Milwaukee Freie Presse

Milwaukee Freie Presse

Sunday, June 15, 2014

a Father's Day reminiscence ...

Richard A. Rebholz, new lake cottage
& muskie, c. 1956
     Both my father and mother were not keenly interested in the family genealogy. But my father was a storehouse of knowledge about the City of Milwaukee's industrial neighborhoods and had many Rebholz family stories as well as those culled from the old codgers of my mother's Goelz and Quast family. There was the political shenanigans (that's Irish for Schadenfreude) behind the naming of Milwaukee's tiniest park Goelz Triangle at S. Whitnall, S. Howell and E. Ohio Sts. in the 1930s; the location of the Quast family grocery store at N. 7th & Wright Sts. now occupied by a freeway ramp; how his father and uncles learned to swim at one of the last of the swimming schools near the old North Avenue dam.
     I don't know if he had prior knowledge of my own discoveries of early Rebholz history, but like my mother, I bet his natural curiosity would've been piqued as I've unfolded even more family stories.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Family memorials to WWI soldier Private Eugene Griepentrog, 1918-1930

Pvt. Eugene Griepentrog was a Milwaukee boy who died in the WWI conflict in France on 28 May 1918. His friend Pvt. August Beckmann, and another Milwaukeean, Herbert Schmidt also died that week. They were members of Co. K of the 28th Infantry Regiment.
The local German-American papers published articles and photos in 1918, but the Griepentrog family published a memorial on the anniversary of Eugene's death in 1919 and 1920. When his remains were brought back to Milwaukee for reburial in 1921 his parents published death notices and a public thanks, and then a memorial for him every year after that until 1930.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ride your bike for green genealogy research in Milwaukee

It's Ride Your Bike to Work Week (May 10-18) in Milwaukee!
Milwaukee's bike lanes can get you all around town for your genealogy research: from the UW-Milwaukee library, Milwaukee Public Library, Salzmann Library, Milwaukee County Historical Society, other historical societies in places like Bay View, Wauwatosa and New Berlin, even the FHL.

You can also put your bike on a bus, put your feet up, and organize that day's notes and research finds using your electronic device (keep those batteries charged!).

Sunday, May 11, 2014

a Mother's Day reminiscence ...

25th wedding anniversary, Boulevard Inn, Milwaukee
     My mother, Betty Quast Rebholz, wasn't at all interested in the family genealogy. I ignored that and regaled her with names of ancestors going back 12 generations, lost branches of her tree and about my experiences with the genealogy community and in local research collections. Her typical response was "You couldn't make this stuff up!"
     So it was a real surprise when she related her own story about my research in Milwaukee's German newspapers: her hairdresser provided a detailed version of my biography relayed by instructors of a genealogy class at the public library! All sorts of detail unconnected with Milwaukee's German newspapers was included in the information.
     This was an Aha! moment for me because of an incident at the local family history library where a researcher named Tom (an acolyte of the one true genealogy) LOUDLY regaled 4 or 5 patrons and me with his own version of my biography.
     Betty and I had a good chuckle over this. From that time on she appreciated that my anecdotes about bullying librarians and threats from local genealogy queens were true.
     She would also enjoy a good chuckle if she knew that a stranger attended her funeral service in May 2011 and actually approached me with a research question.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A wide variety of artful beer advertising from the 1850s on ...

Here's a wonderful example of a Milwaukee beer advertisement from the German language newspapers. The wide range of advertisements could fill more than a couple of panels on my display of Milwaukee's German newspapers.
(If you must drink beer and conduct research at the same time, please do so both responsibly and ethically.)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Castles of the 99%; house images found in Milwaukee's historic newspapers ...

Milwaukee's East Side, 1898
Milwaukee's historic German language newspapers have many real estate advertisements that include images like this architect's rendering of an East Side address from 1898.
This  advert. for the house and side lot includes the old version of the address so I dug up the current address at the library. This home became someone's 'castle' in about 1898 and it's still here in 2014, with changes.

I have a growing list of citations for adverts. and featured addresses with architectural renderings or photos from the German papers.
Milwaukee's East Side, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Unlikely sources for research training

PBS runs a lot of great programming that provides suitable training for researchers: nature programs, British mysteries, cops series, and many of the Masterpiece Theater offerings over the years (Chas. Dickens and Agatha Christie adaptions are very instructive).
Even a program about our national parks mirrors the experience of creating an index from German language newspapers - a completely neglected, disparaged collection found in libraries!

From Agatha Christie's The Body in the Library ...
"One does see so much evil in a village," murmured Miss Marple in an explanatory voice.