And what do the legends have to say? Paprocki, and then Niesiecki after him, tell the story that a member of the Korwin family, added a raven to his crest after marrying an heiress from the Pobogow family. To this episode both authors cite legends from Roman times and the history of Maciej Korwin (1440-1490), king of Hungary from 1458. These stories are supposed to assure us of the ancient lineage of the family reaching back to ancient times and forefathers who were members of royal blood lines. After all, legends must be wondrous, and all the better if they tell of majestic kings, brave leaders, and famous men. The truth is simpler and rather prosaic. The Slepowron clan were minor nobility in Mazowsze. The crest was used by three hundred and fifty families which had few family ties between them. Some of them sometimes rose to own large properties and acquire importance in the Polish Commonwealth. Among them were the following families: Gosiewski (field commander and under-treasurer of Lithuania), Kamienski (general of the Polish armies, cavalier of the Legion of Honor and recipient of the Virtuti Militari cross, who fell at Ostroleka in 1831), Kossakowski (Austrian counts since 1784), Krasinski (from which family came general Wincenty and his son Zygmunt the poet; they were Prussian counts in 1798, French counts in 1811, Russian counts in 1837, and Austrian counts in 1848), Kuczynski (Wiktoryn and Dominik were Podlesie castellan and senator of the Polish Kingdom in 1815), Mlodziejowski (Jan, Bishop nomine of Chelm received senatorial rank), Szymanowski, and, of course, Pulaski.
The Pulaski family comes from the Bielsk lands that lie in the northern part of Podlasie near the Narwia and Biebrza Rivers. According to a census from 1667 there were 885 villages and 12 cities, or rather towns, in the area. The minor nobility which owned shares of land dominated. For 6,300 shares (in 1775) in 436 villages there were only 73 large properties. Thus each village had 14-15 land owners! This great fractionalization caused situations where a village was subdivided and each section had its own particular description. For example, one village documented from the 15th century was divided into 12 separate parts. In 1775 these 12 vilages had a total of 180 owners, of which 156 were known under the name Lapinski. According to Z. Gloger there were 240 families on the Bielsk lands. They used mainly the Lubicz and Slepowron crests.
The Slepowron crest was also used by the Pulaskis. They owned the Pulazie village. The name is known since the 15th century and appeared sometimes in combination, for example: Pulazie-Grochy, Pulazie Golembie, Pulazie-Swieze, Pulazie-Woymy, and Pulazie-Kostry or Kostry Pulazie. This last name causes the most trouble because Kostry was passed down through the Kostry family who also used the Slepowron crest. The frequent marriages between the two families make genealogical studies of the Pulaski line more difficult and also cause problems in differentiating between villages. In addition in mid-17th century one of the Pulaskis Adam, son of Tomasz, who inherited Kostry-Pulazie — signed himself as Kostro Pulaski. As a rule, many members of that family sign themselves as "Pulaski of Pulazie" (but never as Pulawski).
The great destruction of court records in Bielsk was already felt in the 19th century by researchers who tried to establish the origins of the Pulaski family in the Bielsk lands. According to family tradition, which is often unreliable, they came from Lithuania. It may never be possible to establish whether this had truly happened. It is also difficult to describe the relationships between the people mentioned in the oldest existing court records. It is however known, that at the beginning of the 16th century Pulazie was divided into the sections mentioned above. An additional problem is caused by the appearance in the records of several Pulaskis who were not described as members of the minor nobility.
Finally, in the 17th century we find records of the Bielsk stolink, Rafal Pulaski, who in 1621 was a captain of cavalry at Chocim. Niesiecki also mentions this in his book. It should be stressed that his ten sons served in the unit! During the Bar Confederation the Pulaskis would again be fighting on the earthworks at Chocim. Captain Rafal died in 1647 and his sons founded a separate branch of the family. Descended from Wojciech, this so-called "Radenice Line" (the name is taken from their ownership of the Radenice properties) died out in 1755. It had among its members several soldiers. Wojciech was a lieutenant, then a colonel in His Majesty's army and took part in Czarniecki's expedition to Denmark in 1658. During the same period several other Pulaskis served in the armies of the Polish Commonwealth. Some took part in the defense of Czestochowa monastery against the Swedes (as was so vividly described by Sienkiewicz in his novel "Potop" [The Deluge]). One hundred and twenty years later Kazimierz Pulaski would cover himself with glory defending the same monastery against the Russians. The previously mentioned Wojciech had four sons: Szymon, possibly Walenty and Kazimierz. The name of the fourth son is unknown but there was also a daughter, Jadwiga, who married Stefan Olszewski. Szymon had five sons: Pawel, an armored cavalryman, fell in battle around 1706. Jakob was a hussar, he died in 1722, Mateusz and Franciszek Szymon were armored cavalrymen. The last was probably born in the 1760s. He was a lieutenant in an armored unit, a military secretary to the crown army, and finally a Podlasie podczaszy and a colonel in His Majesty's army. He took part in King Jan III Sobieski's expedition to relieve Vienna and in the Tarnogrod Confederation during 1715-1717 (established under the baton of Stanislaw Ledochowski who opposed the efforts of August II to institute an absolute monarchy backed by Saxon forces). He left behind a book, published by his son Baltazar, called " A short annotation of the Warsaw and Grodno Sejms, and also of the election and coronation of the most illustrious Polish kings: Jan Kazimierz, Michal, Jan III, and August II, and the campaigns during their reigns, the annual expeditions and public ceremonies, happenings and revolutions from 1648 to 1733" Lublin 1740. The wife of Franciszek Szymon was Rozalia Winkler. They had two sons: Karol, a Jesuit; Baltazar, the Radenice starosta; and a daughter Elzbieta who married Wawrzyniec Swiderski. Franciszek Szymon was a wealthy man, best proof of this is the dowry given to his daughter which was 80,000 zlotys. He died in 1738. His son Baltazar was married twice: to Agnieszka Tereszowska, and then to Zofia Andrzejewska. He had two daughters by his first wife: Teresa (who married Antoni Kuczewski of the Lada crest) and Kunegunda who married Ignacy Karniewski and then Roch Ogrodzienski.
Most likely, the genealogical proof of 1844, 1845, and 1865 done in the Polish Kingdom refers to the above mentioned Rafal. It is best pictured on the family tree.
Even though the "Confederation" line, to which Kazimierz Pulaski belongs, begins with Szczesny Pulaski of Pulazie who lived about the year 1500, the family connections between the various Pulaski family lines were strong and this is supported by the fact that a witness at the marriage of Teresa, and then the guardian of the young Kunegunda (both daughters of Baltazar) was Jozef Pulaski, the Warka starosta. We know little about the beginnings of this line in the 16th century. Szczesny was the father of Marcin, Pawel, and Jakub. Mikolaj, son of Marcin, was father of Wawrzyniec, the owner of Kostry-Pulazie. His son in turn was Aleksander, father of Tomasz and Stanislaw. After Stanislaw died without heir, his property passed to his nephew Adam, who signed himself as Kostro Pulaski. He married Agnieszka Zaleska. It is possible that he had a brother Kazimierz. Adam and Agnieszka had the following sons: Albert, who died without issue in 1698; Maciej, who had sons named Wawrzyniec and Krzysztof; and Wawrzyniec who married Maryanna Kostrowna of the Slepowron crest (it was not the first union between these families) who was the daughter of Bernard the Bielsk podsek [?]. Wawrzyniec was the owner of various portions of Pulazie (Kostro, Podsekowieta) and also had property in Lubowicz-Byzie. He had two sons: Stefan and Jakub and a daughter, Joanna. In 1694 the brothers appear independently, so it seems that the father had died. Stefan began a separate branch of the family. He was married to Anastazja Kocmierowska. His sons were Jan, the Mielnik swordbearer, and Ignacy who was the Mielnik swordbearer and then treasurer of Bielsk. His daughter, Dorota, married Luniewski; and Mayanna married Wawrzyniec Wyszynski. Ignacy's first son, Dominik fell during the Bar Confederation, the second son, Walenty, served under Kazimierz Pulaski. He only had daughters as heirs. The sons of Jan, who had married Justyna Zarembianka, also took part in the Bar Confederation. Their names were Dionizy and Franciszek and held the rank of Przemsk captain (Dionizy took over from Franciszek). The first died without issue as the Mielnik swordbearer. Jan's middle son, Peter, had four sons. Three, Jozef, Gracjan, Wiktoryn died without issue, the fourth, Tomasz, had a son named Leon. This last son was the progenitor of the Pulaskis that would inherit Pulazie in the 19th century. Jan's youngest son was Franciszek, a confederation member and rents collector of Bielsk who died from wounds received near Ustrzyki in Lesk on 16 August 1769 and was buried in the local church.
A son of Wawrzyniec and grandson of Adam was Jakub a soldier in the armored regiment of Jan Sobieski the crown czesnik [butler?]. He married Malgorzata Zarembianka of the Prawdzic crest who was the daughter of Ludwik and Teresa Lipski of the Grabie crest. He died in 1711. It appears that his two sons: Marcin (born on 12 November 1700) and Tomasz (born on 4 December 1701) died young because the only heir was Jozef who was born on 17 February 1704. He inherited sections of Pulazie and other properties. In 1724 he became the rents collector for Wielun and the Nursk burgrave, and a member of the royal hussar regiment. In 1732 he received the Warka starostwo, and then became the military and crown secretary. He was a representative to the Sejm many times. As a lawyer he conducted legal affairs for the following families: Branicki, Radziwill, Lubomirski, but mainly for the Czartoryskis. Thanks to this activities he amassed much property in land, receiving his fees in land and rents. Thanks to this, he could purchase properties himself. He owned: Grabow, Piaseczno, Zakrzewo, Doleck and Jaruzal, Barkow, Kuropiec, Machnowce, Kalitynce, Dachnowka, Zurawlince, Derezno, Holubecze. His wife received several demesnes in her dowry. He owned a wooden manor in Warsaw and several inns known under the "Warka" name. His first election to the Sejm was in 1733 and he was among those signing the election document of Stanislaw Leszczynski. He was part of the general confederation in 1734.
After August III was made king he took part in greeting him at Marshal Bilenskis estate in Otwock. He took part in the Grodno Sejm of 1744, and in 1748 he represented the Ciechanow area at the "Boni Ordinis" Sejm where he was a leading representative for the Czartoryski faction. At that time he tried to advance reforms in the state treasury. In 1754 he broke with the Czartoryskis faction, but did not go over to the Potocki faction, rather he sided with commander J.K. Branicki. In the years that followed he "rounded out" his properties. In 1764, together with his sons and two nephews, he signed the electoral document for Stanislaw Poniatowski. This had little effect on his relationship with the Czartoryskis, for he remained loyal to the Saxon faction. He joined the Radom Confederation in 1767, but in the following year he was one of the main founders of the Bar Confederation. He was chosen marshal of the united military. Because of this he conducted much correspondence with foreign courts. He appealed to the Pope for support in "this Godly war." As for the conduct of military operations, there was much dispute between Jozef Pulaski, Michal Krasinski and Potocki. In December of 1768 they imprisoned him. He died around 20 April 1769 in Kopanka on the Dniester River. By advancing large sums for organizing the Confederation he lost a large part of his estate. This was the cause of many court cases later initiated by his son Antoni.
From his marriage to Maria Zielinska, of the Swinka crest, the daughter of Andrzej, Lomza podczaszy, and Anna Radziminska of the Lubicz crest, he had four sons and six daughters. Wiktoria (not Marianna) was a canonness at the Marywil convent in Warsaw. Anna was born on 20 December 1740 and died after 29 January 1819. Joanna was born in 1742, was a cannoness in Warsaw for a short time (between 1763 and 1765) married Anatazy Walewski of the Kolumna crest, who was the Leczyca castellan and chamberlain to King Stanislaw August. They had a son, Ksawery. She died in 1791 (the second wife of Anatazy Walewski was Maria Laczynska) [actually she was his third wife ed.].
Jozefa married Marcin Slawoszewski of the Godziemba crest who was a regimental commander in the Bar Confederation and then became chamberlain to King Stanislaw August. Monika married Stanislaw Rohozinski of the Leliwa crest. Paulina (baptized 14 February 1750) married Antoni Suffczynski of the Szeliga crest, the Czersk castellan. The last daughter, Malgorzata, married the general of the crown army Adam Skilski of the Prawdzic crest (he was also a participant in the Bar Confederation). In the biographical note for Jozef Pulaski in the Polish Biographical Dictionary there is also a note about Teresa, baptized in 1754, and it could be said that she is one of the above-mentioned sisters.
At this point it may be worthwhile to mention the forbearers of the three brothers and father, members of the Bar Confederation. This is possible because of the fact that their sister Wiktoria entered the Society of Secular Canonnesses of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Marywil, as ran the official name of this institution. A requirement was that she present proof of noble descent showing eight noble forebearers. On the basis of heraldic-genealogical literature it was possible to go back one generation. Among the forebearers on the father's side are mainly representatives of the minor nobility of Mazowsze, joined by the great-grandmother of Kazimierz, Teresa Lipska, with the families of the Wielkopolska [Greater Poland] senators. Through Marianna Zielinska of the Swinka crest, the mother's side, there were pairings with senatorial families of Mazowsze and Kujawy.
Jozef had a son Franciszek Ksawery Piotr August Stanislaw Pulaski of Pulazie born on 26 November in 1743 in Grabow in the Czersk lands. A second baptism for Franciszek took place on 6 March 1745 in Warsaw at Holy Cross Church. The godparents were August Prince Poniatowski the Ruthenian voivode, Antonina Rudzinska wife of the Czersk castellan, and Michal Prince Czartoryski the under-chancellor of the Great Lithuanian Principality with Konstancja Poniatowska nee Czartoryska the wife of the Mazowsze voivode. The third pair consisted of Adam Prince Czartoryski the Ruthenian voivode and Eleonora Nakwaska nee Potocka wife of the Rawa voivode. Franciszek used the title of Augustow starosta, was a colonel of the Podole voivodship and the Przemysle marshal of the Bar Confederation. He received a good education at the Collegium Nobilium in Warsaw (1754-1759). From 1764 he participated actively in politics at his father's side. During the founding of the Bar Confederation he was sent as a representative to inform the Khan in Crimea about the new Confederation. He was one of the organizers of the Confederation in Podole. After the Bar Confederation dissolved he went to Turkey on 23 November and he was named general counsellor at the war council. He took part in many, generally successfull skirmishes against the Russian army. However, in his father's disputes with the Bar leadership he was on several occasions involved in quarrels and mutual recriminations , mainly with marshal M. Krasinski. The expedition he undertook to Lithuania with his brother did not bring satisfactory results, mainly because the magnates did not favor the enterprise. He returned from Lithuania to the crown lands and took part in organizing the confederates in the Lomza lands. Franciszek Pulaski died a few months later, after his unsuccessful expedition to Lithuania, in Wlodawa 15 September 1769 when he tried to come to the aid of his brother Kazimierz.
Jozef's next son was Kazimierz Michal Wladyslaw Wiktor born in 1745 and baptized on 6 March of the same year at Holy Cross Church in Warsaw. The godparents were the leading members of the so-called "family," the supporters of the Czartoryski princes: Stanislaw Poniatowski (father of the future king Stanislaw August Poniatowski) the Mazowsze voivode, princess Maria ZofiaCzartoryski the wife of the Ruthenian voivide, and Kazimierz Rudzinski the Czersk castellan and Eleonora Monika Czartoryski nee Waldstein the wife of the Lithuanian under-chancellor. In the third pair was Tomasz Zielinski the Lomza podkomorzy, uncle of Kazimierz's mother, and Ludwika Maria Poniatowska wife of the Mazowsze voivode. Kazimierz, a Bar Confederation member, general of American forces, is the most famous member of the Pulaski family. He died on the deck of the brig "Wasp" two days after the battle at Savannah which took place on 9 October 1779. By the 29th of that month Congress resolved to honor Pulaski with a monument which was finally completed in Savannah in 1854.
The third and youngest of the brothers was Antoni. He was born on 9 March 1747. His first public act was the signing of the election document for Stanislaw Poniatowski. He used the title of Czereszen starosta, and in 1767 held the function of councilor. In 1767 he was among the first to take the oath of loyalty to the future confederation. Like his brothers, he took part in fighting against the Russian army. He took Winnica and brought the court banners to Bar. After crossing the border he was a representative to the court of Khan Gereja. He was captured by the Russians on 7 March 1769 and was sent, along with other prisoners, to Kazan via Dubno, Polonne, and Kiev. In Kazan he had some freedom for he visited the governor A. Samaryn, and others, whose wives eased the weight of his chains and "supplied him with money for expenses." The couckolded husbands finally managed to get him moved to Orenburg. He was not included in the amnesty of 1773. He finally returned home after he had joined the Russian army and helped to put down Pugaczow's mutiny. While returning to St. Petersburg he managed to have the sequestration of his properties reversed. In November of 1775 he was in Warsaw. From that time he took the side of the king who gave him the rank of colonel and paid off several thousand ducats of his debt. He was chosen Sejm representative several times. In 1778 he petitioned for permission for his brother Kazimierz to return to Poland, and clear himself of accusations before a Sejm court. Because Kazimierz died in America the trial never took place. Even so, in 1793 Antoni wrote a new Sejm constitution which invalidated and annulled the decree that was issued in connection with the attempt on the life of the king. At the "little sejms" he appeared as a supporter of the king. In the mid-1780s he was part of commander Branicki's faction. He became a commander in the national cavalry and in 1788 was given a unit command. On 24 February 1791 he received the order of St. Stanislaw. In 1791 he acted against a confederation founded in Warsaw and the reforms that took place up to that date. On his request, the leadership of the Torgowica Confederation annulled all the resolutions of the Four-Year Sejm (19 March 1793). On 14 May 1793 he received the Order of the White Eagle. While that confederation lasted he cooperated closely with Sievers, the Russian Ambassador. Despite all his "contributions" he did not receive a chief commander's [hetman] baton, which he desired. After the partitions of Poland he settled on his properties in Wolyn, but held no official post. He died in Korotyszcze 26 February 1813. His wife (whom he married in 1778) Antonina Oranska of the Kosciesz crest, the daughter of Stanislaw the Nowogrodek captain, brought several demesnes in her dowry and inherited from her father properties in Wolyn Horbasze, Deraznia, and Holubecze. Their son, Kazimierz Adam was born on 25 December 1784 was a staff officer in the guard (resigned in 1803). He was arrested in 1826 for membership in the Patriotic Society. He was imprisoned in Warsaw and in the fortress of Petropavlovsk. He inherited the Oratow demesne which had been part of his mother's dowry. In 1803 he married Joanna Nepomucena Swietoslawska of the Pomian crest, the daughter of Wojciech the Krzemieniec captain. He died in Troszcza in 1856. There were three daughters from the marriage: Eufemia, married Boleslaw Burzynski of the Trzywdar crest and died in 1850. Antonina who married the same Burzynski died in 1868. The third daughter, Ludwika, died unmarried. Antoni's only son Adam Eliasz, born in 1806 in Oratow, inherited the Oratow and Boruszkowieckie properties in Wolyn (from his mother). He married Joanna Gadomska of the Rola crest, the daughter of Ignacy. She inherited the Zawadynce property in Podole. He died in 1882 and had two daughters: Amelia who married Adam Gadomski and Maria who married Jozef Zurakowski of the Sas crest.
Adam's son was Kazimierz Ferdynand who was born in 1846 in Boruszkowice, who inherited the Zawadynce properties in Kamieniecki county (from his mother). He was the author of many archeological and historical works, and several dozen monographs on Podole families that have been published and others that are being prepared for printing. He took part in the January Uprising and was interned in Austria. After his release he studied in Prague and Vienna. The family archives and a large part of his collection was destroyed when the manor in Zawadynce was burned during the revolution of 1918. He died on 5 January 1926 in Poznan. He married Jadwiga Jakubowska of the Topor crest, the daughter of Charles, marshal of the nobility in Winnicki county. He had three sons: Jozef Kazimierz, Franciszek Jan, and Adam Pius, and a daughter Helena Jadwiga Teresa born in 1889 in Zawadynce. Jozef Kazimierz was born in 1873 in Zawadynce and inherited the Boruszkowiec properties. He married Wanda Sadowska of the Nalecz crest, daughter of Szczesny. He had two sons: Kazimierz and Szczesny, and a daughter, Wanda. The second son of Kazimierz Ferdynand was Franciszek Jan born on 8 March 1875 in Zylince in Podole. A historian, historian of literature, politician, and diplomat, he was the director of the Polish Library in Paris, and the author of may historical and library tracts. In 1917 he became president of the Society for National Work in Ruthenia, founded in Kiev, which fully supported the Council of Regents. In 1918 he became a marshal of the Council of State. He took part in the work of the Polish delegation in Paris. In 1919 he became a special envoy in Washington. From 1927 he resided in Paris directing the work of the Polish library until his death on 10 May 1956. He was buried in Paris at the Montmorency cemetery. He was awarded the great ribbon of the Polonia Restituta Order, made a commander of the Legion of Honor, and received the American orders of the Cincinnati and Kazimierz Pulaski. He had two daughters from his marriage to Helena Turowska. First was Jadwiga (1906-1983) who married Andrzej Ostrowski and then Franciszek Wrzosek. She died 28 November 1983 in New York and was buried in her father's grave at the Montmorency cemetery. The second daughter died young (around 1911-1917). The third son of Kazimierz was Adam Pius who was born in 1879 and inherited the Zawadyniec properties.
These are not all the lines of the Pulaski family of the Slepowron crest which appear in Poland. Once again, citing the sources proving noble descent (which in most part no longer exist) we must remember those descended from Wojciech, the Lithuanian burgrave in 1721 — Aleksander who married Aniela Tchorznicka, whose son Wojciech proved his noble descent in 1843 as the owner of large estates in the Kalisz gubernia. Most likely Ludomil (1871-1953) was of the same family. He was a landowner and a senator of the Polish Republic. Ludomil, son of Ludomil Henryk, nephew of Czeslaw, a January Uprising participant, and Michal the owner of the Siaszyc properties. Ludomil owned one of the largest land estates before the war. His estate, Grzymiszew, had 4,250 hectares. A listing of landowners from 1914 contains several more Pulaskis (and Pulawskis) in the Kalisz gubernia (Ludwik, Tadeusz, and Zygmunt), Warsaw gubernia (Aleksander) and Piotrkow gubernia (Aleksander).
The Pulaski family of Pulazie of the Slepowron crest produced exceptional people who have become part of Polish history. In just one generation, in addition to the father, there were three brothers who played a very important part in the Bar Confederation, while one of them, Kazimierz, became a hero of two nations. The family had its origins in the minor nobility of Podlasie. Some remained at this rank but some lines rose and reached higher rank in the Commonwealth of the Two Nations as well as in the reborn Polish Republic. Among them were politicians, soldiers, and also scientists of high calibre. It is a family whose history is worth knowing.