Guliński Families of Janina and Bończa clans

Version 5.2 dated 19.X.2001


"Guliński Families of Janina and Bończa clans" makes up the first part of the work dedicated to reproducing the genealogy and description of Guliński, Niewodowski and Górecki families, and presenting the Janina clan. When new information becomes available, the work is continuously updated.


1. Introduction

Based on the actual state of the search, the progenitor of Guliński family is Jan of Bidziny, born around 1360. The challenge to discover his parents caused me to search the whole Janina clan, to do the interpretation of historical sources, and to evaluate theories of medieval knighthood clan's genesis. These three elements make the main part of second chapter, which describes the Janina clan.

Polish historical literature includes several titles that describe very well known clans, whose members can be easily tracked in historical sources. Surly small amount of the sources describing Janina clan members caused lack of the interest among historians, and as the result, the lack of written works about the clan. The short search done by Forest de Battaglia and Tadeusz Korzon, who were working on biography of King Jan III Sobieski family, and early work of panegyrist Chruścicki, does not contribute to the clan history. The search results of Chruścicki, who was looking for the Jan Sobieski progenitors from Leszek I era, were sharply criticized by Z. Wójcik, another Sobieskis biographer. However, the Janina clan representatives are mentioned by eleventh centuries historical sources.

Several published works, that describe known knight clans, due to limited amount of the sources, cannot present full genealogical paths, the more it will be impossible in the case of Janina clan. In addition Janina clan members belonged to the same political parties, as the most powerful clan, the Topór clan. As result, some historians assigned Janina clam members to the Topór one.

Genealogical search is done based on the historical documents, chronicles, letters, historical dictionaries, genealogical works, and other sources. Depending on the purpose, skills and authors solidity, the sources may contribute a lot, or very little. Credibility of the sources is another problem. Sometimes few copies of the same document deliver conflicting information. Moreover, the copyists made errors, or often incorrectly interpreted historical facts or situations.
Today, representatives of the science community, conscious of the attempts to deform the history by their predecessors, require very strict research methods. Base on the wave of the criticism, even works of medieval Polish historian, Jan Długosz, were verified, and have been found in very good shape.

2. Genesis of the Janina clan

The literature delivers some descriptions of Janina clan genesis. The scientific theories will be shown later in this chapter.

From the earliest times, the Janina home, as the physical symbol used a shield. Later, possibly in fourteen century the shape was changed to fit mediaeval heraldic rules. Such configuration is known as "shield in the shield" or "field in the field". The illustrations of Janina clan symbols are presented in this album .

One of first scientific theory of noble clans genesis presented F. Piekosiński in his three volumes of "Rycerstwo polskie wieków średnich" (1). One of his theories explains the signs on knight's seals, as of Scandinavian runs origin. Later, when nobility adopted West European coats of arms system, the signs evolved to today known style. Janina coat of arms, one of few ones that do not fit to runic theory was treated marginally. Piekosiński even did not try to answer his question, if Janina coat of arms presents the shield, or this is a figure resulting from shield partition. His naive theory draws the Janina clan from Jan (1) who may live in 1000-1033, but later the author presents Wydzga of Czorsztyn from thirteen century, as clan's progenitor. Finally, Janina clan was fitted to another theory. This theory classifies clan as a younger branch of almost unknown Lubowla clan, which according to Piekosiński, was a younger branch of well known Starza home (2).

The earliest historical sources describe Janina clan members from eleventh century, the period of early Polish statehood. Having that in mind, it may be beneficial to check theories of noble clans genesis. Stanisław Smołka in "Mieszko Stary i jego wiek", analyze Gall's chronicle, and claims, that in pre-historical period, as result of intertribal fights, the Piast group obtained a leading position. First small, during Mieszko I, and King Bolesław Chrobry reigns, the group subordinated the rest of other tribes. Smołka uses analogy to other Slavic nations, and maintains, that defeated tribal chiefs become progenitors of the noble class (3). The chiefs received small part of their previous tribal territory, and established their hereditary estates (4). King or prince surely owned the majority of the land. The former chiefs new task was to defend prince, or king, and the territory. Some elements of tribal organization were transferred to organization of noble society. For example, the patrimonial judiciary system, which applied to nobleman's serfs (5), comes from the tribal times. Very unique law of succession caused among the knights the continuation of consciousness of descent. To the outside world, this mentality took a shape by use of common marks and common summons. The heirloom of summons, and personal cognizances was a base for later use of armorial bearings.

Lets get back to the heraldry. The source of the Janina coat of arms is unknown. A. Szelągowski (6) explores the etymology of word "Pole" used in a summon, "Pole w Polu". According to the author "pole" proclamation (field, in Polish) belongs to the cult of mud, valleys and lowlands, and indicates antiquity of the summon. Author also presents following record "De clenodio Sczitwijsczice ac de proclamacione Janina" (7), which indicates, that the clan name should be rather "Szczytowczyc", and "Janina" should be only a summon. Szelągowski suggests Janina home filiation to very little known clan Polica (Szczytowczyc), but the lack of even smallest proof of the relation, causes to disregard that theory.

The first Polish heraldrian, Bartosz Paprocki, presents another sample of summons. During his time (seventeen century), around Tęczyn, peasants warned of danger calling "Starza!" and "Stary koń!" These summonses may have been originated from the tribal times as well, and may represent the tribe names, or tribal dynasts names.

In mid eleventh century representatives of Janina clan were closely associated with the king. In 1066 Bolesław Śmiały confirmed knights grants to Benedictine monastery in Mogilno, including grants from Jan Zbilut of Janina home (8). According to Bielski's chronicle, during the reign of Bolesław Śmiały (1058-1071), Cracow archbishop Lambert Zula (clan Topór) distributed canonries to noblemen of Bończa, Topór, Półkoza, Jastrzębiec, Prus and Janina clans (9,10). Among others in 1061-1071 canonries received Piotr and Jakub, sons of Prince Counsel dignitary, Jan of Zbilutowice, of Janina origin. According to Długosz (11), Piotr and Jakub owned the land near Wiślica, probably the village of Zbilutowice, within Kazimierza Mała parish. Piotr and Jakub influenced bishop Lambert, to found the parish church in Kazimierza Mała, and to establish founds in the form of (12) tithes. Długosz (13) describes both, as the members of Janina clan (14,15). At the time of clash between two non-bending characters of the King and Bishop of Cracow, Zbilut, as backing the king had to go. After king's deaths in 1084, from the banishment in Hungary, returned to Poland Mieczysław, son of King Bolesław Śmiały. Zbilut, and other loyal knights accompanied the king's son. The next Polish ruler, Władysław Herman, as the act of forgiveness, returned all knight's properties (16), taken before, as a punishment for a flight.

Other representative of Janina clan was in 1100 Wierzbięta, progenitor of Wierzbięta of Przeszów, and/or Wierzbięta of Małoszów, both originated from Cracow Province (17).

The members of medieval elite were Wit, and his brother Dzierżek of Chotel (near Busko), located in western part of Sanadomierz Province. Today the village is known as Chotel Zielony (18). Starting as a canon, in 1179, Wit was elected to a bishop of Płock, capital of Mazovian Duchy. Gniezno archbishop Piotr, and Cracow Prince, Kazimierz approved the election result. Probably with his own army Wit participated in Kazimierz Sprawiedliwy military expedition against pagan Jadzwings (19). Base on private funds, as presents Paprocki, before 1179, Wit funded Norbertan monasteries in Witów, located near Piotrków Trybunalski (20), in Ląd, and Płock. To obtain a continuous financial support for Busko monastery, in 1207, from Cracow Bishop Pełka, Wit obtained tithes on Świniary and Wojczany properties (21). In 1210 nobleman Sławosz granted Słaboszów properties to Busko monastery (22). Till today, there is no agreement among historians, if Witów and Busko monasteries were of one or two convent organizations. According to historians, Wit performed bishop duties till his death in 1206. Piekosiński, who portrays Wit as a one present during Kazimierz Sprawiedliwy court proceedings in 1187, during the dispute between Sieciech II and Krzywosąd against Płock Cathedral chapter (23), did not assigned Wit and Dzierżek to Janina clan, even that he knew the founding document with Dzierżek seal. Piekosiński published many knight seals, but conviniently ommitted Dzierzek seal. For unproven and schematic use of name criteria for clan assignment, author was sharply criticized just after his publications left the printing press. To suit own other controversial, and unproven theories, Piekosiński without any evidence assigned Wit, Dzierżek and many others to unknown Lubowla clan.
In 1191 Wit and Cracow Bishop Pełka, as well as Stefan, Bishop of Kujawy, and Arnold, Bishop of Lubusz assisted foundation and endowment by King Kazimierz Sprawiedliwy of the chapter church in Sandomierz. The church was consecrated by Piotr, Gniezno Arcybishop (24). In 1205 Wit, and Cracow Bishop Pełka, on the request of Princes Konrad and Leszek, conducted peace treaties with Roman, Ruthenian Prince, who after taking Lublin castle, made preparation to conquer other Polish territories (25).

Dzierżek, Wit's brother, founded Busko monastery. Another part of his possessions Dzierżek distributed to his wife. The copy of Dzierzek testimony with attached seal representing the shield is located here (26). In 1190, Dzierżek granted to Busk monastery following properties: Nosowo, Petrowo, Bezdurowo, Rechowo (or Bechowo), Wiźnicz, Korzeniów, and Przemysłowo. Most of these villages today do not exist. At May 10, 1211, Pope Innocent III confirmed the transfer of above specified properties to Busko monastery (27). According to "Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego" (28), the following information was obtained from Dzierżek gravestone: Dzierżek, Sandomierz Palatine, later Cracow starost, died in 1241, and was buried in Busko. However, the difference of 33 years between Dzierżek and Wit's death means, that one of the dates is false.
In Chotel Zielony, in 1241, the wooden church was built probably by Dzierżek son. Inside the church, the Byzantine style pictures show the group of people dressed in ancient cloth. The picture may present its founders, possibly members of Janina clan.
In the middle of fourteenth century, Chotel Zielony was called Chotel Szlachecki, and was partially owned by Sandomierz collegiate. The other part belonged to Stanisław and Piotr Korzeniowski of Janina home (28).

Długosz reveals, that village Janina, from the ancient times was owned by Busko monastery, but from 1231 belonged to Marek and Dzierżek, later Kołaczkowski of Janina clan (29). It means that the property was returned to the granting clan.

The battle against Mongols in 1241 around Legnica, was a big defeat for Polish armies. As Bielski describes, among the best Małopolan knights died during the fights was Stefan of Wierzbna, of Janina home (Długosz), and his son Andrzej, both of Cracow Province (30). During that raid Mongols destroyed also castle of Sandomierz, Cracow, and Witów monastery. Piekosiński, presents the seal of Stefan of Wierzbno, indicating non-Janina origin (31), but this person was of Silesian origin. The explanation comes from Niesiecki, who indicated Długosz error, and presented the knight as Stefan Wierzbięta of Cracovian origin, bearing Janina coat of arms (32).

Due to Mazovian Dutchy fights with neighbouring Prussia and Lithuania, Mazovian Prince Konrad decided to bring help to fight against pagan Prussians, by inviting the Teutonic Order to the area. This decision, appropriate to 13th century politics, caused a lot of troubles to Poland in the next few centuries to come. Historian Długosz presents knight Wydzga, who in 1247 helped Teutonic Order, and become a member of the Order:" When the hunger in northern Poland caused a death among the Order Knights, the knight from Cracow Region, Wydzga of Czorsztyn, a member of Janina clan, who wanted to become a member of Teutonic Order sent by the Vistula River three big ships with wine, honey, wheat, bacon, grain, butter and other food. By the road he sent to Torun three hundred of cattle: bulls and cows, pigs and horses. When Wydzga came to the Order territory, he was welcomed and remained with the Order till his death. He brought with him a lot of gold mined from Polish mountains southern side, and gave the gold to the Order. "(33). In "Liber Beneficiorum" Długosz (34) indicates, that Wydzga owned Czorsztyn, Rytro and Lemiesz castles. The same source presents Wydzga testimony written in Polish, where the location of other treasures is indicated. Some authors note, that Wydzga built the Czorsztyn castle.

Based on currently published "Słownik historyczno-geograficzny woj. krakowskiego" (35), it was possible to reconstruct partial genealogical tree of Wiernek-Gabański branch. The location of their properties may suggest, that the branch originator, Mirosław of Gabań presented in sources before 1276, may be a descendant of Giedko and Wydzga, presented below.

The work by rev. Edmund Piszcz (36), about saint Mary cult in Chełmno diocese, brings the analysis of Łąki church (located near Nowe Miasto, of Drwęca River) founder. The sources bring very sketchy information. Some of them present the man as Jan of Sandomierz, monk of Teutonic Order. Caspar Henneberg, and Prussian chronicler Peter of Düsburg add, that the founder was a Polish nobleman. Jan Długosz combined these sources, supplied the knight name, his clan, and the note about the gold. Rev. Piszcz questions the name and origin of Wydzga Gzyorsthin (Wydzga of Czorsztyn) delivered by Długosz. Piszcz may be not aware, that it is proved, that Długosz used also sources, which did not made today. Lets look at documents from twelve century: in the middle of 13th century, Wydzga, Sącz Castellan in 1234-1255, and his brother Giedka, Sącz castellan from 1255 signed several documents. According to Długosz, both are the members of Janina home. The localization of Czorsztyn and Sącz, and the timing support Długosz report. After transferring castellan position to his brother in 1255, Wydzga disappeared from local documents, so that time he could join Teutonic Order. The author indiscriminately conveys Piekosiński theory of knight's clan assignment. Piekosiński used the only first name criterion, and assigned all Wydzgas, Pełkas and Gietkos (37) to one clan, so the result could fit to his other unproven theories. Finally, based on name "Jan", Piszcz analysis results indicate, that the founder, may be a member of Janina clan, originated from Sandomierz, or Cracow Provinces.

From 1252, in sources appears Janusz Wierzbięta of Małoszów, born around 1235. He was Radom Castellan, later Lublin Castellan, in 1271-1284 Sandomierz Palatine, and finally from 1285 Cracow Castellan (38). According to Długosz chronicle (39), Janusz, Sandomierz Palatine in 1266 was an advisor to Piotr, Cracow Palatine during military expedition against Swarn, Ruthenian Prince. In 1280 Lew, Ruthenian Prince with help of Lithuanian army invited Sandomierz Province. He was defeated 23.II.1280 near Goślica by Janusz, Sandomierz Palatine, Piotr, Cracow Palatine, and Warsz, Castellan of Cracow accompanied only with the army of six hundred knights. After two weeks Leszek Czarny, the Cracow and Sandomierz Prince, organized thirty thousands army, and conquered Ruthenian lands (40,41,42,43,44). Sketchy information about 1280 battles, taken from the oldest chronicles, was elaborated in Długosz chronicle. Two years later Janusz, Krystyn, a Cracow Castellan (and according to Długosz, Paweł, Cracow Bishop), lead knight's rebellion against Prince Leszek Czarny. As the result, they handled Cracow and Sandomierz provinces to Prince Konrad of Mazowsze (45). Next year, during Lithuanian raid, Janusz and Żegota, Cracovian Palatine armies, around Równe defeated the enemy, and regained prisoners of war, as well as all plunders (46). According to Karasiewicz (47), after another revolt in 1285, and a lost battle against Leszek Czarny around Bogucice, Janusz, Otto and Żegota lost all government posts (48). Grzegorz of Balice, Żegota son (Topór), for rebellion and a crime of high treason was decaped, and his properties were confiscated. Janusz (49), continued to hold his position, so he must fall into Leszek Czarny line. Gzella, who writes about mediaeval government elite, as deciding factors of state official promotion, depicted the ruler backing, wealth, family connections, the connections inside the clan, and personal character. The only glimpse on Janusz wealth is a document, in which Janusz, as a reward for a loyal service, donates Przeginia property his servant Wachoń.

continuation
The literature and historical sources are located here
Further reading titles are located here
Copyright © 2003 - 2009 by Andrzej Guliński
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