Some History of Tajno, Netta, and Polkowo Villages

Including the Families - Orbik, Polkowski, & Litwinski

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 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.

J
acwiez 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  (p.  68).
* 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
villages .

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 POLIKOW (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 

Polkowo, compared 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  Benedykt CHATA.
 

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 fairs 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. 214But  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 Polkowo. 204-205

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 area.

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 : 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 (p. 122).

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) .

Administrative Divisions: 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.

All 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.
.