In Search of Meaning:

Understanding a Rare Polish Name


Jay M. Orbik, Ed.D.


With translation assistance by Fred Hoffman, Iwona Dakiniewicz, and Ola Heska





Looking back over 20 years of family research, one of the biggest mysteries that still remains for me is the origin and meaning of my own surname – Orbik. Orbik, in Polish, has no particular meaning. The first edition of Fred Hoffman's book, Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, the surname Orbik didn’t appear at all. The closest match to an O-R-B combination was the term oracz, to toil or plow. 1

I spoke to Fred after one of his presentations at a PGSA conference and asked him if the term could have been the origin of the name Orbik, since the Orbiks were farmers (of course almost everybody was a farmer in those days).  He told me not to discount the letter “b”, as words beginning with the letters O-R-B rarely appears in Polish and the existence of the ‘b’ was probably significant. In the second edition of his book, Fred stated that Orbik either comes from the root word orba or orka, which means plowing, toiling, or is a diminutive of the name Urban. 2
The Dictionary of German Names also defines Orbahn (East German) as Urban, and Orbach as a related variation with a Sorbian suffix.3 Janusz Stankiewicz has posted an online etymology of Polish Surnames on his website Genealogia Stankewicze z pryzjaciółmi [Stankiewicz Genealogy with friends]. Like Hoffman, he drew on the works of Rymut, Kaleta, and others. 4  Their works define the names Orb, Orbach, Orbaczewski, Orban, Orbański, Orbiak, Orbic, Orbik, and Orbiński as deriving from the name of Urban, recorded in Poland from the thirteenth century, the origin being from the Latin Urbanus, a resident of the city.  But they also list the name Orba as deriving from orać - to plow, or the Proto-Slavonic oriti - to destroy, from Old Polish oborzyć -  to tear down or destroy, or from the gwarowego [local dialect] orb - plowing.

Further research determined that the name Orbik was relatively rare. According to the Slownik nazwisk wspolczesnie w Polsce uzywanych or Dictionary of Surnames in Current Use in Poland, published in 1992, there were only 108 people with the Orbik name living in Poland at that time. According to my own research of Orbik families in America, there were also about 100 people in the U.S. with the name Orbik, sometimes using the Anglicized variants of Orbick and Orbeck.

Since the O-R-B letter combination is extremely rare in Polish, I examined other closely spelled names currently in use from the Dictionary of Surnames in Current Use in Poland and their frequencies: Orb (7), Orbach (63), Orbaszewski (20), Orban (10), Orbanski (1), Orbiak (9), Orbidan (3), Orbinska (1), Orbitan (1), Orbitowski (13), Orbitz (1), Orblis (8), and Orbotnik (4). 5

Researching my own Orbik family line as well as all the Orbiks that I have found in the U.S., as well as in other parts of Poland and Europe, all Orbiks seemed to originate from the village of Tajno Stare in the parish of Bargłów-Kościelny near the town of Augustów.  Using LDS microfilms, I traced the family back to the late 1600s in this village.



Origins of the Orbik Families

The earliest parish records in Bargłów-Kościelny parish start in the mid-1680s, first as witnesses to weddings and baptisms, and later as participants. In the 1680s and 1690s, there were five adult Orbik families in Bargłów-Kościelny parish, all in Tayno - Tomas Orbik, Andreas Orbik, Jakob Orbik, Albertus Orbik, and Anna Orbik (figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1. Birth in 1680 of Laurentis, son of Thomas Orbik and Zofia in Tajno.

Figure 2. Birth in 1680 of Anne, Daughter of Jakub Orbik and Nastasia in Tajno.

I traced all the direct Orbik lines in these parish books continuously from the early 1700s to the present day. There are breaks in the records from 1710-1714 (a period following the devastating plague of 1710) and 1727 -1738, so some connections back to the 1680s cannot be proven, only implied.

Orbiks also appeared in civil records during these early years. Of note are a 1698 inventory of the Tajno Estate following the death of the holder, the Honorable Pani Elzbieta Gurszynska, widow of  the Łowczy Wielki Litewski [the Master of the Hunt of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania] and Starosta of Starogard. In this inventory, listed among renters of land were: 1) Jakub  Orbik - 1 quarter włok, 2) Jozefowa  Orbikowa - 2 quarters, 3) Wojciechowa Orbikowa, widow - 2 quarters, 4) Piotr Orbik- 2 quarters, and 5) Tomasz Orbik - 2 quarters (figure3). 6

Figure 3. Orbiks listed on 1698 Inventory of Tajno Estate.

In 1710, Tomasz Orbik was among four peasants representing the village of Tajno in a lawsuit brought against leaders of the Polish Army who were quartered in Tajno and the surrounding region.7 Among the list of farmers who were not compensated for their “donations” to the army were Marcin Orbik, who gave 24 tynf and 1 and 2/4 korzec of oats and Wojciech Orbik who gave 28 tynf and 1 and 1/4 korzec of oats.

In a 1712 document, local military commanders reported about the disaster which happened during the last year - the “pest air” or plague. They begrudgingly expressed their grief, but demanded compensation for lost revenues. The total sum of the deceased due to plague in Tajno from January 1711 to January 1712 were 233 people. Among the dead were listed: the Orbik and Proserowa families - 3 people 8, Piotr Orbik family - 3 people, and Tomek Orbik - 4 people. 9




Map A. Tajno, Augustów, and Jadeszki area in the 16th Century.
From Studia i materiały do dziejów Pojezierza Augustowskiego, J. Antoniewicz, 1967, p. 56.

Later in my research, coordinating with Iwona Dakiniewicz, I discovered some documents showing that there was an Orbik living in the nearby town of Augustów before they appeared in the area of Tajno Stare. In particular in a 1662 census of Augustów, a Walenty Orbiczyk and wife appeared living on Żabia street (figure 4). 10 In the 1674 Augustów census, they were listed as Walenty Orbik and wife (figure 5) and they lived among others on different streets collectively listed as Razgrodzka, Niemiecka, and Łech Streets.11

Figure 4. Walenty Orbiczyk and wife on 1662 Augustów Census.

Figure 5. Walenty Orbik and wife on 1674 Augustów Census.

We also found another publication by area the Polish historian Jerzy Wiśniewski that noted that Orbiks were one of several founding families of the town and parish of Krasnopol in the mid-1770s.12 Krasnopol is located about 21 miles northeast of Augustów, half way between Suwałki and Sejny. 13 One early settler mention was Jan Orbik. There were then three inventories of the citizens of Krasnopol, one in 1770, the second in 1771, and the third in 1772. The 24 June 1772 inventory lists Marcin Orbik as living on Jegliczanski Street and Szymon Orbik living on Rudominski Street (figure 6). 14 Krasnopol parish microfilms confirm the presence of Orbiks in the parish but the name died out by the mid-1800s.

Figure 6. Marcin and Szymon Orbik Listed Among on Earliest Settlers of Krasnopol.


Map B. 18th Century Krasnopol, Augustów, and Filipów Parish Area.

From Materizly do Dziejow Ziemi Sejnenskiej, Tom II, Jaskanisa, 1975,  page 35.


Wiśniewski noted that the Orbik family (as well as other founders of Krasnopol) had their ancestry from Augustów. 15 I have been unable to link these Orbiks directly to the Orbiks from the parish of Bargłów-Kościelny but it is possible that they descended from the Orbiks in Augustów. Unfortunately, the fragmentary nature of parish and civil records from Augustów parish may prevent me from ever finding out for sure. There is evidence that Orbiks did survive in the town and parish of Augustów until the middle of the 18th Century. For example, there was a Mathias Orbik mentioned in the 1721 Augustów census (figure 7). 16  The fragmented Augustów parish records also record a 1739 marriage between Joseph Giciewski and Marianna Orbik and a 1748 marriage of Maciej Kowalewski to Zofia Orbik. The Orbiks disappeared from this parish until the 1780s when some Orbik families appeared in a newly formed village just south of Augustów named Osowy Grąd in a 1783 and 1792 census.17




Figure 7. Mathias Orbik and Family in the 1721 Augustów Parish Census.

Wiśniewski mentions the Orbiks in comments about the shifting nature of farm ownership:  

In 1783 Osowy Grad had 13 farmers: Nalewajko, Niedzwiedzki, Orbik, Pisarzewicz, Stefanowski, Szczerba, Zawadzki, 2 Jakow,  2 Pieczkow, and 2 Wasilewskis. In 1792 there were 12 farmers, 7 new names - Recko, Rybakiewicz, Bondzio, 2 Chwieckow,    Treyga, and Mailinowski,  4 names that left - Nalewajko, Pieczkow, Pisarzewicz, and Szczerba, and 6 families that remained - Jakow, Niedzwiedzki, Orbik,Stefanowski,Wasilewskis, and Zawadzki.18

Though Wiśniewski wrote their names as ORBIK in his book, both the original census documents as well as church records from Augustów lists the spelling as ORPIK until 1822 when the name shifted to ORBIK in the Augustów parish records 19.
The documents that Wiśniewski were most likely referring to were the 1783 and 1792 list of inhabitants of Osowy Grąd. 20 In the actual records we find in 1783 Jan Orpik and wife, with son Marcin 17, Antoni 9, and daughters Marianna and Agnieszka. In 1792, it lists Jan Orpik and wife, son Antoni 10, Jan 7, pasierb (stepson), Marcin 17, and daughter Marianna 14 (figure 8).

Figure 8. 1783 List of Inhabitants of Osowy Grąd

In a register of inhabitants of Augustów, living in Osowy Grad in the early 1800s were: 1801 Jan Orpik, son, and Helena Orpikowna; 1802 Helena Orpikowna and Dawid Orpik; 1803 - Jan Orpik, Jan Orpik, Marianna Orpikowa, Marcin Orpik, and Antoni  Orpik; 1805 - Jan Orpik, Daniel Orpik, and Antoni Oprik; but in 1815 we find Stanislaw Orbik, and Joanna Orbikowa. 21

Augustów parish records also confirm this change in spelling. In 1806 Jan Orpik, 23 married Johanna Majewska, 17. Their children were listed as: Franciszek, born to Jan Orpik and Julianna in 1808; Andreas Jan, born to Jan Orpik and Julianna in 1810; Marianna, born to Jan Orpik and Johanna in 1814; but in 1822, Salomea was born to Jan Orbik and Joanna Majewska. 22  The Orbiks were listed in baptism records in Augustów until the 1850s. In 1852, Jan Orbik [listed in earlier records as Orpik], 80, church servant, son of deceased Jan Orbik and Helen Szumila, husband of Joanna Majewski, died in Augustów.

Although the sporadic nature of the Augustów parish and civil records prevents any actual documented connections, it seemed that the descendants of the Orbiks in Augustów from the 1660s survived in the parish until at least the middle to late 19th century. As it turned out, this Osowy Grąd Orpik family was originally from the village of Lipowa in the nearby parish of Krasnybór (figure 9). There was a very large “nest” of Orpiks in the next parish south of Krasnybór, the parish of Dąbrowa. Recent research into this family nest proved that the Orpik family that ended up in Osowy Grąd was the only Orpik family to change their name. The Orpiks for Dąbrowa parish spelled their name as Orpik from the early 1600s until present times. 23


Figure 9.  Marriage of Joannes (Jan) Orpik and Helena Butkiewicz in the Viillage of Lipowa in the Parish of Krasnybór

Orbiks also appeared in inventory records in 1746 in the village of Zuśno of the parish of Filipów, about 25 miles north east of Augustów. They were Wojtek and Marcin Orbik, both owning 1-2 łan and paying 4 złoty and 6 groszy (figure 10). 24 There were several other surnames on this inventory that appear to have roots in the Augustów and Bargłów-Kościelny parishes. Among them were Wysocki, Wroblewski, Sienko, and Kulik.25 Zuśno was founded a lot earlier than Krasnopol , most likely in the mid-16th century.26 Although the forest inventories of the Grodno, Przelomski and Perstun forest regions in the 1660s lists hundreds of peasant names from the regions east and north of the Augustów/Tajno area, they show no Orbiks in Zuśno or anywhere else during that time. 27 This suggests that these Orbik were also settlers from the Augustów or Bargłów-Kościelny areas that were resettled in Zuśno after the Swedish Wars and plagues. Searching through the parish records of Filipów (only available in LDS from 1808-1884), I could not find any descendants of these two Orbiks so it is possible that they either left the area, or the family name died out by the 1800s as it did in Krasnopol.









Figure 10. Wojciech Orbik in a 1746 List of Inhabtants of the Village of Zuśno of the Parish of Filipów.

Finally, after doing some internet ‘casting’, I found on online book by Józef Maroszek, a modern day scholar of the region, called Dzieje Obszaru Gminy Jaświły do Końcu XVIII Wieku or History of the Jaświły Gmina Area to the End of the 18th Century, published in 2005.[28] In this book he mentioned that complete records from the Dolistowo parish from the early1600s to the early 1800 were held in that parish. Dolistowo was the parish of my Polkowski/Litwinko ancestors from the village of Polkowo. A few Orbiks were married there when Polkowo was part of Jaminy parish after 1800. After a few phone calls from Iwona Dakiniewicz, the Dolistowo records were traced to the diocese archives in Bialystok. Although we were not looking for Orbiks, we found some clues to their origins before 1680.
From the earliest Dolistowo parish records, in the osocznik (forest guard) [29] village of Jadeszki (aka Jodeszki), there were a number of records of Orbiks. But in a relatively short period of time there were a number of spelling variations of the same person observed- that of Mathias Orbik. Here is a sample:
    · In Nov 1619, Martin  was born to Mathias Orbic and Zofia in Jadeszki (figure 11). 30
    · In May 1621, a witness to a wedding was Barbara Horbukowa.
    · In March 1632, Mathias Orbyk was a godparent to a baptism (figure 12).
    · On 18 May 1632 of Joannes was born to Mathias Orbik and Barbara in Jadeszki (figure 13).
    · In 1632 a witness to a wedding was Matthias Orbuk. (figure 14)
    · 1632 witness to a wedding was Barbara uxorem (wife of) Mathias Horbiak (figure 15).



Figure 11. 1619 Birth of Martin to Mathias Orbic and Zofia in Jadeszki



Figure 12. In 1632 Mathias Orbyk was a Godparent to a Baptism



Figure 13. 1632 Birth of Joannes was Born to Mathias Orbik and Barbara in Jadeszki



Figure 14. 1632 a Witness to a Wedding was Matthias Orbuk



Figure 15. 1632 Witness to a Wedding was Barbara uxorem (wife of) Mathias Horbiak


Even though I had seen spelling variations of various family surnames, especially in the 17th century, this was the first time I had observed the letter “H” periodically appearing and dropping off in the same time period. This never happened to the Orbiks in the parish of Bargłów-Kościelny in the late 1600s to the present. It is interesting that in the same parish, other “H” anomalies appeared. For instance, Elizabeth was consistently spelled “Helizabeth” yet Hedwiga was spelled “Edwiga”

There was gap of no Orbik/Horbik records between 1656 and 1725, and this initially suggested that these Orbiks may have migrated to the town and parish of Augustów and/or the village of Tajno in the parish of Bargłów-Kościelny. Tajno is only 15 miles north of Jadeszki. But in 1725, in Jadeszki, a Bartłomiej Horba married a Barbara Mazurczykowna, where they had children using both the surnames of Orba and Horba:
    · 1726 birth of Martin, son of Bartlomiej Orba and Barbara.
    · 25 Dec 1732, birth of Stephan to laborious Bartłomiej Orba and Barbara.
    · 1733 birth of Valentine to Bartłomiej Horba and Barbara.
    · 1734 birth of Michael to Bartłomiej Orba and Katarzyna
    · 1751, birth of Zuzanna to Bartłomiej Horba and Katarzyna Pułtarek. Katherine was later listed as the widow Katherine Horbianka in  her second marriage in1756

Also listed in Jadeszki in the 1760s to 1790s were Nicolaj Horobka ( a name also found in a Grodno parish) 31, Christopher Horba, Lucia Horbina, and Marianna Horbianka, later married as Orbianka. The last related entry in the parish of Dolistowo was the death of Stefan Horbik, the son of Lucja Hobikowa in the nearby village of Jazwież Wielka on 11 Sep, 1811. Note that the gap between 1656 and 1725 was not a record gap, but a gap where no Orbik/Horbik or Orba/Horba appeared in the records. It is unknown whether the two family groups are related at all.


Another interesting entry in Jadeszki was a Laurentis Harbitowski who was a witness to a marriage in 1615. This was the only time a      Harbitowski appeared in Jadeszki. It is unknown whether this name is related to Orbik/Hobik, but there were Harbaszewicz and Harbiszewski surnames that appeared in a nearby parish of Jasionowa in the 1760s. Also in the village of Dąbrowa, in the parish of Kamienna (where the Orpik nest was), a Casimir and Hedwig Horbacuk had twins Anna and Teresa in 1643.

A clue to where the Orbik/Horbik families may have originated is found in the history of the village of Jadeszki. Wiśniewski describes how these new osokas or osocnik villages came about:

As colonization of this forest went on, so osoczniks were continually being moved more and more west. First, osoczniks in Dubnica disappeared, then in Ostrów, and in the end in 1639 in Hrebienie (today Grzebienie). They were moved to new villages – to Osmołowicze (today Osmołowszczyzna) and Łozów. Nowodworska Wilderness was also threatened from the west where settlements were established near Brzozowa River. Therefore, before 1561 two villages in Podlasie were established – Jodeszki (8 wlokas, today Jedeszki) and Gurbicze (4 wlokas) which were obligated to guard this forest from the west. Later two more villages were established on the western edge of the forest: Chodorówka (today Chodorówka Stara) and Dryja.32

Osozniks and shooters were under the jurisdiction of the regional or local Łowcy, or master of the hunt.33 Further on, their duties are described:

In order to help the forestmen a new type of forest service was established. These were osoczniks along with a setnik, and later dziesietnik at their head. Initially they were just guards… This name proves that originally they just surrounded game during hunts. Next to participating in hunts, their primary obligation was guarding the forest….. Osoczniks originally lived somewhere Grodno itself, probably in Kulbaczyce, Kolbaszczyce (Kielbaski), Łojki, Bohatery Polne, Sołowieje and Rakowicze. Next they were moved near Perstuń estate (see next time period). Przełom osoczniks lived also somewhere on Niemen near Przełom, later they were located in Wasilewicze and Swiack (today Osoczniki), later they were moved to Czarna Hańcza. 34


So it is possible since Jadeszki was founded around 1561 and other resettled osoczniks came from the Grodno area, the origins of the Orbik/Horbik name may lay east, near Grodno or beyond.

The Orbik Name in Historical References

The very first reference to an Orbik that I could find in any Polish book occurs in Historya Piechoty Polskiej [The History of Polish Infantry], published first in1893. 35 Chapter I, Polish Infantry in the First Three Quarters of the 15th Century 36 discusses the weaponry of the first known Polish infantry unit of the Commander Marek in 1471, "On paper he had 500 people, 73 with pawęż [long wooden shields] , 359 with kusza [crossbows], 12 with proporzec [banners] and 5 with hakownica [arquebus, a kind of early rifle] and piszczał [a type of primitive rifle], and all 449 people.” Later in the notes it lists all of the names in this infantry unit ands the equipment they were carrying. Beginning on page 212, it lists all of the Sagittarii [archers]. On the top of page 216, there is Laurentius Orbyk, strzał podzelowany, miecz [refurbished crossbow and a sword]. 37 It is of note that there is no direct connection between the name Orbyk and the Orbik families from Jadszki, Tayno or Augustów, but it is possible and warrants more research.

In the book Słownik Staropolskich Nazw Osobowych [Dictionary of Personal Names in Old Poland], there is an entry of the name Orbczy, which is a reference to a legal matter in 1411 between Nicholas from Leszno against Orbczy his wife, called Palka. [38]  In the same book there are references to Orpiszka also spelled as Rpiszka, Erpiszka, Herpiszka, Irpiszka, Wirpiszka. Specifically mentioned is “Albertus Crzysowycze” in 1464. [39] This is an excellent example of the possible alternative name spellings, especially in the early years of the Polish written language.

Finally, there was an inventory of the villages of the Augustów starosta done in 1565 (a copy done in 1665 exists today) which included the names of all the peasants in the nearby villages. Although there were no Orbiks in Tajno in this inventory, Marek z Michałem Storbikiem (Marek with Michał Storbik) were listed as paying rent on 1 włok of land in the village of Bargłowka, a village adjacent to Tajno (figure 16).
40 No such name appears in any of the surrounding parishes in any records after this entry. Perhaps Storbik was the origin of the name and Orbiks were in this parish all along. Or perhaps the name spelled Storbik in the 1665 copy was actually Horbik in the 1565 original. Observations from documents from several other entries in this 1565/1665 document (figures 17 and 18) as well as contemporary entries from surrounding parishes demonstrate the similarity of between the script “St” and “H” (figures 19 and 20). There is a small chance that Horbiks may have existed in the parish of Bargłów-Kościelny since the mid-1560s or earlier. Other inventories were done for this region in 1576 and 1674, but only the names of a few village owners were mentioned. Peasants were merely counted.

Figure 16. Marek z Michałem Storbikiem (Marek with Michał Storbik) in a 1665 copy of a 1565 inventory of Augustów starostwo.

Figure 17. Example of a H from the same document.


Figure 18. Example of another H from the same document


Figure 19. Example of another H from a 1600s document from Jadeszki in Dolistowo parish.


Figure 20. Example of another H from a 1600s document from Jadeszki in Dolistowo parish.


For many people with peasant roots, tracing your lineage to the early 1600s might seem enough -but not to me. The rarity of the Orbik name has always intrigued me and inspired me to search deeper, in an effort to discover its meaning.



Fred Hoffman categorizes the possible origins of surnames as animal names, coats of arms, prominent feature, food or drink, foreign words or names, growing things, objects, occupations or positions, personal names, sounds, toponyms (place names) and verb roots.41 In my research, I have found several possibilities.

Evidence of Orbik as Variation of the Name "Urban"

At the same time the Orbiks began appearing in the 1680s in Tajno, two Orbanski families also appeared in the villages of Tajno and Netta. In Tayno in 1686, there was a marriage of Casmir Orbanski and Dorothea Olesdowska. In Mieta (Netta) in1684 there was a baptism of Albert, and in 1689, Joannes, both sons of Idzi (from Aegidius) Orbanski and Ada.42 Even though these families are extremely close in name and proximity, there is no known connection discovered thus far between the Orbanskis and Orbiks. In fact the Orbanski name disappeared from the parish after these three entries. Recently I discovered a small family named Orban living in the town of Grodno in the early 1700s, but any connection to the Orbanski family in Tajno and Netta are still unknown. 43

Another family line with some potential relationship with the Orbiks were the Urbanczyks from the nearby village of Pruska Wielka in the parish of Janowka (12 miles north of Tajno). They appeared in baptism records as early at the 1620s. The families I found in the early to mid 1600s were: 1) Jakob Urbanczyk and Anastasia, 2) Jan Urbanczyk and Anna, 3) Stanislaus Urbanczyk and Zofia, and 4) Martin Urbanczyk and Zofia. There were also many records of the family Urbanowicz in Augustów. In the town of Goniądz in in 1662 there was a lengthy listing of inhabitants of the town and surrounding villages, and there appeared a Kazimierz and Józef Urbanko and their families among the inhabitants.44

The name Urban was used as both a first and last name in these and surrounding parishes as well. In the 1565 inventory of the villages in the Augustów area, there was a Urban Spiczycz in Tajno and Urban Kolesnik in Barglowka. 45 There were still several Urbans used as a first name in Bargłów-Kościelny parish in the 19th century. There were marriages of Jan Urban in Augustów in 1761 and Antoni Urban in Netta in 1871. There was a baptism record of a Konstany Urbański in 1833 and a Franciszek Ignacy Urbik born in 1848 in Augustów, but this was a case of the name being listed as Urbik in the index and Orbik in the actual record. I also found this happing to another Orbik in the parish of Jaminy around the same time.  There was also Urbanowicz family listed in the nearby parish of Jaminy. 46 The name Urbanowicz is so common in Lithuania, that almost every parish in the LDS records from Grodno, Troki, and Wilno had an Urbanowicz family.

 Evidence of Orbik as an Occupational Term

There is a slight possibility that Orbik derived from an occupational term. Although the O-R-B has no meaning in today’s Polish language (other than referring to an orbit) the Słownik Polszczyzny XVI Wieku or Dictionary of the 16th Century Polish Language 47defined an Orbornik as a collector of rent paid from the mines and ore mills to the royal treasury. Even though there is evidence of ore mines in the Tajno area in the 16th century, e.g. Rudki in Barglow-Koscielny 48, Jaminy Ruda in the 17th century, 49 the modern day villages of Ruda (ore) northeast of Goniądz, or Ruda, south of Knyszyn, among others, the chances that Orbik derives from Orbornik is probably slim. This person in this type of position would likely have been a member of the gentry class and the Orbiks were poor farmers, reaching at best, the level of gospodarz (honestus in Latin).

There are a couple of family legends of the Orbik name. One Orbik family member, whose family originally settled in Chicopee Massachusetts, told me that he had heard that the name Orbik meant wheel maker. He did not tell me why and research into any Polish version of a word meaning wheel maker does not to come close to Orbik i.e. kołodziej 50. One possible explanation for this myth may come from the Latin root orbita which can mean wheel rim.51

Evidence of Orbik as a Foreign Word or Name

Another Orbik family legend from an Orbik family still living in Poland held that the Orbiks were actually Italians brought to the area by King Stefan Batory in his military expeditions against the Muscovites in the late 1500s. 52   This legend probably originated because this branch of the family lived in Tajno Łanowe, an area of land reserved for soldiers who served in the army and this concept was initiated by Stefan Batory. However there may be some historical truth to this seemingly far-fetched theory. The famed English historian of Poland, Norman Davies notes:

In 1578 the Sejm was persuaded to approve the formation of piechota wybraniecka, or the ‘selected infantry’. They were drawn from the peasants of the Crown estates, in the ratio of one man for every twenty holdings. Each soldier was to be clothed and supported by the nineteen neighboring families who did not serve. They were armed with muskets.53

Referring to the campaigns against Muskovy, “Bartory had recruited an expert force of foreign mercenaries. He had several German and Scottish regiments, and a number of Italian, French and Spanish captains. Ivan [the Terrible] complained that he was being attacked by the ‘whole of Italy’.” 54

Also in support of this theory is the town of Goniądz. Lying just 16 miles across the Czerwony Bogna (Red Bog) to the south east of Tajno, Goniądz was a cosmopolitan town with many foreign residents including Italians, one of which was the Orsetti family. 55 “The highest position among the newcomers acquired property in the second half of the seventeenth century Italians Orsetti brothers... The Orsetti family were merchants, who came to these parts after receiving the a lease in the starostwa of Knyszyn.” 56
Goniądz was an old and important estate owned by, among others, the Glińskis and Radziwiłłs. Many of inhabitants of Knyszyn were Italians, as well as Portuguese, Dutch, Muscovites, and Tatars, and were all closely associated with the construction and maintenance of the residences and stables of Knyszyn and the nearby fortress town of Tykocin. 57 Similar to the Latin language, Italian also references orbato, orbare, orbato, orbezza, and orbo as relating to the definition “bereft”, “to bereave (of children)” or “to deprive of”. 58  If you add in the fact that the Orbiks (Orbyk/Orbic/Orba) come from Jodeszki, only 8 miles east of Goniądz, and that the name Orba has some roots in Italy, 59 the possibility that Orbik may have derived from an Italian name may be a little more plausible.

Of course it is worth noting that the surname Orba also has Bohemian, Hungarian, and even Lithuanian roots as close as Grodno. 60  The Bohemian and Hungarian connection may also be explained by the multi-national nature of the foreign mercenaries of King Batory. The Lithuanian connection may be significant as Jodeszki, since its earliest times, was considered a Lithuanian settlement. 61 Since the founding of the osoka village Jodeszki occurred around 1561 and this was around the time of the Muscovite campaigns, and since osoczniks and forest guard were often recruited from ex-soldiers, 62 taken altogether, there is a compelling possibility that the Orbiks may have been involved in soldiering at that time. It is worth noting, however, that there were no Orbiks, Orbas, or Horbiks in the 1577 register of worker in town of Knyszyn, 63 but there were two Urbanko families there in 1662. 64

Wiśniewski made a claim that the Orbik name, as well as “Sakowicz, Popowicz, Makarewicz, Pawlukiewicz, Daniliwocz, itd”, were names of Russian origin. 65  In his history of the Suwałki region, he contends that the villages of Tajno, Tajenko, and other nearby villages were of Russian origin. Falk also comes to a similar conclusion 66. I have never found any evidence of this as I have checked several books on Russian surnames and have never found anything close to Orbik in any of them. 67 In the 1565 inventory of the villages in the Augustów there are Russian surnames such as Rusin, Rusinowicz, Dmitrowicz, Wasilowicz, Mockowicz, but there were also names suggesting other influences like Litwin, Prus, and Zdun. But the vast majority of names in all of these villages are Polish in nature. 68

A theory of mine is that Orbik may have derived from the Latin language meaning orphan. Orbo in Medieval Latin meant to desert, leave empty.69  Modern Latin defines orbitas as deprived of children or parents; orbus as someone deprived of their parents or children, an orphan, or destitute/deprived; and orbo as to deprive of children or parents. 70

As I bounced this idea off some research colleagues, some expressed doubt as illiterate peasants would have had no knowledge of Latin. However I thought that since priests also served as civil registrants, they may have used the Latin word to describe someone who was orphaned. One supportive case in particular was a Latin entry in the Polish Catholic Church of Immaculate Conception in Chicago. It has the baptism record of a parentless child on 4 May 1905 who was named (assumedly by the priest) as Helen Orbinska.71

Other languages also use this root to mean orphan. This is an entry from an Armenian website referring to an oral tale of Farman, “ which Farman is raised in a hostile environment, is called by the epithet orbik, "little orphan", and is told by his mother who his grandfather is (it being immodest for her to pronounce her husband's name) when he reaches maturity. ...” 72
In a Reference Guide to Modern Armenian Literature, 1500-1920, the author describes Dawit Saladzoertsi as “ …a 17th century poet from the village of Saladzor in Erzurum. No other details are known about him save that he was and orphan (“orbik”) who may have become a priest after the death of his wife and daughter.” 73

Another Armenian history web site concerning relating to the years around 770 AD mentions this:” After him, lord Soghomon,,a very old man from Makenots'ats' monastery, ruled for one year. After him, lord Georg reigned for three years. He was from Aragatsotn and was called Xoyl Orbuk. After him lord Yovsep' ruled for eleven years. He was from Aragatsotn, from the dwelling of Saint Gregory.” 74

A Romanian study of Romanian toponyms with Armenian roots includes the name Orbik as a diminutive of orb or orphan.75 In the former county of Neamt, there is a village Orbicula de jus [lower] in the community of Buhusi and nearby in the community of Costsisa, a village Orbicula de sus [upper]. 76 There exists an Orbic steam that flows into the Bistriţa Moldavia.
The village Orbic is named several times, mentioned in the documents cited by Ghibansescu since 1645, and another document in 1664.


The word Orbic does not exist in Romanian and cannot be explained as a derivation from word for blind orbi. In the Armenian language the word Orbic is not found, instead we find orb as a noun meaning "orphan", formed not with the usual diminutive suffix –uk (orbuk), but with the suffix – ik, as described by the Armenian linguist Malchasean. Therefore, a diminutive nickname orbik was formed, which became the surname Orbic in Armenian, which was where the village name came from. Two documents before the time of Stephen the Great, notes the names of Orbik stream (former county, Naemat), but the same stream in two papers appearing in the time of Stephen the Great, being noted Oarbic, the document of 11 September 1480 have: na Oarbikove lineage, and the document of 15 octimbrie 1491: na ustie Oarbikove. 77

Finally, while surfing the Internet for Orbik, I have found several sites in Estonia where the name Orbik was used consistently in some tasteless jokes about some poor misfortunate wretch. I saw the word orb in an Estonian dictionary and found it also meant orphan. It is possible that Orbik in this context could mean could mean "little orphan”.78

Evidence of Orbik from Other Countries


I began searching for possible connections to other nationalities where O-R-B combination was not so rare. I searched through the family search function at the LDS website 79 as well as surname searches on
    1. Denmark: Orbeck (in 1671), Orback (1820), Orbaek (1856), Orbak (1649), Orbech (1857).
    2. Sweden Orbeck (1792). Řrbeck (1621), Orbok (1855).
    3. Norway: Orbok (1847), Orbaek (1875).
    4. Germany-Prussia: Orbeck (1688), Orbok (1750), Orbach (1693), Von Orbach (1633). Ohrbach (1666), Orbich (1659), Aurbach (1870) and Aeurbach - Jewish (1682).
    5. Hungary: Orbok (1870).
    6. Netherlands: Orbeck (1710).

Probably the most likely possibility in this group would be either be Swedish or German. A Swedish connection is possible because of the frequent interactions between the Swedes and Poles in this area, particularly in wartime. There has been a family surname “Szweda” (Swede) in the Tajno area for hundreds of years. A German (Prussian) connection is possible because of the close proximity of Tajno to the former border with East Prussia (about 5 KM). Intermarriages of German and Polish families on both sides of the boarder frequently occurred. For example, there are similar surnames in the Protestant parishes just across the border such as the surname Obrik in the Protestant parish of Kalinowo. There is a baptism record in the Protestant parish of Borzsymenn in 1727 of Frederick, son of Simon Vorbik and Josepha Grygo. Grygo was also a name from Bargłów parish.80 In the burned pages of Augustów Catholic parish births in the early 1700s, there is a witness mentioned named Peter Obrycko. In the Dwór (manor) of Pruska in the parish of Bargłów-Kościelny there was a noble family named Obrycki. Stanislaw Obrycki and Malgorzata Rakowska in Dobr Pruska had seven children between 1811 and 1822. Of course, all the other nationalities mentioned above had some connection with Poland, so nothing can be ruled out.

Evidence of Orbik as a Toponym


This example, even though it occurred in Bavaria, is a contemporary example of how Orbik may have evolved from a toponym. In the parish of Weitersweiler in Bavaria in the early 1700s, both an Orbick and Orbuß family existed. 81 On 3 February1701, Joannes Georgius Orbick married Susanna Golin. They were from Marheim (today Marnheim). On 16 March, 1704 they had a son also named Joannes Georgius Orbick. The godfather was listed as Joannes Georges Urban. On 09 December, 1700, Maria Eva Orbickin married Joannes Henricus Flitoch.  On 24 December, 1701, Joannes Michal was born to Joannes Orbuß and Anna Catherine. Finally in 1703, Maria Gertrude was born to Joannes Orbuß and Anna Catherine. Even though I thought that the Orbick-Urban connect may suggest a name connection, it turns out that there is a village about 5 miles north of Marnheim called Orbis. This may be where both the surnames Orbick and Orbuß names originated.82

There is a 1755 reference to a stream and moat called Orbik near the town of Zsakod in Transylvania, now Hungary. Nearby there is a hill called Orbig, There are also several villages called Orbo as well as a former county called Orbaiszek. This toponym evidence may also support the above mentioned connection to King Stefan Batory, who was a Transylvanian prince before being elected King of Poland. 83

Although there is no evidence that any village in Poland began with the prefix O-R-B 84, there are 31 entries of villages and rivers with the prefix H-O-R-B in Poland in the 19th century. 85  Because of this, Iwona Dakiniewicz has always told me not to discount the possibility that Orbik may have evolved from the name Horbik. This would make the possibility of a toponym connection very strong.
For instance the name Orbik had a density of only 108 people in Poland in 1992. 86 But if you assume a dropped ‘H’, the numbers go up dramatically: Horbik (127) as well as Horba (277), Horbacewicz (61), Horbacz (729), Horbaczewski (448), Horbaczonek (27), Horbaczuk (15), Horbaczyk (6), Horbaczyński (18), Horbaj (19), Horbajczuk (28), Horbal (206), Horban (25), Horbanowicz (132), Horbań (14), Horbas (67), Horbatowicz, Horbatowski (100), Horbiński (106), Horbowa (88), Horbowicz (141), Horbowiec (110), Horbowski (52), Horbowy (216), Horbów (24). 87

Although I found no evidence of a dropping “H” with the Orbik name in either Bargłów-Kościelny or Augustów parishes, I did observe something of note with the Orbiks in the Dolistowo parish in the early 18th century (Orba/Horba/Horbowski). I did find the some evidence of dropping ‘H’ with other similar surnames in both the Bargłów-Kościelny and Augustów parishes as late as the 19th century. For instance, there were alternating spellings of the families Obek/Hobek and Orbaczewski/Horbaczewski (gentry), sometimes spelled Herbaczewski 88. Sometimes the names differed in the records and sometimes the names in the indexes were different from the actual records. There was even an Eberhart/Heberhart 89 listed. In addition to the parishes of the Bargłów-Kościelny and Augustów, there was also an Orbaczewski family in the parish of Kaletnik. 90

In Herbarz Polski, (Polish Heraldry) Boniecki identifies a noble family called Horbowski (originally Zaranek) landowners in Brzeski-Litewski beginning in the early 1500s. They were owners of the village Horbowo, as well as the villages of Miłkowice and Sieniewicz, in the powiat of Drohyczin in southern Podlasia since the 1520s.91 They held many important offices here, and later in the powiat of Zmudź in Lithuania. Members of this same family are also mentioned in Rodzina Herbarz Szlachty Polskiej (Heraldry of Families of Polish Nobility) under both the names Horbowski and Orbowski. The Historical Dictionary of People from Bialystok in the15th and 16th century also cross references Horbowski from Horbowo with the name Orbowski. 92  The book Poczet Rodów w Wielkim Księstie Litewskiem w XV i XVI Wieku [Ancestral Fellowships of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 15th and 16th Centuries] lists the surname Horbaczewski as a family owning the villages of Sieniewicz, Horbowo, and Miłkowice in the  district of Brzesk in the powiat Drohiczyn in the early 1500s. 93 In ziemia Drohicyzn in 1528 there was a Stanisław Horbowski with 2 horses listed among those prepared for war.

In the 1690, the Mertyk Litewska (Lithuanian Metric), registry of homes in the Wojewódstwo of Nowogródek (just east of Grodno) and the Duchy of Zmudź [Samagotia] (to the north of Podlasie) in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania recorded the land owners (szlachta) of their respective areas. In Nowogrodek, Ther were Pan Jan, Krzystof, Mikołaj, Paweł, and Stefan Horbatowski (also spelled Horbotowski), all from the village of Horbotowicze.94 In the Duchy of Zmudź, members of the Horbowski family, originally from Horbowski, were also mentioned as holding offices and owning land in the powiat of Wieloński in the village of Berźyńianski as well. 95

Searching through the Chicago Polish Parish marriage index site I searched H-O-R-B surnames found several Horbaczewskis,. Using the Chicago Polish Catholic parish films on permanent loan to a local LDS branch library their records did not reveal their birthplaces. I did find a John Herbacz who I traced to the Troki parish near Wilno, Searching those records I found the families Orbaczewski, Horbaczewicz, Urbanowski and Urbanowicz in the early 1800s in the villages of Hutta, and Rudni in the parish of Pioshuny and the villages of Grałowszczyna, Dziekiewicz, and Sołkieniki in the parish of Novye Troki in the county of Troki in the Wilno district. 96 Unlike the gentry names listed above in these villages the Orbaczewski and other families were all listed as pracowi or workers.

Continuing this eastward look, I have found many similar surnames in several parishes of the Nowogrodek district, to the east of the Grodno district. For instance, there were Horbatowskis and Horbatowiczes in the parishes of Kroszynski, Golszany, and Starojelnis; and Horbaczewskis in the parishes of Krewo and Oszmiany. In the parish of Soly there is a village of Harbutowszczy. 97

The letter for G in the Russian alphabet [Γ ] can either make the hard G or H sound, so the name Horbik could also have evolved in the Latin spelling as Gorbik.98 There are Polish names Gorbik (6), Gorba (13), Gorbacz (223), Gorbaczewicz (68), Gorbaczewski (68) still in use in the 1994. There were Gorba and Gorbo families in the parish of Wasilków, just north of Bialystok in the late 19th century.99 Hoffman notes that Horb is related to Gorb or Garb, which is defined as having to do with a hump with a variation being hunchback.100 This would not be my favorite possibility of the origin of Orbik. But it could also be a toponymic reference having to do with a place near a hump, possibly of a geological nature such as a moraine.

One might assume that a comprehensive y-DNA test may help discover the origins of the Orbik family. I have done this test but the major stumbling block is that the common ancestor of most Orbiks (if not all) descended from Bartłomiej Orbik, born in Tajno in 1726, an illegitimate son of Anna Orbik. This rules out any y-DNA connection to previous Orbiks (unless the father was another Orbik). [101]


Because the Orbiks were not listed in Tajno in 1565 and the only started to appear in documents in Augustów and Tajno in the later 1600s, the most like scenario suggests that the Orbiks from Tajno and Augustów came from the osoka village of Jodeszki sometime in the mid-1600s.

The next possible scenario is that the Storbik name in the 1665 copy of the 1565 Augustów area inventory was actually Horbik, which eventually turned into Orbik. My family may have been in that region since the 16th century.

The next most likely scenario is that the Orbik name was a commoner version of the noble family of Horbowski from the villages of Horbowo in lower Podlasia 102 or Horbotowicze in the Nowogrodek area to the east. It can be assume that landed gentry like Orbaczewski/Horbaczewski took their surnames from one of the villages starting with the H-O-R-B prefix -as that is how it often worked.103 A commoner working for, or in the area of, these nobles or villages may have adopted the nobility’s surname. This example may explain why we find both gentry and commoners named Orbaczewski, Horbaczewicz, Urbanowski and Urbanowicz in the county of Troki in the Wilno district as well as several parishes in the Nowogrodek and Grodno districts in the 1800s. It is also likely that the commoners used an abbreviated form of the nobility’s names such as Urban/Orban, Orbacz, etc. The presence of these families in the eastern provinces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth may lend credence to immigration from that region as it is noted that osoka villages were moved as the forests receded. Since Jodeski, settled in 1561, was populated by osoka people from the Grodno area, or father east[104], it is possible that Troki or Grodno may be the origins of the Orbiks that eventually settled in Jodeszki, Augustów, and Tajno. It is worth remembering that one of the first entries in the metrical books of Dolistowo parish was a Laurentis Harbitowski, who was listed as a witness to a marriage in Jadeszki.

The next possibility, however unlikely, is that the Orbiks did in fact come from Transylvania (now Hungary and Romania) or even an Italian province with Stefan Batory’s expeditions against the Muscovites, as one family legend suggested. Certainly there are far more villages and other terrain features beginning with O-R-B combination in these countries than there are in Poland to support this.

Lastly, it is possible that the soldier Laurentis Orbyk, listed in the first Polish infantry unit in the 1471 record may have been the progenitor of the Orbiks in northern Podlasia. After all, the second Orbik found in the records from Jodeszki was spelled Orbyk before it turned into Orbik.

The fact is, unless a direct connection can be established with families in the 1500s or earlier, I may never know the actual origins of the name Orbik. But part of the fun of genealogy is the historical, linguistic, and etymological studies that you become exposed to as you further your research. For me, this may be a search with no end. Unlike some, I have no interest in tying to tie into noble or aristocratic families. My intent is to make sense of the lives and migrations of everyday common folk who made up the vast majority of our ancestors. For me, there are many more sources to discover and explore and many more possibilities to think about.  This is where the fun really lies. After 20 years of research, I still have no definitive answer as to the origin of my surname Orbik. But it has certainly been an interesting and fulfilling adventure trying to find it.


1. Hoffman, William F. 1993. Polish surnames: origins and meanings. Chicago: Polish Genealogical Society of America, p. 220.
2. Hoffman ibid, 2nd Ed, p.372.
3. Bahlow, Hans, and Edda Gentry. 2002. Dictionary of German names. Studies of the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies. Madison, Wis: University of Wisconsin Press. P. 357
4. Stankiewicz, Janusz., 2010. Genealogia Stankiewicza z przyjaciółmi, Etymologia nazwisk, Nazwiska na literę O , Ó , Q,
5. Rymut, Kazimierz, 1998. Słownika Nazwisk Współcześnie w Polsce Używanyc. Available online at
6. AGAD, Archiwum Potockich z Radzynia, signatura 245, str. 94-96.
7. Wiśniewski, J., ”Dzieje osadnictwo w powiecie augustowskim od XV do końca XVIII wieku” in Studia i materiały do dziejów Pojezierza Augustowskiego Editor J. Antoniewicz, 1967, Białostockiego Towarzystwa Naukowego, Białystok, p. 205. The defendants in this case were Stefens, a colonel of the regiment of dragoons, as well as captain Born, lieutenant Łuba, and Captain of the Horse Piotrowski of the rajter squadron, ensign Scheldenbeck, captain Essen, officer cadet Górecki, sergeant major Dąbrowski, and many soldiers, who robbed the local villages, of beating and wounding peasants, and raping one woman from Tajno named Dochodowa.
8. AGAD, Archiwum Potocki z Radzynia, signatura 245 str.269.
9. AGAD, Archiwum Potocki z Radzynia, signatura 245 str. 271.
10. AGAD, ASK, I, 70 k, str. 734-735v., 1662 Augustów Census.
11. AGAD Lustrage dz VIII 64, str. 874., 1674 Augustów Census.
12. Orbik, Jay, Chasing Down Footnotes From Polish History Books To Find Records in Polish Archives, East European Genealogical Society, Summer 2008.
13. Distance calculations from Google Earth.
14. Jaskanis, Jan. 1975. Materiały do dziejów ziemi sejneńskiej: praca zbiorowa. Prace Białostockiego Towarzystwa Naukowego, nr. 22. Warszawa: Pánstwowe Wydawn. Naukowe. Tom II, pp.144, 146 and copies of original documents, AGAD ASK dz 56, str. 90, and AGAD KRSW 4762 a, k. 63-66, courtesy of Grzegorz Krupinski.
15. Ibid, Jaskanis, p.147.
16. 1721 Census of Augustów, found in the Augustów parish archives in 2007 by the author and Iwona Dakiniwic,in 2007.
17. Op. cit. Wiśniewski, p. 260. The author cites the development of the Augustów suburb of Osowy Grad.
18. Ibid Wiśniewski, pp. 259 and 260.
19. Original birth records in Augustów Parish 1800-1830, from record books in Augustow Parish church archives, extracted by Jay Orbik with Iwona Dakiniewicz, 20 March, 2007. 
20. Centralnych Historycznich Archiwach Panstwowych w Wilnie (CHAP-Wilno), fond 181, op 2 od 3b, nr 1035, k. 85, 87v.
21. Register of inhabitants in Augustów 1801-1815, from record book in Augustów Parish church archives, extracted by Jay Orbik with Iwona Dakiniewicz, 20 March, 2007. 
22. LDS, Księgi metrykalne, Augustów, 1732-1866, Film # 0957535, 1972, 1973 ,  The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City. 1808 # 67, 1810 # 157, 1814, # 169, 1822 # 3.
23. Personal research into original parish records in Dąbrow parish by the author and Iwona Dakinieiwcz in October 2010. Opik data collected available at
24. Records originally brought to my attention by another research colleague, Gregorz Krupinski from Poland in 2007. Wojciech and Marcin Orbik from Zuśno were also mentioned in Biolik Maria , 2008, “Imiona Poddanych Klasztor Wigierskiego z 1745 Roku -Names of Wigierski Convent Subjects from 1745”, in Prace Językoznawce, zeszyt X, University of Warmia Mazuria, Oleszko, pp.15, 19.
25. Orbik family in Zuśno records from K. O. Falk's Collection at the Museum of Maria Konopnicka in Suwałki. Also in ”Inventory Ogolny Dobr Fundasowych Kalsztoru Wygierskiego Xięży Karmaldulow, przez Gerneralną Kommisszą J. K. Mco y Rzeczypospolitey sporządzony. Roku 1745”, in KO Falk, Wody Wigierski I Huciański: Studia Toponomastyczne, Upsala 1941
26. Falk, K.O, 1973, Acta Baltico-Slavica, Białostockie Towarzystwo Naukowe., 1973, Volumes 8-10, pp. 155-156.
27.  Falk, K.O., 1941. ”Inventarz Lesnictwa Grodzienski, 1668. Inventarz Lesnictwa Prezelomski-1645 and 1677” in Wody Wigierski I Huciański: Studia Toponomastyczne. Upsala. These records were extracted from collections done prior to their destruction in WWII.
28. Maroszek, Józef. 2005, Dzieje Obszaru Gminy Jaświły do Końcu XVIII Wieku = History of the Jaświły Gmina Area to the End of the 18th Century, pp 54-55.
29. Maroszek, Józef. 2000. Pogranicze Litwy i Korony w planach króla Zygmunta Augusta: z historii dziejów realizacji myśli monarszej między Niemnem a Narwią. Białystok: Wydawn. Uniwersytetu w Białymstoku. Page 408 identifies Jodeszki/Jadeszki as an osocznicy village of the Perstun forest from the inventory of 1564.
30. Extract from original Dolistowo parish records in the Bialystok Diocese Archives in June, 2010 by Iwona Dakiniewicz for Jay Orbik. 1616, rec. 405, 1632 rec. 2022 , 1636 rec. 2284, 1811, rec. 1009.
31. LDS, Księgi metrykalne, Grodno, 1797-1835, Film 2440611 Item 2 Franciscan parish, 1973, The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.
32. Op.Cit. Wiśniewski, p 56.
33. Orbik, Jay, Forest Guards in Podlasia and Mazuria, East European Genealogical Society, Winter, 2010.
34. Op. Cit., Wiśniewski, p. 58.
35. Górski, Konstanty. 1893. Historya piechoty polskiej [The history of Polish Infantry], Nakł. Księg., Spółki Wydawniczej Polskeij, Kraków.
36. Ibid, p. 7.
37. Ibid, p. 212. Others in the group had a combination of crossbows "stary" (old), "nowy" (new), "podzelowany" (likely refurbished), or pochodzony (inherited, that is, handed down), and these are normally accompanied by a "szabla" (saber) or "miecz" (sword). [Translation assistance from Roman Kałużniacki].
38. Taszycki, Witold. 1965. Słownik staropolskich nazw osobowych [Dictionary of personal names in Old Poland], Pod red. i ze wstępem Witolda Taszyckiego. Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich. Tom IV N-R, pp .136, 182. Contra Orbczy uxorem dictam Palka. 1411 Inscr 1248. Related to this entry, - Pałka  [Palka] #2 Pałka fem: Nicolaus de Lysse Kane contra Orbczy (!) uxorem dictam Pałka 1411 Inscr 1248. The place where scholars found this note was in a publication Inscriptiones clenodiales ex libris iudicalibus palatinatus Cracoviensis [Heraldic entries from the judicial records of Krakow wojewodztwo], compiled and edited by B. Ulanowski in 1885. Entry translated from Latin by William Fred Hoffman in 2010.
39. Ibid., Taszycki, pp.140 , 508- 509.
40. AGAD Potocki de Radzynia Sig 213, p. 12.
41. Op. Cit. Hoffman, 1st Ed ,page 24.
42. LDS, Księgi metrykalne, Bargłów-Kościelny 1634-1832, Film # 0957215 , 1972-1981 The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, record # 219.
43. LDS, Księgi metrykalne, Grodno, 1797-1835, Film 2440611, 1973 ,  The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.
44. Kloza, Jarosław, and Józef Maroszek. 1997. Dzieje Goniądza w 450 rocznicę praw miejskich. Prace Białostockiego Towarzystwa Naukowego, nr 37. Białystok: Białostockie Tow. Nauk., p. 203.
45. AGAD Potocki de Radzynia Sig 213, p. 12.
46. LDS, Księgi metrykalne, Jaminy, 1712-1889, Film # 0957248, 2001-2009, The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.
47. Bąk, Stanisław, and Maria Renata Mayenowa. 1966. Słownik polszczyzny XVI wieku. Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich. (Dictionary of the 16th Century Polish Language), Tom XXI, str. 75.
48. Op. cit., Wiśniewski page 104-105.
49. Op. cit.,Wiśniewski page 202.
50. Fisiak, Jacek, Arleta Adamska-Sałaciak, and Piotr Gąsiorowski. 2003. Nowy słownik Fundacji Kościuszkowskiej = The new Kosciuszko Foundation dictionary. New York, N.Y.: Kościuszko Foundation., p. 1690.
51. Latham, R. E. 1994. Revised medieval Latin word-list from British and Irish sources. London: Published for the British Academy by the Oxford University Press, p. 324
52. Orbik, Stefan, unpublished memoir, presented to the author by Andrzej Orbik in 2007.
53. Davies, Norman. 2005. God's playground: a history of Poland : in two volumes. New York: Columbia University Press. V. 1 p 321.
54. Davies, Norman, (2005) God’s Playground: A history of Poland VOL 1 p324.
55. Niesiecki, Kasper, and Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz. 1841. Herbarz polski Kaspra Niesieckiego S.J. W Lipsku: Breitkopf i Haertel, Tom VII, pp.130-132.
56. Laszuk, Anna. 1999. Ludność województwa podlaskiego w drugiej połowie XVII wieku. Prace Białostockiego Towarzystwa Naukowego, nr 43. Warszawa: Naczelna Dyrekcja Archiwów Państwowych. p 94.
57.  Op.cit. Maroszek. Also available on the web at
58. James, William, and Giuseppe Grassi,1893. Dictionary of the English and Italian languages for general use. Leipzig: B. Tauchnitz, p. 248. Available on Google Books.
59. A search of the surname Orba on yields a few Orbas immigrating from Genoa and Naples Italy. It should be noted that Orba also has Hungarian, Bohemian, and Lithuanian connections as well.
60. lists Kazimierz Orba, 50, Polish, immigrating from Kowno in 1910 and Andrej Orba immigrating in 1915 from Archangel listing his race as Littlish.
61. Halicka, Irena. 1976. Nazwy miejscowe środkowej i zachodniej Białostocczyzny: dzierżawcze, patronimiczne i rodzinne. Warszawa: Państ. Wydaw. Naukowe, p. 12.
62. Brown, John Croumbie. 1884. Forests and forestry of northern Russia and lands beyond. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd., p. 42.
63. Maroszek, Józef. 1999. Akta albo sprawy sądów miasta Knyszyńskiego: 1553-1580. Prace Białostockiego Towarzystwa Naukowego, nr 41. Białystok: Białostockie Tow. Nauk, .pp 271-296. Also Jablonowski , Aleksander, 1908., Polska XVI wieku pod wyględem geograficyno-statystycznym, Waszawa, Gebuthnera and Wolff. Tom VI., pp 161-171,
64. Op. Cit., Maroszek and Kloza, 1997, p. 203.
65. Wiśniewski, Jerzy, 1963. ”Dzieje osadnictwa w powiecie Sejnenskim od XV do XIX wieku”, in Jaskanis, Jan. Materiały do dziejów ziemi sejneńskiej. Warszawa: Pánstwowe Wydawn. Naukowe, p. 147.
66. Wiśniewski, Jerzy, 1965. ”Osadnictwo Suwalszczyzny” in Antoniewicz, Jerzy. Studia i materiały do dziejów Suwalszczyzny: praca zbiorowa. Białystok: Państwowe Wydawn. Naukowe, p. 130.
67. Unbegaun, B., 1972, Russian Surnames, Clarendon Press, Oxford., United States Central Intelligence Agency 1971, Comprehensive listing of Russian surnames with transliterated English forms, Part II, English alphabetical order.Washington D.C., and Haikalis, Peter, 1970, Russian surnames derived from occupational and status designations, Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania.
68. AGAD Potocki de Radzynia Sig 213.
69. Op.cit., Latham. P 324.
70. Simpson, D. P. 1987. Cassell's Latin and English dictionary. New York: Collier Books, p. 156.
71. Baptisms, marriages, confirmations and deaths, 1881- 1915, Film 1578587, 1989, The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.
72. Russell, James. 2004. Armenian and Iranian studies, Harvard University Press, Cambridge. Available on Google Books using the search terms orbik and orphan. .
73. Bardakjian, Kevork B. 2000. A reference guide to modern Armenian literature, 1500-1920: with an introductory history. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, p. 330. Found on Google Books using the search terms orbik and orphan.
74. Bedrosian, Robert. 1970. Kirakos Ganjakets'i's History of the Armenians. Robert Bedrosian.
75. Banateanu, Vlad, 1960, Armenii in toponimia romineasca si toponimice rominesti de origine armeana [Armenian place names in Romania and Romanian toponyms of Armenian Origin], in Studii si cercetari lingvistice, 2 Anul XI, , Academia Republicii Populare Romine, Institutul de Lingvitiga Bucuresti, pp 209-210.
76. Marele. 1901. Dictinar geografic al Rominiei volumu IV, Bucharest, pp. 598-599.
77. Op. cit., Banateanu, p. 210.
78. Kyiv, Ksana. 1999. Estonian-English, English-Estonian dictionary, Hippocrene Books, New York, NY., p. 53.
79. Search Records for Your Ancestors:
80. LDS, Kirchenbuch, Borzsymenn,1695-1875,  Film # 0957535, 1952, 1994,  The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, p. 135.
81. search for Orbick.
83. Buros, Janusz. 1986. Szekelyvecke helynevei, Nyelv-Es Rodalomtudomany Kozlemenyek, XXX, 1986 - 2, in Romania Szocialista Koztarsasas Akadaemiajanak Kiadoja, p. 179.
84. Sulimierski, Filip, Bronisława Chlebowski, and Władysław Walewski. 1880. Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich. Warszawa: Filipa Sulimierskiego i Władsława Walewskiewgo. Page 574 goes from Orątki to Orce.
85. Ibid, Sulimierski, pp. 121-123.
86. Op. cit, Rymut.
87. Ibid, Rymut.
88. and LDS, Księgi metrykalne, Bargłów-Kościelny, 1634-1882, Film # 0957209, 1972 -1981,  The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City. Births: Antoni Herbaczewski, 1808 # 7 and Marianna Herbaczewski, 1810 # 71,  marriages of Alexander Horbaczewski 1807, # 6, Alexander Horbaczewski 1824, # 23., and death, 1829 # 158 Antoni Herbaczewski, son of Alexander Herbaczewski, previously listed as Horbaczewski, and Księgi metrykalne, Augustów, 1732-1866, Film # 0957535, 1972, 1973 ,  The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City. 1825 birth of Alexander Horbaczewski, listed in the index as Herbaczewski.
89. Księgi metrykalne, Bargłów-Kościelny, 1634-1882, Film # 0957209, 1972 -1981,  The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.1822, record # 4 and 1824, record 5.
90. Księgi metrykalne, Kaletnik, 1808-1877, Film # 0746520, 1970, 1979,  The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City. 17 November 1817, in Folwark Dembowo, Alexander Orbaszewski was born to Michal Orbaszewski 25, and Elzbieta Kozlowski 30, living in Folwark Dembowo.
91. Op. Cit. Boniecki, 1904, TomVII, pp 335-337.
92. Abramowicz, Zofia, Lila Citko, and Leonarda Dacewicz. 1997. Słownik historycznych nazw osobowych Białostocczyzny: XV-XVII w. Białystok: Instytut Filologii Wschodniosłowiańskiej Uniwersytetu w Białymstoku. Tom 1 A-O, pp114 and 276.
93. Boniecki, Adam, 1887, Poczet Rodów w Wielkim Księstie Litewskiem w XV i XVI Wieku [Ancestral Fellowships of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 15th and 16th Centuries], Waszawa, p. 85.
94. Rachuba, Andrzej, and Henryk Lulewicz. 2002. Metryka Litewska: rejestry podymnego Wielkiego Księstwa Litewskiego, Województwo nowogródzkie 1690 r. Warszawa: Neriton., pp 100, 101, 113.
95. Błaszczyk, Grzegorz. 2009. Metryka litewska: rejestry podymnego Wielkiego Księstwa Litewskiego, Księstwo Żmudzkie 1690 r. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo "Neriton".. Pp, 56, 59, 146, and 148.
96. Metrical books,Troki 1794-1835, and Pioshuny (Troki) 1706-1818, Film # 2427975, items 1 and 6, 2000-2009,  The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.
97. Metrical books, various parishes in the Nowogrodek, Oszmiany, and Wilno districts, various dates- mostly 1797-1818, Film # 2439345, 2009, The Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.
98. and Hoffman,op. cit., 2nd Ed , p. 142.
100. Op. Cit., Hoffman, pp. 248,256.
101., Orbik project, 2008.
102. Jablonowski , Aleksander, 1908 Waszawa, Gebuthnera and Wolff, „Popis Wjenny Ziemian Wdztwa Podlas., mocą Uchwaly Sejmu Wileńskiego”, in Polska XVI wieku pod wyględem geograficyno-statystycznym. Tom VI część I. Page 186 shows Stanisław Horbowski in ziemia Drohiczyn.
103. Op.cit Hoffman,1993, p. 37.
104. Halicka, Irena. 1976. Nazwy miejscowe środkowej i zachodniej Białostocczyzny: dzierżawcze, patronimiczne i rodzinne. Warszawa: Państ. Wydaw. Naukowe, p.12.