Saturday, March 16, 2013


oday I went to a local estate sale that I had heard about through  I really don’t need any more stuff in my house, but I could not resist.  It felt kind of creepy going through someone’s house, looking at their pictures, touching their belongings. Someone probably died or perhaps they were moving far away and had to liquidate their property. See

I tried to envision the people who lived in the house I visited. There were numerous religious books, in particular about the Methodist religion.  There were knickknacks, dishes, books, vintage 78 RPM records, clothes, games, holiday decorations, dolls and more.  They must have liked to read because there were plenty of books—good family, I thought.  They also must have loved lighthouses because there were many miniature lighthouses, some musical.  On one wall in the basement there were high school class pictures from the 1940s. In another room I found a stack of church cookbooks and church directories, good sources of genealogical information.  If I had ancestors from this area, I would have grabbed them.

I came home with the following treasures:

Three Norman Rockwell items:
  1. “Captain” figurine
  2. “Looking out to Sea” plate
  3. “For a Good Boy” mug 

Two tea cups:
  1. Crown Dorset fine bone china cup with pansies
  2. Royal Wedding fine earth ware made in Staffordshire, England

Two miniature collectibles that make me think of England:
  1. “Cornish Tin Mine” by David Winter
  2. “Miller’s Cottage”  - part of the Museum Collection

I love my purchases, and I’m sure their former owners would be glad to know that someone is enjoying and cherishing their items as much as they did.  The thought of people trashing my collectibles after I am gone makes me very sad.  Yes, I’m a pack rat. I keep all my mom’s china tea cups, dolls, jewelry, figurines, pictures and even some of her clothes. I keep my dad’s war records, pictures and letters. I have my maternal grandmother’s and my maternal aunts’ jewelry and photographs.  I have my paternal grandmother’s china and the sock monkey she made me.  I have pocket watches and cuff links from assorted male ancestors. I keep the art my children did when they were young, their baby blankets, pictures, report cards, awards, baby teeth and much more.

Yes, these are just things, but they invoke memories and I love memories.  Isn’t genealogy all about memories of people and their lives?


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Victorian Goods and Merchandise, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Early American Design Motifs, 2003.


  1. Amazing what keepsakes people sell. Interested family members die or fall out of touch.

  2. Yes, and some people aren't sentimental about material items. If I felt that way, I would have a lot more room in my drawers, on my bookcases, in my cellar...