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
  • U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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
  • U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • Year: 1905; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 30; Page Number: 25

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