day
Dated November 18, 1910, Josef Gärtz
 sent this postcard to his sweetheart, Lisi Ebner
 to arrive on her Names Day, Nov. 19th, 1910
One year ago today I posted the oldest missive in my collection, this sweet postcard sent from my grandfather, Josef Gärtz 
to his sweetheart, Lisi Ebner. (See:  Can Love Last 100 Years?) If you've followed along, you've learned a lot about their long distance courtship as the letters they wrote from fall of 1910-summer of 1911 persuaded them they must be together, and my grandmother made that fateful trip across the ocean. 

Josef Gärtz, summer, 1910
 Although I officially entered the blogosphere with my first post, introducing Family Archaeologist on November 17th, (click Welcome to Family Archaeologist to see the intro) I like to think of today as the beginning of the story. My goal has been to share my family's letters, diaries, and original documents, dating back over the past century. My hope was that the stories of this one immigrant family, told in their own words, would find resonance with other readers.

Elisabetha/Lisi Ebner, June, 1910
By entering the genealogy and family history blogging community, I have been amply rewarded with the wonderful blogs I've been introduced to and their creative, prolific, and caring writers. I have met bloggers who have inspired me to write my family history, who have impressed me with their intelligent and thoughtful posts, who have introduced me to technologies and techniques to make blogging and family history research simpler, who have opened my eyes to self-publishing outlets, who have shared so generously their knowledge of genealogy research, and  many whose own family histories, documents, and photographs have been beautifully displayed and written about. I've been enriched by all of you.

I don't always get around to visiting as many blogs as I'd like, but I do try to drop by every couple weeks just to see what others are doing and to let them know I appreciate their work. Thanks to all for your wonderful writing and touching stories.

Because I promised myself to post at least once a week, the blog has been my inspiration to look more closely at and really think about the meaning of all these letters and documents my family so carefully preserved over the past century. As E.M. Forster said, "How do I know what I think until I see what I say?" This blog required me to put into words the inchoate thoughts rumbling around in my brain about my family's past. It has enriched my understanding both of my roots and actually introduced me to family members as they were in their youth. Old, careful souls were transformed into the young, rash, passionate people that existed decades before I was born. 

Thank you to my family for being such pack rats, for not only saving these treasures, but labeling and carefully preserving just about everything  so that my brothers and I can know you as you were -- and can share your story with others.


Lisa / Smallest Leaf said...

Beautiful, Linda! Your painstaking efforts to preserve these pieces of your family's past have been enriching to all of your readers. I look forward to another great year here at the Family Archaeologist as the inspiring saga of your family continues.


Michelle Goodrum said...

Happy Blogiversary! I have enjoyed reading about your ancestors. Your blog motivates me to keep plugging away At the many boxes I inherited from my pack rat family.

Debi Austen said...

Happy blogiversary, Linda. I love the details you've been able to share with us!

Linda Gartz said...

So great to see you all here to help me celebrate.

Unknown said...

Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for all that you add. Thanks for the inspiring posts. Here's to many more!

Cherie Cayemberg said...

Happy Blogiversary! I've enjoyed your posts and look forward to the next year!

Kathy Reed said...

I can't believe I've been fortunate enough to be here from the beginning. You know I so enjoy your writing, your stories, and your wonderful ancestors. Happy blogiversary!

SueFitz said...

Congrats on your blogoversary

Anonymous said...

gluckliche erste blog verjahrung.

Vielen dank fur all schreiben und photo,s..Das hast mir sehr glucklich gemacht.

Du est Wunderbar!!!!!!!
Ine Jansen

Jasia said...

Happy blogoversary, Linda! I'm happy to be a part of your fan club. I delight in reading your blog posts and look forward to reading what you share next.

Jasia said...

Happy blogoversary, Linda! I'm happy to be a part of your fan club. I delight in reading your blog posts and look forward to reading what you share next.

Jacqi Stevens said...

Linda, congratulations on your first blogiversary, and thank you for all your wonderful posts. Your family's penchant for hoarding memorabilia validates my firm convictions about saving such treasures--and is the very antidote to soothe my bristling reaction every time I hear that dread, mindless mantra: "declutter, declutter."

Thank you also for your kind comments on my blog, and for the suggestions, which I am now following up on.

As for the importance of sharing these letters, these slivers of micro-history, I wish all such kindred spirits could find a way to hold a virtual writers' group for mutual encouragement! I believe we are trailblazers forging ahead into new territory.

Bill and Robin said...

I've been meaning to post a comment for a year now, but am just not of that generation, temperament or time. But on this anniversary as a member of the family I have to say this has been a delight to read and watch unfold. This is your calling (at this time) to recreate a family we never knew. Keep up the good work.

Ihr bruder Bill