Tomasz Sanetra & Jadwiga Biel
When Helen Sanetra traveled, she would look in the local phone books to see if there were any Sanetras. When attending a Notre Dame football game, she stopped at a phone booth and found Paul Sanetra listed. She called my grandfather Paul and asked if she could visit him. Helen visited Paul and Catherine. They were all convinced that they were related, because the name Sanetra was so rare in the United States, and both families were from the same area in Poland. They subsequently wrote a few letters back and forth to each other. This happened about 1970. Several of Helen’s family have been corresponding with me over the last 20 years, looking for this family connection. Fifty years after Helen met Paul, I have discovered how we are related, but it isn’t via the Sanetra line, but rather through the Żuławski line! There may also be a Stokłosa, Kłósak or Biel connection even further back. I have followed this Sanetra line back to 1800 and cannot see a DNA-blood line connection. I do see where the two Sanetra lines (Helen and Paul’s Sanetra line) married and crossed, but not on the DNA pedigree lines.
See the ship manifest for this family, December 1913. Tomasz Sanetra immigrated first, earlier in the year 1913. Jadwiga, their children and Jadwiga’s mother Regina Biel (maiden name Żuławska) immigrated in December 1913. The 1920 Census said Thomas was a laborer at the paper factory, rented his house, and was unable to speak English. Thomas owned his house and was able to speak English by the 1930 census, and he became a United States citizen. The 1940 Census said his home was worth 13,000 dollars. Thomas, Jadwiga and her mother lived the remainder of their lives in Minneapolis.
Joseph Sanetra in Minneapolis, Minnesota, about 1965. Picture sent to us from Helen Sanetra.
Tomasz Sanetra married Jadwiga Biel about 1901 in Żywiec-Zabłocie area of Poland.