Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wasiliszki (Slownik Geograficzny translation)

Note: I have retained the Polish diacritics here, but do not know if they display properly in all browsers.  If they do not, please let me know in a comment here, and I will remove the diacritics. Thanks!

Governmental town on the river Tęcza (or Duma?), Lida powiat, in the 4th police district, gmina and rural district of Wasiliszki, at 35 km. northwest of Lida and 157 km. from Wilno, has 2,728 residents. In the year 1866 there were 244 houses, 1,841 residents (5 Orthodox, 453 Catholics, 1,383 Jews).

It possesses an Orthodox church [of the] Szczuczyn deanery (633 faithful), Catholic parish church, synagogue, police district and gmina administration offices, public school (86 pupils in the year 1885), and post office. Markets are held weekly on Sunday.

The parish church, called by the name of St. Peter the Apostle, was built of wood in 1489 by King Kazimierz, and restored in 1747. A Catholic parish in Radun deanery, it has 8,086 faithful. It had a chapel in Wolczynki.

The rural district encompasses the town Wasiliszki and the villages Aleksandrówka, Bakszty, Chodziele, Dylewo, Dziegciary (Dziechciary), Kaszyce, Kleszniaki, Konstantynowo, Kronki, Krupowszczyzna, Kurpie, Lachówka, Miękiszki (Miakiszki), Psiarce, Roźniatycze, Starodworce, Szkordzie, and Zybały; zascianek [settlement of poor yeomen] Sosna; and szlachta [nobility] areas Dziegciary, Grabniki, Kaszczyce, Krupowszczyzna, Starodworce, Szlachtowszczyzna, Werejkiszki, and Zybały.  In general, in the 1865 census of subjects, 784 souls were treasury peasants, 44 jednodwory [very minor szlachta/nobility],  and 214 enfranchised peasants.

The gmina belongs to the 1st peace district of peasant affairs and 1st conscription district, as well as the 1st circuit court of peace of Lida district, consisting of 3 rural districts (Wasiliszki, Glinicze, and Szejbakpol), comprising 87 municipalities, having 543 houses and 7,514 peasant inhabitants. According to the list of 1861, there were counted in the gmina 1,181 treasury peasants, 55 jednodwory, 3 Jewish farmers, and 1,163 enfranchised peasants.

The terrain is flat, the soil sandy and gravely; there are forests, meadows, and marshes.  Irrigating the area are the rivers Szkordziówka, Lebiodka, Kościeniewka, Wierch Lebiodka, and Niewiczka.  There is here an unenclosed/unfenced settlement, along with extensive appurtenances, that was established long ago and that at that time belonged to the ekonomii stołu królewskiego [land-steward of the king's table?].

The earliest starostas of Wasiliszki were Jan Steckowicz (in the year 1499), Jan Radziwiłł (1500-01), Wasil Lwowicz Hlińiski (1501-04), Stanisław Piotrowicz Kiszka (1505-06), Jan Szczytowicz (1507-15), Jakub Kuncewicz (1518-23), Jan Radziwiłł (1523-41), Kacper Kuncewicz (1546), ks. Mikołaj Radziwiłł (1546-54), Jan Wołczkowicz (1569).

In 1658, Marcin Dominik Limon, judge of the Lida area, subsequently castellan of Witebsk (d. 1670), founded a church with a Dominican monastery, which was granted the estate of Szkordzie by Katarzyna née Abrahamowicz Frackiewicz, an author of Polish literature, who endowed it in 1662 with a bequest of 10,000 Polish złoty.

In 1706, during the Second Swedish War, Stanislaw Leszczynski stayed here with his military forces for some time in February (while King Charles XII [of Sweden] was encamped at Zoludek), and here he accepted the Lithuanian szlachta’s declaration of surrender to him.

In 1766 the starostwo of Wasiliszki was possessed by Michał Ogiński, governor of Wilno, and subsequently by Aleksandrowicz, chamberlain, paying 4,566 Polish złoty, 15 grosz kwarta [tax for upkeep of the army], and 3,500 Polish złoty hyberna [tax for maintaining the army in winter].


  1. Hi Barbara.

    I finally got a bit of quiet time at Christmas to check out your blog. Nice work. I also like the links to more books for me to read and more films for me to see!


  2. Tony, thanks! I'm trying to learn more about the history of our Lida area ... for starters, the Swedish-Polish wars with Russia.