Abdank Coat of Arms

Magnuski Family Genealogical Society


(Shields and noble families)

Paprocki describes it as follows. There are white "traktura"s (?) on red field. Others say that this is a letter "M" upside down. The best description is (according to Kromer) that this is a letter "W". There is also a crown above the helmet, on red field, and the same letter in a crown, which is common for Poles and Slovaks. Some people say, as Bielski fol. 30, the beginning of this shield is dated since Grach or Krakus times, who was Polish monarch, who gave name and foundation to city of Krakow. In the Wawel Mount, on which Krakow's castle stood, from Wisla (Vistula) river side, the dragon showed up; some called him Holophag, others Boa. He was very venomous: not only poisoned the air with his breath, but also went out of his lair to the nearby streets and suburbs and ate people and cattle and it was never enough for him. One day a man called Skuba, ordinary man, touched deeply by his neighbours' losses, invented such a solution. He took skin of flayed calf put tar and sulphur and fire-brand into it and threw it to the dragon's lair. The dragon didn't recognize the trick. In the morning he went out of its lair and ate what he found. Then he was very thirsty because of a fire in his intestines, so he was drinking and drinking water from Wisla river and finally he had blown out and died. You can still see dragon's cave in Krakow, reminder of those times. Then Krakus granted Skuba with the letter "W" to his shield ("W" stands for polish snake (waz), or "Wawel" Mount). I do not deny this story, but what is said about Skuba might be not true, because "Aldrovandus in historia Serpentum et Draconum. Cromer lib. 5. Sarnicki lib. 4. Dlugosz tom. 1. lib. 1. Miechowita" and others, all say about dragon and its defeat but nobody says about Skuba and everybody says Krakus had wittily imagined this story. Since then Krakus became famous his and other nations as a "Liberator Patriae".

Priest Parisiusz Soc. Jesu in Ms. gives such speculations about the beginning of this shield. Roman army stationed on German Sarmatian border for Winter rest or for guarding their country, what we know from many Roman stories; so because Romans guarded their border Sarmatians were against them, which seems to be right and unquestionable. So each province or county was supposed to send its own company to guard rivers Rhine and Albim. At that time the guards of Albim had gotten the names Alemanni. There were also squads from Vistula or Wandal and there was a colonel Skuba among them who the company of a province with a letter "W", first letter of Wisla. He became famous fighting Romans and for his merits he got the privilege for use a letter W as a sign for his whole family. Priest Parisiusz mentions that Wroclaw - the city in Silesia using this letter in its shield got it from the descendants of Skuba. This is a very nice story but nobody confirms it.

I think that Dlugosz is right whom also "Rutka in Ms." confirms. The shield was awarded to Skuba, brave man, for beating a strong Aleman or German skirmisher while his lord was watching him. Nobody knows exactly when it happened, historian does not note a time, but for sure it happened in the reign of pagan kings in Poland, because since catholics kings had reigned, there had been senators in the parliament with this shield. All historians say that in the beginning this shield was called Skuba's shield. It changed in 1109 when polish king Boleslaw Krzywousty sent Jan Hrabia from Gora to german emperor Henryk with peace mission. An emperor was promising peace but only on condition that Poles would become his tributaries forever. To frighten Jan the emperor presented his treasure to him saying: "Hic perdomabit Polonos". This treasure would conquer Poland for me. This and emperor's words didn't scare Jan's fearless heart. He took off the ring from his finger and threw it into an emperor's treasure saying: "aurum auro addimus" which means "Add gold to gold", making emperor think that it is hard to scare these men with gold, whose hands with swords and hearts with courage are armed. Henryk understood meaning of Jan's act, but wanted to be polite said in German language: "Habdank" which means "thank you". Since then Hrabia and his descendants had been called "Skarbek" (in Polish: little treasure) and their shield called Abdank. Dlugosz lib. 4. Cromer lib. 5. Papr. in Stemmatibus fol. 159. Sarnicki lib. 6. 242. However, in "Przywilej Hrodelski Krola Jagielly" he is called "Habdaniec". Lasc. Stat. fol. 127.

Crests of Habdank Shield.

Dlugosz says about them that "erant solertes, et viri Magni".

Ankwicz, Bardzinski, Beszewski, Bialobrzeski, Bialoskorski, Bielinski, Bogucki, Borowski, Borzykowski, Borzyminski, Bram, Buczacki, Budziszewski, Bystrzejowski, Chojenski, Chorynski, Cieklinski, Czarkowski, Czelatycki, Dabrowski, Dloto, Dunikowski, Gastold, Haraburda, Jazlowiecki, Jugoszewski, Kielczowski, Klonowski, Kolaczkowski, Konarski, Kosowski, Kowalski, Koziatulski, Kozubski, Krobanowski, Kunicki, Leszczynski, Lewikowski, Lidzbinski, Magnuski, MaIczewski, Malechowski, Mikolajewski, Milkowski, Mlynkowski, Obornicki, Oborski, Pekoslawski, Piotraszewski, Przeborowski, Przezwicki, Psarski, Raclzanowski, Rajmir, Rogowski, Rogozinski, Roguski, Rudzki, Skarbek, Skoraszewski, Skuba, Slornowski, Starski, Suchodolski, Swoszowski, Sczyjenski, Tworzyanski, Warszycki, Wazenski, Wojenkowski, Wojewodzki, Wolczek, Wychowski

We will talk about each of them, in alphabetical order.

Besides them, Niesiecki, Kuropatnicki, Wieladek and others add following families to this shield:

Bejnart, Bolenski, Borzymski, Czahorski, Dowgialo, Dowgialowicz, Dworakowski, Eygird, Gambarzewski, Gembarzewski, Gorski, Hromyka Skarbek, Kaczycki, Kaimir, Koplewski, Kruszewski, Krzywinski, Lasicki, Machowski, Puczniewski, Radunski, Razek, Regowski, Slomka Skarbek, Starosiedliski, Starosielski, Telszewski, Toczynski, Trzebinski, Ustarbowski, Warakowski, Wazynski Skarbek, Wielobycki, Wolynski, Wojczynski Skarbek, Wykowski

Besides that there are 6 other shields which have evolved from Abdank: this splendid family had been taking part in so many important ventures that polish kings had granted them with new decorations in recognition of their services. For example, Machowski got half of the lion above the helmet which keeps the same Abdank in the paws. The same got Buczacki and Jalowiecki - some say. In Syrokomla's shield the cross was added to the letter W and on the Abdank three peacock feathers. In Iglowski's shield is the arrow in the ring and 3 peacock feathers on the helmet. Chalecki's Abdank has a broken arrow and the arrow in the eagle wing on the helmet. Krokwa's shield has added rafter to the Abdank. Soltan's Abdank has 2 crosses in a line and a star. Even Debno shield has an Abdank under its cross. About each we will talk in appropriate place, that is enough for now.

Ancestors of this house.

They had been from Gora: from all of them first mentioned by Paprocki was Michal from Gora, whose son Lambert III, 10th bishop of Krakow, was canon of Krakow only when chapter of Krakow recognized him as a very polite and competent in laic and church knowledge and appointed him unanimously for the bishop of Krakow's cathedral which had been 4 years without its head since holy martyr Stanislaw Antecessor stayed there. Then prince Wladyslaw Herman reigning in Poland after disappearance of Boleslaw Smialy, sent him to Rome. In Rome Lambrt had assked the pope Gregory VII to suppress the interdict layed on Polish Kingdom. The pope ordained him bishop and let him go home to his people ("sheeps"). He became an example of a religiousness in his diocese and true initiator of his holy ancestor. Following his advice, quinn Judyta went to holly Idzi because (in case) of her barrenness. And then after she gave birth to her son Boleslaw Krzywousty she showered him with gifts and made her husband give him Kroppenskie county, called Pabianice today, for the cathedral church in Krakow she had asked his husband. 10 years after holy Stanislaw's death, Lambert took the body of the martyr from Skalka, placed it in the Krakow's castle, built the stone grave and decorated it with gold sheets. He had done it because of Swentoslawa's, very religious woman, vision. Working for the holy martyrs, he died in 1101, having life full of merit. His body was placed in the Krakow's basilica. He had been a bishop for 18 years, since 1083 "Starow. in Epis. Crac. Paprock. sub Abdank, Miechov. Dlugosz lib. 4. Cromer". Dlugosz gives earlier date of Lambert's consecration but the same date of death, saying that he had been a bishop for 20 years, adding that pope Gregory knew him very well and he had spent many years on pope Gregory's court doing many important things.

Paprocki mentions Skarbimierz - voivode of Krakow and Hetman as a one of the ancestors of this family, and Okolski: "I don't know why, because "Cromer lib. 5." whom he quotes writes "I can't find what family does he come from". Dlugosz also "lib. 4. Miechovita lib. 3. cap. 10. Gwagnin in descript. Reg. Pol." and others our historians don't say anything about his family and shield. Only Bielski agrees with Paprocki. After Sieciech had been forced to go away from Poland, Skarbimierz took the voivod's chair and mace from Boleslaw Krzywousty. In 1106 as a hetman he was sent to fight rebellions in Pomerania, he conquered Bytom castle, beating enemy and taking prisoners he came back to Poland with big profits. Pomeranians wanted a revenge, so that they sent 3000 people on Skarbimierz and Krzywousty feasting after happy campaign. King and hetman received warning and attacked first the enemy with only 100 horses. They broke through the enemy's lines, killing many Pomeranians. Skarbimierz though was wounded and lost his right eye and hardly saved his life and escaped with only 30 soldiers. But because wounds earned in the fight were only stimulus and not discouragement, Skarbimierz with his wounds not yet healed invaded Pomerania again and without the smallest resistance took many goods. Soon he commanded on Psie Pole against german emperor Henryk. He fought against Pomorians in Naklo and Czecks on Albim river, with great luck. Everywhere he was brave commander and bellicose soldier. Later he conspired with Zbigniew against the king so he was put into prison, evicted from senate, lost his eyes and next life in 1117.

Later Krzywousty tried to pay off his irritability to God by holy pilgrimages (says Miechovita).

Michal Hrabia from Gora, or (according to Szczygielski) from Krzywino, founder of Benedictines Convent in Lubin, died in 1114 in Wielkopolska and was burried there, "singularis devotionis et zelis in Deum": as Dlugosz said. "Cromer lib. 5. Paprocki o herbach, Szczygielski in Aquila Polono-Benedict. fol. 122". Bielski in 1175 links this foundation with Mieczyslaw Stary, polish prince. Ruslaw Hrabia died without any descendants and made Christ the heir of his estate; he built Cystercyen's Convent in his home village of Sulejow by Pilica river, which later was enriched very much by Kazimierz, prince of Poland. "Cromer lib. 6. Paprocki loc. eit. Miechov. lib. 3". Kagnimir Hrabia from Bieganow, whose many descendants still live, lives in Lukow region, "says Nakielski"; he annexed his village Bieganow, in Lelowski county, to Miechow parish, before 1198, what we know from the catalogue of Patryarch Jerozolimski, but it had been very long time since this village had been detached from its convent. "Nakiel. in Miech. fol. 103. et 68. et 83. et 85". Krzysztof, Kagnimierz's brother, following his brother, endowed the village Zytna to the same parish with everything, but soon both villages were lost (?). "Idem fol. 83. et 115".

I've already talked in Volume I (Tom I) about: Smil castellan of Wojnica 1217, Mikolaj castellan of Sandomierz 1286, Jedrzej castellan of Kalisz 1360, Jasek castellan of Gniezno 1361. But there is no evidence about what they had done. Only Wojciech Czelej, voivode of Sandomierz, is mentioned by "Dlugosz, Paprocki, Cromer lib. 12." and others, that defending home country, fighting against Turks who had advanced as far as to Wisla river, died in 1344 being shot with a bow arrow.

Wszebor, according to Paprocki, who lived during regency of Wladyslaw II, prince of Poland, was a voivode of Sandomierz and hetman, but "Nakielski" links him to the Nieczuja shield, where I will also talk about him. Also Nakielski links Drogoslaw Hrabia, whose son Piotr was a bishop of Poznan in 1265 (or better 1254), to the same shield; but others link him to Prawdzic shield.

Translations from Herbarz polski [Polish armorial] by Kasper Niesiecki, 1839-46.

"The expanded edition of the author's armorial, Korona Polska, was published between 1728 and 1744; it is the most comprehensive and complete work of its kind." from Polish Genealogy and Heraldry by Janina W. Hoskins.

Translation by Slawomir Sieminski.

Copyright © 1998-2014 H. S. Magnuski
Updated 2014-05-11 hankm@mtinet.com