Some History of Tajno, Netta, and Polkowo Villages
Including the Families - Orbik, Polkowski, & Litwinski
This information comes from the
Studia imaterialy do dziejow Pojezierza
Augustowskiego (The studies and the
materials of history of
the Augustow Lake district
) edited by
Antoniewicz, Bialystock, 1967.
Page numbers referenced below reference this book. The research and translation
was done in February 2006 by Iwona Dakiniewicz
for Jay Orbik.
The Earliest History of the Tajno Area- a Violent Borderland.
Jacwiez lands after it’s fall was partly included into Mazovia -from the 13th to the beginning of the 15th centuries. It was the area between Netta and Lek Rivers (the area when Augustow was included later) . The major Jacwiez lands were included into Lithuania and the border along the Netta river was maintained for the next several centuries. Along the Pruska River, Necko Lake, and the Netta River was the Lithuanian - Mazovian border. The lands on the west belonging to Mazovia were included into the Goniadz county and were governed by the castellan of Wizna town by the Narwia River ( Kamienski " Wizna as the border of Russia - Poland -Jacwiez ). The land on the east belonged to the Trock Duchy . After the detachment of the Goniadz land of Mazovia and the creation of the Podlaskie Province - the part of the Augustow county belonged to Bielsko lands in the Podlaskie Province and the east part toGrodno lands in the Trock Province (in the Lithuanian Duchy). So the Netta River became a geographical border for a long time (p. 14) .
After the fall of the Jacwiez, many of their old
settlements disappeared. The rest of them systematically died out.
Their ancient cemeteries were found in Necki Borek:
- one between Netta and Bialobrzegi , dated from between the 3rd and 5th centuries.
- two in Barglow Dworny from the 3rd century
- one in Judziki from the 3rd century
- one in Borzymy from the 2 - 3 century
- one in in Kroszew - from the 3rd century
For certain there are some Jacwing’ s original names which still survive today including the lakes Wigry, Sajno, Serwy, Necko (formely called Metis), TAJNO, Dowspuda, Kalejty, Drestwo, and the rivers NETTA (formerly Meta ), Biebrza (formerly Bebras ),Wolkusz (formerly Wilkus).
Jacwings were called SUDINI and the land of Jacwiez was called SUDOVIA in Latin. These names were used by the Prussians in the 16th century. They used this name for the Jacwings who lived close to the Eastern border of Prussia and were under Russian cultural influence. Only a few traces of Jacwing’s settlements survived in this area: one in Korolewo, near Krasny Bor and one in Wiszniewo which was between Wysokie and Pruska Mala. The Teutonic Knights totally destroyed the Jacwing settlements in the 13th century. The Lithuanian army sought revenge, and in the consequence of the fights the Teutonic Order gave up, gave one third of the Jacwing land to the Mazovian prince Siemovit and to King Daniel . The Southern border was established along the Netta River but Lithuanians didn’t accept this border and the Mazovian princes set up claims to this land as well. An inspection ion 7 August, 1358 verified the borders of Mazovia along the Netta and Wielka Struga Rivers (p. 33-34)
During the Teutonic Knights expansion on the Jacwiez area in the 13th to 14th centuries, the Netta was mentioned in their earliest chronicles as the Metin River. There was a description of the trail they made in 1385. The whole area was one huge virgin forest cut by the roads of the Lituanians and the Teutonics Knights; they were war trails (p. 41).
The following are more ancient place names of this area that appeared in 14th century Teutonic chronicles:
Lek Lake - Licke
Netta - Metin, Mete, Methe, Meta
Golubie - Swansee
Gizycko - Lec
Czarna Hancza River - Ansee
Marycha River - Maro
Biebrza River - Bebre
Serwy Lake - Nassirve
Hoza - Ussy
Przelom - Perlam
Prawdziska - Prywiske
Wolkusz - Wilkus
Historical sources confirms that there was a road from Netta (Meta ) to Prawdziszki in the 14th century .
* Die Chronik von Marburg - German Archives
The Netta River was the most strategic point of the Jacwiez trails. It was considered by the Teutonic Knights as the starting point of their crusades. There was a road junction by the Netta River; roads from Mazovia, Prussia , and Lithuania crossed at this point. This explains why Netta became the border throughout the centuries. Propably there were some defense buildings there. The Teutonic chronicler Wigand described two castles in this area: Naugarden (Nowe Grodno) and Metenburg which was built by Jan Schonenfeld in 1392 . Jan de Wischow was the governor at this castle. It is interesting that historians could not find the location of this castle. But it's name METENBURG suggests that it was by the Meta river or even more, it was the begining of the Netta settlement. This castle existed a very short time. Prince Vitold of Lithuania broke with the Teutonic Order and destroyed the Metenburg castle *.
* from Codex Diplomaticus Prussicus
Sudorum was the Latin name of the Jacwiez land inthe 13th-15th centuries (p. 44).
Jaciwez land consisted of wild, dense forests and it was a great area for hunting. Kings and governors from neighbouring sides had many contratcs and conflicts in regards to the rights for hunting, fishing, cutting wood and grass, and collecting mushrooms and honey . Maps from 1527 showed 50 bison by the Zusna River. The Polish King Wladislaw Jagiello hunted here in 1418 and 1422. The King decided not to allow for colonization due to the valuable animals, especially the bison. There was only a manor house for royal hunters n Wigry. Only Rajgrod , Elk and the ephemeral Teutonic Meta existed as the first settelments (p. 50).
* sources about the16th century maps of the nobility properties found at the Univeristy Library in Vilno, published by S.
Alexandrowicz in " Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej " , 1966, edition 2 , p.283
The royal hunts needed people for help such as shooters and others. The shooters had some special previliges; each received one wloka of land. Shooters could be Jacwings's descendants or peasants who traveled from settelments near Grodno. In the 17th century there were 62 shooters (p. 51). The first utilization of Jacwiez land started after 1422 when princes and governors received rights for the division of meadows and of areas of tree beehives. They used the help of the peasants, who were called "Sianozeci" (who cut & collect hay) and "Bartnicy" (who collect honey). Generally, these poeple came from Grodno county, less from Rajgrod (p. 52).
More smaller parts of this lands appeared in the 15th century and in the consequance off the first divison off the Jacwiez land, these parts got their own names (p. 54).
In the 15th through 16th centuries, the Kings hired another type of worker in the Jacwiez forests. Called Osocznicy* the name came from the verb "osaczac", to encircle. Osocznicy encircled the animals during the hunting. They become a strong group of forests guardians. They had special privileges and better social status. Historical sources from the 15th and 16th centuries give their surnames but not the names of the settlements they lived in**. This was the begining of the first settlements in Jacwiez Forests: villages
of shooters, honey collectors and Osocznicy. The first Osocznicy lived in Grzebienie and Osmolowszczyzna . Their daily duty was taking care of "ostepy", the parts of the forest where there were flocks of animals. These places got the names Ostep Jasionowo, Lipsko , Krasny, and many more were known in 1559. Osocznicy also guarded roads in the forests. These roads also had names. The main road lead from Rajgrod to Grodno through Netta (it was the border ) . There were customs officers in 1496 by Netta who collected custom fees. This main road had several names: German Road, Road to Meta , The Great Road, the Augustow Trail in 1578, and the Royal Trail in 1781 ( p.56 - 60).
**Indexes of Osocznicy are in AGAD archives from years: 1541, 1557-1562, 1578, 1639, 1645, 1668, 1679 at the files of
Inspections of Forests (p. 57 ).
Early Private Ownership: The first private owners' boom happened in the 16th century. These owners had rights to build simple sheds and baths. There was no index of sheds and their owners. These sheds were usually built by the lakes and rivers and were called "Stany" (states) or Stanowiska (positions). Some of these could have been the seeds of future villages. POLKI was mentioned in the Zdancewicz's records. He indicated some of the names of these Stany places - but not the years. Among them were :
1. the forest Osowe Stojlo on the south east from POLKI village (now Polkowo).
2. the forest Kozie Stojlo near Jaminy , on the west from Janowek village
Translator's note: It is interesting that local names were formed from Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, and Jacwings languages or combinations like these two above: Kozie - Polish, Stojlo - Lithuanian.
Before colonization, many of the local names of the lakes, rivers, and particular sections of the forests and roads were changed fromthe original Jacwing language into Polish. So at the begining they werethe names of rivers etc., then later the names of the first settlements like the rivers Barglowka, Janowka, the swamp Labednik, etc. The first village was Lek (today Elk) in 1425, next Chechly in 1431, Nowa Wies in 1439, Golubki in 1440. This colonization was interupted by The War of Thirteen Years (1454-1466). The next colonization was Zdunki in 1465. (p. 78 -79).
Villages were founded by persons and Grzegorz LITWIN
was mentioned as a person who
founded the village Kolesniki together with Jan Ruski . *
Stanislaw LITWIN founded
the villages of Kowale and Sobole
* German source : edited by E.J Guttzeit, Wurzburg 1966.
Next the authorconsidered from which places the new settlers came from. They must have lived somewhere nearby and the closest inhabited places were Goniadz and Rajgrod. Goniadz was the only one and the biggest center in this area of Polish, Lithuanian, and Russian colonists. The author also mentioned that the villages of Dolistowo, Smogorowka, and Moniuszki were establihed illigaly on the royal property during the reign of King Casimir Jagiellonczyk (p. 80)..
Jan Zrobek and the Founding of Tajno: Elzbieta Sakowicz, the widow after Mikolaj Radziwill and her son Jan Radziwill gave to Jan Zrobek a part of Schelistowa (now Solistowo) as a reaward for his good service for Mikolaj Radziwill. This part was named later as Zrobki. Jan Zrobek was the starosta of Rajgrod in 1540. But he was obligated to found new villages but the source from 1529 didnt mention which villages they were. Zrobek was the woyt of his village and the area which belonged to the Barglow parish. The author considered that probably TAJNO was this village who was founded by Jan Zrobek . TAJNO existed on a map from circa 1540. Or this village he founded could be Drestwo, which was marked on the same map but with no name. Or he could have founded both
The Local Taverns as the Seeds of Augustow: The main road from Grodno to Mazovia needed an inn and Jan Radziwill sent a request to King Sigmunt I. The King agreed in his letter dated 21 Aug 1526. The inn was built by the Nett River and was named "Karczma Mietha" (Mietha Inn) and this inn wason a map from 1540. There was another inn on the other side of the Netta river. And there was a bridge between them, formely where there was the Metenburg castle. These two inns were the seeds for the town of Augustow. The border at the Meta inn became a crowded place and frequented by trademen, merchants, guilders, and crafstmen (pp. 91-92) .
Jan Srebrowski and The Founding of Brzozowo and Barglow: Historians didn't find documents about the foundation of other villages located between lakes Drestwo and Niecko. Only one document from 1522 mentioned the colonisation of 200 units of land (wloka) in Brzozowo near the Brzozowka River. The King gave these rights to Maciej Srebrowski, who got as a gift the land for the manor house and a village for his peasants. Jan Srebrowski governed two villages in 1565, Brzozowka and META (NETTA). Jan Srebrowski did colonized the whole land so he created a third village, propably Barglow (p. 93).
Radziwill Counrty: The Radziwill clan owned the major part of Goniadz and the surrounding area. It became a private small country with its own courts, own hierarchy of clerks from the noble families, serfes, etc. The capital was in Goniadz complete with a big castle with 4 towers. The Radziwill clan was very well organized and wealthy with good relations with the King . ( But Queen Bona couldnt handle this wealthy private kingdom.-translator's note). The Radziwill clan took care of the colonization of the land between the Pruska River and Lake Necko. Futher to the north, the land was colonizated by Bohdan Hrynkowicz Wollowicz- the Royal Equerry . He received rights for this land in 1513 by Sigmunt I (p. 94).
Royal Disputes with the Radziwills: Queen Bona attacked Radziwill family because she wanted to limited their power. She visited Lithuania in 1528 together with King Zygmunt and conducted an inspection of the royal lands. She had negative opinion. Besides there was a hot clash between two families Radziwill and Gasztold . The subject of this conflict was the borders. Chancellor Olbracht Gasztold was the governor of Tykocin and area and he had claims against the Radziwills that they took part of his land. Bona used this conflict against Radziwills .It took years in courts. Bona sued Radziwills, the Radziwills sued the royal commissionarie . Many people were involved in this conflict; including royal and local authorities, several family clans, and even peasants. And new conflicts appeared by this occasion with Prussia about its border with Radziwill s land (p. 97). Finally a part of the Radziwill land was taken off and new governors were choosen by the King in 1537. Bona established new regulations. It was a big reform . The whole land was measured and marked as bigger sections. Small settlements disappeared and new big villages were created . This happend after 1549 and a second regulation was in 1557. Bona decided to limit the land of the villages and ordered to exclude fields and forests from villages borders. This did not impact on the land between Drestwo and Necko Lakes because those villages were located according to the royal rules. This reform brought more financial profits for King (pp. 102-103).
Founding of the Church in Barglow: The royal villages between Drestwo and Necko lakes were moved from the properties of Grodno to properties of Knyszyn before 1544. Then King Sigmunt August founded a new parish church in the already existing village of BARGLOWO. This happend by royal order on 6 Oct 1544. So Barglow belonged to Knyszyn county at that time. The church was under the invocation of Our Lady , St Peter, Paul , Sigmunt , Martin, Nicholas and All Saints . This parish covered all villages within following districts :Srebrowski (called Necki ), Rutkowski, Zrobkowski , Zacieczkowski (called also Kamienski ) . This regulation didnt mention about the particular names of the villages . The author wrote that for sure there were these villages : NETTA, Brzozowka, Wozna Wies, Solistowka, TAJNO, Rudki, Grabowo, Kamionka, Jeziorki . Propably also : Drestwo, Krosiewo, Orzechowka and Barglowka . These two last villages had one location document with TAJNO and Wozna Wies . The vicar of the Barglow church obtained from the King 5 wloks of land (2 for the manor house and 3 for peasants), wood for buildings and heating , and permission for fishing (by small sized nets ). The vicar built a small manor house and had his own peasants in NETTA . In consequance ; two small private " islands" appeared in Barglow parish . There was another manor house which belonged to the local vojt. At the begining peasants didn t pay taxes, then they paid butstill small comparing to other districts. It barely started in 1561 when the taxes were increased .An inspection in 1576 didn't mention about more manor houses in that area. Bona ordered the new manor house called Zygmuntowo in 1544, which had to be built by the Netta River - but there were no more notes or documents about it . Propably it was never built or was for a very short time (p. 104 -105).
Early Settlers of Augustow County: In the
years of 1561 and 1565 were
lists of new settlers in
Augustow county. The
book informs us about two persons from Tajno
in 1561 : Maciej Markowicz and Grzegorz Olszymowicz
and from Barglow in 1565, Pawel Jakubowicz,
Florek Krzyzniak, Tomek Dejwik, Januk Boltrewicz, Bortlo
Andrejewicz, and Mikolaj Wisniewski (they were
the newcomers - the
list of 1565 included
all inhabitants (p.118).
By 1565, the main project of the
population settlement in this area
was done, only the "grady"
area was left. These were small parts of forest
growing among the swamps,
lakes, and rivers. The
inventory from 1565 mentioned
(the former name of Polkowo) as a place not
suitable for settlement. Another
short sentence said that this "grad" was a
matter of contention with
a certain Grajewski. Kopytkow and Jesionow were
also mentioned as places not ready for
settlement (p. 120).
The Settlers Origins: Newcomers from Mazovia in 1619 in Netta were: Rogowski, Sokolowski, Zelazko, Grajewski, Dabrowski, Kokoszka, and Faszcz. From Russia and Lithuania in 1525 in Netta were: Jan Woydylo, Grzegorz Zmudzin , Korewa, Jan LITWINEK. In Rutki were Jan & Andrzej LITWIN. In Tajno was Szczepan LITWIN ( p. 130).
Peasant Recruitment - "Lucky Men": Stephan Batory, the king - warrior, established a new regulation about peasant recruitment in 1578. From one "lan" (old unit of land ) per each 20 lans, had to be chosen with its farmer who had to serve in the royal army .Such soldiers had many privileges; among them being not having to pay taxes. Such soldiers were called "wybrancy " (loose translation: "lucky men") . The first wybrancy from 1579 were in Barglow: Frac Popiel, Jan Jaczkowicz , Jan Wojt , and Wawrzyniec Aleksowicz - in Netta: Grzegorz Faszczyc, Marcin Szpakowski, and Ambrozy Tyborowski and in Tajno: Piotr Zdun , Jan Lazarz , and Jozef Wyszkowicz (p. 138).
The Founding of Polkowo: The regional authorities (starosts) of the Goniadz county placed attention on the empty spaces in the Augustow province - "grady" on swamps. On 23 June 1582 the starost Marcin Dulski sent a permission letter to Marek Konoza and his wife Elzbieta to settle down in POLIKOW. This permision was confirmed by the Polish Queen Anna on 3 May 1585. The Konozas, the first settlers received permission for felling the forest. They got 5 wloks of land. The seperate letter described the borders of the Polikow settlement. There were 5 families in Polikow of the Konoza family descendants in 1664 . In 1781 there were 20 and becuase the limited land wasn't enough for all the families, the inhabitants had to cross the borders marked by the authorities in 1858. It is Interesting that this big forest was the favorite for royal huntings. But many poachers came there from Prussia and Mazovia and that was why the Polish King decided to hire guardians and rangers - mostly from the local inhabitants (p. 147 -148).
Polkowo's Growth and Subsequent Disputes
to other neighboring villages, had
more freedom and better terms of living. The
inhabitants didn't pay
taxes for a given period. As the inhabitants
began farming land beyond
the Polkowo borders, the village
rapidly expanded . The citizens
from other the other villages were angry that they
had no such rights . One of them,
Andrzej Karwowski, prosecuted against
Wawrzyniec Odoj, a renter of
Tajno, and his wife Katarzyna Pomian,
arguing his life privilage in Tajno. He aslo
claimed ("about something") against Wojciech Odoj and Jedrzej
POLKOWSKI . This clash was
repeated in 1777 , when Anna Rostkowska, a widow
after A. Karwowski , had started to take unfair
advantages of farmers in Polkowo. They brought an
action against her and her commissar Bartlomiej Turkowski,
(who governed Tajno
for 20 years)
in 1777 at the royal court . The
inhabitants of Polkowo
who were the complainants were: Mateusz & Marianna Konoz , Wawrzyniec Pomian -Odoj,
Fabian Wiercioch Sienkiewicz, Maciej Skiladz, Adam & Jozef Wiercioch, Jan
Milewski, Antoni Krukowski , Franciszek LITWINIK , and
Jaminy Forest Colonization: The colonization of the JAMINY Forest had begun at the end of the 17th century. This land belonged to the Nowydwor forest district. The first iron work was established in the 17th century and was called Jaminy Ruda, (more recently Jaminy village) and was owned by Stanislaw Reszka. Nearby this iron works Jan Laznia settled down. In a short time new settlers came: Mateusz Janik , Marcin Rzepka, and Marcin Czilewski. In 1703 Jaminy forest and Jaminy Ruda was taken by Kazimierz Krzysztof Sienicki a nobleman from Lithuania. He founded the next new villages: Mogilnica, Czarniewo, Lipowo, and Wrotki . He also extended Jaminy iron works, changed for a water mill, and built a manor house . He sold his rights of Jaminy to Jerzy Kasper Dewicz in 1709, who was continuing his works and extending Jaminy. The new owner brought other inhabitants from other royal villages. p. 202
Early Tajno Families in 1565 and 1698:
Bolakowski 1 - 1
Kulik 1 - 1
Kusnierz 1 - 3
Mazur 1 - 2
Sienko 1 - 1
Wilk 1 - 1
Wyszko 5 - 3
Zybura 1 - 1
Many families changed residance places during this time. Generally after the wars with the Swedish and Tatars, the population decreased (p. 171).
Privileges and Taxes:
In 1676 a royal privilage for holding
in Tajno was granted. Annual taxes paid
by particular villages: Netta - 6 zlotys,
Barglow - 6 zl , Netta - 111 zlotys (Netta had
a big manour house ) ( p.174).Amount of farmers who paid taxes for livestock in
1662 and 1676 :
Polkowo : 48 - 26
Netta : 60 - 81
Tajno: 74 - 160
Tajenko : 19 - 40
Tajno - Plague and Survival - 1710-1711: In the years 1710-1711 there was a plague and many people died - 233 in Tajno alone. Only these families survived: Dorsz, Kiersztan, Koniecko, Koleda, Sienko, and ORBIK. These families survived in Barglowka: Faszcza, Korzun, Kulesza, and Sikora. In Tajno in 1565 there were 130 farmers. By 1718 there were only 15 (p. 206).
Early Censuses and the ORBIKs: The Augustow census from 1674 showed these surnames: Michniewicz, Chrachal, Dobrzyniewscy, Liwscy, Kurylo, Lazarczyk, Maliszewski , ORBIK, Ostrowski, Pozniakowski, Zaskowski, and Zielinski . p. 214. But there were no Orbiks in 1662 in Augustow . The book doesn't inform about the source of the census of 1674, only that the census from 1721 is at the parish office in Augustow. p.220
War's Effects on Tajno Area:
The settlements and forests were
destroyed by the Swedish
war between 1655-1657. Royal
inspectors prepared reports in 1659 and 1661
that showed Barglow, Tajno, and Netta were heavily
destroyed but Polkowo was the
only one village in that area that was
untouched. The king gave
rights to inhabitants of Polkowo for settling &
farming in this village. The
former rights belonged to Marek Konoza but it
was for a limited time -until the
end of his life (p. 165/166). From
1710-1795 there were many wars; Swedish, Russian, and Tatar. Even the Polish
armies were destroying and robbing whole villages. Documents
mention Muscovites in the Augustow area
in January 1706 and in January and April of
1708 . Peasants from Tajno appealed to the court in
Goniadz against Rzewuski’s Tatar regiment, personally against Jakub Krzeczewski,
a captain of horse and Lieutenant Mustafa Jablonski. They stole corn,
sheep, chickens, cheese, and other farm products from households in Tajno in
1706 and 1707 (this regiment was stationed in Tajno for 2 years). Such
situations repeated with other Polish regiments in 1710 and 1711 in Tajno and
Tajenko Administration: After Andrzej Karwowski’s death on 4 July 1757 in Tajenko the power of Tajno and Tajenko was taken over by the widow, Anna Karwowska, nee Swiderska, after the second husband named Rostkowska . She was very rich, bought more neighboring land and governed as landlord until the end of the Polish Kingdom (first partition ). She died in 1805. The Local peasants were unhappy during her reign as she was a slave-driver. Her property included 5 manor houses: Solistowo, Tajenko, Wojdy Radziejewo, Wolka Karwowska, and Reszki. She also owned 4 villages: Solistowka , Tajenko, Wojdy, Radziejewo, and Wokla Karwowska. She also partly owned 3 more villages: Krosiewo Rudnik, Reszki, and Zrobki. Her sons of two marriages inherited this property and in consequence it fell into small pieces and went to ruin, part of which was confiscated in the 19th century (p. 229).
Tajno Administration: The Wojt, a chief official, in Tajno was Michal Jankowski in 1710. He was husband of Elzbieta Bolakowska, an old family clan in Tajno. Next was Adam Smolenski in the years 1744-1794 (when he died), He was married to Anna Karwowska. The Wojtostwo in Netta was included in the Augustow administration . (p. 223).
*Wojtostwo (from wojt)
: the group of villages within one administrative
Dispute over Trees: The forest and meadows on both sides of Netta River belonged to Augustow from 1564. These borders were verified by writer of hunting Mr. Majewski in 23 March 1741. Augustow wanted to cut trees and farm those lands, so the local authorities appaeled to King August the Third for permission. The King agreed in his letter dated 4 Sep 1754 for farming lands, building a bridge on Biale Brzegi, and building an inn. In the next letter in 1758, the King agreed for cutting more trees behind Netta River and use for the farms. But in fact the forest behind Netta River belonged to the Lithuania Crown, not the Polish Crown. So this was the beginning of many aggressive fights between the two sides of this conflict. Lithuania had legal rights for this forest and Augustow had only rights for a narrow strip of meadow parallel to the Netta river and had no rights for cutting trees and settling new villages. Finally in 1772 the land behind the Netta River was partly taken away from Augustow and annexed to the royal forest of the Lithuania Crown. Augustow planed for colonization of the area among the Netta River, Lake Biale and Lake Sajno (p. 238-239). The inn by the Netta River had the name: Goat’s Neck. Based on historical sources it existed in 1764 (p. 244 ).
: Osowy Grad, a village on
the other side of the Netta River
was opposite to Netta village. There were 18
farmers in 1792, 7 of them were new (Recko,
Rybakiewicz, Bondzio, 2 Chwecko, Tryga, and Malinowski), 4 former families
disappeared (Nalewajko, Pieczko, Pisarzewicz ,Szczerba) and
6 remained: (Joka, Niedzwiedzki, ORBIK,
Stefanowski, Wasilewski, and Zawadzki)( p. 260).
Jaminy Forest Area- Sapieha and Soltan Administration and the Jaminy Church: Villages within the Jaminy forest made separate land as a lease during the 18th century. From 1713 it was governed by Jerzy Stanislaw Sapieha, and after his death in 1732, his wife Teodora nee Soltan (died. 1774). She founded the church built on a sand hill in Jaminy. In 1755 the church burnt and in 1789 King Stanislaw August ordered the construction of a new church and gave extra land to the church authorities including salaries. Unfortunately the first partition happened; the collected wood was taken away and used for the church building in Sucha Wola. So after the fire, the church in Jaminy was arranged in a shed until 1849 when the old church from Augustow was moved to Jaminy.
The headquarters of Sapieha‘s administration was in Janow. The historical source states that “people from Jaminy land mow only 60 carriages of hay for the manor house “. The manor house in Jaminy was canceled, but instead it’s landlord decided to build several inns with breweries (to have profits from drinking peasants) . in Jaminy - in the part of village called Jordyka, in Czarniewo, Mogilnica, and Jaziewo. After Sapieha’s death, Jaminy and other villages were included in Ostrowek administration near Sucha Wola. p.269-270
Early Polkowski: In 1639 - TOMASZ WYDRA POLKOWSKI was mentioned as a man who established an iron work on the Narewka River in the Bialowieska Forest (more recently it is a village called Narewka ). This note said he did it before 1639. There was rapid development of iron works in that area in the 17th century. They were called as "Ruda", built on rivers, close to the forest . Wood was the necessary raw material for iron production. Wydra seems to be a nickname, a name for a given family clan, which were used in those times. The author wrote in the next sentence: "Further Wydras migrated to the Przelomska forest" where they built Ruda in Kalety (p. 190/191).
General English Summary:
The lands of the
district of Augustow were colonized mainly by
Polish population deriving from Mazovia with a certain admixture
of Russian population from enviroments
of Grodno and of the mixed
Polish-Russian, which derived from the
vicinitiesof Goniadz. The admixture
of Lithuanian population occuring near Rajgrod
was of no importance. The lands on the Biebrza
River constituted the
farthest western line reached by Russian
population after its penetration to the lands
of Krasnybor and Jaminy Forest. The above mentioned
population reached , too, the enviroments of
Rajgrod and Augustow , being polonized there as early
as in the 16th century. Polish population penetrated in the
territory of the Jaminy Forest and Krasnybor
from the side , polonizing those lands in the course
of the next centuries. It was mainly the
populations deriving from the area
of Goniadz as well as from lands on
the Brzozowka River that colonized the Jaminy
Forests. The environments on the
Netta River, embracing the lands from Drestwo Lake
and the former frontier up to the Netta River,
NeckoLake and Pruska River
constitute a geographical continuatuion of the
considered region. It is characterized by big, densely populated
villages of peasants who formerly belonged to the King .
The outh region comprises great uninhabited areas of marshes
and damp forests among Jegrznia , Biebrza and Netta rivers and
as little as three villages
situated in the marshy lands (Polkowo, Jasionowo,
and Kopytkowo) established
at the close of the 16th century.
These two regions formally belonged to Mazovia after the fall
of Sudovia, constituting , in turn, in the period covering
1409-1569 a part of
Great Lithuanian Principality. Begining
in 1520 they constituted a part
of Bielsko lands in the Podlasie voivodship .
Commerce in the Area: There were two mills on the Netta River. One was built in 1557, managed by Matys or Mateusz Baran, and was close to the town of Augustow. The second mill was further from town, was built in 1558, and managed by Wojciech Plewka (p. 111 -112) .
Millers obtained land from King; each got 2 wloki and 2 morgi in NETTA village. This privilege was dated on 7 June 1656 (King s letter). These mills supplied flour, barley malt , mash for vodka to all royal villages around and Augustow town. They also brought a lot of profits to the royal treasure . F.in in 1576 annual income from Augustow was 378 zloty and 24 groszy, and from both mills = 192 zloty and 7 groszy.
Olbrycht Niemiec, a lease-holder, controled wood
works in forests. He
had 1 wolka in NETTA village in 1576.
An inspection in 1587 mentioned the bee-keepers
near POLKOWO. Bee-keeping was one
the most common activity in forests . Each
bee-keeperhad to pay honey-taxes
The main priest of the new parish church in Augustow obtained land of 10 wloki close to NETTA village. He built a manor house and a village Borsuki there (p. 114 ).
Administrative Developments of the Wojstowo: Several neighboring villages created one administrative unit called a "voytostvo". 100 wloki was an avarage size of each voystostvo. There was voytostvo TAJENSKIE (p.120).
Tax breaks for Royal Service: The voyts of NETTA, Barglow, Rutki and TAJNO each had 2 wolki which were free from taxes. One free wolka in Barglow belonged to "sluzka", a servant who took care about the delivery of correspondance. This was a stranger from Mazovia named Wojciech Pomaska. Other taxe-free wloki belonged to the miller and to the "wybrancy " (peasants in military service). These wybrancy could cut down trees, collect wood, build houses, brew beer, and produce vodka without paying taxes. The other inhabitants were jealous, and didn't like the wybrancy. All the "wybrancy " were absent from their houses for a dozen weeks in 1595. They probably took part in Stanislaw Zolkiewski's campaign against the Cossaks.
All of these wloki, free from taxes, officialy belonged to the Royal Treasury. After a time the King started to give these lands in annuity leases, mostly to yeomanry (minor nobility), local clerks, or retired employees and officers of royal service (p. 132).
The New King Shakes Things Up: The new king, Sigmunt III, developed the distribution of land . He took away land close to Augustow (called Zascianek ) and gave this land to his private secretary Jerzy Burbach in 23 Sep 1600. The town of Augustow was against the King's desicion and didn't let his secretary enter town. Eventually the town had to obey the royal order. The Zascianek land owners changed many times. Part of it was kept by Adam Srebrowski, a descendant of NETTA's voyts (1616). As a consequance, the borders of the voytostvos were changed as well. In 1637 the villages of Wolka and Pruska were included into the TAJNO voytostvo (p. 142).
Jan Bolakiewicz was the voyt in TAJNO in 1565, he was peasant but his descendants received noble status. The Bolakiewicz clan kept this position in TAJNO for many generations. Krzysztof Bolakowski became a voyt in 1639 and his son Jan held the position from 1649 to 1698.
NETTA Village Landowners: 5 wloki of land (called lany: Bednarzowski, Suczynski, Losinkowski, Piotraciowski, Gluchowski ) belonged to Magnuszowski in 1650. The next leaseholder was Rzedkowski. 3 wloki belonged to an unknow Ms Zeromska in 1650.
There were two manor houses in the 1650's in NETTA (p. 143) .
Also during these times starosta's
lands were divided.
In 1637 the TAJNO voytostvo was
separated from the Augustow
starostyand became a seperate TAJNO lease, soon called
TAJNO starosty . The first
starosty was Kazmierz Dulski from1637-1639.
From 1639 - 1664 Jan Denhoff served as the second
starosty. He died servings as a lieutenant
general of the King's
foreign army. The third starosty (1664 - 1672)
was Jan Denhoff's son Wladyslaw
Denhoff, a royal colonel. In year
1672, the personal union between
the two starosties of
Augustow and Rajgord were separated. From that time
the starosty of
Rajgrod was taken by royal high officers: Todwens,
Felkersambs, and Grothuses.
More Divisions and the Creation of Tajenko: The new divison of starosties brought some changes in the administrative locations of several villages. Next , new leaseholders needed manor houses. The starosta of Augustow built his manour house in NETTA. He used empty wolki.. Other new manour houses were built in Barglowka, Orzechowka and TAJENKO MALE, which was located on the east coast of Tajno Lake. A record from Janowka parish in 1629 described a person as "Grzegorz Chrzanowski de Taienko Minor". In the 1661 receipts of poll taxes, this village was called "Tajno Male seu Tajenko". (p.144). From AGAD, Potocki s Archives from Radzyn.
The Effects of More Manors: More manor houses meant more taxes, and subsequently larger requirements for villein services and other charges. The peasants' situation became worse during this time. The peasants from TAJN , Wozna Wies and Barglowek sued Kazimierz Dulski, a starosta in 1639. They did not agree with his illegal exploitation. They aslo sued his mother who took away part of the peasants' privilages. The King sent two commissioners to verify this conflic . They were Jan Racibor Starczewski and Jan Franciszek Lubowicki, who were the King's secretaries. They opened a temporary court section in Rajgord on 9 Sep 1639, located in the house of Jan Jaworowski. After a detailed investigation, they decided to limit the taxes and charges paid by the peasants, and ordered the starost to treat his peasants better (p.145).
Population Size: There were normally
24 to 74 persons per one farming wloka.
This was a common
amount. The best ratio in the area
was in POLIKOW where there were only 10 farmers
on each wloka . But still
in the 1660s there
were empty wloki (not farmed ) .
Wybranieckie wloki existed only in TAJNO . The wybarncy in 1664 were: Szczesny, Nowakowski, Piotr Dunkowski ,
Walenty Kulik, Klimunt Kulik (p. 168).
The soltys (village headman) in TAJNO from 1639- 1698 were Bartlomiej Skobel, Bartlomiej Mieczkowski, Piotr Hajduk, Wojciech Szczesny, Walenty Kulik, Andrzej Mieszany, the widow Pilich, Bartlomiej Klimont, and Bartlomiej Szczesny (p. 177).
There were only 6 farmers in POLIKOWO in 1689. They were obligated to guard the meadows and forest and they paid taxes of 10 zlotys per house (p.178)
A note on the sources: This information comes from the book Studia imaterialy do dziejow Pojezierza Augustowskiego (The studies and the materials of history of the Augustow Lake district ) edited by Jerzy Antoniewicz, Bialystock, 1967. Page numbers referenced above reference this book. The research and translation was done in February 2006 by Iwona Dakiniewicz for Jay Orbik.
of the data from chapter one -
about the colonization in
the Augustow area, comes from
the followig sources:
1. The Main Archives of Old Records in Warsaw.
2. The Czartoryski Family Library in Krakow
3. The Central Historical Archives in Vilno (CHAP-Vilno)
4. The Central Historical Archives in Grodno ( CHAP - Grodno )
5. The Central Historical Archives in Kiev (CHAP - Kiev)
6. The Public Library of Scientific Academy of The Univerisity of Kiev (BPAN - Kiev)
7. The Regional Archives of Suwalki (PAP - Suwalki )
8. The Diocese Archives in Lomza (AD - Lomza )
9. The Parish church in Augustow
The background materialscame from records of The Lithuania Metrics from 16th century, including the Inspections of Augustow,
Starosty of Rajgrod, Starosty of Tajno lease, registers of land, house and livestock taxes.
Doctor Jerzy Antoniewicz was the director of this project and was the General Secretary of the Scientific Society of Bialystok Institute.