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, a Pelican in her piety, argent. For a crest, three Ostrich plumes proper. Upon a red shield, a pelican in silver vulning [wounding itself to feed its young with its own blood] feeding three of its young. (See Okolski, vol.2, page 418 and Paprocki O herbach [On Coats of Arms] page 673).
The original bearer of this shield stood by his commander with great courage and almost at the cost of his life, on the model of the pelican, which, they say, will lay down its life for its fledglings. Aldrovandus and Rev. Cnapius, however, say that this is a myth about pelicans. Other understand that there are two kinds of pelicans: one that lives on water and feed on fish, and one that lives on land and feeds on snakes and other poisonous reptiles. On this see: Szentivanus, In Curious. Miscel. dec. 2 p. 1. dissert. 10 folio 10.
In France the families of the Pilareniorum Conusiorum and Collegium Corporis Christi pride themselves on this coat of arms. Theatrum Urbium, book 6, page 51 attributes to the city of Łowicz a coat of arms with two pelicans up against each other with wings spread, piercing their breasts for their young, against a red shield, but the white pelicans and their young are white on a green hill.*
From his youth John of the Dominican Order, Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden, was trained for the yoke of God’s laws. When St. Jacek [Hyacinth] came to Poland, John was carried away by a desire for a stricter life, and in Kraków accepted the Habit of the Dominicans from St. Jacek’s hands. In that habit John displayed with such uncommon virtue in his behavior that in 1233 St. Jacek sent him to Sweden to harvest the souls of the people around him. John was received gratefully by everyone there and did a great service to heaven among the people, expanding the Order. He asked Jarler, Archbishop of Uppsala, for permission to found a Dominican monastery in Sigtuna, in which many virtuous people left worldly ways to devote their lives to the service of God. Jan was an example to them and motivated them toward perfection. When word of his virtue spread, he was elevated to the position of Bishop of Albo [Abo?], and then to Archbishop of Uppsala. He was a man not only of deep learning and recommended by his monastic life; he was also a caring shepherd for his flock, valiant in promoting the glory of God and untiring in attending to the Lord’s vineyard. In 1291, he traveled to France, wishing to go to Anagni and ask Pope Nicholas IV for an archbishop’s pallius. A saintly death befell the Archbishop there on September 8th. His body was brought from France to Sweden and laid out with the reverence at the Sigtuna monastery, accompanied by miracles which God worked due to his merits. Among those who wrote of him were: Joannes Vastovius in Vite Aquilonia, Pruszcz in Fortress, the Dominican Chronicles, Joan Mag. book 18; and Historia Got. c. 18 Baron. Vol 12, page 362.
*Translator’s Note—It must be noted here that in the Polish description of this shield, Niesiecki does not indicate any coloring, only what it displays. Further on in this description, it is indicated that families in France use this coat of arms, along with the Polish city’s civic arms for the city of Łowicz. Yet the description of this civic shield differs with what was found displayed in two different versions of published Polish civic city shields. The 1960 edition of M. Gumowski’s Herby Miast Polski [Coats of Arms of the Cities of Poland] shows the two white Pelicans, not facing each other, but back to back, with three conjoined flowers on one stem, between them and no baby fledglings shown. The shield is colored Azure. In the 1994 edition of A. Plewako and J. Wanag’s Herbarz Miast Polskich [Armorial of Polish Towns] we find yet another version: the two white pelicans are again back to back with a single stemmed flower between them, feeding their three fledglings while standing on a green field. The shield in this version is also blue.
I have found three other sources where the Pelikan shield coloring is displayed as Gules (red): in S.Gorzynski/J. Kochonowski’s Herby Szlachty Polskiej [Shields of the Polish Nobility]; S. Chrzański’s Tablice Odmian Herbowych [Table of Heraldic Variations]; and finally Ostrowski’s Księga Herbowa Rodów Polskich [Book of Clan Arms of Polish Families]. There are undoubtly other reference sources that would show the colors of the Pelikan arms with variations; but in the above reference sources, no one has been able to determine the actual colors of the original arms, or to provide more detailed background history of this shield.
The two cited examples above describing the city of Łowicz’s civic arms are to be accepted as variations of the original shield, and drawn by heraldic artists using their “artistic license” prerogatives. As translator of this shield description, I used the coloring from three different sources, all of which displayed the shield as Red by the respective authors.
Translated by Leonard J. Suligowski; From the Fall/Winter 2004 issue of the Polish Nobility Association Foundation.
Arms: Azure, a horseshoe argent, surmounted of a cross patée, or, mantled of his liveries, whereupon is set for a crest: out of a ducal coronet a demi greyhound rampant, collared and leashed, all proper.
A horseshoe is shown with its ridge upward in a blue field; it is silver or polished iron, atop it is a cross of gold. On the helmet a half greyhound appears, as if leaping from the crown, facing the right; it is collared and leashed. Thus it is described by Paprocki in Gniazdo Cnoty, pages 201 and 1175, and in O herbach, page 173 and 673, and by Okolski, vol. 2, page 423. These arms are usually called Pobog, but Kromer calls them Poboze. In a Horodlo grant of privilege of King Wladyslaw Jagiello in Lask. w Stat., page 127, it is Pobodze.
In general the authors, with the exception of Joachim Bielski in his Chronicle, have these arms coming from the Jastrzebczyks [members of the clan using Jastrzebiec arms], but there is no agreement among them as to whether they come directly from the Jastrzebczyks or by way of the Zaglobczyks [those using the Zagloba arms, which also feature a horseshoe, but with a sword through it]. In O herbach and in Ksiazka Stromata Paprocki tells how a Zaglobczyk-according to Rozycki in Przemowa Zalobna, a nephew of the first Zaglobczyk,-found himself in disgrace and a modification in his ancient coat of arms required, due to some act of excess which all his relatives blamed on his uncle. He attempted to free himself and his descendants of this infamy by performing some significant service. He traveled, therefore, to other countries and foreign courts, and, having gained recognition for himself, received from those lords a letter of recommendation to the Pope. Praised by the Pope, he was easily able to have his coat of arms changed there by eliminating the sword on top [of the horseshoe] and putting a cross there, and having the greyhound added. He returned with Papal letters to Poland, to King Boleslaw Chrobry, and the King praised him and confirmed the modification, naming the arms Poboz on account of his piety [poboz -is the root of the word poboznosc, “piety”].
But there are some who maintain that the greyhound was added to the helmet on a different occasion. When this first of the Pobog clan, who had endeared himself by his virtue to many in other countries, took as his wife a lady from a noted house, whose seal featured a greyhound, in memory of this union he added the greyhound to his helmet. There are a great many houses in France, Italy, Germany, and Britain who use one or several leashed greyhounds in their seals; see Petrasancta’s book, chapters 63 and 54. Bielski (page 70) maintains that one of the Pobog clan was among the envoys who traveled in the deputation to summon Kazimierz the Monk to the throne of Poland.
Ancestors of This House
Paprocki, after Kromer, lists under these arms Bolesta, Wizna castellan, who held a certain part of the administration in Prussia in 1167, in the days of Boleslaw the Curly-Haired. According to Cromer (book 6) his son was supposedly the first starosta of Plock. The same author [Paprocki, not Kromer], in Gniazdo cnoty mentions Bolesta, cupbearer to King Kazimierz, in 1080. Bolesta, Mazovian general starosta, is on a letter of Mazovian Prince Jan in 1387, as shown in Paprocki’s O herbach (page 323), but I would regard these Bolestas as members of the Jastrzebiec clan, not the Pobog, inasmuch as Paprocki calls the Jastrzebiec arms Boleszczyc and the family of the Bolesz Jastrzebczyks flourishes to this day, as was discussed in volume four under the Jastrzebiec coat of arms. Dlugosz, whom Paprocki cites, wrote of the Pobog clan that they were “ad iracundiam proni” [prone to anger].
Stefan, Gniezno archbishop, was an ancestor of this house-true, Janicius and Paprocki put him under Topor arms, and Okolski sometimes puts him among the Topors, sometimes among the Pobogs; but Dlugosz, the most ancient author of them all, would have it that he was a Pobog. At Stefan’s instigation the sejm was called in Gniezno at which it was decided to bring Kazimierz from the Cluniac monastery and put him on his father’s throne, to which end they would not stint their work and efforts. He then went to Rome and asked Benedict IX to release Kazimierz from his monastic vows and profession; then in Cluny he labored to talk Kazimierz into assuming the throne of Poland. Kazimierz bowed to his pleas and persuasions, and Stefan accompanied him back to Poland and crowned him and his wife, kin to the Ruthenian princes; and he also placed the crown on Boleslaw the Bold after him. He brought a lawsuit against the Bohemians over the pillaging of Poland and especially of the Gniezno cathedral, but he gained little from this. Death overtook him during these efforts in 1059, or 1058, according to Janicius. See Damalewski, Lives of the Gniezno Archbishops.
Paprocki writes on the basis of Czyrzyce [?] monastery lists that Stefan, Kraków voivode, was flourishing in 1145. In the same place he read of Floryan, Sandomierz voivode in 1243. Adam was Kraków castellan in 1260-I discussed all of these in volume one. Paprocki also includes Jakób, Sieradz castellan, here; according to him, Jakób was the father of Piotr, bishop of Plock, who died in 1263. But since others include him under the Waz coat of arms, and I, too, will speak of him there, since I spoke of Bernard, also Bishop of Plock, under the arms Nowina, which is where the majority of authors refer to him.
Wolmir, Bishop of Kujawy, is included by some among the clan of Jastrzebiec, by others under Belina, but in Lives of the Kujawy Bishops Darnalewski states that he was a Pobog; from pastor of Kruswica to Kujawy canon, he was chosen by the chapter for the see in 1258; he was chancellor under the Mazovian princes Ziemowit and Kazimierz. He suffered many wrongs at the hands of Swentopelk, prince of Pomerania, and had many quarrels with Kazimierz, prince of Leczyca and Kujawy, when he laid upon him the censure of the church; many estates went to the Kujawy church, both bought by him and bestowed by various lords. Having successfully established the border between his diocese and that of Chelmno, he went to his eternal rest in 1271. In Nakiel. in Miechov. Damalewski numbers Swietoslaw, Bishop of Poznan, among the Pobogs, but others say he was a Jastrzebczyk, and that is where I wrote of him.
>However not all those listed below use these arms in the same form. For instance, the Krasnodebskis in Drohiczyn county use a horseshoe in their seal, but put one-and-a-half crosses on it. The Wiekowiczes use a horseshoe without cross, and under the horseshoe have half an arrow, pointing straight up, and in place of the arrow’s feathers a heart, and on the helmet three ostrich feathers. The Szantyrs in Lithuania have the shield’s field divided horizontally by a line, and in the upper part there is a horseshoe, but the cross is not on top of it but in the middle of it; and in the lower part the customary Rawicz arms, with three ostrich feathers on the helmet. The Sutockis use the horseshoe as the Pobogs customarily do, but under it have a small fish, mouth upward, tail downward, and on the helmet are three ostrich feathers. The Nieroszynskis and Petelczyces, instead of the cross on top of the horseshoe, have a half-arrow pointed straight up, and three ostrich feathers on the helmet. The Nieczajs use, under a horseshoe without a cross in a red field, an arrow pointed upward and split on the bottom, with three ostrich feathers on the helmet.
[Added note to Niesiecki’s text by the 19th-centur editor, J. N. Bobrowicz]: Dunczewski, Kuropatnicki, Malachowski and others give the following families as using these arms:
Translated by Leonard J. Suligowski; first appeared in the May 1996 issue of “Rodziny, The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America”.
Arms: Gules, an Ass’s head caboshed affronte proper. For a crest: out of a crest coronet a demi goat rampant to dexter, proper.
On a shield of red is the head of an ass, in its natural color (grey). For a crest: out of gold crown, a half goat with forelegs raised, in its natural color (grey) and facing to the right, with horns back over its spine. [Pólkozic comes from pól, “half,” and koza, “goat”].
That is how these arms are described by Paprocki in Gniazdo cnoty [Nest of Virtue], pages 72, 108, and 1172, and in O herbach [On clan shields], page 185; also by Okolski, Volume 2, page 473, and Bielski, page 77.
All authors who have written on the conferment of these arms agree as to their origin. There was once a Polish knight named Stawisz who was beseiged by pagans at a castle called Eczech. For a long time he defended himself valiantly, aided greatly by the castle’s strong fortifications. The foe could neither break through the walls by storming them, nor weaken the defenders’ hearts with promises of riches.
Finally the enemy resolved to torment the beseiged with hunger, and thus compel them to surrender.
The beseiged defenders endured their deprivation for some time, and finally Stawisz devised a ruse to fool the foe. He had an ass and a goat slaughtered and their blood smeared over oxen hides, which he had hung from the castle’s walls. He also had pieces of their meat flung into the pagans’ camp. When the pagan leader saw that they still had so much food left that he could not hope to starve them out, and he could not overcome their forces in fighting, he retreated from the castle in shame.
The lord of the castle hailed the courage of this knight, and among other favors, allowed him the privilege of displaying the ass’s head and half a goat on his coat of arms. According to Okolski, this happened in the year 1022. Having received these honors, Stawisz returned to his homeland, where he had worthy offspring; in Gniazdo cnoty Paprocki mentions that his son Bogusz was alive as of the year 1044.
Some styled themselves as coming from Ziemblice. Among them were two brothers, Stawisz and Bogusz, whom Lambert, the Bishop of Kraków, made canons of Kraków in 1061.
Others were from Lakoszyn, including Jan, the castellan of Leczyca in 1413; that is how he signed his name to the charter of Horodlo (according to Laski in Statut, page 127).
Others were from Bogumilowice, such as Michal of Bogumilowice, castellan of Sandomierz (Laski, Statut, page 127) in that same year, and Pawel of Bogumilowice, Kraków district judge in 1436 (Laski, page 140; ibid., page 127). Furthermore, there were Jan, castellan of Czechów; Jakob, voivode of Sandomierz in 1222; Mestwin, castellan of Sandomierz the same year; and Urban, castellan of Leczyca, in 1248—who are mentioned in volume 1.
Others styled themselves as coming from Wilczyce. King Kazimierz the Great mentioned Marcin from Wilczyce in a 1335 letter, praising his accomplishments. Nakielski noted in Miechowja, page 69, that circa 1200 a Count Jakób gave the village of Karcze to the monastery in Miechów; it is unclear how the monastery later came to lose ownership of this village.
Others were from Chmielów. They included Michal, Kraków district judge in the year 1410. It was he that erected the parish church in Popkowiki, for the support of which he asked Wiss, Bishop of Kraków, for tithes, according to Starowolski in Vitae Episcoporum Cracoviensium [Lives of the Bishops of Kraków].
Others were from Przemaków [now called Przemyków]. Among them a count Jazden is mentioned in a letter from Holy Cross Monastery at Lysa Góra in 1200. His son, Pawel, became the Bishop of Kraków, after having been a canon of Kraków and chancellor to Prince Boleslaw Wstydliwy. He was elevated to the position of Bishop of Kraków by Jan, the Archbishop of Gniezno, in 1266, and was consecrated during Lent, at which there was such rejoicing in the community that even during such a holy season they did not refrain from dancing. He ran into many difficulties with Leszek the Black, prince of Sieradz, whose courtiers Otton and Zegota, of the Topor coat of arms, seized the Bishop and held him captive under heavy guard at Sieradz for a whole month. All of this was at the order of Prince Boleslaw Wstydliwy, or at least with his dissimulation. It turned out well for him, however. When Jan, the Archbishop of Gniezno, took up his cause and put the entire diocese of Gniezno under interdict, Prince Leszek had to make handsome amends and confiscate the estates of his henchmen, Otton and Zegota. Nonetheless, Leszek once again captured the Bishop and put him in the dungeons of Sieradz. The Bishop was imprisoned yet a third time, by Prince Henryk of Legnica. Anyone who would like more information about this should refer to Starowolski’s Vitae Episcoporum Cracoviensium. He endowed three altars in the Kraków castle: the altar of St. Wojciech, St. Margaret, and St. Lenart. He departed from this world in 1292.
Hincza of Przemaków was Royal Treasurer in the year 1399. Paprocki includes Indyk of Jurków here, who pledged his support to King Jagiello in 1441.
Piotr, Bishop of Plock, was elected to that see in 1232, largely due to his great piety, for he undertook more than one pilgrimage to Rome on foot; in conversation he was discreet and kind, and in manners, dignified. Attending the sejm at Sieradz, he obtained great freedom for his church. He occupied the see for six years, giving many clear examples of his great virtue. He died in 1238 and was buried in the cathedral church of Plock. (See Lubienski, from Dlugosz’s Vitae Episcoporum Plocensium [Lives of the Bishops of Plock]). There was another bishop of Plock with these same arms: Jan, who died in the year 1425. His father was Floryan from Kurdwanów, and his mother was Katarzyna. He was born with the coat of arms Serokomla, but I have already discussed this under the name Kurdwanowskis, to whom he belonged.
A third Bishop of Plock, named Tomasz, held that position in 1270, according to Paprocki and Okolski. Lubienski, however, says nothing about what house he belonged to, and Dlugosz refers him to under the Prus coat of arms, where I, too, will speak of him.
At the sejm in Horodlo in 1413, Wolczko Kukwa chose these arms for himself and his house. (Laski, Statut, page 127).
Later authors include these families among those belonging to this clan: Gostynski, Szwenderski.
Translated by Leonard J. Suligowski; first appeared in the Winter 2003 issue of “Rodziny, The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America”.
Arms: gules, between a crescent and increscent or, a sword in pale hilt and pommel to chief, the blade end debruised, all proper. For a crest, a demi-dragon rampant, vomiting flames, and the charge of the shield, facing sinister.
There are two crescent moons of gold, back to back, and between them a vertical sword, handle at the top and blade to the bottom, in a red field. Out of a helmeted crown is seen half a dragon, whose wings and forelegs are seen facing left (although others have it facing the other way). From its mouth flames can be seen, and within the flames the same sword and moons shown on the shield are visible. Paprocki described it thus in Gzniado cnoty [Nest of Virtue], p. 304, and in O herbach [On Clan Shields], page 289; and Okolski in volume 2, page 529, and in Klejnoty [Crests], p. 75.
This shield has a great similarity to that of Ostoja, because it was bestowed upon one of the Ostoja clan on the following occasion. While heading with the army to Moravia, the Polish commander sent an experienced knight ahead with a few people as a scouting party; this knight was of the Ostoja clan. He came upon a group of Moravians who had crossed the Polish border, but then saw far off a large host of the enemy. He did not lose heart, however; he sent word to the commander as fast as possible for reinforcements, while he himself attacked the Moravians. He held them for a long time, although more than once they almost drove him back. When the reinforcements arrived, they attacked the foe with zeal, and defeated him.
For this valor, his ancestral arms of Ostoja were transformed by placing a whole sword between the moons, and a dragon on the helmet such as was described above, because he had defeated the Moravians with such anger and ferocity. The new arms were called Przegonia because the enemy tried to drive him back several times, but he did not move from the spot. [Translatorÿs note: in Polish “to drive back” is przegonic«, imperfective form przeganiac«; this name may be interpreted as meaning “They try to drive him back again and again [but in the end cannot do so].”
Okolski attributes the origin of this clan shield to the reign of King Boleslaw Smialy [1058-1079]. Due to the similarity of the shields, however, some af?liated themselves with Przegonia, some with Ostoja. Paprocki read of Miroslaw Przegonia, castellan of Sandomierz, in various monastery grants dating from the year 1270, as well as of Piotr, count Przegonia.
Translated by Leonard J. Suligowski; first appeared in the Fall 2001 issue of “Rodziny, The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America”.