Where Was I: Tops again

The last time I wrote about where I worked I had just quit Darien Lake on a Saturday. That Monday I drove to the old Tops where I worked. I went to the front office to get an application and was recognized by the office manager and was able to get an interview right away. I was able to start on night crew that night.

Another just over minimum wage job but with a lot of overtime. For several months I stocked shelves overnight. After about 6 months I was made Frozen Foods Manager. The department was set up as part of the Dairy/Frozen department. There was a D/F manager and a separate Frozen manager, there were usually 3 part timers working during the day along with the D/F Manager. Frozen manager worked overnights on their own.

In April of 1994 my Oldest was born and the company decided I did not need to take time off for his birth. I did not go in the day he was born. After a meeting I was told not to come back. After 4 days I was called and begged to stock an order and write the next order because no one else knew how, I went in and was told to take a few more days off and come back. No apology or admission of mistreatment.

During the summer the Grocery department manager decided he wanted to teach me a lesson for taking time off in April. The D/F department was a Grocery department sub category so the Grocery manager had the right to control the D/F department. There were a couple failed attempts to write me up. The assistant managers took care of the paperwork so nothing official ever happened. At the end of summer the Grocery manager decided that the Frozen department needed to be moved to days only. Because my wife worked days I needed nights. This was another attempt to punish me. I ended up back on night crew working under the same grocery manager. Suddenly he no longer had a problem with me. Tops had a night crew issue. Once you had a good crew you could not mess with them ever. Store manager had been transferred at other locations for messing with a night crew. The last thing a store could afford is a night crew leaving, it had happened at other locations. I was on a good night crew and now he couldn’t do anything to get back at me for taking days off. I stayed on night crew until spring when I was able to get a job at their main competitor Wegmans. It was good day to leave.

Bronislaus J. Switkowski

Bronislaw Switkowski is my great great uncle. He was born in 1902 to parents Wladyslaw and Ludwika Switkowski. The 1910 US Census shows him and his siblings as Bronislawa 18, Joseph 17,
Anna 14, Mieczyslaw 12, Anthony 10, Bronislaw 8, Stanislaus 6, Sophia 4, and John 2. Five years later the family was still together at 72 Clark Street near Corpus Christi Church building site on Buffalo’s east side.

At the age of 16 Bronislaus was working as a tanner living with the family still at 72 Clark Street. Two years later in 1920 he was selling nails. Anna 22, Mieczyslaw 21, Anthony 19, Bronislaus 18, Stanislaus 15, Sophie 13, and John 11 along with their parents moved to 50 Lombard about 2 blocks away.

On May 19, 1926 Bronislaus married Anastazya Wiatrowska in Buffalo, NY. They moved to 464 Wilson St. staying in the Polonia area. In 1930 Bronislaus was a scaler at a meat packing plant. There were over 200 meat packing plants in the Buffalo area. Most were near the Buffalo Stockyard. For some information on the stockyards you can go here. They had a 3 year old son Leonard Switkowski not to be confused with my great uncle Leonard Switkowski that was 3 in 1930.

1940 Bronislaus was now a shipping clerk at the meat packing plant. They were still living on Wilson St. . The now have their second son Eugene added to the family. It was around this time the meat packing industry began leaving Buffalo. It makes sense that Bronislaus work become a driller at Bell Aircraft. On February 14, 1942 he registered for the draft. I did not find any records of him being in the military it could be that he was 40 and not recruited or that he worked in the aircraft industry and was needed on the homefront.

Sometime after 1942 the family moved to 209 Herman St.. He worked as a shipping clerk again but I couldn’t find where.

He outlived all of his siblings but joined them on April 5, 1980.


  • Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: Buffalo Ward 8, Erie, New York; Roll: T624_942; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 73; Image: 984.
  • Year: 1920; Census Place: Buffalo Ward 10, Erie, New York; Roll: T625_1102; Page: 29B; Enumeration District: 81; Image: .
  • Year: 1930; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Roll: 1426; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 114; Image: 290.0.
  • Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Roll: T627_2829; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 64-199
  • Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data – State population census schedules, 1915. Albany, New York: New York State Archives.Original data: State population census schedules, 1915. Albany, New York: New York S
  • Number: 070-05-1444; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: Before 1951.
  • New York State Department of Health; Albany, NY, USA; New York State Marriage Index
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
  • http://www.forgottenbuffalo.com/forgottenbuffalolost/buffalostockyards.html

Antonina Gulczewski Jerozal

Antonina Jerozal is my great great grand aunt. She was the eldest sister to my great great grandfather. I grew up with his daughter, my great grandmother. It seems weird that in 2020 I am one step away from knowing someone born in March of 1838. Antonina died when my great grandmother was 20. Since I have this prayer card from her collection they probably knew each other at least a little and I knew her until I was 10 in 1980. One person connected us over 142 years.

Antonina was the oldest child of Josepha Boncyk and Joannes John Gulczewski. I don’t have access to records from Poland so I don’t have information on her childhood.

I start her story in 1880 at age 39 Antonina is living at 124 Townsend Street in Buffalo, NY. He husband Blazyf Jeruzal is about 10 years older. Their children are: Catharina 17, Simon 15, Martin 11, Joseph 7, and Cicilia 4. The year is 1880 and they are living at 124 Townsend Street in Buffalo, New York.

The 1892 New York Census shows that she was born in Poland but was listen as a US citizen. The children are now Simon 26, Martin 22, Joseph 18, Cicilia 16, and Polly 9.

Antonina and family moved to 40 Townsend prior to the 1900 US Census. Blazej and Antonina are living with daughter Pelagia 17 and granddaughter Mary Olazauowski 16. The census adds that out of 6 births 6 children were alive. Five years later Blazej and Antonina were living alone. They were together until Blazej died in 1914.

Antonina is then living with the family of her daughter Pelaga in 1915. Her family was Pelaga and
Anthony Jakubowski with children Francess 2 and Henry 1. Three years later on June 16, 1918 Antonina died. Like with most from the east side she was buried at Saint Stanislaus Roman Catholic Cemetery in Cheektowaga, New York.


  • New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: E.D. 04; City: Buffalo Ward 09; County: Erie; Page: 16
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: Buffalo Ward 8, Erie, New York; Roll: T624_942; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0070; FHL microfilm: 1374955
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Buffalo Ward 9, Erie, New York; Page: 30; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1241026
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 25 December 2020), memorial page for Antonina Gulczewski Jerozal (Mar 1838–16 Jun 1918), Find a Grave Memorial no. 108350720, citing Saint Stanislaus Roman Catholic Cemetery, Cheektowaga, Erie County, New York, USA ; Maintained by gravefinderStStans (contributor 47637865) .
  • New York Department of Health; Albany, NY; NY State Death Index
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Roll: 829; Page: 470B; Enumeration District: 136
  • Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1892 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
  • New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 02; Assembly District: 06; City: Buffalo Ward 09; County: Erie; Page: 60
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
  • City of Buffalo; Buffalo, NY; Index to Deaths in Buffalo, New York

Wednesday Translated

He died on June 16, 1918. The funeral took place from the house at 70 Townsend Street, on Thursday, June 20, 1918 to the church of St. Stanislaus BIM

Of God whose mercy the souls of the faithful have rest to your faithful servants, here and everywhere in Christ, the Lord, who rests, mercifully forgive their sins, so that they may be freed from all sin and rejoice without end, Amen

Hail Mary etc.
Eternal Rest, etc.

Andrew Preneta

Andrew Joseph Preneta of Kolbrawa, Poland was born November 26, 1890 or 1886 or 1893. Since he arrived in the US alone I have no information about his parents. He is the husband of my great grand aunt Bronislawa Switkowski.

He arrived at Ellis Island on June 5, 1905 aboard the Blücher. He lists his age as 19 but may have lied. There are several sources with the date the same but the year is off. This was his first visit to the US and he was $3 short of the necessary $50.

In 1915 Andrew was living at 496 Peckham St. in Buffalo’s East Side. He was working as a molder. That same year he married Bronislawa Switkowski. I try to find how ancestors path’s may have crossed. This map shows that my great great grandparents and their children lived very close to Andrew.

By 1918 Andrew and Browislawa (Bertha) were living with her parents at 50 Lombard. He was working as a laborer.

The census of 1920 shows them with children: Joseph 3 and Sophie 2. Andrew is a core maker for a radiator company. At first I was thinking auto radiator but a quick search found that at one time Buffalo had a very large company making home heating radiators. I don’t know which it may have been. Five years later they were still living with the in-laws (I don’t suggest doing this). They now had 4 children; Joseph 9, Sophie 7, Helen 4, and Stephania 3.

Andrew in 1930 was a machine hand in the auto industry. This may not be the same job as 1920. He and Bertha were still at 50 Lombard with even more kids; Joseph 14, Sophia 12, Helen 10, Stefania 7,
Anna 5, Bronislaus 3, John 1.

For a reason I haven’t found Andrew was in Canada and came back to the US on May 17, 1931. Three years later he petitioned for Naturalization on October 22, 1934.

The 1940 Census shows the family has gotten bigger yet again. Joseph 23, Sophie 22, Helen 21, Stephanie 16, Anna 14, Bronislaus 13, John 11, Morian 7 are living with their parents. I grew up in this neighborhood, these are not large houses. They had 3 bedrooms max with one bathroom, unless it was a front/rear double. Then it was 2 and 2 each. Andrew’s in-laws lived there as well for most of this time. Sometimes an area of the attic would be converted to an illegal bedroom. At best we are talking about 6 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms for over 12 people.

On April 26, 1942 he filled out his draft card for WWII. He lists his birth year as 1893 and age 47. The math does not add up to 1942. 1893+47=1940. In the 1940 Census he is listed as 50 years old. There is an X next to Bertha’s name listing her as the respondent. I would hope she had an idea how old her husband was. They had moved to 301 Sweet Avenue. He was employed by Morrison Steel Company which makes Coachlite truck frames. Where I work we use vehicle with Coachlite truck frames.

He later by 1953 moved to 49 Howlett and became a carpenter. He was still there in 1955. Howlett is further north of the east side past the usual are known as Polonia.

At some point he and Bertha moved to the northern area of Buffalo known as Black Rock. At one time, pre Erie Canal, it was a seperate village.

On April 18, 1966 Bronislawa died. On April 19, 1966 Andrew followed her.


  • Year: 1920; Census Place: Buffalo Ward 10, Erie, New York; Roll: T625_1102; Page: 29B; Enumeration District: 81
  • Year: 1930; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0063; FHL microfilm: 2341160
  • Year: 1940; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02826; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 64-120
  • New York State Department of Health; Albany, NY, USA; New York State Marriage Index
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
  • New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 05; Assembly District: 05; City: Buffalo Ward 10; County: Erie; Page: 35
  • New York State Department of Health; Albany, NY, USA; New York State Death Index
  • The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Alien Arrivals at Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagara Falls, and Rochester, New York, 1902-1954; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: M1480; Roll Number: 112
  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Index, 1906-1966 Petitions for Naturalization, U.S. District Court, Western Dist. of New York, M1677; Microfilm Serial: M1677; Microfilm Roll: 14
  • The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of New York; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System; Record Group Number: 147; Box or Roll Number: 489
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • Year: 1905; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 30; Page Number: 25