April 25, 2012

An Estate Sale with Memories

Walking up the sidewalk, I noticed the letter "Z" that decorated the brick chimney where the estate sale was being held. I notice all names that begin with "Z" because my maiden name started with that same letter. I was either last in line when the class had to line up in alphabetical order or first because they would sometime reverse the alphabet for the line up.

For some reason, when I enter a house, I hear my mothers voice; "Don't forget to wipe your feet!" and this practice has stayed with me all these years. I always wipe my feet when a doormat is available. As I entered the house I looked down at the doormat, and I saw my maiden name Zdanowicz. 

As I began my search for treasures, I noticed a plaque of the Polish eagle hanging in a place of honor in the living room. They must be of Polish descent and extremely proud of it, I thought. In the kitchen, I picked up an embroider flour sack bearing a name of my first cousins wife, and I was a bit surprised.

The basement confirmed that this indeed was the home of my first cousin Wally. My cousin Walter was conceived after my Uncle Walter came home from the war, but Wally never knew his father, Uncle Walter died from an illness he contracted while fighting during the war. Aunt Agnes of course gravitate towards her side of the family and so we were not close first cousin.

While, in the basement, I came across some loose black and white 8 X 10 wedding photos tossed in a box of assorted papers, I flipped through them and recognized the wedding photo of Aunt Agnes and Uncle Walter, I decided to purchase all of them just in case they were family members.

I called my cousin Ruth from Dian's Timpanalley who is the family genealogist, scanned the photo and emailed it to her. The bridesmaid on the right is my Aunt Stella and Ruth's grandmother. 

I also found a small framed photo that was priced at one dollar.

It was Uncle Walter and Aunt Angnes' wedding portrait.

We have also determined that the couple on the 
right in this photo is Eleanora and Wally.

I am so happy that I attended this estate sale, but I wonder what other family photos and treasures were purchased during the sale.

Here, are the remaining wedding photos that I believe are from Eleanora's side of the family.

I suspect that this is Eleanora's parents wedding portrait.

Unfortunately, I have no idea who the 
people are in these two photos.

This experience has encouraged me to sort through and identify all of my photos. This was an terribly sad estate sale for me.


  1. What are the chances of that! Did you realise your relatives had lived there?Rx


  2. wow! uncanny :) those are lovely photos with sentimental value!

  3. Wow! Love the story.

    My last name begins with A, so I was always first or last in school. I made sure to always be ready to present projects first!

  4. This is an incredible story, Paulette. Quite amazing. What beautiful photos.

  5. Hi Paulette, amazing story, as you know I love genealogy! I didnt realize you and Ruth were cousins!!

  6. Love the photos! If I had been your mom, I would have named you Zelda. That's a great last name, by the way. It's always a puzzle to me how to pronounce them. But I think I know yours because we had neighbors with a name that had a similar ending. My maiden name was Nelson, so pretty much everyone knew how to pronounce it. How boring is that! :-)

  7. So sad that we don't know who are in the wedding parties. The dresses were all different and in some, it looks like Eleanor was a bridesmaid.

  8. How fortunate that you attended this sale! I bet you felt a little bittersweet to be there looking through the items that no one wanted.

    My maiden name ended in Z. :) I always had to spell it and pronounce it. Always.

  9. Great story - glad you got the photos.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  10. It was kismet. You were meant to go to that estate sale and save your family's memories. What a thrill, and yes, sad, also. Glad you found some wonderful items.

  11. Yes, kismet. How very lucky to happen upon such treasure!