MATTHEW NOSZKA'S POLISH HERITAGE
Updated: Jun 12
Matthew Noszka has an impressive Polish heritage of immigrant ancestors chasing and achieving the American dream. Follow their journey from Poland in the 1800s to the present.
By Mike Batie
Matthew Noszka is an American actor and model. Noszka recently starred in Netflix's holiday ensemble flick Let It Snow, playing the role of JP Lapierre opposite Kiernan Shipka (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and Mitchell Hope (Disney's Descendants). I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline with these three, so check it out if you haven't already.
Today, May 4, 2020, marks one year since the passing of Matt's father, Daniel Noszka. This family history research and article is done in honor of his memory and family heritage.
The Noszka family in America has quite an inspiring immigrant family success story. Below is Matt's patriarchal line of descent. I'll discuss each ancestor starting from the top.
Jozef J. Noszka - Great Grandfather
Matt's 2nd great grandfather, Jozef J. Noszka, was born on 15 March 1888 in Odrzykoń, an ancient small village in the Krosno region of southeastern Poland.
The area we now call Poland has had a turbulent history with its borders. When Matt's great grandfather was born in the Krosno area, this region was a crown land within the Austro-Hungarian empire. Today this region is in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship of Poland.
The major population group inhabiting the Subcarpathian Voivodeship is the Pogórzanie, a distinctive subethnic group of Poles, so the Noszkas were likely a part of this group.
We know from records a little about Jozef's appearance. He was 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) and weighed 150 pounds. He had brown hair and grey-blue eyes.
In 1906, Jozef made his way from Poland to port in Antwerp, Belgium, where he set sail for America onboard the ship Zeeland. On 5 November 1906, Jozef passed by the Statue of Liberty, arriving at port in New York City.
By 1910, Jozef was married and working at a printing shop in Pittsburgh, living at 807 Gearing Avenue.
Jozef's wife, Marie Kozubal (Matthew's great grandmother), was born 23 April 1893 in the village of Szczepańcowa, also in the Krosno area. Marie immigrated to the United States, setting sail out of Bremen, Germany, and arriving at port in New York City on 15 December 1906.
Sadly, Jozef and Marie were expecting their firstborn child in 1913, however, five months into the pregnancy, their infant son was premature stillborn on 20 January 1913. Later, Jozef and Marie would have five more children: Helen, Veronica, Stanley (through whom Matthew is descended), Theresa, and Victoria.
Around 1917, Jozef was working as a repair man for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. His war draft registration card of 1917 listed him as tall and slender (must be where his great grandson Matt gets it from).
By 1920, Jozef and his young family were living at 138 ½ 41st Street in Pittsburgh, and he was working as a railroad car inspector. By 1930, Jozef and his family moved down the street to 172 41st Street. In 1930, Jozef owned the house at a value of $7,000. Today the property is worth nearly $300,000.
Jozef Noszka passed away in 1936 and is buried in the Saint Stanislaus & Saint Anthony Cemetery in Etna, Pennsylvania. His wife Marie passed away on 21 November 1967 and is buried at the same cemetery as her husband.
Stanley M. Noszka - Grandfather
Matt's grandfather, Stanley Michael Noszka, was born on 19 September 1920 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On some records, his name is listed as Stanislaus, but Stanley is the anglicized equivalent.
He received higher education at Duquesne University, a private Catholic school in Pittsburgh, where he played on the basketball team for three years under Hall of Fame coach Chick Davies.
Stan married Gloria Elizabeth Hauck in 1943. Gloria was born 25 August 1923 in Pittsburgh. She attended Columbia University in New York, during which time she took a strong interest in contract bridge, the trick-taking card game using a standard 52-card deck.
Stan served in the US Navy during World War II, (service number 310859) a Lieutenant assigned to the USS LST-181.
At 6 feet 1 inch and 185 pounds, Stan played professionally for the Pittsburgh Ironmen in the 1946-47 season. He later went on to play for the Boston Celtics for two seasons, 1946-47 and 1948-49. In his second season with the Celtics, the team went to the playoffs. In all, he played 110 games and averaged six points per game during his career.
After basketball, Stan went on to a career in government, first with the city of Pittsburgh, and later serving as a Pennsylvania State Senator for eleven years, from 1967 to 1978.
In 1970, Stan's wife, Gloria, was named to USA Olympic bridge team to play in the summer games in Stockholm, Sweden. She was a life master of the American Contract Bridge League. Gloria was also a real estate agent for Vanguard Real Estate, Inc.
Gloria passed away on 2 July 1983 at Saint Francis General Hospital and was buried in the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh. Her husband Stanley Noszka passed away on 15 November 1991 and is also buried in the Allegheny Cemetery.
Daniel J. Noszka - Father
Matt's father, Daniel Joseph Noszka, was born on 24 September 1957. He married Maureen Fitzpatrick in Nevada.
Daniel worked in construction and landscaping. He was described in his obituary as working "tirelessly to provide for his family, and was generous to a fault." He was a passionate golfer and described by loved ones as a gentle soul with a kind heart.
Daniel Noszka passed away on 4 May 2019, surrounded by his family in Pittsburgh.
DANIEL JOSEPH NOSZKA
1957 - 2019
Matthew was born on 27 October 1992 in Pittsburgh to Daniel and Maureen Noszka.
Matthew was an athletic child and a passionate basketball player growing up (it runs in the family). He attended Park Point University on a sports scholarship, studying business and attending classes in the performing arts.
In 2014, Matt finished building a deck and posted a photo on Instagram. From that post, he was noticed by an agent who requested more photos and an audition. From there, Matthew was signed on to Wilhelmina Models in New York City. His first modeling gig was a campaign for Nike.
Matt has gone on to model for major brands such as Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Versace, and others. He has appeared in many magazines, including GQ, Esquire, Da Man, and more.
Matt is also an auto enthusiast, and owns 412 Motorsport, a high-end auto customization and vehicle repair company in Los Angeles.
In addition to modeling, Noszka has gained several acting credits, including in the television series Tales in 2017, another series called Star in 2018-19, and a role in the 2019 Netflix holiday movie Let It Snow.
Here's a fun video clip of Matthew promoting Let It Snow with his costar and friend, Mitchell Hope, in a "get-along Christmas sweater."
We've come on a long journey following the Noszka family from Poland, across the Atlantic, and down to the present day in the United States. The Noszkas were an immigrant family who helped build this nation. In the New World they ranged from being railroad workers, to professional basketball players, state senator, construction and landscape, real estate, successful middle class families, and on down to Matthew as an accomplished model, actor, and entrepreneur. What a success story for a family line!
You can follow Matthew and stay up to date via his social media accounts:
About the Author
Family history research has been a passion of mine for a long time, starting at the age of fifteen. Having researched my own family tree extensively, I enjoy looking into the family trees of notable people. It gives me a sense of their background and what shaped them and their family into who they are today. To see their roots and where they come from is always inspiring. Being a history nerd, I’m often in awe of the experiences of their ancestors and how they connect to the present day. I hope to inspire others to research their own family trees and find out where they come from by sharing interesting insights from the family trees of some of my favorite artists and entertainers.
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