Brief history of the Family and name "WAJSZCZUK"
March 06, 2000
OVERHEARD, STILL UNPROVEN - (please, comment, if you have any information). -
(Based on the information obtained from some family members from Siedlce). During the partitioning and occupation of Poland (1795 - 1918), two brothers, originally bearing a different last name ? (PIOTROWSKI ?), were banished to Siberia by the Tsarist authorities as a punishment for participation in the liberation attempts against the Russians (Uprising of November of 1830 ?). During their successful escape and on the way back to Poland, they adopted new name WAJSZCZUK and maintained new identity, to avoid further persecution. One of them migrated to the Podlasie region, the other one to the Zamość area. Is it true?
Also, in the next step, we would like to check out the possibility that the names WAJSZCZUK, WASZCZUK, WAJSZCZYK and similar may have at some time in the past originate from the same stem? Are the "variants" due to accidental misspelling by the administrative officials? Are we possibly related or they are of a separate and independant origin?
Update - August 04, 2005
Information gathered in the meantime from the members of the Family at the
time of numerous direct contacts, by correspondence or during Family
gatherings, allowed initially to reconstruct both main branches of the
Family back to about the middle of the 19th century (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo1.htm).
Subsequent search coducted by our cousin Barbara Miszta (0156) in the Parish
archives in Trzebieszow led to the discovery of some ancestors of the
Podlasie branch, who lived there already at the beginning of the 18th
Unfortunately, several gaps still persist and therefore some branches could
not be connected to the main trunk of the Tree. Continuation of search in
the Archives is planned (see below).
Recently, with the help of an experienced
local "investigator", we were able to complete a search in old Metrical
Books in the State Archives in the city of Lublin. It encompassed reviewing
records originating from selected Parishes belonging to the Diocese of
Zamosc, where members of the Zamosc branch of the Wajszczuk Family were known
to be living in the past or are stiil living there(http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/ksiegi_metrykalne_parafie.htm). The
review started with the oldest books found there and included records up to
about the year 1870. More recent records are being kept in the Archives in
the City of Zamosc - perhaps we will get to them at a later date? Before
that, in the near future, we are planning to initiate similar search in the
records from selected Parishes in the Podlasie region (the Podlasie branch
of the Family), which are known to be also stored in the Lublin Archives.
In summary, archival search concerning the Zamosc branch
of the Family revealed the presence of their ancestors in that area already
as early as the middle of the 18th century (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/polski/drzewo.htm).
Some "similar" names were found in the earlier period (17th century), but
there was not enough documentation available to allow including them into
the category of probable ancestors of the Wajszczuk Family (see below - "Recent
Discoveries" - August 3, 2005)
The most recent findings, described above, together
with earlier discoveries concerning the Podlasie branch - sofar,
did not provide any support for the family legend concerning two
brothers, who were supposedly exiled and then escaped (when?) from Siberia -
at least in the version passed on to us!
The search for the roots and origins will continue.
It may be limited, though, by the fact that older records do not seem to
IS TRUE, AFTER ALL?
Deliberations, February 14, 2006
December 9, 2006 - (distant relative) Włodzimierz
(According to the Family legend - see above) - (...)
Two brothers Piotrowski stole the identity papers (returning from the
exile/imprisonment)? Perhaps they were also exiled after the Confederation
of Bar (1768-1772) . If they returned with papers bearing the Wajszczuk
name, such name must have existed. Too many people with a Piotrowski name
live now in Poland to allow verification of the story. Family legends
usually contain a grain of truth!
December 10, 2006 - in response
(deliberations concerning the Confederation of Bar
light of the above remarks):
The facts established sofar:
The Bar Confederation in Poland - years 1768 - 1772
The earliest identified persons with a name Wajszczuk
Podlasie branch - Stanislaw, born ~1709 in
Trzebieszow, died - ?
Zamosc branch - also Stanislaw, born ~1750-7 (where?),
lived in Wysokie n/Zamosc, died - 1820
Comparison of the dates listed above indicates that
Wajszczuks lived (and the Wajszczuk name existed) already in Poland
prior to the Confederation of Bar!
On the other hand, may be here lies an explanation for
the existence of two distinct (geographically separated) branches of the
Family? It is not inconceivable that a Wajszczuk Family member escaped
the Russians from Podlasie to the Zamosc area (which remained at that
time under the Austrian occupation) at the end of the Confederation,
thus originating the Zamosc Family branch. Sofar, we know only that a
Stanislaw Wajszczuk already lived in Wysokie at the time when his
daughter was born in Wysokie in 1785. However, we do not know, where he
was born or exactly when (probably some time betwen 1750 and 1757)?
Another possibility still exists - perhaps the
Piotrowski brothers "remained" (voluntarily or not) in Moscow (Muscovy -
today's Russia) at the time of the Polish-Muscovite wars (1605 - 1618) -
(see) and were escaping back to Poland, perhaps after the
retreat from Moscow in 1612? We have to look further back, to those
Recent search conducted by us using the Cyrillic
alphabet at the eastern neighbours (except Byelarus, where the search
results were not considered to be reliable?) - did not reveal the name
Wajszczuk, but we found a few entries for the name Wajczuk, more
numerous for Wojczuk and most numerous - Waszczuk.
Question arises, from whom did the Piotrowski brothers "borrow" the
papers and the name Wajszczuk? On the other hand, a possibility exists
that at one time the Wajszczuks did live "on the other side of the Bug
river" (old Polish expression), but the name ceased to exist - became "extinguished"
Currently in Poland - the name groups ("variants"?):
Wajszczuk, Wajszczak, Wajszczyk (and similar) are rather rare; more
numerous is Wojczuk; the name Waszczuk (and its variants?) is several
fold more common!
Further possibilities to consider and to investigate are:
the Piotrowski brothers "remained " in Muscovy after the
1612 events and later were trying to get back home, while changing their
name during the return trip (to avoid capture)?
the name Wajszczuk originated on the old territory of
Poland, for instance as a variant of a name Waszczuk, or
it originated independantly, in a "usual" mechanism
similar to that, which lead to the creation of other names in that time
period? (But how, what were its roots?)
a cousin from Trzebieszow - Barbara Miszta (0156) stated
at one time in the past, that she came across some records mentioning a
Wajszczuk who served in the past in a military formation called
We will have to look further into this story.
December 13.2006 - Stanislaw Wac wrote: (Mr.
Wac conducts for us a search in the State Archives in Lublin)
Supposedly, a book by prof. Rymut contains a statement that "the name
Wajszczuk exists in Poland since 1656". This infomation will require
If it is true, perhaps some Piotrowskis were in
Moscow around 1612 and were forced by the circumstances to change their
names while returning home to Poland?
November 01, 2002
See below: Contemporary data concerning the name WAJSZCZUK and similar names as well as their distribution over the territory of Poland
History of this page including some early thoughts (with updates) click to open the page!
January 14, 2001
Most recent information obtained from the parish records in Trzebieszow revealed that Wajszczuks lived there already at the beginning of the 18th century. The search, conducted by our cousin Barbara Miszta (who lives there), continues and we are anxious to learn what the next findings will be. So far, based on current information, it appears that the "family legends" about two brothers, Siberia, escape and name change are less probable! But if that indeed happened, it did not take place in the 19th century! (Unless the opposite happened - some Wajszczuks were deported and returned as Piotrowskis? - an error occured in passing down the family legend? - we will have to consider that possibility!!!).
We still do not know when and under what circustances the Podlasie and Zamosc branches of the family separated. There remains strong evidence that two large "family nests" existed (and still exist) in the Podlasie and Zamosc provinces! Continuation of investigations on the Zamosc branch may encounter significant difficulties due to the fact that substantial amount of records was destroyed during the last war. We will have to intensify our investigations concerning this branch of the family - hopefully with full sucess!
January 16, 2001
We learned a lot and there were many new developments since March 2000. The "FamilyTree" grew considerably thanks to the abundance of new information submitted by the family members. We planned this update already for quite a while, but the continued influx of new data and our desire to rapidly incorporate it in the Tree, as well as some other projects, such as pictorial reports from family gatherings and the trip "Down the... Family trail" delayed this project.
1. Already in May 2000 we discovered a new family branch in the Zamosc area (Maciej and his descendants, who lived in the village of Wysokie). We knew previosly about Wajszczuks from Sitaniec and Wielacza - we still do not know when did the branches separate.
2. In July of 2000 we discovered another family branch from the Podlasie region with its roots in Kakolewnica and Zakowola Radzynska - the information is still limited and we need to find out when, how and from where did Wajszczuks come there?
3. Recently we discovered some other previously "unknown" Wajszczuks living in the town of Lodz and some even in Warsaw - now we are waiting for more information from the newly established contacts.
4. Review of the old Parish records conducted by a cousin Barbara Miszta in Trzebieszow (Podlasie) revealed the presence of Wajszczuks there already at the beginning of the 18th century (see the new version of the Family Tree - under costruction). New questions follow:
a. is the "family legend" about two brothers deported to Siberia true? "(see paragraph on "Family History").
b. did some Wajszczuks live during the same time period in the Zamosc area?
5. A visit in July 2000 and study of the Parish records in Nur (on-the-Bug river) and a visit in the nearby Zebry-Laskowiec revealed that the ancestors and relatives of Wajszczuks who arrived in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century still live there (as well as in other places in Poland), but use the name Waszczuk.
6. We were able to identify all (?) Wajszczuks living in the USA and in Canada [see their webpages: Józef (363), Stanisław (409), Piotr (059) , Wacław (104), Stanisław Marcin (147), Marian Aleksander (181)]. Those, who arrived here shortly after WWII, originate predominantly from the Zamosc branch and came here shortly after the war, usually after expulsion from their homes and deportation to Germany for forced labor during WWII. Some - originating mostly from the Podlasie branch - arrived here later, during various periods of time and under various circumstances, mostly to study or to work.
7. We were succesful in re-establising closer contacts with the family in Argentina (see their pictures) - they may be coming to Poland for a visit this summer?
8. We were also able to gather some information (still very limited) about the fates of some family members and their participation in the war efforts (in Poland, in the Underground during WWII and in the Polish Armed Forces abroad) - please submit more information and stories, before they get lost forever! In addition to expanding the Tree and its branches (together with the attached old photographs, where submitted) we decided to make the Tree "livelier" and more interesting to visit, by adding various "contemporary" picture galleries such as: "Down the WajszczukFamily Trail" (driving to the old and current family settlements and visiting with some members) or "The Wajszczuk Family Gatherings" (current, informal - of the Podlasie branch in Trzebieszow last summer, then meeting family members in Warsaw or Detroit). Please, visit these pages and submit your pictures with commentaries!!!
July 10, 2002
During the preceding year, as a result of searches in the Internet, telephone books and in other ways, we were able to collect a number of previously "unidentified" Wajszczuks - some of them with e-mail addresses, some with postal addresses and some with telephone numbers. We did not know to which Family branch did they belong. We decided to contact them by mail and then by telephone. Print-outs of the selected branches of the Family Tree were enclosed with the correspondence, to familiarize the recipients with the design of the Tree, along with a specially developed questionaire form. The response was very satisfying and during the subsequent telephone conversations, they were asked about their interest in meeting us in person. Based on that information, the dates for this trip and an itinerary were planned. It turned out that all of our contacts were living in the Podlasie region (see the map).
On Tuesday, June 25, we were able to visit some of the Wajszczuks in Lukow, Krzymoszyce and Kakolewnica and on Wednesday, June 26 - in Misie, Poscisze, Piszczac, Slawatycze and Biala Podlaska. The touring party included: Barbara Miszta - a cousin from Trzebieszow, nee Wajszczuk (as a local guide, also "co-developer of the Tree" and a "public relations" specialist - it turned out that Barbara knew at some time some of the persons we met or heard about them, or knew with whom and how they were related!), Pawel Stefaniuk (co-local guide, webmaster of our Tree and also a photographer and chronicler of our trips and family events) and I, Waldemar as a driver.
We were able to gather a great amount of information, which helped to further develop some of the previosly known branches, such as the one originating from Trzebieszow III (about which we knew very little previously) - they live now in Misie. Or build a new branch of the Family Tree with roots near the town of Lukow. The oldest currently identified members of this branch lived around the middle of the XIXth century in Domaszewnica (near Lukow). How did they get there? We are still not sure, how this branch connects to the main Podlasie stem? At present its members live in Lukow, Piszczac, Slawatycze, Biala Podlaska and Janow Podlaski. The ancestors of the Wajszczuks, who currently live in Krzymoszyce and Poscisze, lived already around the middle of the XIXth century in Zawadki (near the town of Miedzyrzec Podlaski), but before that time? We also obtained a lot of new materials, to be able to further develop the Family branch, whose ancestors were traced back to Zakowola Radzynska, where they also already lived in the middle of the XIXth century.
Also during the course of last year we were able to establish that (their ancestors were traced as far back as the middle of the XIX century):
1/ the Wajszczuks currently living in Lodz originate from the branch from Rzymy-Rzymki and Dminin in the Podlasie region [http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/podlasie_f.htm] - but before that? Some members of the family moved after the war to the Mazurian lake district and to other localities in Poland.
2/ the Wajszczuks living in Torun come from the Trzebieszow III branch [http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/022jan.htm].
3/ some of the Wajszczuk families currently living in Warsaw also originate from Trzebieszow III.
Our next trip to Poland (September 16 - October 2 - see map
and full report
) was full of "discoveries". In the meantime, we again accumulated new addresses and telephone numbers, which were used for initial contacts while in Warsaw.
Briefly, we discovered a new Family branch originating from Sulow n/Sokolow Podlaski, which probably belongs to the large Podlasie branch - see
. This location is already very near to Nur and Zebry-Laskowiec, where we previously found a large Waszczuk
family - see
. And another one from Sulow n/Szczebrzeszyn - see
, which belongs to the Zamosc branch.
A real surprise awaited us while visiting the cemetery in Miedzyrzec Podlaski. There we found a few Family graves of Wajszczuks
and many of Waszczuks
. (The name Waszczuk becomes more common, as one moves east towards the border!). However, we were astonished to see that some of the members of the Wajszczuk Family, even brothers and their descendants, were buried with the name Waszczuk on their gravestones (see pictures below). For instance, Czeslaw (0669) - the youngest son of Andrzej (0656) Wajszczuk - born in 1926 in Krzymoszyce then living in Poscisze and Czeslaw's son Stefan (0748), were buried as Waszczuks - see
; the address sign on their family home also reads Waszczuk! Also, Jan (0667) - the younger brother od Kazimierz Wajszczuk (0661), our "contact person" in that area - born in 1953 in Krzymoszyce and currently living in Zabce, uses the last name Waszczuk. These observations make us again wonder about the origins and relationship between these two names! Currently however, general opinion within the Family is that these two names (and families) are different and unrelated and occasional occurences of name change (substitutions) are probably due to inattention during filing papers on part of the individuals or the office clerks, translations into and from foreign languages (Russian and German) during the long period of Poland's partitioning and occupation and different alphabets used for record keeping (russian/cyrylic and german/gothic).
In the course of our telephone conversations and personal meetings, we were able to identify the Wajszczuks living in Lublin
[with the asistance of cousin Lilka (0097)], Torun
. During the individual meetings (see below), we were also able to gather a lot of supplementary information for the Family branches originating from Trzebieszow I
and Trzebieszow III.
January 13, 2003
As a consequence of the increasing complexity of the Tree, and in particular of its main Index page (resulting from addition of new "chapters", i.e. Trip reports, Meetings, Special pages, Updates etc.), we decided to introduce some simplifications, while at the same time making it easier to travel on the Tree. Towards the end of the year 2002, the Index page was rebuilt - new secondary "sub-index" pages were created and they were displayed on the main Index page, while some of the pages which were previously shown directly on the main Index, are now linked to the sub-index pages. Also, graphic appearance of some of the pages was changed - refreshed. We believe that the new modifications will make moving around the Tree easier and less confusing. We will very much appreciate your comments and advice!
Also, because of marked progress in identifying the individuals and branches of the Wajszczuk Family, as well as in an effort to share the information, make it more accessible to the Family Members, and in an effort to secure that the information will not get lost (in case of a computer or server failure) - we decided to place it on CD records. Initial "test" batch was already mailed to some individuals, whose addresses were readily available to us. We are compiling a new expanded list of addresses. Ideally, we would like to be able to mail the CD (at no cost) to every member of the Wajszczuk Family. If you are interested in obtaining the "Wajszczuk Family Tree" CD - please contact us directly by e-mail:
or write to:
- Waldemar Wajszczuk, 4489 Patrick Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322, USA
- Paweł Stefaniuk, ul. Bankowa 12, 21-570 Drelów, Polska.
April 18, 2003
During recent trip to Argentina, in addition to meeting our relatives (see), we got again in touch with the family Wajczuk, who live in the town of Pilar, approximately 100 km. west of Buenos Aires. Earlier, we found in the Internet the name of Nancy Wajczuk listed among the 1997 college graduates there and subsequently a telephone number to a Wajczuk in Pilar. After obtaining the correct area code, my wife Carmen called and presented in spanish our work on the Family Tree and our desire to find out about their ancestry. Apparently, their ancestors came to Argentina from Poland early in the XX century, but no other details were immediately available. The documents in their posession were difficult for them to read and we could not establish any details, as to their place of issue. We announced our forthcoming visit.
There are indications, however, that they may belong to the Wajszczuk Family. The name is very similar and could have become abbreviated at the time of immigration. Also, when we were in Poland last year, while visiting some relatives in the Lukow (Podlasie) region, we were told about some Family members, who emigrated "long ago" to South America, but no further details were known or remembered (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/spotkania/warszawa_podlasie
_2002_e.htm - see paragraph under the date of October 8).
After arriving in Buenos Aires, we contacted them again by phone (with the assistance from our cousin Adam - http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/polski/drzewo/059piotr.htm#0063). Tentative plans for a meeting were made, however it turned out that it was not possible because of the distance, work schedule and our short stay in the area. Prior to our departure, Carmen was able to collect over the phone some information, which allowed construction of a webpage of this family (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/polski/drzewo/grzegorz.htm). We still do not know, whether and where we should connect this branch on our Family Tree. We asked to have the copies of the immigration documents sent to us by mail, we will try to decipher them and then make a decision.
Another item of interest! In the course of the last several months we were contacted on a few occasions by persons with the last name Waszczuk, who were asking, if we know anything about the possible connections between their and our names? Unfortunately, we do not, except for a few isolated instances of documented suspected transcription errors, which occured at different times and under various circumstances (see this page - above under the date of October 28, 2002, and http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/217jan.htm). Among others, in one instance (family originating from the Sokolow area), we were told that "at one time, they may have been called by the name Wajszczuk"? Other contacts were from the Siemiatycze area, Kobylka and Wolomin and also from Argentina (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl
/polski/drzewo/waszczuk.htm). We decided to collect this information and perhaps, some time in the future give it to an interested WASZCZUK. In the meantime they will be "stored" on our page - "page links" on the Index page - (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/schemat.htm).
Welcome and warm greetings to all visitors!!! (WJW)
July 27, 2003
During our last visit to Poland in June and July 2003, we continued individual meetings and collecting materials for the Tree. Between June 29 and July 5, we visited the following places: Warsaw, Wiskitki, Zyrardow, Skierniewice, Siedlce, Lazow, Zabce, Drelow, Aleksandrow, Dminin and Trzebieszow. The details are presented in a separate report:
During this visit we concentrated on the following topics:
Warsaw - collecting new materials about our cousins - Warsaw Insurgents of 1944 (see).
Prof. Dr med. Jerzy Świderski - "Lubicz", former participant of the Uprising himself, supplied us with new information. During visits to the Powązki Military Cemetery, we were able to finally determine the exact location of their graves there (see).
search for the ancestors of Waldemar's grandfather, Albert Herman (see) in Żyrardów and in the nearby Wiskitki (see map). Sofar, they provided only limited general information about the foreign settlers there, early in the 19th century. We renewed contacts in the Augsburg-Evangelical (Lutheran) Parish in Zyrardow and we were promised, that they will continue their search in the old archives.
during a visit to Skierniewice, we met all members of the Roman Wajszczuk (0945) see family. Roman supplied us with new information about his family branch - supposedly one remaining member of the family still lives in Sulow, under the name Walczuk? - to be checked directly!
in Siedlce (Waldemar's hometown) - visits to local institutions and individual meetings provided new materials for short biographies of Waldemar's parents. We also met for the first time another Wajszczuk family - Henry (0610) and his son Artur (0612) and their families - their roots are in Domaszewnica see.
searching for the trails of Wajszczuks in the area od Sokolow Podlaski (see map) - we found out that one Jan Wajszczuk (0925) seecame to Lazow from an unknown direction, to work at a local estate. Currently, there are no Wajszczuk living in that area - most of the descendants migrated after the war to the Szczecin area in north-west Poland. At the local cemetery in Lazowek, we saw the graves of Jan and his daughter Jadwiga (0928), however, she was buried under the name Waszczuk. A local official promised us his help with search in local archives for Jan's roots.
new or repeated visits in the Podlasie region:
- in Zabce, we visited for the first time Jan Waszczuk (0667) see - his parents and one brother use the name Wajszczuk, but his uncle Czeslaw (0669) see and his descendants also use the name Waszczuk. Jan did not know the circumstances of the alteration of their last name.
- in Trzebieszow we met with Janina Maczynska (0585) see - vacationing there from Warsaw - to discuss the possible connections of some of the still unconnected branches of the Tree.
- In Aleksandrow we visited again Karol (0567) see and his family , to check the progress in rebuilding of their burned down house.They moved in already, but there still remains a lot to be finished.
- in Dminin we looked for information about Wajszczuks, who used to live there - none live there any more see
visit to the cemetery in the "Family Nest" in Trzebieszow - see - Special Gallery)
attendance at the II Gathering of the Podlasie Branch in Trzebieszow - (see Special Report)
November 21, 2003
On the 26 of October, 2003 we participated in the wedding reception for Ana Wajszczuk (0064), which was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The official wedding ceremony took place earlier in Costa Rica. A few pictures from this event can be seen on page: (see
During this trip we were able to finally meet the Wajczuks (see above - under April 18, 2003) and to obtain from them more information about their family (see). They live in a town of Pilar, about 100 km west of Buenos Aires. We found out that their ancestor, Teodor Wajczuk, arrived in Argentina from Poland in 1930 from a village of Bystrzyce, district of Kostopol in the former province of Wolyn (Volhynia) - currently part of the Ukraine since WWII. According to the family, he supposedly stated on several occasions that - at one time in the past - their family name used to be different, longer. They did not know or remember any other details. It should be noted, however, that according to a copy of Teodor's birth certificate (see - http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/tekst/1039teodor.htm), his father and grandfather already used the name Wajczuk - unless an error occured in the trascription of this certificate, which was prepared in 1930, before Teodor's trip, by a parish priest of an Orthodox Parish in Bystrzyce. The family in Argentina was not sure as to the religious denomination of their ancestors in Poland - orthodox, uniate ( - http://www.drelow.siedlce.opoka.org.pl/meczennicy/historia_e.htm) or catholic.
In view of the above discoveries, our earlier supposition that this family may have come from the Lukow area in Poland and their name became abbreviated during the emigration process, was not confirmed (see above - under April 18, 2003). We initiated a search in Brasil!
Recently published "Dictionary of family names currently in use in Poland" (www.herby.com.pl/herby/indexslo.html) does not list the name Wajczuk.There are 575 Wojczuks (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/pokrewne.htm). A "Google" search using the "cyrylic" (russian) alphabet revealed only 5 entries for Wajczuks (including one, who was shot by the NKVD in 1937) and 141 entries for Wojczuk. The entries originated in Ukraine and in Russia.
October 19, 2004
Schedule of the vacation visit to Poland in July of this year included:
Participation in a commemorative session honoring Fr Karol Leonard
Wajszczuk, held in Drelow - his former Parish -
Participation in a meeting of local organizations in Zolkiewka devoted
to the memory and contributions of Dr Edmund Wajszczuk and
commemorating his three children, who perished in the Warsaw Uprising
of 1944. We were able to gather many reminiscences concerning them -
see meetings: 1 |
Collecting information about the Herman and Hildebrandt families -
ancestors od Wanda Wajszczuk (0086) -
Investigation to be continued in the Parish and Public Records Office
On the way back from Klimontow, we visited Studzianki Pancerne, the
site of one of the biggest tank battles during WWII. Kazimierz
Wajszczuk (0423) died there in 1944 -
Continuation of the gathering of information for the Tree and meeting
Family members belonging to the Zamosc branch:
- We met some members of the branch of the Family, who for many
generations (at least from the middle of the XIX century) lived in Sulow
and who belonged to a Parish in Szczebrzeszyn. We were able to
reconstruct partially their branch of the Family Tree - see.
They do not have any contacts with the Family branches residing in a not
very distant Wysokie and in Sitaniec. An investigation of the parish
documents in Szczebrzeszyn will be needed to find out more about the
origin of this branch and its connections with the other branches.
- In Zamosc, we met with some members of a branch originating in the
nearby Sitaniec -
Their earliest known ancestor's birth certificate was issued in
the Parish in Wielacza, but he apparently lived (initially?) in the
nearby Wysokie, and his children were born(?) or only baptized and registered in
the parish books in Sitaniec (perhaps due to the formation at that time
of a new Parish in Sitaniec, which incorporated Wysokie?). We were
unable to establish exact connections among the Family branches in
Sitaniec, Wysokie and Sulow!
- In Wysokie, we met many members of this Family branch and obtained
more details which were added to their branch of the Tree (see).
We were unable to elucidate the circumstances of death of Jozef
Wajszczuk (0298) in Auschwitz. (Previously, we were not able to find his
name in the registry of prisoners there).
- Our conclusion, based on new information obtained from our visits
and conversations (as well as from the study of parish records), was
that the ancestors of the Family members, whom we met in Sitaniec/Zamosc
and in Wysokie, were most likely first cousins (their fathers were
brothers - see below) - to be further investigated in the records in
Wielacza, Sitaniec and in Zamosc. We do not know, how they were related
to the Wajszczuks in Sulow?
(Earliest records in our
posession, dating back to the first half of the XIX century, indicate
that the following persons most probably belonged to the same
generation: 1/ Maciej (0267) - was born around 1830 and at that time
was already living in Wysokie (we do not know, where he was baptized?),
2/ Jan (0299) - born in 1843, was registered (baptized?) in the
Wielacza Parish, probably lived in Wysokie, but his children were
registered (baptized?) in a new Parish in Sitaniec (and possibly were
born and lived there?). We do not know the year and place of birth or
the place of residence of Jan's father - Walenty (0451), 3/ Pawel
(0404) was probably born (or registered? what year?) in Sitaniec - his
descendants still live there, 4/ we do not know the date and place of
birth of Jacob, the oldest known ancestor of the Sulow branch.
We still do not know the
location of the "primary nest" of the Wajszczuks in the Zamosc
A full report with pictures
from from this trip is available -
During the past few months we were able to construct new internet
pages presenting the Maciejewski and Olszewski Families, who are related
to the Wajszczuk Family through Piotr Wajszczuk (0059) -
January 05, 2005
Most recent search conducted in
the archives of the Roman-Catholic Church in the regional city of Lublin (also
the site of an Archdiocese) revealed that a Wajszczuk (Wayszczuk - old
spelling in Latin) family lived in the settlement of Wysokie already
before 1750. Its members have been always baptized and registered in the
Parish in Wielacza and were beeing buried there.
Search continues and we shall
report on our future findings.
Pertinent information found in the Internet pages of the Diocese in
Zamosc (http://www.zamosc.opoka.org.pl/) suggests
that the village of Wysokie belonged initially to the Parish in Wielacza,
probably until approximately the middle of the XIX century and was later
transferred to the Parish in Sitaniec. This is probably the reason for the
sometimes confusing findings, or apparent discrepancy between the verbally
obtained information about the actual place of birth, as opposed to the
information contained in the birth certificates, which represents the
location of the Parish.
March 10, 2005
were found in the Parish records in Nieledew (see),
Sitaniec (see) Sitno (see) and
August 31, 2005
We have just finished reviewing the Metrical Books in the National
Archives in the City of Lublin concerning the selected Parishes of the
former Diocese of Zamosc (currently called the Zamosc-Lubaczow Diocese).
They included Parishes in Nielisz, Nieledew, Wielacza, Sitaniec, Wysokie*,
Szczebrzeszyn and Stary Zamosc
(http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/ksiegi_metrykalne_parafie.htm). The selection
of Parishes was based on the known or suspected former places of
habitation of members of the Zamosc branch of the Wajszczuk Family. It
should be also noted that we have encountered the name Wayszczuk (an old
form of spelling) in Nieledew quite accidentally.
Current review included only the oldest books kept in the Lublin
Archives. The oldest books reached back, depending on a parish, from as
early as the beginning of the 17th century (Stary Zamosc) to the middle of
the 19th century (Nieledew). It is not known whether earlier records were
not kept or they were destroyed during numerous periods of unrest and wars
affecting this region. There were occasional gaps of a few years, but
generally they were quite complete and covered the period of time until
the year of 1875. More recent books were deposited in the Archives in the
city of Zamosc (and perhaps will be subject of our review at a later
date?). Until the year 1810 -1815 the entries were written in Latin, from
1810 to 1865 - in Polish and starting in 1865 (following the second
unsuccessful Polish Uprising against the occupying Russians in January of 1863)
- in Russian. The oldest books were severly damaged, faded, difficult to
read, spelling of names was dfficult to decipher - therefore some errors
and mistakes cannot be ruled out.
The oldest records, dating back to the year 1602 were found in the
Parish of Stary Zamosc (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/ksiegi_metrykalne_parafie.htm).
The second oldest come from the Szczebrzeszyn Parish and date back to
1650. Findings are summarized in this page:
few "similar" names were found there, but the information was very
incomplete, there was lack of continuity of the family lines and the names
revealed very little similarity (or were severely mis-spelled) - therefore
we could not consider them as probable or presumed ancestors of the
Wajszczuk Family. It should be stressed that in the 17th, 18th and still
at the beginning of the 19th century, a great variability of spelling of
the last name Wajszczuk was observed, as well as frequent mis-spellings of
the name of the same person in different consecutive record entries,
including the so-called "similar" (related?) last names (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/pokrewne.htm),
for instance Waszczuk or Wajszczyk or others. In the books recorded in
Latin, the name was usually spelled as Wayszczuk (a "y" instead of a "j").
Similarily, there was a great variability of the entered age of the same
person, which was usually recorded as the "age in years" instead of an
exact birthday (or a year of birth).
In our newest website pages, (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/parafia_wielacza.htm and
http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/1391jozef.htm), which were
based on the archival search, as described above (and which have a lighter
shade background, to differentiate them from the remaining pages
constructed earlier on the basis of verbal or mailed-in information),
overall membership in the Wajszczuk Family, or in a particular family or
branch and continuity of the branches, were verified by several
independant ways, for instance by the addresses, parents' christian names,
mother's maiden name, names of the godparents etc. The continuity of the
branches (and generations) is therefore beyond any doubt.
Because of the frequently observed variability (and the suspected "discretion"
or lack of attention, when spelling the last names by the officials
recording this information), a question arises whether some of the
contemporary "similar" last names (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/pokrewne.htm)
may have taken their origin from such mis-spellings in the past? Can these
names originate from a common "trunk"? We are being asked this question
occasionally by different people, among others by members of the Waszczuk
Family, whose name appears at present in Poland about eight times more
frequently than our name Wajszczuk!
* the reviewed books probably originate from the Parish in Wysokie
Lubelskie (postal code 23-145). Our search there was stopped after the
* * *
In previous Reports dated
October 19, 2004 and January 5, 2005 we posed some questions (see below) -
the answers to them were found in the meantime. Here they are:
1. Sulow. (Szczebrzeszyn
Parish) - Where from and when did the Wajszczuks arrive there?
The Szczebrzeszyn Parish
was erected in 1398.
Based on the recently completed
Archive search in Lublin, it appears that Wojciech (1392) - [son of Jozef
(1391), his date and place of birth are not known, living at that time in
Sitaniec, Sitaniec Parish] - also born in Sitaniec around 1785, a weaver
by profession, moved (probably following his wife, who was born and
resided in the nearby Kulikow) to Wolka Nieliska. They belonged initially
to the Parish in Nielisz (see map). Their son Bartlomiej (1394) was born
in Wolka Nieliska, but later lived in Sulowek, where his wife came from.
They belonged to the Parish in Szczebrzeszyn. (The contemporary
descendants of this Family branch belong there to this day). Sulowek is
recorded as a place of birth of their initial five children, while the two
youngest were apparently born in Sulow. Their oldest son Jakub (1236)
appears to be the forefather of a branch of the Wajszczuk Family, which
still lives in Sulow and in Kolonia Sulow (see -
concerning the more recent generations of this branch of the Family were provided
to us previously by mail or were collected during direct encounters -
with Roman (0945) in Warsaw in 2002 and in Skierniewice in 2003 and then
during a visit to Sulow and to Kolonia Sulow in the summer of 2004 (see -
We still do not know (the earlier records are lacking), how Jozef
(1391) was related to his contemporary - Stanislaw (1315), who was born
and lived in Wysokie and belonged to a Parish in Wielacza (see below), as
well as - from where did their (common?) ancestors come?
(The fact that the two contemporaries mentioned above belonged to
two different Parishes, i.e. Jozef, who lived in Sitaniec and belonged to
the Parish in Sitaniec and Stanislaw, who lived in Wysokie and belonged
to the Parish in Wielacza, may suggest that already at that time there
existed two independant lines (branches) of the Wajszczuk Family - in
Sitaniec and in Wysokie. How were they related? Where did they come from?
Since there are no subsequent archival entries (or we could not find any?) concerning
the family in Sitaniec - we should consider a possibility that this branch
"became extinct" or was "lost" to follow-up under the name Wajszczuk,
possibly due to the mis-spelling of the last name? It should be noted,
though, that "similar" names could later be found there - perhaps a
mis-spelled name Wajszczuk? This possibility is suggested by the suspected
close relationships between some families, for instance a Waszczuk being
invited as a Godfather by the Wajszczuk family (see -
http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/parafia_sitaniec.htm) - this
remains however only a speculation! "Renewal" of the name Wajszczuk in
Sitaniec occured later, when one of the members of a family in Wysokie
moved to Sitaniec - see below).
2. Wysokie (Wielacza Parish) - details of family
relationship between the Wajszczuks from Wysokie and Sitaniec.
A Parish in Wielacza existed already in 1424.
Archival search revealed that both Family branches had a common
ancestor. He was Stanislaw Wayszczuk (1315), born in 1757 in Wysokie and
residing there - earlier records were not available. He belonged to a
Parish in Wielacza (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/parafia_wielacza.htm).
One of his grandsons, Walenty (0451), who was born in 1822, moved to
Sitaniec, probably after marrying a girl from there - Katarzyna Majdan.
His descendants stayed in Sitaniec, while the remainder of the family (other
descendants of his grandfather Stanislaw) continued living in Wysokie.
While Walenty (0451) was probably a person responsible for the "renewed" presence
of the Wajszczuk name in Sitaniec, his brother Maciej (0267) was probably
the single and only person responsible for the continuation of the family
line in Wysokie (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/parafia_wielacza.htm).
As already mentioned above, it calls attention that Maciej's godfather was
one Pawel Waszczuk from Sitno, Parish of Sitaniec - perhaps also a Family
member but with a "mis-spelled" name? (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/polski/drzewo/parafia_sitaniec.htm).
3. Parish affiliation of the villages Wysokie
and Sitaniec - (to Parishes in Wielacza or in Sitaniec).
A Parish in Wielacza existed already in 1424.
The Metrical Books from this
Parish exist since 1722, but the books concerning the village of Wysokie begin
from 1784. The earliest entry concerning the Wajszczuk Family was found
under the date of June 16, 1788. It records the birth of Petronela
Wayszczuk (1329), daughter od Stanislaw and Marianna nee Kasprzak from the
village of Wysokie -
Lp.10). The last entry concerning the Wajszczuk Family was found under the
date od December 10, 1845, Lp.25 - birth of Mikolaj Wajszczuk (1323). The
books were reviewed up to and including the year 1875. It should be
mentioned that, according to the book entries, the village of Wysokie
belonged administratively all this time (up to 1875) to the Parish in
A Parish in Sitaniec exists since the middle of the 17th century.
In the records for the period of time from 1777 to 1785, villages
listed as belonging to this parish include Sitaniec-Wysokie, which is
listed as one village! In these records, we found an entry under the date
of February 9, 1783, recording the marriage of Jozef Wayszczuk (1391),
resident of Sitaniec-Wysokie, to Marianna Olszowa (Olejarzowa?) -http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/ksiegi_metrykalne_sitaniec.htm -
Records for the years 1786 - 1809 are missing.
The name Wayszczuk re-appears again in the Metrical Books of the
Sitaniec Parish on November 2, 1821 - wedding of Jakub Wayszczuk (1334)
with Marianna Pilewiczowna - both from Wysokie -
village name appears as a single name - Wysokie. Perhaps some changes (an
administrative sub-division) took place in the meantime. The bride's birth
certificate, which was issued in the Sitaniec Parish, may suggest that at
that time the village of Wysokie was already transferred to the Sitaniec
Parish (previosly it belonged to the Parish in Wielacza - see above). The subsequent
and rather numerous entries, which include both Family lines, i.e. from
Wysokie and from Sitaniec appear again (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/ksiegi_metrykalne_sitaniec.htm)
starting from February 8, 1929 (Lp.38 - birth of Maciej "Wasczuk" (0267),
son of Jakub "Wasczuk" and Marianna nee Pilewicz - see above) and continue
frequently through 1961. This is the last book available in the Lublin
1. It appears that the line (or family) of Wajszczuks, who lived in the
middle of the 18th century in "Sitaniec-Wysokie" (or Sitaniec?) and
originally belonged to the Parish in Sitaniec, gave origin to the new "line"/branch
who is residing until now in Sulow. The original family may have
disappeared from Sitaniec. The family from Sulow and their descendants
belonged and still belong to the Parish in Szczebrzeszyn. We do not know,
if there exist any other descendants of this line?
2. The Family line (branch), who already lived in Wysokie, also in the
middle of the 18th century - still lives there. It gave rise to a "new" (or
"renewed") Sitaniec line around the middle of the 19th century. Its
members belonged initially (until the early part of the19th century?) to the Parish
in Wielacza, and later transferred (or were transferred) to the Parish in
August 31, 2005 -
Several questions still remain to be answered:
1. how were Stanislaw from Wysokie, Jozef from Sitaniec-Wysokie (and,
perhaps, Andrzej WASZCZUK from Sitno) related to each other? (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/parafia_sitaniec.htm,
2. where did they come from and who were their ancestors?
3. how were the Wajszczuks (Wayszczuks) from Nieledew n/Hrubieszow
related to them (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/parafia_nieledew.html,
if they were also members of the Wayszczuk/Wajszczuk Family? What happened
with them next?
4. how were they related to the Wajszczuks from Podlasie - and when
and why did they get separated (and settled in two quite distant regions
of the country)?
5. perhaps some of the answers can be found in the archives in
Zamosc (although we were told that there are kept only the more recent
records)? Perhaps some answers will be found in the Podlasie Archives? It
is also possible that some of these questions will be never answered - but
we shall certainly try!
WHAT DID WE LEARN
Summary - February 8, 2007
Presumed origin of the ancestors and of the name
So far, in the course of the past six years of investigation and
collecting information, we were unable to establish the origin and the
beginnings of the Family and of the name Wajszczuk. Only a very few
members of the Podlasie (or more exactly – of the old Lukow Territory)
branch of the Family were aware of the existence of the same name and,
presumably, of another branch of this Family - far away, in the Zamosc
region. Very little was known about it. An old unwritten Family legend
mentions two brothers, who possibly carried a different last name (Piotrowski?)
at that time, were deported to Siberia after one of the National
Uprisings against the Russian invaders, and who escaped from their
captivity and adopted a different name during their trip back home. To
be safe, they retained that "borrowed" name - Wajszczuk. Supposedly, one
of them settled in the Podlasie region and the other in the Zamość area.
Initially, we thought that perhaps the deportation and escape took
place at after the November 1830 (1)
or January 1863 (2)
Risings. However, along with the progress of our research, the presumed
date of this event continued to fall back, since we have found, in both
locations, people with the last name Wajszczuk as early as the beginning
of the 18th century. Perhaps the event took place earlier, for instance
at the time of the Polish-Muscovite War (1605 – 1618)
(3) or of the Bar Confederation
(1768 – 1776)? (4)
The origin of the last name still remains a mystery. The name
Wajszczuk, in particular its ending – “uk”, seems to indicate its Rus'
(5) origin. This name
characteristic could be supporting the legend about it having been
appropriated, while the brothers were passing through the territories
east of the ethnic polish borders. On the other hand, it is highly
unlikely that our ancestors were of a Rus' or Russian
(6) origin, since they have always
been of a roman-catholic faith and belonged to the roman-catholic
parishes, while the russian-orthodox or greek-catholic (uniate) faith
(7) predominated in the
territories to the east. The Rus’ (Ruthenian) or Russian minorities
living in the polish territories belonged to their own churches and
Our ancestors could be settlers brought in to the Podlasie
borderlands by the Mazovian prince Janusz. So far we have not found any
documental proof for it. More recently, we have learned that the
Lithuanian prince Witold (Vytautas) (8)
was also bringing there settlers from Lithuania after acquiring these
territories from prince Janusz. It was also mentioned in the same
article that the last names and names of settlements beginning with the
syllables "Waj" and Wajs" were frequently encountered in the Lithuanian
territories. This possibility should be also considered, if we do not
find any confirmation regarding the "legend of two brothers".
Mystery of the two (geographically remote) branches of the Family
The reason for an early appearance of this rather rare last name, in
two distinct and separate locations in Poland, remains to be
investigated. Data from PESEL (a national registry) reveal only 339
persons at the beginning of the last decade of the past century and data
from 2002 show 373 persons with this last name in Poland. There was no
direct contact between the two branches of the Family for a long time -
we do not know, how was it in a more distant past.
If we shall not find any confirmation regarding the legend of the two
brothers, other possibilities should be considered. One of the more
likely possibilities is, that the Zamosc branch could have been
initiated by a participant(s) of the Bar Confederation
(4), who escaped from Podlasie to
the Zamosc region after the fall of that uprising, to avoid persecution
by the Russians. The Zamosc region remained at that time under the
Austrian control and their attitude was less hostile.
Genealogical Tree of the Wajszczuk Family
Our strong interest in the history of the Family led to the
development of the Family Tree and our purpose was to document its
history - for the benefit of future generations as well as to acquaint
with it the numerous members of the Family dispersed around the world,
as a consequence of the Second World War. Initially, the information was
being collected through personal contacts. This way, the most recent 3-4
generations and corresponding Family branches could be reconstructed, on
the basis of information obtained verbally. In the meantime, a cousin
who lives in one of the Family "nests" - Trzebieszow in the Podlasie
region - Barbara Miszta, a principal of the local school, conducted a
search in the oldest Register Books available in the local Parish. Next,
with the help of local experts, we were able to organize a search in the
National Archives in Lublin, Zamosc and Siedlce. This search confirmed
and expanded our previous knowledge about the Podlasie branch of the
Wajszczuk Family and also allowed discovery of its several members and
branches in the Zamosc region. Also, a contribution of our webmaster,
Pawel Stefaniuk, in collecting the information, documenting the
encounters and developing the technical aspects of the web page cannot
The beginnings and later migrations
The registry search took us back to the beginning of the 18th century
in Trzebieszow and to the middle of the 18th century in the Zamosc area
- apparently the older Registry Books do not exist. We were able to
establish that the main Podlasie branch has its "nest" in the village of
Trzebieszow (Trzebieszow Parish) – in the ancient "Ziemia Lukowska" (Lukow
Lands). The Zamosc branch appears to have its early “nests” in the
villages of Wysokie (which initially belonged to the Wielacza Parish and
then, from about the middle of the 19th century, to the Sitaniec Parish),
or in the nearby Sitaniec (in the Sitaniec Parish) - at that time both
these adjacent localities could have existed as one administrative unit.
At that early time, the Family members appear to have lived in both of
Migration from Trzebieszow to the nearby villages appears to have
started around the middle of the 18th century, and to more distant
locations and towns, such as Lukow and Siedlce - around the middle and
during the second half of the 19th century. During the interwar period
of the 20th century, migration spread to larger towns and cities for
instance Krasnystaw, Lublin and Warsaw.
The original Wajszczuk family in Sitaniec probably became eventually
extinct in the Sitaniec location – we do not know, when? However, we
found out that before that, probably at the beginning of the 19th
century, a member from the Sitaniec family branch moved, initially to
Wolka Nieliska (Nielisz Parish) and then to Sulow (in the Szczebrzeszyn
Parish), giving origin to a new “second prong” of the Zamosc branch. His
descendants still live in Sulow and in its vicinity. With the passage of
time, they lost all contacts with the remaining branches of the family
in that area.
It appears that the Sitaniec sub-branch became again restored around
the middle of the 19th century. A member of the Wysokie family, who was
born and initially resided in Wysokie, moved to Sitaniec and the Zamosc
branch became then “three-pronged” - subdivided into secondary branches
residing currently in Wysokie, Sulow and in Sitaniec.
Resulting from the Second World War, migration developed from both
areas (i.e. – Podlase and Zamosc) to the “far away” regions of Mazuria,
Silesia and to the so-called "Regained Territories" (in the west of the
country, awarded to Poland after the war as a recompensation for the
lost eastern territories). Several members of the Zamosc branch, took
residence after the war in Canada and USA, after having been persecuted
and expelled by the Germans from their homes and shipped for forced
labor in Germany during the war. One family from the Podlasie branch
even reached Argentina.
Lately, one can encounter Wajszczuks or their close relatives in
Great Britain, USA, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Germany,
Sweden, Argentina and Costa Rica.
Name substitutions (misspelling)
Various misspellings were noted in the Latin language records
throughout the 18th century. In the second half of the 19th and at the
beginning of the 20th century, when Russian became an official language
in the territories occupied by the Russians, we noted in the Public
Record Books, (especially in the rural areas), several instances of
erroneous transcription of the last name Wajszczuk, which was usually
written as Waszczuk. It should be noted though, that the name
Waszczuk is in Poland about eight times more frequent than the name
Wajszczuk and its highest concentration (“primary nests”) appear to be
further east than those of the name Wajszczuk. They seem to be located
east from the town of Radzyn towards the Bug river. The name can be also
encountered still further to the east, on the other side of the present
border. This fact was noted during an Internet search, which was
conducted using the Cyrillic alphabet. The entries probably originated
from the Ukraine or perhaps from Russia (and less likely from the
Belarus). The name Wajszczuk was not encountered on the east side of the
We are being asked frequently, whether Wajszczuks and Waszczuks are
related. We do not know!
To be preserved in our memory
The list of persons, below, is certainly very incomplete - it gives
only a few examples of life stories and patriotic sacrifices (in one
family). A special place belongs here to Dr Edmund Wajszczuk and his
family, whose two sons and a younger daughter, out of their four
children, were soldiers in the A.K. (the underground Home Army) and
perished in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising (9).
There is also an extraordinary person of Father Karol Wajszczuk, a
priest in the Drelow Parish from 1919 to 1940, who was a chaplain in the
POW (a clandestine Polish Military Organization) during both World Wars
and died in the Dachau Concentration Camp, as a consequence of helping
and thus saving the life of another younger priest, also a camp prisoner.
A prisoner in Dachau was also his cousin Father Feliks Wajszczuk, a
priest in the nearby Parish of Woskrzenice - he survived and after the
war worked in France. Two physicians, brothers from the same family, Dr
Edmund Wajszczuk (mentioned above) from Krasnystaw, and formerly from
Zolkiewka, and Dr Lucjusz Wajszczuk from Siedlce, both served in the
Polish Army in September 1939 and later, both were involved in the
conspiracy during the last World War bringing help to the sick and
wounded underground soldiers and to others in hiding, including Jews.
Not long ago, special meetings of Regional Societies and scientific
sessions took place in Poland to honor some of them. We were fortunate
to participate in some of the gatherings, one - in Zolkiewka –
commemorating Dr Edmund Wajszczuk and his Family, and another one in
Drelow - honoring Fr. Karol Wajszczuk. His symbolic grave can be found
in Drelow. Recently, four oak trees were planted there - in memory of
the Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski,- the "Primate of the
Millenium", the Podlasie Uniates (7)
- Martyrs of the tsarist religious oppression in the 19th century, and
of Fr. Karol Wajszczuk, One can only envy this company, in which he has
The youngest brother (of the persons listed above), as well as a son
of the oldest brother from the same family, also served in the Polish
Army in 1939. The uncle was able to reach the West already in 1939, at
the end of the campaign, but the nephew was initially captured by the
Soviets, was put to labor in a quarry and only later released, after the
German attack on the Soviet Union. They both joined the Polish Armed
Forces in the West and took part in the whole military campaign - the
uncle returned to Poland (and was persecuted by the Communists), but the
nephew decided to emigrate and eventually settled in Argentina, where
his family now lives.
Above is a short story of only one family from Podlasie - there were
many others, about whom we still do not know enough - the post-war
period of communist oppression was not conducive to sharing the memories,
but now the participants and witnesses are mostly gone! We know of, and
have documented here briefly, many other instances of sacrifice and
clandestine work under the German occupation, such as clandestine
underground teaching, participation in underground organizations
including military and partisan "forest" units, persecution by the
Germans, then instances of jailing and persecution by the communist
authorities after the War, because of those activities.
Several Wajszczuk Family members were jailed in the infamous Lublin
Castle because of their participation in the fight for independence of
Poland, probably starting from the time of the National Uprisings (from
the end of the 18th to the beginning of 20th centuries) - by the
occupying Russian Tsarist authorities, through the German (1939-1944)
and Soviet (1939-1941) occupations during the Second World War and then
during the period of Russian domination until 1989.
Many family members, especially from the Zamosc branch of the Family,
went during the War through the gehenna of expropriations, expulsions,
deportations, concentration camps and forced labor camps in Germany.
Many perished and many never returned home, emigrating to the USA and
Canada or settling after the War in the "Recovered Territories" (from
Germany) in the west of new post-war Poland. Some suffered in the Soviet
POW camps, moved out from the Soviet Union with the Polish Army and
remained in the West.
Unfortunately, we do not have a complete list of all Wajszczuks, who
were fighters for freedom and independence of Poland – including the
Russo-Japanese War, First World War and the Polish-Soviet War in
1919-1921 - nevertheless let's remember them here and salute them all!
Currently, members of the Wajszczuk Family and their descendants are
scattered around Poland and one can meet them in many countries around
the world. Many hold professional or social positions of responsibility,
including university professors, physicians, lawyers, engineers -
several live and work abroad. A member of the Wajszczuk Family, by
marriage, is the current Minister of Health in Poland - Prof. Dr.
Zbigniew Religa, who was also one of the candidates for the Presidency
of Poland in the last elections.
An urgent appeal – please, submit stories of and about your families,
so we may incorporate them and expand our knowledge about our Wajszczuk
Other pertinent web pages:
February 9, 2007
A book was published recently by Jan Rzewuski, "Dzieje Parafii
Trzebieszów i jej mieszkańców w latach: 1430-1860", (History of the
Trzebieszow Parish and its inhabitants in the years: 1430-1860, Warszawa
2006, ISBN 83-924065-0-8.
Its fragments are quoted (in polish) on this page:
The author does not mention in it the name Wajszczuk. Upon direct
contact and while answering our questions, he stated that he does not
know, whether the name was present or not in the records reviewed by him,
since he did not pay attention to this particular name because it did
not represent (belong to) the professional or social groups, he was
looking for and was interested in.
Conclusions - drawn (by WJW) based on the material
presented in this monograph:
1/ the Wajszczuk family in Trzebieszow takes most probably its
origin from the early farmer-settlers, who were brought in to take care
of the royal properties – we do not know, when exactly. According to the
oldest registry book available to us, the name was already present in
Trzebieszow at the beginning of the 18th century;
2/ we still do not know, from where did they come to Trzebieszow.
The historical sources mention the Mazovia and Podlasie provinces, the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine as the known places of origin
of these settlers;
3/ similarly, we still do not know the origin of the last name.
It’s ending – “uk” suggests the possibility of it’s Ukrainian (Ruthenian)
origin. This would go well with the family legend of “two brothers” (who
were escaping from a banishment to Siberia and appropriated a new name
after escaping from there). On the other hand, the fact that members of
the Wajszczuk Family had always belonged to the Roman-Catholic faith and
parishes, speaks against the Ukrainian origin of the people. (The people
of Russian, Ukrainian and Ruthenian origin traditionally belonged to the
4/ we still do not know the exact circumstances of the origin (or
separation) of the two branches of the Family, during the first half of
the 18th century – i.e. Podlasie (Lukow region) and Zamosc region
5/ participation of the Wajszczuk Family members from Trzebieszow
in the “Piechota Wybraniecka”, a military formation in Poland during the
16 - 18th centuries, as suggested by some of the family members, still
remains to be proven. This book mentions only a similar name – Weszczak
(along with a few other names). It appears in a document issued by the
King Michal Korybut-Wisniowiecki around the middle of the 17th century.
We encountered this name again around the middle of the 19th century,
during our review of the registry books in the Łuków Parish.
Earliest Appearance of
the name WAJSZCZUK in the records
of the Public registry books
April 03, 2007
* - reviewed sofar by Barbara
Miszta in the Parish Office, starting from about 1750.
** - (presumed) members of the Wajszczuk Family are
initially recorded as WASZCZUKS and then since 1866 - as
*** - single entry in 1783, next in 1821 and
subsequently frequent entries starting in 1827.
The oldest Public Record Books were revieved initially in the
Trzebieszow Parish, starting since about the year 1750. Books from later
years, starting at the beginning of the 19th century, were reviewed in the
State Archives in Lublin, Zamosc and Siedlce (see).
The Table above was prepared after the completion of a repeated review
of the Public Records from selected parishes of the Zamosc-Lubartow
Diocese. It was performed with the purpose of clarifying some apparent
inconsistencies or doubts which followed the first review (see).
Two major branches of the Wajszczuk Family were identified - in the
Podlasie region (former "Lukow Lands") and in the Zamosc region (see).
The name Wajszczuk appears earliest - at the beginning of the 18th
century - in the Trzebieszow Parish in the Podlasie province (see)
(Books dating back to the 17th century still remain to be reviewed).
Continuity of its appearance was maintained in the records from this
Parish, as well as when further reviewed in the Archives in Lublin and in
The earliest identified person with the name Wajszczuk was Stanisław,
who was born in Trzebieszow, probably around 1709.
Subsequently, this last name appears, around the middle of the 19th
century, in the records of parishes in Ulan and in Kakolewnica.
In the reviewed records from other neighbouring parishes, the name appears
only sporadically, usually in connection with the marriages.
In the Zamosc area, the name Wajszczuk was found for the first
time in 1783 in the Sitaniec Parish – (the records exist there since
1777). It was Jozef, who most likely resided (and was born?) in the
nearby village of Wysokie. Somewhat later, in 1788, the name appears in
the records of the Wielacza Parish - (the records exist there since 1784).
It is Stanisław, who also lived (and was most probably born?) in
Wysokie about the same time (around 1750) - we can assume that they were
brothers. It is not known, where were they born, who were their parents or
where did their ancestors come from.
Józef probably moved then to Wólka Nieliska, and then his grandson - to
Sułow and this line of the Family still exists in Sułow and in Sułówek.
Its members belonged to the Szczebrzeszyn Parish and further information
about them was found there.
The descendants of Stanislaw still live in Wysokie. They belonged to
the Wielacza Parish until the early part of the 19th century and then (were)
transferred to the Sitaniec Parish. Most of the information about them was
found in these two parishes. The last entry concerning the Wajszczuk
Family in the Wielacza Parish is in 1845. The first entry in the Sitaniec
Parish is in 1821.
Stanislaw's grandson - Walenty moved from Wysokie to Sitaniec after
marrying in 1840 Katarzyna Majdan from Sitaniec. They initiated the
contemporary Sitaniec line of the Family. Its members belong also to the
PS: (September 19, 2005) - After finishing the review and "digesting" the
new information, we decided to continue our search of the records of the
Diocese of Zamosc in the Lublin Archives and to extend it to two more
Parishes - in Trzeszczany and in Grabowiec (to the east of Zamosc and
close to Nieledew). Perhaps we will be able to track further the Wajszczuk
family found in Nieledew? (http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/polski/drzewo/parafia_nieledew.htm)
We will be very grateful for your comments and suggestions regarding the "Family Tree" as well as for new information about the Family.
Best Greetings and Regards,
Waldemar J. Wajszczuk
P.S.: I would like to encourage all of you to write down, during your occasional spare moments, the family stories and reminiscences. We would like to include them in our "WAJSZCZUK FAMILY" webpage in a written form, in addition to the "Tree" - with the purpose of educating the future generations (as well as ourselves). The family pictures - of the ancestors as well as the contemporaries, if they want to publish them - are welcomed; they will enrich the pages ! (see the page of Piotr from Trzebieszow - http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/059piotr.htm).
Please, send letters and scanned pictures to (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by mail to: Dr Waldemar J. Wajszczuk, 4489 Patrick Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322, USA, or to Paweł Stefaniuk, ul. Bankowa 12, 21-570 Drelów, Polska, if you have problems scanning them. They will be promptly returned!