From Tarnów, Poland to Tarnov, Nebraska: How my ancestors held on to their roots

By Zach Hammack Even at 105 years old, Mary Mostek had the memory of a book. That’s how the Lincoln Evening Journal described my great-great-grandmother in a 1958 article commemorating her 78th Thanksgiving dinner in America at a Columbus nursing home. Years earlier, Mostek lived in the small town of Tarnov, Nebraska, where, up until her 100th birthday, she did her own housekeeping and kept up the lawn, the article said. As one might expect, my great-great-grandma’s story stretches beyond these simple anecdotes from her later life on the Nebraska plains. Like many of my maternal ancestors, Mary Mostek,...

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