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Przasnysz County

The county, created in 1867 from 9 communities of an earlier county, occupies the northwestern section of the Province of Plock, an area of 25.38 sq. miles. It borders on the north with East Prussia (Nibor County), on the east with the counties of Ostroleska and Makow, on the south with Ciechanow, and on the west with Ciechanow and Mlawa. Physically, the county's features are similar to those of the northern part of Mlawa county and the adjacent Ostroleka county. The greater part of the county lies on the sloping lakeland highlands of the Baltic which reach their highest range on the boundary of Mlawa and Przasnysz Counties (shores of Niemyje marshes and Orzyca spring) from which it tilts in a southeasterly direction toward Przasnysz and Ciechanow. In historic times, this area was virgin forest with collections of waters and marshes emptying into the encircling Orzyce. The poor soil was not conducive to farming, and the difficult communication and the distance to larger towns and rivers discouraged settlers. To date, Przasnysz County belongs to the less populated areas (not much over 2,000 inhabitants per mile). A few villages, at some distance from each other, formed in the recesses of the highlands, where the collections of water made for a better soil and meadows of peat.

The least populated is the eastern section of the county traversed by the Orzyc which winds with many branches fouling up the wide valley with unsuitable shorelines. The most fertile and most populated is the southern section of the county, the area of Przasnysz. The highlands suddenly drop at this point from 560 to 350 feet and end with sharply projected ledges like landings above the sea, carving out numerous bays. The waters here have created fertile soil with lush vegetation which drew settlers very early to the area. This southern section joins with the fertile area of Ciechanow County. The whole of the county formed a forest for the duchy to which all of the dukes of Mazowsze gathered for the hunt. Other possessions could not be developed here due to the forbidding terrain and economics. The poor settlers occupied themselves with forestry. To this day, the inhabitants of the northern region were called Poborzanie, with distinct characteristics, differing from the farmers in the southern region.

The eastern part of the county is occupied by the Kurpie settlements of Baranowo, Jednorozec, Zaremby, in part, and not in all of several communities. Despite this, the general area of the greater ownership exceeds the smaller possessions by three to two. A considerable area of the government's forest lands constitutes the independent Przasnysz forestry which is divided into four security posts at Lipa, Adamczysko, Olszewska, and Jarzynny Kierz. Amber can be found in these woods but its exploitation is forbidden in order to conserve the forest. Farming is limited due to the poor soil, lack of roads and markets. Factories do not exist. In 1880, the entire annual production of 2 small breweries and 5 small brickyards was valued at 13,174 rhenish florin., and with the addition of the factory products of the town of Przasnysz at less than 21,000 rhenish florin.

The chief centers of commerce are Przasnysz and the settlement Chorzele on the Prussian border. Nevertheless, the population is increasing quite rapidly. In 1867, there were 45,590; in 1879, 52,120 (44,701 Catholic; 6,446 Jews; 892 Protestants); in 1887, the population reached 60,700. Schools in the county number 4 in town (284 pupils in 1897) and 7 village schools (476 pupils). The latter are in the settlement of Chorzele, and the villages of Dzierzgowo, Brzozowo, Krsynowloga Wielka, Leszno, Barniki, Bogate. As for the church, the county is the Przasnysz diocesan deanery of Plock comprised of 13 parishes; Baranowo, Bogate, Brodowe aki, Chorzele, Czernice, Dzierzgowo, Janowo, Krzynowloga Wielka, Krzynowloga Mala, Pawlowo, Przasnysz, Wegra and Zaremby. As for the courts, the county is divided into one district justice of the peace of Przasnysz and four districts of community courts in Przasnysz, Dierzgowo, Jednorozec, and Chorzele. The administrative structure of the county consists of one town and 9 communities: Baranowo, Bugzy Ploskie, Chojnowo, Dzierzgowo, Jednorozec, Karwacz, Krzynowloga Wielka, Krzynowloga Mala, and Zaremby. In 8 of the communities, the loan offices hold a total of 9,449 rhenish florin.

Source: Slownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Polskiego - Warsaw1888

Submitted by: Joseph Dressel, 5641 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, IL (Nov 1997)

Przasnysz County

In 1244, according to a falsified document, Konrad, Duke of Mazowsze, in rewarding Przybyslaw of Rostkow, voivode of Mazowsze, for his services in smiting the Jadzwings in the field at Przasnysz, gave him a 30-year lease on Przasnysz and adjacent properties. All taxes and revenues to belong to Przybyslaw. In 1567, for instance, the town paid for a double road, 40 fl.; boilers, 30; taverns, 30; innkeepers, 78 zloty & 15 groszy; tailors 16; stover-fitters, 7; cobblers, 29; blacksmiths, 3; furriers, 19; capmakers, 4; goldmsmiths, 2; glazier, 1; locksmiths, 3; sawyer, 4; saddler, 1; cartwright, 2; wheelwright, 4; butcher, 7; miller, 3; szots, 2.

Source: "Przasnysz i jego koscioly", by Rev. J. Osiecki (Przeglad Katolicki, 1891, nos. 45 - 50). It is an outline of the history of Przasnysz based on the Latin Chronicles of the town to the year 1585.

Submitted by: Joseph Dressel, 5641 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, IL (Nov 1997)


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