Requests for pictures of Żywiec

Do you have any pictures of Żywiec you’d be willing to share for this website? I have never been to Poland and would like to know what the area looks like that my ancestors are from. I do not make any profit from this website. I pay to keep advertisements off the website. If you are interested in helping me share family stories or if you have any pictures (old or current) you are willing to share, please let me know: These pictures are all the pictures I have of Żywiec and Zabłocie.

Here are two pictures to show what it looked like where Paul lived in the early 1940s. Richard Sanetra, son of Paul wrote these notes on the pictures.

Paul Sanetra moved to Arizona

Paul Sanetra lived in Illinois until he was in his 30s. He was raised in Chicago, then moved about 40 miles west to St. Charles, Illinois where his 2 children were born. Paul moved his family to Sunnyslope, Arizona (near Phoenix) in the early 1940s with the hope of improving his health. Jesse Buckner who was Paul’s brother in law also moved there. Jesse married Celesta Stowe, the sister of Catherine Stowe Sanetra. George Stowe was Paul’s father in law who lived there during the winter. I’m told Jesse was amazing with horses, what today people would call “a horse whisperer.”

Jesse Buckner, George Stowe, Paul Sanetra
Paul Sanetra, Jesse Buckner and George Stowe, early 1940s
1949-Catherine Stowe Sanetra with her sister Celesta Stowe Buckner.

Trying to reconnect my family

part of Jadwiga Sanetra’s letter in 1963

My great grandfather, Paul Sanetra, told me he was an orphan and spent most of his life looking for his family. Then he asked me if I would help him find his family. He started telling me stories he remembered. Paul was born in Evanston, Illinois (near Chicago) about a year after his parents immigrated from Żywiec-Zabłocie, Poland. Paul had 2 sisters he’d never met, Bronisława and Jadwiga. He last saw his brothers and father on the orphanage steps in October 1918 after his mother died from the flu epidemic. Paul wrote many letters (for at least 60 years) looking for his family! He paid translators to write letters to Poland. Paul never did find his brother Stanisław, last seen in October 1918 or his sister Bronisława who disappeared between Ellis Island and the train station in Chicago where the family went to meet her February 1911. These are our two big 100 year old unsolved mysteries. This image is part of Jadwiga Sanetra’s letter to her brother Paul. She was happy they found each other and asked if he had found Staniław or Bronisłwa yet. This site will share my findings, and things I’m learning.