Tag Archives: Liane Sebastian

Pioneer Schmitt: A Visual Biography

Johann Peter Schmitt exemplified a quintessential American story. First, his family represented the tensions in Germany through their choices and resulting tragic losses. They fled from Germany in 1840 to become pioneers north of Chicago, buying land on “the Ridge” to clear and farm. Through three decades, Peter flourished through a transition from farming in Grosspoint to building greenhouses in Ridgeville to developing property for Chicago, without moving. Uncle Peter grew from log cabin to elegant house on the hill. Continue reading

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An Oldest Original Discovered

Looks can be deceiving. One of the oldest houses in Illinois is also one of the most eclectic. Though there are no photos of it, I have drawn what this gem might have looked like when built in 1840. I thought it would be easy, but instead, it became a mystery in brick and mortar. Continue reading

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A Chart of Strategic Choices

There are always stories in the numbers. The first way to understand genealogical data is to chart it. Tracing three families from 1700 to 1850 is the foreground of a pivotal point in history. Within their data, a strategy is revealed, reflective of the background history. This interplay also dictates the approach to chart design. Continue reading

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A Boast of Modesty

History can show the extraordinary in the ordinary, and study reveals what is carried forward and what is lost. A family’s history can be displayed through the places they lived—the architecture and the circumstances surrounding. This illustration, of a modest house in Züsch Germany, expresses this interplay of influences. Continue reading

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Magnetic Migration: Ironworkers to Züsch

Confronting the challenge of scale, this illustrative map gives context to convergence. In 1700, industrial pioneers in Europe did not travel as far as their descendants, but did so with as much significance. Not only did they react to historic demands, they were architects of their own, and our, destinies. Continue reading

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Ancestor Access: Allendorf an der Lahn

Blending past and present is well expressed in Allendorf/Lahn, Germany. I have Illustrated several of their 300 year old buildings that show this integration. Continue reading

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Historical Hessen Hints

The influence of technology and politics filters down to affect the small villages circa 1600s. In the battleground of the Thirty Years Wars, Southwestern Germany was the stage for the conflict and the innovations. These factors show in family history data. But how to pinpoint to the actual events? Continue reading

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