• Czech
  • Mar2

    No Comments

    My grandmother Marie Simanek emigrated from Predmir, Czechoslovakia to New York in 1922, then returned home in 1926 to ask permission to marry my grandfather Joseph Vanac.

    In this photo she is returning to New York – with approval to marry! (She is the upper left-most woman in the rear. Click on the photo for a larger image.)
    It was taken in September, 1926 on the S.S. George Washington.

    Group Photo - SS George Washington, circa 1926

    The photo as a whole is one of my favorites, but the ladies at the bottom are my favorite favorite.

    Group Photo Crop - SS George Washington, circa 1926

  • Jan26

    No Comments

    Uncle Joe - St. Mark's Basilica PhotoWhile scanning our family photos, I always kind of wondered where this one was taken. On the right is my Great-Uncle Josef Simanek, and he is standing with a woman in front of a beautiful building.

    The family came from a village in Czechoslovakia and I believe he later lived in Prague, so I always assumed it was something from that city.

    Uncle Joe - St. Mark's Basilica Photo, Rear
    Today I happened upon it and recalled that there was some writing on the back of the photo. Since it is in Czech I broke out The Google Translate and tried to read the writing. I tried many variations of the words, and didn’t really get anywhere beyond the first phrase:

    “Kostel sv. Marka celý s mramoru”
    “Church of Sts. Mark all with marble” Read More | Comments

  • Nov30


    Cabinet Card, Unknown Family, Wien One of my favorite photos in our family album – but sadly an unknown family. As our family is Czech from the towns of Zámlyní and Předmíř I am very interested to know who from the family might have had their photo taken at Burggasse 116, Wien, Austria.

    Cabinet Card, Rear, Unknown Family, WienYou have to love the beautiful design of the rear of this cabinet card…







    For future Google searchers, a transcription of the printed text on both side of the photo are as follows:

    Front of card:
    C. TH. MEYER
    JNH d. KUNST u. Verlagsanstalt
    u. Photogr.Atelier, Else”
    VII.Burggasse 116.

    Rear of card:
    Carl Th. Meyer
    Atelier, Elsa
    VII/3 Burgasse No 116

    Die Platte Bleist Fur
    Nachbestellungen AufBewahrt
    Verulelfaltigungsrecht Vorbehalten
    Nachdruck Verboten

  • Sep21

    No Comments

    Babi's LettersWhile tidying up and checking on my Czech Babi’s (Grandmother’s) steamer trunk that I am taking care of for my mother, I found a nice cache old letters.

    This trunk made the trip back and forth from New York to Czechoslovakia a few times between the 1920s and 1960s…

    Babi ala LifeboatWhen my mother was about 5 years old my grandparents took her back to Czechoslovakia for a visit – and they somehow enticed Babi to take a photo in a ship’s lifeboat.

    SS Queen Mary PostcardAt least one of the trips was on the Queen Mary – we have several of these postcards from the ship in our albums.

    As with any photos on this blog, you can clickety-click on any the images for a larger view.

  • Jun13

    No Comments

    Simanek Family Photo - Předmíř, Czechoslovakia

    Simanek Family Home in Předmíř. Rear row: Antonin, Vaclav, Marie (my Babi), Bozena, Joseph. Front row: Rose, Mother Bozena, Jaroslav, Father Vaclav, Jan

    This is a photo of my great-grandparents Bozena and Vaclav Simanek and their children at their home in Předmíř, Czechoslovakia, circa 1915 (give or take a few years.) My grandmother Marie (known as Babi to us grandkids) is the oldest, standing in the rear row, center.

    I have seen this photo several times over the years, but it was not until I scanned it that I realized all of the children were holding lilacs. Many years after she had emigrated to New York, Babi had planted several lilac bushes at their summer bungalow in upstate New York. They are one of my favorite flowers in both appearance and scent – we planted some Japanese lilacs in our yard that I look forward to each spring.

    I suppose that love of lilacs may go further back than I realized.