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Pieniążek family. History of the family and ancestral area.

I started writing this article in October 2009 and practically since the day I started every day a new piece of information was presented to me in records and/or literature about the history of Jedlińsk and my own family. Hence, I had to revise this artcle many times and even though I am sure I will have to rewrite it several more times after 3 months of hard work I can say that I have achieved at least a satisfactory level of knowledge (also on what I don't know and would like to know eventually) which I am presenting below. There are still lots of question marks which are a promise of more discoveries to be made both on the history of Jedlińsk and of my own family. In particular I am interested in Jedlińk's connection with Sanok area, the Calvinist or Unitarian (Arianie/Bracia Polscy in Polish) community of Jedlińsk, the international community of Jedlińsk (Scotts in particular) and last but not least the history of my own family. Grażyna Rychlik, 6th January 2010. The family tree was last updated on 12th August 2013.
The family tree of the Pieniążek family is locatd at the very end of this article. You can skip the article and move directly to the tree by clicking on this link:
move to Pieniążek Family Tree

In 2005 I started researching my own roots (Szaniawski and Pieniążek family names - among others). Great help in my research turned to provide in fact not vital records but rather books of permanent residents for Radom which not only survived the stormy history of Poland but also were meticulously run and are source of a lot of invaluable information. Above all they helped me to place in space and time siblings of my great grandfather who were born in different places and hence baptised in different parishes around Radom. But Pieniążeks (the family name of my 2 x great grandmother who married Alexander Szaniawski) in reference to Szaniawskis were not there. So almost immediately I reached the point where I could not go any further (both on Pieniążeks and Szaniawskis) because I did not know where to look for records. Szaniawskis were from Radom - but only for the past 100 years or so and I could not locate Pieniążeks. Books of citizens did not go that far back in time to give me clues about some earlier ancestral locations. So I worked on my many other ancestors but eventually in 2009 I decided to go back to this family and try to work on some kind of progress. To achieve this I decided to search through records from much larger an area (both for Szaniawskis and Pieniążeks) and in fact very close to Radom - in Jedlińsk - I found marriage record of my 2 x great grandparents, Maryanna Pieniążek and Aleksander Szaniawski. Subsequently I found Maryanna Pieniążek's birth record and a lot of information about her family both on maternal and paternal side. Thanks to this finding I was also able to locate the Szaniawski family and you can read about it in a separate article.
Maryanna Pieniążek's mother came from the Sadkowski family and the family tree of the Sadkowski family determined so far is shown separately on this site.

Pieniążeks, Sadkowskis and other families which became related through marriages were families of citizens of the town of Jedlisko (today called Jedlisk). They were all craftsmen in the areas of shoe making, canvas weaving and some were furriers. Such discoveries are always great because they are a promise of finding not necessarily detailed family information but information on working environment, living conditions, customs and traditions in the area and also on trading paths which supported the development of these occupations/businesses and so the motivations for some decisions taken by my ancestors or members of the community in which they lived.

According to the description of Jedlińsk given by father Jan Wiśniewski in his book about parishes of Radom Deanery (Dekanat Radomski) there were 3 craftsmen guilds in Jedlińsk - it was some time in the 19th century but unfortunately he does not give any exact date on when it was. His book was written in 1911 and I finally found one of the sources on which he based this information - a series of articles written by another priest, father Jan Kloczkowski, who was the parish priest in Jedlińsk in the 19th century. Upon Jedlińsk losing its town charter in 1869 (as was the fate of many towns in Mazovia and other lands in the entire Russian partition of Poland - this way they were punished by the Russian authorities for support to the uprising against the Russian rule in 1863) father Kloczkowski decided to bring to citizens' of Jedlińsk minds a (sometimes somewhat selective) history of the town of Jedlińsk. Despite its limitations it is a source not to be missed by a researcher. He published his articles in a weekly called Zorza (Daybreak), a Sunday paper for town and countryside folk (as the complete title ran) published in Warsaw according to my knowledge from 1866. A series of 3 articles was published in 1870 in inssues 20, 21 and 22. He did write other articles for the same weekly on Jedlińsk and related subjects. Thanks to the articles in the Zorza I was able to get some more exact information. However these are all secondary sources and information from them should be treated with caution.

The 3 guilds in Jedlińsk were:

  • Shoemakers Guild established in 1611 with the royal privilege confirmed by Zygmunt III, the King of Poland, in 1631. According to the articles in the Zorza this guild was still in existence in 1870.
  • Furriers Guild's existence was confirmed on permission of the owner of Brzezie, count Lanckoroński, in 1781 (since the original privilege issued by king Zygmunt III was burnt during Swedish wars). According to father Wiśniewski due to the appearance of Russian leather coats on the market and difficulties with obtaining sheep leather this guild ceased to exist. It must have been before the book was written but I don't know when it exactly happened).
  • Mixed Guild (Cech Połączony/Pospolity) set up by the citizens themselves after 1830 which gathered different professions like blacksmiths, masons, carpenters and others.

Since many of my ancestors were referred to as 'mayster kunsztu szewskiego' which means master shoemaker they obviously must have belonged to the guild.

Family name Pieniążek is so far the oldest family name in all my family trees. It appears several times in early written documents:

  • 1336 in the royal documents issued by the king of Poland Casimir the Great (Kazimierz Wielki) mentioning the heir of Iwanowicze, Sando dictus Penoszek.
  • 1473 in the records of the Sanok court Petrus and Iacobus germani Pyenyąskove from Wojtowicze are mentioned
  • 1451 in the books of town councilors in Old Warsaw (Stara Warszawa) Stanisław Pieniążek and his daughter Anna are mentioned

On purpose I show one of the ancient spellings of the family name, in 2. in the plural form.

This information comes from the Dictionary of the oldest Polish family names. Of course there is no proof that my ancestors were related in any way to these first Pieniążeks and most probably they weren't.

It is worth mentioning that the word 'pieniążek' in Polish is a diminutive of the word 'pieniądz' which means money. Pieniążek also means a small piece of money or a coin. It is a good word for a nickname, even in the contemporary Polish language. Because the word itself is so colloquial 'Pieniążek' must have become a family name independently in many places so many of the name bearers simply cannot be related by this fact alone. There are over 4 000 people with family name Pieniążek living currently in Poland and spread pretty much equally with the exception of several higher concentration areas. It also seems that there is very little research done on Pieniążek families which would allow to compare findings and find more Pieniążek lines of which some (with help of DNA testing) might prove to lead to one common ancestor. So far the only Pieniążek family which has been thoroughly researched are the Pieniążeks from Górzno.

Attached map gives an idea of the Pieniążek family name spread in contemporary Poland (2009).

In my research (when looking for historic Pieniążeks) I also found a potentially more plausible (to be somehow related to my family) Jan Pieniążek, a leaseholder on the Nowy Targ who on request of the mayor and the city council of Nowy Targ issued a statute (code of practice) for the Shoemakers Guild in 1575. Of course this Jan Pieniążek was not a shoemaker but an heir so chances of any connection at that time are slim. However, we don't know what happened to the family of Jan Pieniążek 140-150 years later when my family appears in the records. Maybe one of his relatives traveled down to Warsaw on business and on the way met a beautiful (or rich) girl in Jedlińsk and settled there, having good profession (shoe making or shoe or leather trade) and hence promising family prospects in hand. When completely at loss we can let in a little bit of romance and daydreaming.
For sure leather for shoemakers and furriers had to come from somewhere - pigs were but sheep were not kept so much in central Poland (as it is until the present time) so for sure environment of craftsmen and traders had to work with suppliers who were able to provide necessary for their businesses materials sometimes from very far away.
I kept the passage above 'a potentially more plausible' as it was originally written. At that time (2 months ago or so) any connection of my Pieniążeks of Jedlińsk with today's south-eastern Poland seemed to be too far a shot. In view of new information discovered (see below), namely the connection between the Calvinist (rather than Uniatrian) community of Jedlińsk and part of Red Ruthenia (the area around and south of the town of Sanok which can be easily located on today's map of Poland) seems to give some support to the idea that my ancestors on the Pieniążek side might have come some time in the 16th or 17th century from that part of today's Poland to Jedlińsk.

Recorded history of Jedlińsk goes back to 1530 when the king of Poland, Zygmunt (Sigismund) I the Old issued in Piotrków a permission for Mikołaj Jedliński to set up a town on his own land and this town was set up in the very same year and named Jedlińsko. It operated according to the Magdeburg town charter. The document of the city charter does not survive until the present time. Jedlińsk was burnt almost completely during the Swedish war in 1655 and a lot of documents were lost then - including, according to father Kloczkowski, the Unitarian documents.
The great advantage of the location of Jedlińsk was the fact that it was situated on the main road connecting Kraków and Warsaw (Warszawa, today's capital of Poland). In 1569 Warsaw became a place where the diets of the Parliament of the Commonweath (Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) were held. This meant that for the time period when the diet was in session all influential people were there. They had to get there and then they needed the best products and services so the trade was flourishing. Some of those who were traveling from the south would go on the Kraków-Vilnius trading path which ran via Radom and Jedlińsk. Eventually Warsaw became permanent royal residence (in first quarter of the 17th century) so all roads leading to the royal city gained even more importance then they had before and Jedlińsk could capitalize on these growing opportunities even more.

Radom county (where Jedlińsk was and is located up to the present time) was to a large extent (around 60%) owned by the nobility and the nobility set the rules where they were the owners (other counting owners would be the king (so the state) and the Roman-Catholic Church). 30 years after appearance of Jedlińsk (1530) on the map, in 1560, the owners of Jedlińsk (Jedliński family) became followers of the Calvinist faith. Sources say that they changed their faith under the inspiration from the Bal brothers, Matjasz and Stanisław, who were recognized Polandwise for their devotion to Calvinist faith and who married dauthters of Mikołaj Jedliński. Roman-Catholic community of Jedlińsk was thrown out of their church which became the venue of the Calvinist community.
In literature there is a lot of reference to Arianie (another name of Polish Brothers, Eng.: Unitarians) of Jedlińsk but no-one knows for sure whether there truly was a Unitarian community of Jedlińsk in existence (or only Calvinist or both at the same time (rather impossible) or some people shifted from one to the other). One argument for is that Jedlińsk had the only in Radom county Protestant school (which sometimes was referred to as Jedlińsk academy) where according to some sources teachers were 'imported' from the Raków academy (Raków was a big Unitarian centre in the 17th century). On the other hand it is confirmed that there was a Scottish community living in Jedlińsk and it is believed that the reason for their choosing Jedlińsk was that they could practice their faith without any problems. The remaining proof of Scottish presence is an inscription on a church bell (still in Jedlińsk) confirming that the founders were the Scottish community in 1619. Accoridng to Waldemar Kowalski "the foundation of the bell was an expression of gratitude towards the local Calvinist community for having made it possible for the Scottish settlers to take part in religious worship".

Scottish community of Jedlińsk is another interesting subject on which there is little to be found. Scots of Jedlińsk are not recorded as foreign tax payers to the state of Poland which rather suggests that they either somehow managed to avoid paying state taxes and/or they simply had a deal with the owner of Jedlińsk. The foundation of the bell rather confirms their existence and that they were of means to pay for such a foundation. It is estimated that there were 30 000 Scottish families living in Poland at the beginning of the 17th century [15]. Typical family names which would be recognized in Jedlińsk to be Scottish are: Inglin, Kilian and Kielian (still present in Jedlińsk in the 19th century), Dolary and Hurdy.
After mid 17th century the number of Scots living in Poland diminishes. It is very likely that many Scots left Jedlińsk upon expulsion of Calvinist (or Unitarian) community from the church. Some may have converted or intermarried. So far in 1812 I found one mention of a Scottish woman in Jedlińsk (no name given) for whom noble Józef Malinowski worked as a teacher - such information was given in birth record of his daughter Eleonora. This only means that there was at least one Scottish person still living in Jedlińsk at the very beginning of the 19th century.

Unitarian community of Jedlińsk existed officially till 1630 when they were thrown out of the former Roman-Catholic church building by the new owner of Jedlińsk, Stanisław Witowski, Sr. In fact so far I have not found detailed information on whether this Calvinist/Unitarian community dispersed, how many people actually left Jedlińsk and how many converted . The front fighters of CounterReformation, the Jesuits, did not establish their presence at that time in Radom area and it seems that CounterReformation process ran very peacefully there. It rather seems that in Jedlińsk there was a question of keeping the community (and so the proceeds for the owners) relatively happy, especially the Scottish community whose members were devout Calvinists. So one of the 'propaganda tools' was keeping the school. Christening of the last Unitarian person in town, Anna Gutry, on 26th July 1642 was accoridng to father Kloczkowski the last conversion in town. According to another source [12] the last Protestant of Jedlińsk about whom we have information, a Scot and a merchant, Wilim Kilian converted to Catholicism sometime between 1647-1650.

When the Unitarians were gone the Roman-Catholic parish was reestablished in the Jedlińsk church. In the former Calvinist/Unitarian houses a high school (Lyceum) was established and the teachers were brought from the Kraków Academy. The school together with the rest of town was destroyed by the Swedes in 1655 and the whole town did not recover much until after 2 fires in 1841 and 1842 when Jedlińsk started catching up on population, development, industry and business.

One interesting fact is recorded. Tadeusz Kościuszko marched with his army past Jedlińsk in spring 1794 and set up a camp on the fields around Jedlińsk on his way to Warsaw.

Presence of the Calvinist/Unitarian community in Jedlińsk had a long lasting effect on town and its population. The most important feature was the school which certainly placed education in the category of value. It is visible in many things. Books of records were run with more care for one. Even today, the first glance at Jedlińsk makes you wonder what this place once was, even if you don't know anything about its history. It is clean, has a very nicely and recently designed centre with a part alley and a very nice monument which every big city would be very happy to have. One has a feeling that the inhabitants of Jedlińsk today love their town and are proud of it.

In the official/government paper published for Sandomierz Province (to which Jedlińsk belonged at that time) - Dziennik Ustaw Woiewodztwa Sandomierskiego - published in Radom on 8th May 1820 [3] we can find a list of all citizens of Jedlińsk. It does not mean that only these listed citizens lived in Jedlińsk with their families. But listed 75 people had a title of Citizen of Jedlińsk and different tax laws applied to them as well as duties towards the owner of Jedlińsk. It is interesting that in fact Jedlińsk for much longer a time remained a private town. Of course it changed hands many times and to me the most interesting owner was a very famous carriage maker from Warsaw, Tomasz von Dangiel.

I have identified 75% of the citizens of Jedlińsk in 1820. Remaining 25% are under research and there are clues about 15% out of this amount. Among them is my 3 x great grandfather, Augustyn Pieniążek, who was a shoemaker and possibly other family members, Jan Pieniążek and Krzysztof Pieniążek (see Pieniążek family tree below).
To me the most interesting are professions of Jedlińsk citizens. In 1820 the largest group are furriers - 35%. Next are shoemakers - 25% and then weavers - without separating them into categories - 5%. Many families stayed with the profession - so we can say that professions were hereditary. However in some families each son would represent a different profession - in most cases they would be furriers and shoemakers.
This little exercise does not match at all with the information given by father Wiśniewski - especially on the subject of the number of shoemakers and furriers in Jedlińsk in 1820. According to him in 1820 there were 504 Christian inhabitants and 84 Jews and the following number of people in listed professions: 4 taylors, 12 shoemakers, 10 furriers, 2 blacksmiths, 5 weavers, 3 tanners, 1 iron worker/locksmith, 1 cooper, 1 carpenter and 1 wheelmaker. Maybe this is a list of businesses where more than one person worked and hence come the differences in numbers.
This list is a very useful tool also because it gives both given and family names. These family names don't not appear in villages belonging to Jedlińsk district/public records office/parish at that time (1820) and hence they help immediately identify inhabitants of the town versus peasants from villages. A number of the family names in the list is not that popular all over Poland so it may help somebody to at least narrow down the ancestral territory.

There was also - at least at times - a relatively large Jewish community in Jedlińsk, reaching 42% of the population in 1870 (400 out of 942) [5]. According to father Wiśniewski up to 1830 there were 5 Jewish families living in Jedlińsk and in 1879 there were 344 Jews (which is less than in 1870). From 1858 there was a synagogue and a rabbi but there are no separate vital records for Jedlińsk which only suggests that administratively Jedlińsk belonged to another religious center or records are missing - I have not followed up this information (or lack of it) yet. This is all very little information but right now I have no source at hand to compare it with earlier or later demographic data. In the historic times Jewish inhabitants of Jedlińsk belonged to the Kahal of Przytyk but between 1810-1825 they registered civil records (according to the existing law) in Jedlińsk. My guess is (but I may be wrong) that the Jewish community of Jedlińsk continued to be connected with the Jewish community of Przytyk or tied to the Jewish community in Radom - as far as the administration of the community went.

In 1846 on order of the provincial authorities of Radom based on the tsar ukase the town assumed coat of arms - a crayfish. According to all publications in the Radomka river (south of Jedlińsk) there were lots of crayfish which were even sent to Warsaw markets for sale where for their outstanding quality they acquired a nickname raki jedlińskie (Jedlińsk crayfish). Rak in Polish means among other crayfish. Even the history of the coat of arms of Jedlińsk gets a new angle when looked at from the Unitarian perspective. Raków - the town where the famous Unitarian school was - was established in 1569. His owner (Jan Sienieński) was a Unitarian and the town was named after the coat of arms of his wife (Jadwiga Gnoińska) which of all possible things was a Rak/Crayfish.
Today in the market square (Rynek) of Jedlińsk there is a small park created and a modern and very charming statue of Mr Crayfish decorates it there.

On the ukase of the tsar of all Russia, the King of Poland, Aleksander II, from 1st June 1869 on 17th/29th October 1869 Jedlińsk's town status was changed to settlement status. This ended 340 years of history of Jedlińsk as a town. It was also then when the name was changed from Jedlińsko to Jedlińsk. All this was announced to the citizens on 18th/30th December 1869.

Jedlińsk has also its own and unique tradition which has been in place for more than 200 years. According to the Magdeburg town charter Jedlińsk had a privilege to cut off heads of the criminals (the so called law of the sword - prawo miecza). The only and last two executions took place in 1778 after which date this law stopped operating. Instead a local festival came to being which has the name Cutting off the head of the Death on Kusy Tuesday (Ścinanie śmierci w kusy wtorek) in short Kusaki. It takes place on the last Tuesday of the carnival and is the ONLY festival of this kind in all Poland. If interested to learn more visit photo gallery on the official site of Jedlińsk (www.jedlinsk.pl).

The first Roman-Catholic church in Jedlińsk was built by its first owner. Just after few years it was taken over by the Calvinist community. Remaining Roman-Catholic community worshiped their religion in nearby parishes the closest of which was Lisów.
When Unitarians were gone the existing church returned to the Roman-Catholics but was rather in a poor condition. In 1645 a new brick church was built only to be burnt and damaged 10 years later. The decision was taken to restore the building and the project was completed only in 1773. This restored church building serves as the Roman-Catholic parish church in Jedlińsk until the present time.

I would like to say a few more words about Pieniążeks. Right now I don't know whether this family originated in Jedlińsk or came to Jedlińsk at some point in time. If the former is true, my ancestors could have belonged to the Calvinist community, if the latter is true they might have come to settle in Jedlińsk some time after the Swedish wars. I am sure there were lots of repairs to be made, population had to be recreated and also businesses. 17th century was very devastating for Poland. If my ancestors came from somewhere it could be practically anywhere although I keep in mind locations where the family name Pieniążek appears earliest in the history. When I was starting digging up the history of Pieniążeks I rather looked at the area around or south of Kraków as a possible place of origin. Discovering the connection of Jedlińsk with Red Ruthenian - Hungarian to be exact (or Slovak to be even more exact) - family of the Bals and knowing that there was family name Pieniążek in the Land of Sanok made me wonder whether my ancestors on the Pieniążek side came from that part of Poland. I would like to share some of my discoveries - especially that it is hard to find much reference to the Calvinist/Unitarian history of towns of Red Ruthenia these days.
I don't know how exactly things happened (two things have to be remembered, one - that Jedlińsko at that time was in Sandomierz province (today in Mazovia) and two - at least some of the followers of the 'new' faith would know each other even if distances were big because they might have attended some meetings together). Bal family became devout Calvinists and one of the brothers, Matjasz Bal, married a daughter of the owner of Jedlińsk, Anna Jedlińska (I never found a reference to the other brother, Stanisław, marrying Anna's sister). It seems that the couple lived in Hoczew or in one of the land possessions of the Bal family since next owners of Jedlińsk were the Gorajski family and not the Bals.

Now I have to make 2 digressions. One about one chapter of the Reformation in Poland and the other about Red Ruthenian families. Not only both subjects are related but they are related in a sense that is important to my ancestral locations and maybe even my ancestors.

Reformation. New ideas of the reformers of the Church started coming to Poland from Switzerland (and other western European countries) from around 1540. First Calvinist (traditionally the Calvinist faith is called in Poland Evangelical-Reformed) service was held in 1550 in Pińczów and this date may be considered to be the 'official' date of the beginning of the presence of the Calivinist faith in Poland. Not much later - in 1562 at the council of Pińczów the Calvinist congregation divided into Higher Congregation - proper Calvinist faith and Lower Congregation - the so called Polish Brothers (Bracia Polscy). Polish Brothers were not only a religious movement but also had a very interesting and extremely progressive (to radical) for the times social program. They were critical of social exploitation of any kind; they supported respect for physical work, humanism and spreading goodness not for the benefits in heaven but for the sake of love of a fellow human being. However in the early years there was a lot of discussion among the followers of Bracia Polscy, some were fed up with all these discussions and wanted to live in peace and unbothered. Jan Sienieński, a possessor of lands in many parts of Poland with a castellan title [definition from the English edition of Wikipedia: a castellan was the governor or caretaker of a castle or keep. The word stems from the Latin Castellanus, derived from castellum "castle".] in order to help Polish Brothers to be able to follow their values set up for them a town in 1569 and named it Raków. The experiment did not work exactly as Sienieński planned it since more radical Polish Brothers moved out and established another religious cenre in Lublin. In the end, however, Raków became Poland and Europe famous for its printing press and the Unitarian Academy (high school) which operated between 1602-1638. I encourage everybody to read more about Unitarian centre in Raków in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Polish Brothers/Bracia Polscy were sentenced to exile on the basis of the bill of the Polish parliament in 1658, they were thrown out of many towns in Poland well before that date, from Jedlińsk in 1630, from Raków in 1638. Those who did not want to go away either returned to Calvinism or converted to Roman-Catholicism.

Red Ruthenian families. There are two families in particular I want to mention: the Bals (Gozdawa coat of arms) and of all other possible families, the Pieniążeks (Jelita coat of arms). I became acquainted with Bal family in genealogy research but the subject of members of Bal family being devout followers of the Calvinist faith never appeared in the literature in a big way until I discovered my roots in Jedlińsk and started searching for facts. Family connection with Jedlińsk is also hard to find in general literature.

Bal family. Since it is interesting in its own right I present a brief history of the Bal family since their documented presence in Poland up to say the end of the 16th century. I think that descendants of this family live in Poland until the present time. Bal family appears on the arena of Polish history some time in the second part of the 14th century. The first recorded persons in the family are Petrus Ungarus (Piotr/Peter of Hungary) and his brother Paweł/Paul. Even though sometimes the attribution was different it is rather certain that the Bal family originated in Hungary - the country with which Poland bordered for centuries and had a lot of good contacts up to the hightest (royal) level. Bal brothers (Matjasz and Stanisław from Hoczew) who married into Jedliński family were 5 generations apart from the first of their ancestors to set foot on the Polish (only for 20 years or so at that time) soil. I concentrate on the line of Piotr.
GEN 1: two brothers Piotr (Peter) and Paweł (Paul) are mentioned for sure in 1360s; even though some classify them as Polish nobility they came from Hungary which is today's Slovakia, from a village Bal-potok near Bardejov - almost minutes away from today's Poland/Slovakia (then Poland/Hungary) border. Also their German roots are a possibility - if interested to explore this subject in more depth look for entries on the Taubdeutsche. Piotr is more of interest to us. Although he is referred to in literature rather as Piotr Węgier/Petrus Ungarus (Peter Hungarian) his son and his descendants carry the family name Bal.
GEN 2: Matjasz (in Polish it would be Maciej - Mathew - so at that time the spelling is kept in the native language of the family) Bal, married to Anna
GEN 3: Jan Bal (d. 1480), married to Zuzanna from Siennów, he inherited after his father Brzozowo whose name evolved via Lobetans, Lobotanecz, Nebetanz and Lubotaniec to today's Nowotaniec.
GEN 4: Jan Bal had 3 sons of whom Maciej Bal (d. 1506), the castellan and senator of Sanok continued the line of interest to us; he settled in Hoczew which became the seat of the family at the time. He was married to Anna Weszmuntowska and 3 children with her, 2 daughters (Katarzyna and Barbara) and a son, Mikołaj.
GEN 5: Mikołaj Bal (d. after 1534), married to Helena Tęczyńska. They had 2 sons: Matjasz and Stanisław. Stanisław was married to a daughter of Adam Wzdowski (I never found any proof of Stanisław being married to one of Jedliński daughters. It is not impossible though, he could have been married more than once).
GEN 6: Matjasz Bal (d. abt 1575) was married to Anna Jedlińska, a daughter of Mikołaj Jedliński, the founder and owner of Jedlińsk. They had 6 children:

  • Jan Bal married to Anna Sienieńska - so there is another connection with a known Unitarian family from Raków (Sienieński family were founders of Raków)
  • Piotr Bal - he is said to have been a founder of a settlement which later became a town called Baligród (the town of the Bals) and remained in the family hands until 1770 (Habsburg invasion preceding the first partition of Poland). He converted to Roman-Catholicism.
  • Matjasz - died in childhood
  • Katarzyna
  • Anna
  • Samuel
All boys received education at foreign universities. This generation continued but I wanted to show a connection with Jedlińsk. Apparently this family remained in the Reformed faith until 1667. Throughout the centuries various members of the Bal family held various official positions to do with the Land of Sanok.

Pieniążek family. Again I would like to show first known generations and explain where I see a possible connection with Jedlińsk.
GEN 1: Jakub Pieniążek. I found little about him.
GEN 2: Mikołaj Pieniążek (d. 1474). He held a number of offices in the following lands: Kraków, Spisz, Biecz, Sącz, Sanok, Oświęcim. He owned Witowice (which are also spelt as Vitovice which suggests that they may be in today's Slovakia), Iwanowice ad Wysocice. He was the owner of Zarszyn. He had 2 daughters: Anna, Katarzyna (married to Henryk Andreas Kamieniecki) and 3 sons: Stanisław, d. 1493, (married to Agnieszka, their son Jan d. 1536 was the last of the line), Jakub (see below) and Jan (an infamous archdeakon of Kraków whose bio is quite interesting to read). It seems that Mikołaj Pieniążek was married more than once and there are other children appearing in literature.
GEN 3: Jakub Pieniążek was married to Anna Zarszyńska. I have learned little about them. In 1508 Jakub Pieniążek and Piotr Zarszyński are recorded as heirs of Zarszyn and in 1590 as heirs of Zarszyn appear Mikołaj Pieniążek and Anna Pieniążkówna - to me it seems that they are children of Jakub and Anna but this is not confirmed anywhere.

In the second part of the 16th century Calvinist faith reaches Zarszyn and like in case of Jedlińsk Roman-Catholic community was thrown out of the church building which became a venue of the Calvinist community. It seems that it was still in the presence of the Pieniążek family who rather must have belonged to the new faith - otherwise they would not give the permission for its followers to gather. In 1624 the church shared the fate of Zarszyn invaded by the Tartars and was burnt together with the rest of the town. In 1625 the Jesuits became owners of Zarszyn. This is how through the outside intervention the Calvinist community of Zarszyn ceased to exist. Right now I am of the opinion that the reason for buying Zarszyn by the Jesuits was connected with its Calvinist history more than with anything else but of course I may be wrong. Pieniążek family disappears from Zarszyn at the end of the 16th century. Maybe they die out, I don't know.

My conclusion is that chances are that because of the connection between the Land of Sanok and Jedlińsk on 3 important grounds:
1. ownership of land
2. spiritual - following 'new religion', the Calvinist faith
3. administrative proximity - Jedlińsk belonging to the province of Sandomierz
some inhabitants of the Land of Sanok - whether they were from Zarszyn area or elsewhere and whether they had a real, assumed or different than Pieniążek family name - could have moved to central Poland and become citizens of Jedlińsk in this particular case or other towns.
Reasons for change of the location could have been manifold: religious (the Calvinist/Unitarian community still existed in Raków and Jedlińsk when it already did not in Zarszyn), security - moving further away from the areas which were more frequently invaded by the Tartars), better economic prospects - town dwellers were not surfs and could move easily.
Distancewise we are talking about large distances for the time period in question (16th and 17th centuries): 275 km/160 miles between Jedlińsk and Sanok); 185 km/115 miles between Raków and Sanok - just to give a rough idea. Maybe I will never be able to prove or abolish this theory but it is an interesting path to explore in my future research.

Photos in this article:

  • a copy of birth certificate of Maryanna Pieniążek b. 1830 in Jedlińsk
  • a copy of the cover of reprint of the Dziekanat Radomski by father Jan Wiśniewski (orignial 1922, reprint 2000)
  • a photo of shoemakers comes from the façade of the house of the Guild of Shoemakers in the Old Town in Warsaw (Warszawa), taken in November 2009
  • a photo of the market square (Rynek) of Jedlińsk with a charming contemporary monument of Mr Crayfish (crayfish - in Polish rak - is the coat of arms of Jedlińsk) taken in November 2009
  • a photo of the parish church in Jedlińsk taken in November 2009

Bibliography and sources
[1] Słownik najstarszych nazwisk polskich (the Dictionary of the oldest Polish family names), vol. I - Zofia Kowalik-Kaleta, Leonarda Dacewicz, Beata Raszewska-Żurek, published by the Institute of Slavonic Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Slavonic Foundation, Warsaw 2007
[2] Dekanat Radomski - Jan Wiśniewski [Radom Deanery]
[3] Jedlińsk; parafia i gmina w prasie dziewiętnastowiecznej - Stefan Rosiński [Jedlińsk, parish and district in the 19th century press]
[4] Jedlińsk - okruchy historii Jedlińskie Kusaki - Stefan Rosiński [Jedlińsk - remains of history, Kusaki of Jedlińsk]
[5] history of Jedlińsk published in 3 articles in the Zorza weekly in 1870 (issue 20, 21, 22)
[6] numerous articles from the Polish edition of wikipedia on the subjecs: Raków, genealogy of Bal brothers, Pieniążek family connected with Sanok and Zarszyn, Calvinist community of Poland
[7] web site of so far the only other Pieniążek family with interest in their own roots (www.pieniazek.com)
[8] http://www.moikrewni.pl internet portal (for the map of the family name spread)
[9] Radom i region radomski w dobie szlacheckiej Rzeczypospolitej t. 2, 1996: Jacek Kaczor - Protestantyzm w powiecie radomskim w XVI-XVIII wieku [Protestantism in Radom county between 16th - 18th centuries]
[10] Kieleckie Studia Historyczne t. 9, 1991: Waldemar Kowalski - "Comonitas Gentis Scoticae" w Jedlińsku w pierwszej połowie XVII stulecia [Comonitas Gentis Scoticae in Jedlińsk in the first part of the 17th century]
[11] Bracia Polscy w Gdańsku i okolicach - Zenon Gołaszewski, Gdańsk 2008 [Polish Brothers in Gdańsk and around]
[12] Biuletyn Kwartalny Radomskiego Towarzystwa Naukowego, Radom 1966, T. III, z. 2: Wacław Urban - Z dziejów reformacji w Radomskiem [On the history of the Reformation in the Radom region]
[13] Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej 1982, nr 2: Zenon Guldon, Lech Stępkowski - Ludność szkocka i angielska w Polsce w połowie XVII w. [Scottish and English population in Poland in the middle of the 17th century]
[14] Polski Słownik Biograficzny - nazwiska: Bal, Pieniążek [Polish Biographical Dictionary]
[15] Ludność żydowska w regionie świętokrzyskim, 1987: Zenon Guldon - Żydzi i Szkoci w miastach województwa sandomierskiego w XVI-XVII w. [Jewish population in the Świętokrzyskie region: Jews and Scots in towns of Sandomierz province in 16th-17th centuries]

Descendants of Aleksander Pieniążek

this family is still under research

updated 11 August 2013

Please note that source citation is not provided for this family tree on this site. This family has been thoroughly researched and each information presented is supported by evidence from original sources. If interested in a particular person and their record, source citation for any of the information in the tree can be provided on request.

1-Aleksander Pieniążek b: abt 1708, d: 16 Apr 1778 in Jedlińsk

+Zofia m: 14 Nov 1735 in Jedlińsk

2-Kunegunda Pieniążek b. in Zawady, bapt: 30 Jul 1742 in Jedlińsk. No further info.

2-Marianna Pieniążek b. in Zawady, bapt: 26? Jan 1744 in Jedlińsk. No further info.

2-Michał Pieniążek b. in Zawady, bapt: 12 Sep 1746 in Jedlińsk. No further info.

2-Mateusz Pieniążek b. in Zawady, bapt: 12 Sep 1746 in Jedlińsk, d: 28 Dec 1818 in Jedlińsk

+Małgorzata Grzebieniewska b: abt 1761, d: 25 May 1821 in Jedlińsk, m: 28 Jan 1783 in Jedlińsk

3-Augustyn Pieniążek b: 27 Aug 1784 in Jedlińsk, d: 25 Jun 1849 in Jedlińsk

+Kassylda Sadkowska bapt: 29 Apr 1787 in Jedlińsk, d: 7 Dec 1847, b&d in Jedlińsk,

m: 5 Feb 1807 in Jedlińsk

4-Andrzej Pieniążek bapt: 30 Nov 1807 in Jedlińsk, d: bef 4 Feb 1814

4-Jan Pieniążek bapt: 17 Jun 1810 in Jedlińsk, d: 6 Jun 1815 in Jedlińsk

4-Andrzej Pieniążek b: 4 Feb 1814, d: 1 Sep 1873, b&d in Jedlińsk

+Katarzyna Ziębicka b: 26 Nov 1820, d: 5 Oct 1869, b&d in Jedlińsk;

m: 19 Feb 1838 in Jedlińsk

5- Maciej Pieniążek b: 18 Feb 1840 in Jedlińsk

+Julianna Skoczek b: abt 1842, m: 22 Jan 1862 in Jedlińsk

6-Józefa Pieniążek b: 12 Dec 1862 in Jedlińsk

6-Marianna Pieniążek b: 27 May 1865 in Jedlińsk

6-Antonia Pieniążek b: 2 Jan 1870 in Jedlińsk

6-Józef Pieniążek b: 16 Mar 1874 in Jedlińsk

5-Agnieszka Pieniążek b: 21 Jan 1843 in Jedlińsk

+Stanisław Dąbrowski b: abt 1849, m: 17 Aug 1869 in Jedlińsk

5-Julianna Pieniążek b: 13 Feb 1845 in Jedlińsk

5-Marianna Pieniążek b: abt 1846 in Brody, d: 4 Sep 1873 in Jedlińsk

m: 1872 in Jedlińsk

+Władysław Puchniarski b: abt 1846 in parish Jankowice

6-Józef Puchniarski b: 28 May 1873 in Jedlińsk

5-Teodozja Pieniążek b: 29 May 1849 in Jedlińsk, m: 30 Oct 1870 in Jedlińsk

+Paweł Oliwiński b: abt 1823

5-Brygida Pieniążek b: 20 Sep 1852, d: 24 May 1855, b&d in Jedlińsk

5-Ludwika Pieniążek b: 23 Aug 1856, d: 27 Apr 1858, b&d in Jedlińsk

5-Franciszka Pieniążek b: 24 Mar 1864, d: 12 Sep 1865, b&d in Jedlińsk

4-Katarzyna Pieniążek b: 30 Oct 1817, d: 2 May 1819, b&d in Jedlińsk

4-Kunegunda Pieniążek b: 26 Feb 1821, d: 18 Oct 1861, b&m&d in Jedlińsk

+(1)Andrzej Książek b: 28 Nov 1816, m: 22 Feb 1839, d: 6 Apr 1848, b&m&d in Jedlińsk

5-Gertruda Książek b: 1839 in Jedlińsk

5-Salomea Książek b: 2 Nov 1843 in Jedlińsk

5-Karolina Książek b: abt 1844 in Jedlińsk

5-Stanisław Książek b: abt 1847 in Jedlińsk

+(2)Piotr Jastrzębski b: abt 1816, m: 19 Oct 1853, d: aft 1861, b&m in Jedlińsk

5-Michał Jastrzębski b: 24 Oct 1858 in Jedlińsk

5-Tomasz Jastrzębski b: 12 Sep 1854, d: 15 Sep 1854, b&d in Jedlińsk

5-Józefa Jastrzębska b: 3 Jul 1857 in Jedlińsk

5-Franciszek Jastrzębski b: 25 Mar 1859, d: 26 Oct 1861, b&d in Jedlińsk

5-Łukasz Jastrzębski b: 18 Oct 1861, d: 24 Oct 1861, b&d in Jedlińsk

5-Franciszek Jastrzębski b: 18 Oct 1861, d: 24 Mar 1862, b&d in Jedlińsk

4-Tomasz Pieniążek b: 15 Sep 1825 in Jedlińsk, d: 29 Mar 1831 in Jedlińsk

4-Maryanna Pieniążek b: 22 Mar 1830 in Jedlińsk, m: 18 Feb 1851 in Jedlińsk

- Grażyna Rychlik's 2 x great grandmother

+Aleksander Szaniawski b: 28 Nov 1829 in Bujak

5-Antoni Szaniawski b: 17 stycznia 1852 in Jedlińsk

+Paulina Pieniążek b: abt 1855, m: 20 Oct 1880 in Jedlińsk

5-Jan Nepomucen Szaniawski b: 14 May 1853 in Owadów, d: 9 Jun 1908 in Radom

+Rozalia Paulina Bociańska b: 16 Jun 1860 in Radom, m: bef 1893, d: 2 Mar 1939

5-Maryanna Szaniawska b: 6 Apr 1859 in Kamieńsko

5-Marcelli Szaniawski b: 4 Jun 1860 in Kotarwice, d: 1912 in Radom

+Feliksa Bieniek b: 15 Mar 1868 in Janiszew, d: 1956 in Radom

5-Feliks Józef Szaniawski b: 10 May 1867 in Wsola

+Anna Szrubarek b: 7 Jul 1869 in Radom, m: bef 1899

3-Jan Pieniążek bapt: 8 Feb 1791, d: 12 Jan 1848, b&d in Jedlińsk

+(1)Agnieszka Jarzęcka b: abt 1803, m: 5 Feb 1827 d: 25 Jun 1828, m&d in Jedlińsk

4-Magdalena Pieniążek b: 14 Jun 1828, d: 1831, b&d in Jedlińsk

+(2)Salomea Starostka, b: 19 Feb 1814, m: 20 Nov 1838 in Jedlińsk

4-Paulina Pieniążek b: 12 Feb 1847, d: 14 Feb 1847, b&d in Jedlińsk

3-Joanna Pieniążek bapt: 28 May 1794, m: 13 Feb 1821 in Jedlińsk

+Wawrzeniec Barciński b: abt 1799

4-Jan Barciński b: abt 1821

+Maryanna Ordowska b: abt 1829, m: abt 1860, Jedlińsk

5-Franciszek Barciński b: 31 Mar 1861, d: 7 Apr 1861, b&d in Jedlińsk

5-Franciszek Barciński b: 25 Mar 1862, Jedlińsk

5-Eleonora Barcińska b: 5 Apr 1864, Jedlinsk

5-Józefa Barcińska b: 19 May 1866, Jedlinsk

5-Julianna Barcińska b: 16 Feb 1869, d: 22 Feb 1869, b&d in Jedlińsk

4-Franciszka Barcińska b: 2 Mar 1833, Jedlińsk, m: 12 Feb 1855, Jedlińsk

+Franciszek Ziembicki b: 31 Aug 1834, Jedlińsk

5-Florentyna Ziembicka b: 22 Oct 1856, Jedlińsk, m: 28 Sep 1875, Jedlińsk

+Piotr Kosobucki b: abt 1850

5-Teofila Ziembicka b: 17 Feb 1859, Jedlińsk

5-Paweł Ziembicki b: 1 Jan 1861, Jedlińsk

5-Maryanna Ziembicka b: 18 Oct 1863, Jedlińsk

5-Jan Ziembicki b: 31 Oct 1865, d: 12 Apr 1868, b&d in Jedlińsk

5-Józef Ziembicki b: Abt 1870, d: 28 Aug 1873, b&d in Jedlińsk

5-Karolina Ziembicka b: 30 Mar 1877, Jedlińsk

4-Eleonora Julianna Barcińska b: 17 Feb 1837, Jedlińsk, m: bef 1866

+Piotr Ziembicki b: abt 1843

5-Paweł Ziembicki b: 20 Jan 1866, d: 2 Sep 1873, b&d in Jedlińsk

5-Marianna Ziembicka b: 18 Oct 1874, Jedlińsk, d: 1961


3-Tomasz Pieniążek b. in Jedlińsk, bapt: 28 Dec 1798 in Jedlińsk. No further info.

Below I am presenting other Pieniążek families found in Jedlińsk records. The question is whether Krzysztof Pieniążek and other Pieniążeks from the same generational level were Mateusz Pieniążek's siblings which is likely or not. One of supporting pieces of evidence is the fact that Augustyn Pieniążek (Mateusz's son born in 1784) appears as witness at the marriage of Karol Pieniążek (Krzysztof Pieniążek's son, b. 1797) where he is described as stryc which I read as a son of father's brother. The proper word in old Polish language would be stryjec but of course there were many variations on spelling and usage of particular letters.

1-Krzysztof Pieniążek b: abt 1745, d: 28 Dec 1820 in Jedlińsk

+Apolonia Szadkowska d: bef 1820, m: 10 Feb 1778 in Jedlińsk

2-Antonina Pieniążek b: abt 1782

+Kacper Łukaszewski b: abt 1805

2-Apolonia Pieniążek bapt: 8 Feb 1784 in Jedlińsk

2-Jan Pieniążek b. in Jedlińsk, bapt: 23 Oct 1786 in Jedlińsk

2-Piotr Pieniążek b. in Jedlińsk, bapt: 29 Jun 1789 in Jedlińsk

2-Wojciech Pieniążek b. in Jedlińsk, bapt: 12? Apr 1792 in Jedlińsk

2-Karol Pieniążek bapt: 31 Oct 1797, d: 19 Oct 1841 on Jedlińsk

+Tekla Kokowska [M 1820]

3-Gertruda Pieniążek b: 23 Nov 1820, d: 2 Jan 1838, b&d in Jedlińsk

3-Józef Pieniążek b: 4 Mar 1825 in Jedlińsk

3-Domicella Pieniążek b: 17 Apr 1828, d: 9 May, b&d in Jedlińsk

3-Maryanna Pieniążek b: 30 Jun 1833 in Jedlińsk

The Pieniążek families listed below were found in early records in Jedlińsk. The connection with the researched family was not proved. There are many records connected with Antoni Pieniążek but ther are several different wives recorded. It was not researched to check whether there was one Antoni Pieniążek or several Antoni Pieniążeks and whether names of wives were sometimes given as a mistake or they were recorded correctly.

  • In 1766 Antoni Pieniążek married in Jedlińsk Franciszka Szpotowicz.
  • On 25 Nov 1788 Katarzyna Pieniążek, daughter of Antoni Pieniążek and Jadwiga was baptised in Jedlinsk.
  • On 27 Oct 1792 Magdalena Pieniążek, daughter of Jan Pieniążek and Petronela was baptised in Jedlińsk.
  • On 31 Mar 1793 Izydor Pieniążek, son of Antoni Pieniążek and Helena was baptised in Jedlińsk.
  • In 1811 at 30 (so born about 1781) died Julianna Pieniążek, a daugter of Antoni Pieniążek and Maryanna Kowal (?) [maiden family name is given with characteristic for unmarried women ending Kowalczonka which in fact may give several possibilities to the family name, Kowal being one of them]. Both parents are already deceased in 1811. It is very likely that Antoni was a brother of Krzysztof and/or Mateusz.
  • In 1833 died Bonawentura Pieniążek. He died at 57 so was born around 1776. His parents were Antoni Pieniążek and Franciszka. Bonawentura could have been Julianna's brother - but from a different mother. Bonawentura's wife was Klara Plucińska?

Villages belonging to parishes:
RC parish Jedlińsk: Jedlińsk
RC parish Jankowice: Brody
RC parish Krzyżanowice: Bujak
RC parish Radom: Janiszew, Kotarwice
RC parish Wsola: Kamieńsko, Owadów

Aleksandra Chwatow

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