Herbarz Polski (L)

The following items are a direct translation from the classical genealogical and heraldic reference “Herbarz Polski” by Kasper Niesiecki, S.J., Lipsk (Leipzig) edition, 1839-1846.


Arms: Gules, two Coulter blades addorsed in pale points to chief, Argent. For a crest: Out of a crest coronet, three ostrich plumes proper.

There are supposed to be two plowshares standing side by side, with the points upward and the sharp ends of the blade facing each other, on a red shield. On the helmet there are three white ostrich feathers. Thus it was described by the author Bielski in his work, page 184; by Paprocki in Gniazdo cnoty [Nest of virtue], page 402 and in O herbach [Of clan shields], pg. 263; and by Okolski in his book, Vol. 2, page 39, and in Klejnoty [Crests], page 36.

None of these authors found anything certain about when and why this coat of arms was conferred. Parisius in his manuscript infers that it got the name from Larissa, a city in Thessaly, before the birth of Christ. At that time the Sarmatians called the Mesians invaded Italy from the town of Larissa in Thessaly, and captured many people as the spoils of war. Soon they were settled in Sarmatia, which had been little used previously because no one there knew how to farrn the land, which turned out to be fertile. This seems to be somewhat corroborated by Ovid, book 3, Tristium Elegia 10, where he says of Sarmatia’s lack of fertility at that time, “Aspiceres nudos, sineftonde, sine arbore campos, etc.” [One sees fields bare of foliage or trees”]. This was the main reason for its fertility, and thus the plowshares appear in the coat of arms.

He also reports that the coat of arms was conferred at a time when the Sarmatians, irritated by the Romans’ frequent raids, attacked Italy and captured several cities, leveling them, then plowing the land and sowing it with salt. The discoverers of this method received as an award a coat of arms with plowshares. At least, that is the conjecture Parisius made regarding the origin of this coat of arms.

Paprocki cites two opinions regarding the origin of these arins. First, when Piast had been elevated to the throne, he honored his mothers’ relatives with this shield; Tylkowski In dedicat. attests to this, but Okolski thinks otherwise. Secondly, when Jaromir, the true prince of Bohemia, was fleeing from his brother Wratyslaw, he came to Boleslaw the Brave, King of Poland. Wratyslaw, not content with having driven his brother from Bohemia, took his army and pursued his brother into Poland. As Boleslaw was leading ail expedition against Wratyslaw, along the way he encountered a man who was carrying two plowshares to the blacksmith to be repaired. The King started talking to this man and learned that the man knew all the trails in the forest and promised to guide the King through it. The man proved to be instrumental in the King’s victory, for he crept into the Bohemian camp before dawn. Finding the enemy asleep, he took away all their horses, after which Boleslaw attacked and easily conquered the horseless and still sleepy Bohemians. The King therefore allowed Laryssa, as the progenitor of this clan was supposedly named, to bear on his shield the plowshares he had been carrying.

Paprocki cites count Jankal Laryssa in his charters of 1264, as well as count Choschanus Larysza, cupbearer of Kalisz, in the same year. Paprocki also cites an anonymous source, reporting that under them, Jews received great privileges from this Duke.

Families Bearing These Arms

Chocholaty ___ Domanski ___ Madalinski ___Mendalski___ Zdanowski

Translated by Leonard J. Suligowski; first appeared in the Fall/Winter 2001 issue of the “White Eagle”, the Publication of the Polish Nobilitty Association Foundation.


The technical blazon, or verbal description, for the clan Leliwa is given in the authentic heraldic style, followed by a translation from the Polish description.

Arms: Azure, within a crescent, a star of six points, both Or. Mantled of his liveries, and issuant from a ducally crowned helmet, a panache of peacock plumes proper, charged with the arms of the shield.

There is supposed to be a moon not full, as if new, with horns pointing upward, and in its center a six-pointed star, on a field of blue, but some use red: the moon should be gold, and on the helmet is the tail of a peacock, on which there is a similar moon; thus the arms were described in Paprocki (Gniadzo, pps. 408 and 1160), in 0 herbach (pps. 376 and 658), in Okolski (vol. 2, p. 6 1), and in Klejnoty (p. 63). A great many families in various Kingdoms use arms similar in all respects, witness Petrasancta (chap. 59) and Braun (book 3). Civit. page 23, and I mentioned in my second volume (p. 174) that Blessed Bertold, abbot of Garsten in 1140, used these arms, from which I conclude that these arms came to our Poland from foreign lands. Stanislaw Orzechowski was of the opinion that they originated within the boundaries of Poland – the name “Leliwa” inclined him to believe so, as it sounds quite suited to a Slavic language – but Paprocki and Okolski believe it was brought here from the Rhine, and the latter adds that to this day on the river Rhine there is a castle which is called “Monstern” in German [Editor’s note: probably from German Mondstern, “moon-star”], in Polish “Leliwa.” It is difficult to ascertain at what time this importation took place. Dlugosz attests to this effect: “It arrived in the time of King Wladyslaw I, and had as its first author Spicimir, who bore it from his ancient home, since he came from the Rhine. But with the passage of time it joined with and entered into that house of the Poles which bears a crescent moon with a star, in which there are men farsighted, hard-working, and zealous for the Republic.” But Paprocki does not care for Dlugosz’s opinion: for in ancient grants of privileges he read of Spicimir, who during the rule of Wladyslaw Herman I, King of Poland [Editor’s note: circa 1043-1102], gave the bishop of Gniezno the village of Spicimierz, founded in his name, in which village – as Cromer writes in book 5 – was included the town of Archbishop Marcin, arch-deacon of Gniezno, but that archbishop was alive in the year 1092 and died in 1118. From this it is evident that Leliwites were in Poland before Wladyslaw Herman, because they were already distributing villages, including some founded or settled in their name; thus Paprocki reasoned. There are also some who state that these arms were first bestowed in Poland only in the days of Boleslaw Wstydliwy, for a victory won from the enemy on a night when the moon and stars were shining; but this cannot be maintained, for I have already mentioned that these arms were customary with this symmetry in other countries well before then. Okolski adds that Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, made war on the Muslims, over a moon that was not full, which the Turks bore on their standards, as was seen among them in the camp near Belgrade, a moon in a field of green, in 1456. In his Annales Vadingus added a star with the inscription Deo sic placuit (Thus it was pleasing to God), but Bonanus, S. J., in Ordinate Equestria., p. 71, attests that Renatus, King of Naples and Sicily, funded a cavalry in Messalina known as Equites lunae (Knights of the Moon), and these knights were supposed to bear hanging on their bosoms on a golden chain a silver crescent moon in a starry field strewn with lilies, with the inscription Donec totum impleat (Until all is completed). It was their profession to wage war against enemies of the truth faith. Some ascribe the Leliwa arms to Bodzeta, Gniezno archbishop, but he belonged to the Szeliga arms, as was discussed in volume 2, p. 188.

Families Bearing these Arms

Adamowicz ___ _ Bahrynowski, Bedlinski, Blocki, Bobinski, Bobola, Broniewski, Brzozdowski, Brzozogajski _____ Chlebowicz, Chroscicki, Cudowski, Czapski, Czechawicz, Czelatycki, Czerkas, Czeski, Czobor, Czubinski, Czudowski _____ Dab, Daszkowicz, Dorohostajski, Dorpowski, Draslawsk _____ Fryjewicz_____ Gintowt, Goluchowski, Gorka, Graniewski, Granowski _____ Hlasko _____ Jaroslawski, Jaskmanicki, Jelec, Jerzykowicz, Józefowicz, Juchnowicz, Juskiewicz _____ Kalenik, Karsnicki, Kiewlicz, Kiski, Kopystynski, Kozielski, Krajewski, Krzesz, Kuchmistrzowicz ______Laskowski, Lgocki, Lisowski, L~aska, L~ozinski, L~ysakowski _____ Melsztynski, Miaskowski, Mierzenski, Mlaszkowski, Mlodkowski, Monwid, Morsztyn, Mutykalski _____ Narmunt, Niemierzyc, Ninienski _____ Okuszko, Olechnowicz, Osostowicz, Ostrowski _____ Pacyna, Pausza, Pawlowski, Pilecki, Piorun, Piotrowicz, Pokrywnicki, Polonski, Poplawski, Pruski, Pruszak, Przywidzki, Ptaszynski _____ Rakowicz, Rekuc, Rohozinski, Rykowski ______Scierski, Sczepiecki, Sieniawski, Sierpski, Skorupa, Slawinski, Slotwinski, Splawski, Srzedzinski, Staniewicz, Starowolski, Starzechowski, Staszkiewicz, Stryjkowski, Sworski, Szalkiewicz _____ Tarnowski, Trzcienski, Tulkowski, Tyszkiewicz _____ Ustarbowski ______Wapczynski, Wardeski, Wiazewicz, Wieclawski, Wierozemski, Wietski, Wodzicki, Wojanowski, Wyrozemski, Wyrykowski, Wyskocki _____ Zabrzezinski, Z~arski, Z~urowski

[Additional notes by Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz, editor of the Lipsk edition of Herbarz Polski]:

Bajer, Bodzanta, Chlasko, Chleb, Czulski, Daszkiewicz, Gorkunski, Jacoslawski, Krzywob1odzki,
Leliwa, Ostaszkiewicz, Smoiski

Translated by Leonard J. Suligowski; first appeared in the November 1993 issue of “Rodziny, The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America”.


Arms: Azure, a horseshoe argent, heels to base, surmounted of a cross patee, and a second within the heels, both Or. For a crest, three ostrich plumes, proper.

There is a horseshoe shown as in the arms of Dabrowa and Pobog, with two crosses, of which one is atop the shoe, the other in its center. The shield is blue in color, the crosses white [Translator’s Note: This is incorrect, the crosses are yellow, or gold]. Atop the helmet are three ostrich plumes. Thus it is is described in Okolski, Vol. 2, p. 185; Klejnoty [Crests], p. 65; and Bielski, p. 134.

The author Baszko described the origin of these arms, saying that they were acquired during a battle with the Prussians in 1190: “Having established peace at home, Kazimierz began to war against those Prussians who are called ‘Polesians,’ to avenge the death of his brother Henryk [d. 1661]. Sons of his brothers – Boleslaw, son of Mieczyslaw, and Boleslaw the Tall and Mieczyslaw, sons of Wladyslaw – followed him into this campaign. During one battle, the enemy army had ambushed and broken through our forces. A certain soldier from that family that bears a horseshoe with a cross led an attack with his own forces, companions under his authority, and all the enemy fled straightway. This soldier captured the enemy commander, brought him to Kazimierz, and handed him over to him. As a reward Kazimierz gave him many possessions, in recognition of his splendid services, and added a second gold cross to the original token atop the horseshoe.”

It is true that Paprocki, describing the house of the Lubicz Letkowskis, cites mention in old charters of Pawel Letkowski, the cupbearer of Plock, etc., in the year 1081. The printer, however, must have made an error in giving the year, it should have been 1281. This occasion of the arms’ origin took place on the river Drweca, once called Lubicz. It seems more likely that the new addition [i. e., of the second cross] was made to one of the Pobog clan, not of jastrzebiec, and that the Lubicz arms took their origin from those of Pobog. Nakielski mentions Budzislaw of this same clan, a land-owner of Leczyca district, on p. 70 of his book on Miechow, saying that in the year 1225 he added the village of Choda to the lands of the Miech6w monastery in perpetuity, regarding which he cites a letter of Konrad, prince of Leczyca.

Bearers of These Arms

Bialobl~ockiJaworowski Niel~awickiSulimirski

[Added note to Niesiecki’s text by the 19th-century editor, J. N. Bobrowicz]: Besides the families mentioned by Niesiecki, later heraldicians, such as Duiiczewski, Kuropatnicki, Malachowski, and others, give the following families as also using these arms:


Not all those names mentioned above use Lubicz arms in the same form [Translator’s note: in the list exceptions are marked with an asterisk*]. First of all, some have it that there is only one cross, in the center of the horseshoe, and no second one atop it; the families of Hercyk, Kopec, Monkiewicz, Tupik, Stabrowski and Wolkowicki use this form in their seals. Others, such as the Piadzewski’s, have two crosses, one over the other, within the horseshoe. The Zabka’s, however, have only one cross, in the center of the horseshoe, but put a star over it and stars at the ends of the shoe on each side; additionally they have on its left side and end, between the star and shoe, an arrow, point upward, at a slight angle. In the parish church in Malbork there is a similar shield, except the cross atop the shoe appears to be joined with the cross in the center, This was the clan shield of Wawrzeniec Reder, who died in 1582; there are Reders in Silesia who are noble (see Heindensztein’s History of Moschov.).

Translated by Leonard J. Suligowski; first appeared in the May 1999 issue of “Rodziny”, The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America”.