HERBARZ POLSKI (A)

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.

A

ABDANK ARMS

Paprocki (fol. 158) describes the shield as having “white roadways in a red field.” Others say that the letter “M” is inverted and, in a way, repeated. He who agrees with Cromer (lib.5) that “the letter W, common to Poles and all Slovaks, is in a field of red; a crown above the helmet; within the crown, another such letter,” will say it best. Okolski, v.1, fol.1; Potocki, Bielski.

Bielski (fol. 30), Potocki, and a few others, theorize that this coat of arms originated in the time of Grach, or Krakus, the Polish Monarch, for whom the city of Krakow is named, and to whom the city concedes the roots of its founding. Their theory is based on the story of the Dragon Holophage, also called Boa, that appeared on Wawel Hill on the side overlooking the Wisla River.

It was a virulent beast. Not only did it poison the air with its breathing, but, in forays into nearby streets and suburbs, devoured a number of people and cattle, seldom ever satiated.

A commoner named Skuba, deeply affected by the loss of his neighbors, devised a stratagem by which to confound the monstrous enemy. He stuffed the skin of a calf newly stripped with pitch, Sulfur and a torch, and shaped it so skillfully that the beast was doomed before it realized it was tricked. Skuba had flung the prepared “calf’ up to the mouth of the cave. In the morning, the famished Dragon emerged, and proceeded in its customary manner to raid, greedily swallowing whole the first thing in its path. The hidden fire ignited fatty tissue and all the frenzied gulping of the waters of the Wisla failed to extinguish the raging blaze within him. The Dragon blew up, exploded in half, and expired.

To this day there exists a cave hollowed out of a cliff in Krakow, called Smocza Jama (Dragon’s Lair) which testifies to this event.

Krakus rewarded Skuba for his ingenuity by conferring the letter “W” for his coat of arms. The “W” represents the first letter of the word “Waz” (Serpent), or of “Wawel.”

I don’t doubt this story except as it relates to Skuba. Cromer, Sarnicki, Dlugosz and Miechowita, Aldrovandus in historia Serpentum et Draconum; Cromer, lib. 5; Sarnicki, lib. 4, Dlugosz, v.1, lib.1, among other historians, all maintain that such a dragon was destroyed, but not one of them mentions the singular Skuba. On the contrary, it is Krakus who is credited with outwitting the dragon. Dlugosz adds that the ingenious manner with which he dispatched the beast gained Krakus fame throughout the country and spread it to other nations, where he was honored as “Krakus, Liberator Patriae.”

Father Parisiusz, S.J., has a different view of the origin of this shield. He points out that it can be easily learned from various Roman historians that the Romans were inclined to spread their armies along the border of German Sarmatia for winter quarters, or to guard and defend the border. Under such circumstances it followed, and rightly so, that the Sarmatians would guard their border against the Romans. Consequently, every province and voivodeship sent its county standard with large numbers of sentries to encircle the Rhine or Elbe Rivers. Since guards were recruited from our Wisla region to other countries as well, Colonel Skubow, when ordered to set out on such a campaign, marked the flag of his province with the Slavic letter “W”, the initial for Wisla. Once there, he performed with such bravery, victoriously routing the Romans, that for these services, he and all his household were honored with this very same letter W.

Father Parisiusz adds further that the city of Wroclaw in Slask, which enjoys this letter in its shield, acquired it from Skuba’s descendants. A pretty tale indeed except that no author supports it. I hold with Dlugosz, who is sustained by Rutka, that the shield was awarded to Skuba, a naturally valiant man, by his lord who saw Skuba vanquish a particularly strong “Alemann” or German. The historian fails to note the date of this victory but it occurred undoubtedly when the Kings of Poland were as yet pagans, because when the Catholic Faith became enthroned in Poland, the bearers of this coat of arms were already seated in the Senate, as you will see below. All historians are certain that his shield was named SKUBOW until 1109, when it was changed to ABDANK for the following reason:

Boleslaw Krzywousty (Wrymouth) delegated Count Jan z Gory (John of the Mountain) to conclude a peace treaty with Emperor Henry. The Emperor proved adamant: peace would come only on condition that the Poles pay tribute for all time. In order to intimidate the Count, the Emperor displayed all of the treasure collected by his predecessors, remarking that it will serve to conquer Poland for him. Neither threats nor all that gold frightened the Count’s stoic heart. Instead, cutting short his lordship’s fantasies, the Count threw his own signet into the treasure chest with the words: “aururn auro addimus” (gold to gold we add), as if to say: “In vain do you threaten these men with gold, for their hands are armed with swords, and their hearts, with courage.” Henry understood the implication and recognized Jan’s contempt for riches, but having to save face, replied in German: “HABDANK,” that is, “Thank you.” Since then, the Count and his descendants are known as SKARBEK and their coat of arms as ABDANK, Dlugosz, lib.4;Cromer, lib. 5; papr. in Stemmatibus, fol. 159; Sarnicki, lib. 6. The Hrodelski Charter of King Jagiello however refers to it as “Habdaniec.” Lasc. Stat., fol. 127.

Bearers of this Coat of Arms:

ABDANK

Dlugosz speaks of them as “Erant solertes, et viri Magni.”

____ Ankwicz, ____ Bardzinski, Beszewski, Bialobrzeski, Bialoskorski, Bielinski, Bogucki, Borowski, Borzykowski, Borzyminski, Bram, Buczacki, Budziszewski, Bystrzejowski, ____ Chojenski, Chorynski, Cieklinski, Czarkowski, Czelatycki, ____ Dabrowski, Dloto, Dunikowski, ____ Gastold, ____ Haraburda, ____ Jazlowiecki, Jugoszewski, ____ Kielczowski, Klonowski, Kolaczkowski, Konarski, Kosowski, Kowalski, Koziatulski, Kozubski, Krobanowski, Kunicki, ____ Leszczynski, Lewikowski, Lidzbinski, ____ Magnuski, MaIczewski, Malechowski, Mikolajewski, Milkowski, Mlynkowski, ____ Obornicki, Oborski, ____ Pekoslawski, Piotraszewski, Przeborowski, Przezwicki, Psarski, ____ Raclzanowski, Rajmir, Rogowski, Rogozinski, Roguski, Rudzki, ____ Skarbek, Skoraszewski, Skuba, Slornowski, Starski, Suchodolski, Swoszowski, Sczyjenski, ____ Tworzyanski, ____ Warszycki, Wazenski, Wojenkowski, Wojewodzki, Wolczek, Wychowski

Each of the above will be discussed in detail in alphabetical order.

Publ. Note. In time, Niesiecki himself, Kuropatnicki, Wieladek, and other heraldists, added the following families to this coat of arms:

____ Bejnart, Bolenski, Borzymski, ____ Czahorski, ____ Dowgialo, Dowgialowicz, Dworakowski, ____ Eygird, ____ Gambarzewski, Gembarzewski, Gorski, ____ Hromyka Skarbek, ____ Kaczycki, Kaimir, Koplewski, Kruszewski, Krzywinski, ____ Lasicki, ____ Machowski, ____ Puczniewski, ____ Radunski, Razek, Regowski, ____ Slomka Skarbek, Starosiedliski, Starosielski, ____ Telszewski, Toczynski, Trzebinski, ____ Ustarbowski, ____ Warakowski, Wazynski Skarbek, Wielobycki, Wolynski, Wojczynski Skarbek, Wykowski

Six other coats of arms are derived from ABDANK, for this honorable house in our crown multiplied its memorable deeds to such an extent, that the Polish Kings deemed them worthy of ever new adornments. For instance, a half-lion was raised above the helmet, holding in its paws the very same ABDANK, for the MACHOWSKIS, and some say, for the BUCZACKIS and JAZLOWIECKIS as well.

In SYROKOMLAS coat of arms, a cross was appended to the letter W, and on the Helmet, three ostrich plumes, instead of the Abdank. The ILGOWSKI Abdank acts as a bow from which an arrow is aimed upward through a ring, and there are three ostrich plumes on the helmet.

CHALECKI’S Abdank shows a broken arrow pointed upward, and on the helmet, an arrow pierces the wing of a vulture or an eagle. KROKWA has a rafter (krokwa) joined to the Abdank. Two crosses on one level are on SOLTAN’S Abdank, and a star at the top. Even DEBNO’S coat of arms places the Abdank under its cross.

More will be said about each of these in alphabetical order.

ANCESTORS OF THIS HOUSE

They added “z Gory” to their signatures. The first member of this house mentioned by Paprocki is Michal z Gory, (that is Michael of the Mountain). His son, Lambert III, became the tenth Bishop of Kraków. Lambert was a mere canon when he impressed the Krakow Capitula with his affability and proficiency in studies, secular and spiritual. Four years had elapsed since the cathedral chair had been consecrated with the blood of the martyred Bishop Stanislaw, and the orphaned diocese looked forward to a new shepherd. Lambert was deemed capable and elected unanimously. Prince Wladyslaw Herman, the ruler of Poland in the absence of his brother, Boleslaw the Bold, who had mysteriously left Poland following the violent death of Bishop Stanislaw, sent Lambert to Rome to entreat Pope Gregory VII to lift the interdict that had been placed upon the kingdom. The Pope complied, consecrated Lambert a bishop, and returned him to his sheep. Once established in the diocese, Lambert proved a worthy successor to the sainted martyr in the formation of the clergy in their administration of the Sacraments and in leading exemplary lives. Every occasion was met with fervent appeals to honor God. He advised Queen Judyta to address St. Idzik in her barrenness. When she then gave birth to Boleslaw the Wrymouth, the Queen persuaded her husband to grant the county of Kroppen, today’s Pabianice, to the cathedral in Krakow.

The pious, fair Swentoslawa’s revelation caused Bishop Lambert to have the body of Bishop Stanislaw, ten years after death, transferred from Skalka to the royal castle and entombed in a square stone-block adorned with sheets of gold.

Lambert died in 1101, having served eighteen years as bishop, and is buried in the Krakow Basilica. Starow. in Epis. Crac. Paprock. sub Abdank, Miechove.; Dlugosz, lib.4; Cromer.  Dlugosz dates Lambert’s consecration a year earlier, in 1082, and year of death as 1101, yet refers to a span of 20 years. He does note that Pope Gregory knew him well since Lambert spent many years at the Papal Court, creditably executing various functions.

Paprocki and Bielski (fol. 95) include among the progenitors of this house the Hetman and Voivode of Krakow, SKARBIMIERZ. So does Okolski altho I don’t know on what basis as he follows Cromer (lib. 5) who states regarding Skarbimierz: “I cannot locate his family.” Historians, Dlugosz (lib. 4), Miechowita (lib.3, cap. 10), Gwagnin (descript. Reg. Pol.), and others, are silent about this house and crest.

Following the banishment of Sieciech from Poland, Skarbimierz accepted command of Krakow, both chair and mace. His first duty was to use the latter with which to flog rebellious Pomerania, in 1106. Having wrested the castle at Bytom with an assault by his cavalry, Skarbimierz returned to Poland, laden with spoils, the enemy beaten and prisoners taken, and most of the land devastated. The Pomeranians, seeking revenge, spread out in ambush, 3,000 strong, while Skarbimierz celebrated a victory banquet with Boleslaw. Forewarned, though unequally matched, for they had only 100 horses, the King and Hetman struck at the enemy, routing their ranks, and slaughtering great numbers. Skarbimierz barely survived. Weakened as he was from wounds inflicted in the campaign, where he had lost his right eye, he now suffered another thirty wounds. Such “branding” nevertheless appears to be seductive, because Skarbimierz set out a second time on Pomerania, before his wounds were completely healed, and again carried away a bountiful harvest without the slightest resistance.

Soon after, he fought Emperor Henry in “Dog’s Field”. With equal success, he withstood the Pomeranians at Naklo and the Czechs at the Elbe River, fulfilling everywhere his responsibilities as leader, judiciously, and as soldier, courageously. Ironically, fate determined a legacy for the ages inconsistent with his life. Charges of gross ambition and conspiracy with Zbigniew against the King were levied, and evoked the King’s suspicion. Skarbimierz was expelled from the Senate, thrown in jail, and having lost both eyes, died in 1117. Here was a man, native-born, of great wit, who wielded tongue and arm with equal power. Yet, since this time, the Kraków Castellan has been raised over the Voivode and takes first place among the laity in the Senate. (I spoke of this in volume 1). Later, according to Miechowita, the King regretted wreaking such rage upon Skarbimierz, a warrior of tremendous merit and experience, and sought to atone for his impetuosity with pilgrimages to far away holy places.

Count MICHAL Z GORY, or z Krzywina (per Szczygielski) funded the Lubinski Monastery of the Benedictine Fathers in G reat Poland in 1114. He is buried there. Dlugosz: “singularis devotionis et zeli in Deum.”; Cromer, lib. 5; Paprocki o herbach; Szczygielski in Aquila Polono-Benedict., fol. 122. This information can be found in the original papers of the place. Despite this, Bielski, in 1175, assigns the funding to the Polish Prince, Mieczyslaw the Old.

Count RUSLAW had no progeny and bequeathed his estate to Christ. The SULEJOS built a monastery for the Cistercian Fathers on their inherited estate, overlooking the Pilc River. In time, Kazimierz, Prince of Poland, enriched and furnished it lavishly. Cromer, lib. 6 Paprocki, loc. cit. Miechov., lib. 3.

Count KAGNIMIR from Bieganow, whose fertile progeny lives in the Lukow region to this day (claims Nakielski), annexed his village of Bieganow to the parsonage of Miechowski before 1198. So it is recorded in the catalog of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, but the village has long since broken the covenant. Nakiel., in Miech. fol. 103, et 68, et 83, et 85.

KRZYSZTOF, following in the footsteps of his brother Kagnimir, willed his village of Zytna to the Miechowski parsonage in perpetuity. This gift, too, was soon lost. Nakiel., in Miech. fol. 83 et 115.

I have already mentioned the following in volume 1: Smil, Castilan Wojnicki, 1217; Skarbimierz Castellan Wojnicki, 1277; Mikolaj Castellan Sendomirski, 1286; Jedrzej Castellan Kaliski, 1360; Jasiek Castellan Gnieznienski, 1361. Their deeds, however, have long since passed into oblivion. Only WOJCIECH CZELEJ, Voivode Sendomirski, is mentioned by Dlugosz, Paprocki, Cromer (lib. 12), and others. He died in battle in 1344, struck by an arrow, eagerly defending his country against the Tartars who had been driven up to the Wisla.

Paprocki lists WSZEBOR, as the Hetman and Voivode Sendomirski, under Wladyslaw, Prince of Poland, but Nakielski draws him to the coat of arms of Nieczuja, where I, too, speak of him. He also places Count DROGOSLAW, whose son Peter, was Bishop of Poznan in 1265 (should have said in 1254), under this coat of arms, but others want him under the Prawdzic.

Translated by Josephine M. Piegzik; first appeared in the January, 1979 issue of “Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter”.


ACHINGER ARMS

Described by Paprocki, Okolski, Potocki and Rutka, thus: a red squirrel, its underbreast white, in a golden field, racing to the right of the shield, its tail held high on its back; above the shield, a like squirrel, as tho sitting between two horns. Okolski adds (which I too can see) that the squirrel on the helmet is apparently sitting betweeen antlers, its head turned back to the left of the shield. Altho the authors are silent as to its origin, all agree that the shield was brought to Poland from Germany.

Foreigners write of an “Eizynger” in 1455, most prominent among Austrian Lords and highly regarded by Ladislaus, the Czech-Hungarian King. Although elevated through good fortune, the jealousy of others caused his downfall and false accusations made before the King brought disgrace and expulsion from the royal court.

The first to arrive in Poland with this shield was ZYBULD AICHINGER, during the reign of Zygmunt I, according to Starowolski.  He also ascribes it to Baldwin, the eleventh Bishop of Krakow, who lived 400 years before Zygmunt. Starowolski writes that after the death of Lambert, Wladyslaw, the Prince of Poland, conferred the Kraków Bishopric on Czeslaw. However, because Czeslaw took over the Cathedral without the Pope’s confirmation, the Papal Nuncio, Gwallo, Bishop of Bellowak, compelled him to withdraw and replaced him with Baldwin, the Frenchman, formerly “Pallatii Apostolici Auditor,” later Canon Stobnicki, Papal Commissioner of the Peter Pence collection.  On the recommendation of Boleslaw the Wrymouth, Baldwin was consecrated by Urban II.  Everyone found him pleasant and gracious, far removed from putting on airs, generous to the poor, lavishly sharing his own provisions. After five years in office, he passed on to eternity in 1108.

From this I deduce the antiquity of the AICHINGER house, with the understanding that at this time, Baldwin arrived in Poland alone. Later, during King Zygmunt’s time, the family began to settle here. The fact that they write of Baldwin as being French by birth, but that the family came here from Germany, is by no means a contradiction because the AICHINGER ancestors, altho residing in Germania, had their origins in Oriental France which can be seen from the gravestone of August Aichinger in Krakow at Holy Trinity where the inscription reads: “Eques Franciae Orientalis a Facha.”

ZYBULT AICHINGER, the first to savor Polish freedom, settled in Russia where he married Maleczkowska, sister of Michal, Governor of Krakow, by whom he had two sons:

Zybult, whose proficiency in many areas and good manners won him great favor with Bogdan, Hospodar of Walachia. Of his issue with Zarszynska in Pokucie, one son served with Stanislaw Potocki, Voivode of Krakow and Commander-in-Chief, in 1665, and the other, with Field Commander Kazanowski under the Usar Banner. Both sacrificed their lives for the common good.

And Jerzy, Court Chamberlain to Stefan Batory who, having perceived Jerzy’s competence in a variety of roles, sent him on dangerous missions beyond the borders which he conducted with bravery. He married Gajewska of the Hungarian court. The Hungarian writer, Istvantius, praising the great name of AICHINGER in that Kingdom, notes that Lupus Aichinger was a Commissioner at the peace treaties with the Turks.

AUGUSTYN AICHINGER, cousin of Zybult and Jerzy, fluent in Turkish, Greek, Latin, Polish, German and Walachian languages, acquired in his peregrinations to the holy places in Jerusalem and the many courts of European Lords, after memorable deeds on battlefields and off, died in Krakow in 1582. Paprocki writes in his book on heraldry of Augustyn’s gravestone, erected by his cousin Jerzy, and in his folio 583, you will find the charter granted by Emperor Rudolf in 1577 to Augustyn and his brothers, and extended to his cousins Zybult and Jerzy and their progeny wherein, having praised their knightly deeds and loyalty to him, he changed the form of the family shield in the following manner: a shield divided horizontally into two parts, the lower on the bottom contains four fields separated by diagonal lines running from the right in which the first field from the right is black; the second is yellow or gold; the third, red; and the fourth white or silver. The second, higher part, divides vertically into two parts: on the left side of the shield, a green hill with three peaks, on the highest of which is a squirrel in natural color, its head turned to the right, its tail held upward, legs braced as if to jump, in a yellow or gold field; on the right side, a white bastille in a red field, its gate and two windows, black. On the helmet, a crown above which are widespread wings: the left is yellow underneath and black, above; the right wing, red below, and white on top. Between the wings stands a man in armor, visible to the waist, with gold sword unsheathed, hilt in hand, and a golden apple.

STANISLAW AICHINGER from the Duchy of Oswiecim and Zator belongs to this house. He was deputized by the Sejm of 1633 to collect public contributions.  In 1668, there lived a Mikolaj. Stanislaw, squire of Kobylany, Sendomir Voivodship, married Anna Mijakowska.   Ignacy Achinger of Radocz voted (with Oswiecim and Zator) to elect King Stanislaw August.

Translated by Josephine M. Piegzik; first appeared in the June, 1979 issue of “Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter”.


AKSZAK ARMS. KARA or OBRONA.

Described by Okolski and Rutka this way: a man’s heart, run through clear down the middle, turned to the side, so torn that the two parts barely hold together, in a field of red; above the helmet, three ostrich plumes.  In “Petrasancta in tess. gentilit.,” the writer numbers many such families of Europe, particularly in England and France, however one will not find a shield similar in composition in his work.

The origin of this shield is placed in Lithuania or Moscow, granted for bravery in routing the Tartars at the border. The champion had killed the enemy’s chief who led the charging battalion. The Commander’s death struck such terror in the eyes and hearts of his army that they all took flight, leaving victory in the hands of the opposing side. For this the shield AKSZAK was granted which according to Stryjkowski translates from Lithuanian to OBRONA (DEFENSE) which became the family name as well. However, no one mentions where the other name, KARA (PUNISHMENT), came from.

The descendants of this first AKSZAK or OBRONA migrated to Polesie where they held Tenuta Norynska for many years. Jan Akszak, at one time assistant to the voivode, transferred to Kijow where he served as land adjudicator, performed his duty to country loyally, was appointed by many Sejms (Diets) to commissions such as, in 1607, to select suitable sites in the Ukraine for fortifications.  In 1611 and 1613, he helped to settle the boundary between the voivodship of Kiev and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In Moscow and Livonia, he gave evidence of a chivalrous heart. In the courts, he exhibited such knowledge of the Polish Law and dealt with such fairness that the sentences passed by him were never reversed, not by tribunal nor royal decree. His brother Michal gave his life for his country when he was killed smiting Tartars at Ulaniki. The sons of Jan and Barbara nee Klonska were: Marek,  who spent his last years in the royal prison; Stefan, land adjudicator of Kiev, subperfect of Ostrzew and Bobrowniki, who appeared as Deputy of the Radom Tribunal while a delegate to the Sejm in Warsaw in 1626.  The Sejm commissioned him to settle the boundary between the Voivodship of Kijow and Czerniechow.  His wife Zofja nee Mozyrska, from the chamberlain’s court in Luzyce,  gave birth to two sons: Jan, Master of the Pantry at Kiev, whose son Jozef settled in Voivodship Belz; and, Gabryel. Stefan married anew: Katarzyna nee Czolhanska, besides three daughters, bore him two sons, Alexander and Michal, who with their brother Gabryel voted with the Kijow Voivodship to elect Jan Kazimierz. Thus did God reward Stefan with a numerous progeny for having funded the Dominican Fathers to the tune of 20,000.

Michal, the third son of Jan, justice of Kiev, followed in the footsteps of his knightly predecessors in defending his country, and in 1632 voted to elect Wladyslaw IV. His wife was Ziemblicka.

One sister of the three brothers, after the death of her husband Grab, devoted the rest of her life to God in the convent of St. Dominik. Another sister was living with Jozef Chalecki in 1650.

A Marek Akszak was in the Kijow army at Motowidlowka in 1694.

Kazimierz, treasurer of Kiev, soldiered under the Usar banner; had a son Felicyan by his wife Konstancja nee Czolhanska; had a manor house at Ostrog.

Stefan Akszak, Master of the Pantry at Wlodzimir, Knight of the Order of St. Stanislaus, lived during the reign of King Stanislaw August. (according to Wieladek).

Akszak, general, whose wife was the widow Suffczynska nee Kuropatnicka, sister of the Castellan of Belz.

Akszak, married Wessl, sister of the royal assistant treasurer; had a son.

Akszak, colonel in the Polish Army, country squire in Radziwil; had descendants. (Krasicki).

Translated by Josephine M. Piegzik; first appeared in the June, 1979 issue of “Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter”.


ALABANDA ARMS

THE ALABANDA or ALBALANT, as Damalewicz prefers it, has a white moon on its shield in the crescent phase, its horns pointing upward between which is the head of a horse, its neck touching the moon, facing to the left of the shield, in a black field according to Paprocki; in a brown field according to Bielski; and gray, according to Okolski. On the helmet are five ostrich plumes; some say three.  At first, Paprocki claimed that the shield reached us during the reign of Boleslaw the Wrymouth through one whose name “Alband ” was given to the shield.  Later, he corrected himself in his book on heraldry – with which others agree – that the shield was brought earlier, in the time of Mieczyslaw, first Prince of the Polish Christian Monarchs, by Jasnach, first Bishop of Kruswice, from Italy.

There are many who use a horse in their shield although not in this form. Wedekindus or Witekindus, Saxon Duke, used a seal with a black colt until his rebirth through Baptism, when Emperor Charles the Great changed it to a white horse.

Charles V, wishing to curtail the freedom of the Neopolitans, erected a mighty castle with fortress under the pretext of a monastery, to which he invited the local citizens, asking what kind of shield would make them proud, to which they replied: “one with a horse.” “With a bit in his mouth? ” he asked. “Without a bit,” they said. “Because he was always free. No one ever restrained him.” Pointing his finger at the newly built fortress, the Emperor said: “Hoc est fraenum equi vestri.” “That will be an appropriate bit to your freedom.”

In 966, Jasnach or Lucidus, first Bishop of Kruswice or of Kujawy as they are now known since the place was changed, came to Poland with Cardinal Egidius, Bishop of Tuscany. Zealous and humble, distinguished for his exemplary life, was sent by Pope John XIII to this new branch of the true faith where he immediately set out to meet his responsibilities by bringing in priests from Czechoslovakia and other provinces who were versed in the Slavic language.  He divided his diocese among them, sharing his solicitude, and provided the income due them. In the village of Dzwiernie, assigned to the bishopric by Mieczyslaw, he built the parish church, and many houses of God elsewhere so that, according to Damalewicz, there is hardly a church in Kujawy that does not attribute its first construction to him.  Old charters attest to this. Death terminated his twenty-seven year administration of the Church in Wroclaw in 993. His body is buried in Dzwiernie.

Paprocki adds Mamphiola, the 35th Bishop of Plock, to this shield where I, too, place him, according to his testimony. After the death of Henry, the first prelate of Plock of the blood of the Mazowsze Princes, Pope Boniface IX exerted great pressure to maintain Mamphiola in this eminent position, despite the fact that he was not chosen by the capitula, nor was he one of those submitted by the hereditary Lords to Rome for consecration. Although Mamphiola was well-connected with Boniface, had the Pope’s support and the church’s censure on his side, nevertheless, the King of Poland, as well as the Princes of Mazowsze, and even the Capitula of Plock, in order to prevent any derogation of their rights should someone, and in particular, a foreigner, be seated in this manner, absolutely refused to allow the prelate to take possession, postponing the entire matter until the agreed upon election of the future Pope (at this time, the Catholic Church was in turmoil, disrupted by great Schisms).

Meanwhile, Mamphiolus became ill of melancholia, resigned as bishop, and from life. Dlugosz says that before his death, he had freely deprived himself of the office for the sake of peace. The year of his death is said to be 1395 by Nakielski; 1399 by Lubienski, who in a later edition corrected it as being 1396, holding with Dlugosz. Mamphiolus was buried in Rome “in Ara Caeli ” with the title: Bishop of Plock.

No other families of this shield are listed by the authors and I understand that Poland did not have any.

Translated by Josephine M. Piegzik; first appeared in the June, 1979 issue of “Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter”.


ALEMANNI HERB

The shield is divided vertically: on its right side, two paths run diagonally from right to left downward, separated by a space equal to their width; the left side is in two parts: the upper displays two cannon balls; the lower part, one. Above the helmet, a young woman stands, crowned with a laurel wreath which rests on her ears per old custom, with one hand on hip and the other raised, in which she holds another laurel wreath. No one has described the color of shield, field, nor cannon balls.

This coat of arms was granted in Hertruria for some significant service. The source is clear because the Princes of Florence carry cannon balls in their coats of arms: five are red in a field of gold, and the sixth above them is blue. From it, three lillies rise. There is a gold crown above the helmet, a red lily on its peak, on which a silver falcon stands on its left talon, holding a gold ring in his right talon, and in his beak, a card, on which the word, Semper (always), is written. Additional proof of this family’s arrival from Hertruria is a letter of 1566 from King Zygmunt August to Dominik ALEMANNI conferring rights of citizenship in Our kingdom. You will find it verbatim in Paprocki. I will quote only what   may add to information about the family: (Translator’s Note: The paragraph is in Latin and herein deleted.) This testimony does not speak highly enough of a family which numbered two Roman Cardinals.

The first was ALEMANNUS Adimarius of Florence, son of Philip Adimarius Alemannus and Olimpia Fortiquerta. After a year as Bishop of Florence, he became Archbishop of Taranto, and then, of Pisa, where he was awarded the Cardinal’s hat by John XXIII (translator’s note: deposed by Council of Constance) for his courageous service as the Pope’s legate in France. At the Councils in Pisa and Constance, ALEMANNUS zealously defended God’s Church against the schismatics until, in the midst of these ardous efforts, he became seriously ill, some say, poisoned, and died in 1422. His body is buried in Rome. LOUIS ALEMANNUS was Bishop of Maglie and after a short time as Archbishop, Pope Martin V named him Cardinal. After the death of Pope Eugene, in order to bring peace to the church, ALEMANNUS persuaded Felix the anti-Pope, to put down the usurped Papal Miter. Exhausted from a myriad such cares, he departed in 1450 from the crown these labors earned him. The holiness of his life and numerous miracles worked before his tomb are being reported: that through his intercession sight is restored to the blind, speech to the mute, health to the sick, and often, life to the dead. The record of these graces has filled a sizeable book. Pope Clement VII wrote of his illustrious life in 1527.

In addition, there was ALOIZY ALEMANNI, a known historian, and Chamberlain of Catherine Medici, queen of France. His son, Karol, served King Henry of Poland, and later, of France, as Chamberlain. Karol’s brother was a Bishop in France. The first of this family to settle in Poland was DOMINIK ALEMANNI, squire of Gawronowo, Piotrkowic and Lyszkowice; Master of the Pantry in Lublin; head of a county in Mazowsze. He was King Stefan’s envoy to King John of Sweden. Dominik married the sister of Fanuel, Master of Pantry in Lublin, and left sons worthy of his example: Stanislaw, who died a young man, in Kraków, and is buried in the cemetery of the Franciscan Fathers where Starowolski copied the inscription on the tombstone; and Zygmunt, who voted for Wladyslaw IV in 1632 with the voidodship of Sieradz.

Shortly after this year, the family returned to Italy. Not so long ago, during my own time, an ALEMANNI, Roman Provincial, nephew of Pope Clement XI, and a man of great attributes, furnished the monastery of the Society of Jesus. He would mention that his grandfather was born in Poland and had moved from there to Italy.

Translated by Josephine M. Piegzik; first appeared in the January, 1980 issue of “Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter”.


ALEXANDROWICZ HERB

Paprocki and Okolski are silent about it, there are two scythes blades, sharp edges facing each other, pointed upward, crossing diagonally over two German swords which meet vertically, their points touching as though merged into one. Three ostrich plumes are crested on the helmet.

The occasion for granting this coat of arms is uncertain. I know that it is the seal of the Alexandrowiczes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The election of Wladyslaw IV in 1632 was signed by Jan, Marshal of Grodno, Konstanty, Kazimierz, Piotr, and Mikolaj Bitout, justice of Upita.

The election of King Jan Kazimierz in 1648 was signed by Konstanty, land scribe of Upita and delegate from Grodno.  He, or another Konstanty, land scribe and Grodno delegate to the Diet (Sejm) of 1652, was deputized to the tribunal of the treasury in Lithuania. Later, he was a magistrate of Grodno and delegate to the Sejm in 1659 and 1661. In the constitution of 1662, he is listed as land judge of Grodno, and the commissioner of payments to soldiers. He had a son, Kazimierz Stefan, chamberlain of Grodno, and later, marshal, was deputized by the Sejm of 1690 to the tribunal of the treasury, and in 1697, to the tribunal of Vilno.

Stanislaw, captain of an armored division, fell in battle with Moscow at Miednice, which was noted by the Sejm in 1662 with the recommendation that his sacrifice be remembered, which the Sejm of 1683 confirmed.

Sebastyan, spent his youth among lords and manors, then chose a life of humility and domestic chores, serving God in the monastery of the Society of Jesus, where through continuous prayer, obedience and other virtues, he gained heaven, bidding farewell to this world in 1658. Benedykt Placyd, 1697.

Michal, land scribe of Lida, later became a marshal, 1704.

Hrehory Alexandrowicz, Castellan of Wilno, commander-in-chief of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, subprefect of Grodno and Mohilów. During the reign of King Zygmunt August, his signature appears on a document for the Prussian Prince of Brandeburg Kurfirszt. Among these papers, mention is made of Bogdan Alexandrowicz, Palatine of Moldavia, in 1569.

Jan, subprefect of Grodno, leaseholder of the keys of Jeziersk, Satandzk and Kotra, was honored with a personal letter from the Queen Anna, during the period following the death of her father King Zygmunt August, when the Republic assigned lands to her in 1573.

Albert Alexandrowicz, stable master in Grand Duchy of Lithuania, during the reign of Zygmunt I.

Stefan, mentioned above, was also Castellan of Nowogrod. He married Tekla Kierdejodwna, daughter of the Castellan of Trock.  Their son, Jan, subprefect of Ostrzyn, served as a deputy, and died young, a bachelor. Of four daughters, one married Komorowski, voivode of Brzesk; another married Bialozor, subprefect of Nowomlyn; the third, Zienowicz, subprefect of Sznitow; and the fourth, Konstancya, married Lukasz Alexarowicz, standard-bearer of Lida County.

Michal, Marshal of Lida County, a man of untainted virtue, paid all taxes levied on the poor gentry during the Swedish revolution. He died in old age, unmarried, buried in Lidz beside the Church of the Carmelites in a tomb that he himself built.

Piotr spent all of his life soldiering. With 100 men under his command, he repelled and dispersed 1,000 Walachians encroaching Poland’s boundaries.

Floryan Stanislawowicz, treasurer of Lida County.

Lukasz Antoni, standard-bearer of Lida, served gloriously in many functions during the reign of Kings August II and III. He was a deputy of the tribunal three times. After the death of August II, during the interregnum, he was marshal of the confederation and vigilance committee of Lida County. Served as an envoy several times. The last such service was for Lubomirski, subprefect of Kazimierz, in 1746. He died in 1748 and rests in Szejbakpol, his lands, beside the church that he funded and granted to the Franciscan Fathers. His wife was Konstancya Alexandrowicz, daughter of the Castellan of Nowogrod. They had two sons, Franciszek and Dominik, and a daughter, Elizbieta, who married Chrzanowski, subprefect of Rowiatyce.

Kazimierz, cupbearer of Lida, brother of Lukasz, frequently served as deputy and commissioner.

Franciszek, the older brother of the mentioned Lukasz, served progressively in all official capacities of Lida County, from butler to standard-bearer, to chamberlain and marshal, and finally, castellan of Lida. While butler (czesnik), he was deputy and marshal of the clerical tribunal in 1748. While standard-bearer, assuming old laws, he organized a parade of the citizens of Lida County; celebrating the coronation of King Stanislaw August, he carried the standard of the Lithuanian Province, oblivious to the Lithuanian standbearer. For his many services as delegate, King Stanislaw August presented him with both national awards. He married Tekla Matuszewicz, daughter of the subprefect of Stoki. Their son Stanislaw, subprefect of Wasiliski, having completed his studies, traveled abroad, and on his return devoted himself to public service. He was twice an envoy, then a deputy and tribunal scribe from Lida County, for which King Stanislaw August awarded him captaincy in the national cavalry brigade. He died in the bloom of youth, after a brief illness, during his assignment as commissioner from the assessor’s office marking the boundries of the Kleszczelewski subprefecture and Brzesk voidodship.

Dominik, second son of the Lida standard-bearer and younger brother of Franciszek, equerry of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, served enthusiastically as deputy to the Lithianian tribunal in 1750 under Prince Albrycht Radziwill, subprefect of Rzeczyce, and as land scribe of Lida County, chosen by its citizens. During the twenty years in this office, he was delegate to the Sejm in 1758, 1761, and for the last time, in 1764, following the death of King August III, when Dominik served Prince Czartoryski, general of the Podol lands. Unbegrudgingly, he served further as deputy for the second time, as well as a marshal, to the main tribunal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1770. For his diligent and valuable services, King Stanislaw August conferred upon him the Order of St. Stanislaus, later, that of Equerry in the Grand Duchy, and finally, the Order of the White Eagle. Not only did he serve in the civic arena but he also willingly rendered military service as lieutenant under the sign of Fleming, treasurer of Lithuania, and later, under Sollohuba, voivode of Witebsk. Under Hetman Massalski, he was in charge of a Lithuanian division, and when the Hetman was transferred to an established military commission, that authority honored him with a brevet. For his military accomplishments, they promoted him to Captain of Hussars. He married Klara Plater of Livonia, had two daughters and one son, Ignacy. (Krasicki’s notes name Oskiercz, daughter of a Lithuanian official, as the wife.)

Tadeusz, land judge of Grodno, was also a Sejm delegate; a deputy, four times; and tribunal scribe.

Hieronim, assistant subprefect and treasurer of Grodziensk, was a deputy of Rzeczyce County, and vice-marshal of the tribunal.

Antoni, land judge of Lida County; deputy to tribunal; Hussar standard-bearer.

Jozef, land scribe of Lida County. Another Jozef was a major in Petyhor Brigade.

Franciszek, captain of the 4th Regiment, was a delegate from Lida County to the Sejm on 17 June 1793.

Aloizy, Bishop of Chelm, son of Marcin, the standard-bearer of Braclawice, and Helena Bachminska. Committed to the spiritual life as a youth, he was a Warsaw official for several years before becoming bishop. He died in 1782 at the age of 65. His brothers were: Stanislaw, subprefect of Petychor; Józef, general in the royal army; Antoni, clerical scribe of the crown and secretary of the permanent council, who died in 1784; and Tomasz, v. of Podlasie, chamberlain, recipient of the Order of the White Eagle, and a Knight of St. Stanislaus.  This man first served his country when he was sent to Ottoman Porte as Internuncio of the Republic. Shortly after his return, King Stanislaw August summoned him to his court and, after the death of Castellan Karas, Thomasz took over as marshal and castellan of Wizk. He married Marcyarm Ledóchowska, daughter of the Voivode of Czerniechow. For additional services, he became Castellan and then, the Voivode of Podlasie. He died in 1795.  He had a son, Stanislaw.

Fabian, son of Michal, master of the hunt in Orsza Province, and Elzbieta Illinicz from Dorochów; man of property in White Russia, in Zmuda Principality and Kowno County: entered military service at a young age and rose to the rank of vice-brigadier in the national cavalry of the Lithuanian army. He represented Smolensk v. at the Grodno Sejm in 1793; was king’s chamberlain, captain from Starodub County, and subprefect of Wilczat. (According to Wieladek and others.)

Translated by Josephine M. Piegzik; first appeared in the January, 1980 issue of “Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter”.


AMADEJ HERB

In a field of red, a white eagle without a tail; its beak, from which a gold ring hangs, faces left; the wings and legs are spread outward. Above the shield, on the helmet are five ostrich plumes. (According to Paprocki, Okolski, Bielski, Potocki.) All agree that this coat of arms came from Hungary, but relate different stories about the time of its arrival.

Quoting Paprocki, Okolski. reports that Wadyslaw Lokietek, having been ousted from the Polish throne for his many sojourns in foreign countries, sought help in Hungary where the voivode, AMADEJ, was the first to welcome him and to treat him with respect. Supplied with money and people, the King took over the Pelczyski castle near Wislice. This frightened the other towns into surrendering to the King.  The grateful monarch invited the AMADEJ family to Poland where he granted them wealth and honors. This is said to have taken place ca 1300.

On the other hand, Dlugosz writes that Felicyan and his colleagues were expelled from Hungary in 1330 for they had boldly attempted to murder King Karol, the Queen, and their children. The following members of the AMADEJ family are listed by Nakielski as being in our kingdom: Mikolaj Msurowski, landlord of Rudolowice.  There he founded a church, and in 1393 willed to the church, in perpetuity, all of his property in Bystryowice, Woczkowice, Tuliglowy, and Wegierka. This disposition was copied from the original testament. In 1446, Jan from Msurowo, master of the pantry in Przemysl, and his brother, Mikolaj, incorporated this same church into the parsonage at Miechow. Jan’s descendants, Jan the peace officer and Mikolaj the swordbearer, both of Przemysl, following the example of their forebears, added more lands in 1454, with the result that today, according to Paprocki, no house remains in our kingdom that boasts these heraldic bearings.

Translated by Josephine M. Piegzik; first appeared in the June, 1980 issue of “Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter”.


ANCUTA HERB

This one is similar to the Newlina clan shield but having its own name. An arrow points straight up. To the right of it is an eight-pointed star; to the left is a quarter moon with its points facing the arrow. ANCUTA, Maciej Jozef. In 1695, he was Canon of Smolensk and Inflanty, the Rector of Wilkomir and Szac, and later, the sufragan and coadjutor of the Bishop of Wilno, Brzostowski. After the bishop’s death, August II nominated Ancuta successor. However, before the delegation arrived from Rome, Ancuta bid farewell to the world and its honors. He was Abbot of Czerwin at this time, in 1723.

ANCUTA, Leon. Leon received the Ancuta lands in 1394 from the Lithuanian Prince Witold Kiejstutowicz, for faithful military service. The lands are located in Bielsko County, v. Podlasie, along the Narew River. When the Prince died, his brother, Zygmunt Kiejstutowicz, succeeded to the Principality of Lithuania, and formally confirmed the land grant in 1432, in perpetuity, to all of the family and its descendants, who enjoy ownership to this day. Leon’s sons were Michal and Olizar Ancuta. ANCUTA, Radziwon Marcinowicz, married Anna Kosciuszko in 1542 in the home of her father, Konstanty, land judge of Siechowicze. Radziwon signed over much of the Ancuta lands to his wife, especially that which lay along the Narew River.

ANCUTA, Pawel Jeskowicz, whose wife was Maryanna Tumilowna Buchowiecka, purchased additional land in 1580 in Buchowicze, Ostromecz, and further in the voivodship of Brest-Litovsk. His only son, Mikolaj (Pawlowicz), heir to all these lands, was on trial with Epimach Buchowiecki in 1617 in the Lithuanian Supreme Tribunal in regard to workers bought from Lozowicki.  He had a son, Alexander.

ANCUTA, Zygmunt, divided his inherited Zahorze with outlying territories between his sons, Stanislaw and Kazimierz, according to a will in 1646.

ANCUTA, Maciej, the aforementioned Bishop of’ Wilno, died of apoplexy in 1723.

Jerzy, cousin of the Bishop, was a consultant to the Lithuanian Prince, in 1724, and died in Wilno.

Adam Antoni, nephew of the Bishop, and the son of Mikolaj Ancuta, following several years of service as judge, served twice as deputy and clerk of the court in the tribunal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. His wife was Aniela Wolodkiewicz, and their six sons were: Jan, Antoni, Ignacy, Dominik, Michal, and Stanislaw, land judges of’ Brest-Litovsk.

Translated by Josephine M. Piegzik; first appeared in the June, 1980 issue of “Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter”.


ANDRAULT de BUY HERB

The shield is divided vertically: the right side depicts half of an eagle, a crown on its head, one wing and tail stretched outward, its beak facing right, and the claw holds a sheaf of grain. The left side is divided horizontally: three stars are enclosed in the upper part, two above the one which is below and between them; three rivers flow across the lower part, equidistant from each other. A knight’s belt crosses the rivers diagonally from the right. There are three lilies on the belt, separated from each other.

ANDRAULT de BUY, Franciszek, displayed this coat of arms in 1676. He was born in France, son of Count de Langeron, but was granted citizenship in Poland in 1658.  He had ingratiated himself through chivalrous action in the service of Jan Kazimierz as the King’s Chamberlain in foreign courts, later, as general of the German army in Poland, and as county head.  In compensation, the King added the eagle with the royal sheaf to his coat of arms.

Translated by Josephine M. Piegzik; first appeared in the June, 1980 issue of “Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter”.


AURSZWALD HERB

On a field of black, two white lions, one above the other. The helmet above the shield is topped with the black head of a bison with horns. The Aurszwald family flourished in Prussia.  Jan experienced great difficulties: Jerzy married into the Brant family. 

Translated by Josephine M. Piegzik; first appeared in the June, 1981 issue of “Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter”.