Leonard J. Switkowski

Leonard J. Switkowski born 1926 grandson of Wladyslaw and Ludwika Switkowski should not be confused with Leonard J. Switkowski born 1926 grandson of Wladyslaw and Ludwika Switkowski. Oh the records I have had to reread a hundred times to be sure of anything and there are many I am not sure about.

This particular Leonard Switkowski was born in Buffalo, New York on November 5, 1926 to Parents Joseph and Joanna Switkowski. In 1930 he was living with his parents at 70 Miller Street in Buffalo’s East Side. He was 3 years old with sisters Anna 9 and Francis 6.

In 1940 the family was now living at 27 Concord St.. Youngest sister Joann was 3 months old. By 1944 the family of 6 moved to 18 Newton St..

On November 6, 1944 the day after turning 18 he register for the military. I have been told that he was in the Navy and then the Army. Because of the many records I am still researching I don’t have exact dates on when he served or where. Prior to joining the military he worked at Laube Cafeteria in downtown Buffalo. My grandmother, his sister Anna, and my mother also worked there. In 1968 it closed and is now the Family Court Building.

Leonard married Victoria (Theresa) Wackowski on May 16 1953 in Buffalo, New York. They were living at 230 Guilford until at least 1956.

They had 2 children Michaeline Ann born 1955 and Leonard Jr born 1958, deceased 2013. In 1973 his wife died, Michaeline was 18 and Leonard Jr. was 15.

Since I was young and the family does not like to talk about things I do not know much about what happened at this time. I do know They had a dog in 1973 because I was living with his mother at the time and were were watching her for a while. The dog’s name was BeeGee.

I believe in 1973 the family was at 108 Iroquois Ave, Cheektowaga, New York. This was about 3 blocks from sister Anna and 4 blocks from Sister Francis.

He died October 31, 2008. I need to make another visit to St. Stanislaus Cemetery to get a picture of the grave.


  • Year: 1930; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0135; FHL microfilm: 2341161
  • Year: 1940; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02826; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 64-108
  • New York State Department of Health; Albany, NY, USA; New York State Birth Index
  • New York State Department of Health; Albany, NY, USA; New York State Marriage Index
  • Buffalo, New York, City Directory, 1956
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
  • 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., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • http://blog.buffalostories.com/torn-down-tuesday-laubes-cafeteria-pearl-and-west-eagle-streets/

Where Was I; Tops part 1

This is another post in the Where Was I story I have been working on about the jobs I’ve had over the years. I have added part 1 to this topic because I ended up working at Tops 2 different times.

Tops is a local chain of supermarkets in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls area. It has a long history starting in the 1920s and expanded over the years. Some history of the company can be found here. I started at the Broadway Bailey location at 1770 Broadway in May of 1988. I had less then 2 months of high school left at the time. This location is on old railroad property. At one time the Pullman car company was located on this site. Frontier yard once part of the New York Central RR now CSX is next door.

This is a roundhouse from the old railroad days still standing behind the store.

I started out working 4 hours on week days and 8 hours Saturday and Sunday. The job was stocking sale items and weekends PBS; Pop Beer Snacks. Originally, I was only supposed to work 20 hours a week because of school; and after summer I was scheduled to go to SUNY at Buffalo for electrical engineering. This didn’t last. Within weeks I was up to 40 hour weeks and in the summer way over. I was schedule 7pm to 11pm week nights but regularly worked until 2am. I didn’t have a car yet and would get a ride home from the night manager.

After summer when college started I still still kept over 40 hours a week. Between not liking the large class sizes of UB and liking the money I dropped out of school and stayed at Tops. I was given full time and worked closer to 50 hours a week. Besides stocking shelves I was on display crew. That is the 2 person group that built the giant front displays for the weekly sales. It was an overnight shift Saturday into Sunday. One of the best parts of the job was clean up Sunday morning, opening the back door after being stuck inside all night and getting to see a Sunrise.

In 1989 the Health and Beauty Care manager and the Specialty Foods manager transferred out. The Specialty Foods manager was the assistant to HBC manager. At that time between the 2 departments there was only 80 hours available. After several months The 2 of us were able to clean up our respective departments and increase sales. I left the assistant HBC position because I was able to get over 40 hours budgeted just for Specialty Foods. A few months more and sales were good enough for a part time assistant. We ended up getting a new store manager that did not have the skills as the previous manager. I asked to go back to overnights. Not long after that I left for Freezer Queen.

One of the dairy department clerks was a high school classmate, so was his girlfriend (now wife). In August of 1989 she brought her coworker from rival grocery store Wegmans to Tops and set me up on a blind date. We married 1 year later.

Konstantego and Antonia


This card was found in a stack of prayer cards I inherited.  Oddly the first card I decide to write about was not a death card. So here is some research into this couple to see why this card was in the collection.  Were they related? Just friends of the family?

In 1927 this couple celebrated their 50th anniversary in Buffalo, NY.  Here is the research I was able to find about this couple.

They left Europe July 4, 1891.  They included Antonina 33, married, and her three children; son Stefan 8, daughter Bronislawa 6, and son Antoni 1.  Konstantego was not found on the ship manifest.  Their last residence was Kowno, Russland (Russia).  They  left Hamburg for Buffalo.  They arrived at Grimsby (Amerika (USA) via Liverpool) on the ship: Warrington.

I don’t want to know who did home visits for the 1900 US Census but they had terrible handwriting.  The transcriber was way off but it is understandable.  Konstantego come out as Romlay.  If you spend the time you can tell what it it is.  The family of five was listed as living at 63 Mills Street.

The 1905 New York State Census show the family was 4. Mom 48, dad 59, and two sons.  Stefan 26 and Antoni 20 were listed as their sons.  Bronislawa was not listed and I couldn’t find anything else on her.  I expect she married and the name didn’t translate well.

1915 shows the couple living together still in east Buffalo.

In 1920 Antonina Bartoszewicz was 61 and living on Kent St. in Buffalo, NY.  Kent St. is the same street as Corpus Christi the church and school from my youth.  It also ends at Broadway where it becomes Mills St, their earlier address.  She was still married to Constance Bartoszewicz age 75. Which we knew would continue for another 7 years at least.  The Census shows both her parents were born in Germany.  It shows she was a Naturalized citizen that immigrated in 1889 (1884).  Her native tongue was listed as Polish.

The 1925 New York State Census shows their grandson Matt 18 now living with them.  I found that Matt was a veteran that died in 1974.

In 1930 Antonia is widowed and living with her son Stefan and his family.  His son Matt 22 and daughter Felicia 20.  Stefan is listed as married but his wife is not listed.

Antonia died 5 Jan 1936.  She is buried in the main Polish cemetery near Buffalo; Saint Stanislaus Roman Catholic Cemetery Cheektowaga, Erie County, New York.  She is in section AA.  Konstantego died in 1927 the same year as their 50th anniversary.

I couldn’t find any direct relation to my family but they lived in the same parish so may have known the family.



  • https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/112705180
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

    Original data: Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 03; Assembly District: 05; City: Buffalo Ward 10; County: Erie; Page: 3
  • New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: E.D. 03; City: Buffalo Ward 11; County: Erie; Page: 47
  • Source Citation

    Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Microfilm No.: S_13162

    Source Information

    Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2008.

    Original data: Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Bestand: 373-7 I, VIII (Auswanderungsamt I). Mikrofilmrollen K 1701 – K 2008, S 17363 – S 17383, 13116 – 13183.

  • New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 03; Assembly District: 06; City: Buffalo Ward 10; County: Erie; Page: 05

    Source Information

    Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

  • Year: 1930; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0119; FHL microfilm: 2341161

    Source Information

    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.

    Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

Wednesday Wedding review

Six and a half months before my birth my parents decided to get married in Washington, DC.  He was from Lancaster, Ohio, she was from Buffalo, NY.  He was a marine, she was a clerk in the navy.

I have no idea who the witnesses are but I did find a letter to my mother from Stanley asking her to call and talk to his daughter.  I was able to find the daughter on Facebook.  She was able to fill in a couple blanks about my parents.