source: Archives, Libraries and Church Museums No. 70 (1998)
[space](Archiwa, Biblioteki i Muzea Koscielne, 70, 1998)
published by: The Catholic University of Lublin (KUL)
translation by: Peter Obst and Alexandra Medvec

The Four Birth Records of Kazimierz Pulaski

by Father Stanislaw Makarewicz pastor of St. Stefan's R.C. Church in Radom, Poland

In the biographical notes of Kazimierz Pulaski we still find listed incorrect dates for his birth. Here are some examples:

The great-grandson of Antoni Pulaski, Kazimierz Ferdynand Pulaski (1846-1926),1 a known historian and genealogist, gives the date of birth for Kazimierz Pulaski at Winiary on 4 March 1747. The same date is given by Wladyslaw Konopczynski,2 possibly using the previous author as a source. Waclaw Szczygielski,3 in his scrupulous biographical notes of the Pulaskis, states that Kazimierz was born on 4 March 1746, but gives no mention of the place.

The true date and place of Kazimierz Pulaski's birth, 6 March 1745, in Warsaw, was first mentioned by Wladyslaw Rudzinski in a letter to the editor of "Tygodnik Powszechny."4 This information, however, comes from the record of the completion of baptismal ceremonies for Kazimierz (marked with the Roman numerals III and IV), and not the real record of the sacrament of baptism, which was located by the author of this article in August of 1995.5

All four found records are stored in the Archives of the Holy Cross Parish in Warsaw.

I. The text of Kazimierz Pulaski's baptismal record
(text from the raptularz [quick note book]).6

(Die) 6. Ego idem ut supra. Baptisavi domi(ni) ob debilitatis causam sine caeremoniis infantem ex legitimis parentibus natum scilicet magnifico d(omni)no Josepho Palaski et Marian(n)a eiusdem coniuge capitaneus Marocensis. N(omin)a infantis Casimirus Victor et Watclaus.

II. The text of Kazimierz Pulaski's baptismal record
(text from the "clean" record book).7

(Die) 6. Ego idem baptisavi domi(ni) sine caeremoniis od debilitatem Casimiurm filium m(agnifici) d(omini) Josephi Palaski capitanei Varecensis et Mariannae legit(imorum) coniug(um).

In the left margin there is a capital letter "P," shorthand for the name Pulaski.

The record numbered I was written at the time the sacrament of baptism was administered. It was a quick note, done after a liturgical act was performed It is then the first document connected with the newly born Kazimierz. In the record numbered II, which should be a repeat of record I, since it is the "clean" version, there are some omissions. For example the words ut supra have been left out, these making reference to the person of the cleric mentioned above, that is Krzysztof Faltz, a priest in the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Missionary Priests which came to Warsaw in 1626.8 Both records state that the baptism took place in the home of the Pulaskis, not, for example, in the Palace of the Czartoryskis, a family which was Pulaski's patron at the time. The Pulaski's had their home at the corner of Nowy Swiat [New World] and Warecka [Warka] Streets.9

There are some important words in both records, ob debilitatis causam (I) and ob debilitatem (II) which state that the newborn babe was ill. It is difficult to imagine that Jozef Pulaski, a devout Catholic,10 would not have had the child baptized immediately had it not been ill after birth. An analysis of other records in the same book reveals that if the baptism took place on the day of the birth, the birth date was not written into the record. The date of birth was written into the record only in cases where the birth and the baptism took place on different days.

Both records state that the baptism was administered without liturgical ceremonies. This is important because now the parents a right to conduct a completion of the baptismal ceremonies, which occurred eight days later (see records III and IV).

Record number I contains an error in the description capitaneus Marocensis, which in record number II is changed to the correct capitaneus Varecensis. The error was probably caused by Krzysztof Faltz, the priest administering the baptism who as a foreigner did not know well the names of the Mazovian starostwos [administrative areas]. Record number II was probably rewritten by the chancellery scribe who knew the prevailing conditions in Poland. It must be stressed that only record number I states the three names of the person baptized: Kazimierz, Wiktor, Waclaw. It appears that because the copyist was unsure of the correctness in the original record (I), record number II gives only the name Kazimierz since it was first in order and sure.

Records numbered III and IV form a separate, secondary, group. These address the elaborate completion of the baptism ceremony. These are important records, however, as they testify to the rank of the Pulaski family. Here is the text of both records.

III. Record of the completion of baptismal ceremonies for Kazimierz and Franciszek Pulaski
(text from the raptularz [quick note book ]). 11

Martius 1745. (Die) 14. Ego Christophorus Faltz S.C.M. supplevi caeremonias supra infantem legitimorum parentum ill(ustr) is m(agnifici) d(omin)i Josephi Palaski capitanei Varenensis et Marian(n)ae eiusdem coniugis, a me die 6. huius baptisatum.x

The letter "x" indicates the necessity of reading the text written in the left margin: N(omin)e Casimirum, Michaelem, Wladislaum, Victorem.

Then we have the following text: Testes in caeremoniis fuere; illustris m(agnifici) Stanislaus Poniatowski palatinus Masoviensis, cum ill(ustrim)a ducissa de Sieniawskie Czartoryska palatina Russiae, item ill(ustri)m(us) Casimir(us) Rudzinski castelan(us) Cernensis cum ill ill(ustri)ma Eleonora ducissa Czartoryska procancellaria M.D.L. et caeteri.

Immediately after this there is the text of the record for the completion of baptismal ceremonies for Franciszek Pulaski, the brother of Kazimierz. This text: Ego idem ut supra eodem tempore supplevi caeremonias supra infantem eorundem ut supra parentum, ante aliquot circiter menses in ecclesia parochiali Graboviensi baptizatum. N(omi)ne Franciscum, Petrum, Augustum, Stanislaum. Testes in ceremoniis fuere ill(ustri)m(us) Augustus Alexander dux Czartoryski palatinus Russiae cum ill(ust)ra Maria Antonina Rudzinska castellana Ciernensi. Item ill(ustr)m(us) Michael dux Czartoryski procancellarius M.D.L. cum ill(ustri)ma Constantia de Czartoryskie Poniatowska palatina Mazowiae et caeteri.

IV. Record of the completion of baptismal ceremonies for Kazimierz and Franciszek Pulaski
("clean" copy).12

(Dies) 14. Ego Christophorus Faltz SCM supplevi caeremonias baptismi super Casimirum Michaelem Vladislaum Victorem 6 huius a me.

Then the text proceeds onto the next page. This page begins with the normal marking of a page with the year and month: Annus 1745 Martius. Over the letter "a" in the word Martius is the page number 144, probably added later.

Under the page heading the text from the preceding page continues, which is as follows: baptisatum filium m(agnifici) d(omini) Josephi Palaski capitianei Varecencis et Mariannae legit(imorum) coniug(um). Patrini fuere illustrsimus d(ominus) Stanislaus Poniatowski palatinus Masoviensis, ill(ustri)ma ducissa Czartoryska palat(ina) Russiae m(agnificus) d(ominus) Casimirus Rudzinski castellanus Cernensis et ill(ustri)ma Eleonora ducissa Czartoryska procancellaria M.D. Lituaniae.

In the left margin, near the word Josephi there is the underlined letter "P," signifying the name Pulaski, placed there for rapid location of the record. This is the method used by the chancellery office of the Holy Cross Church parish for all the records in the "clean copy" books. In parallel to the record from the raptularz [note book] (record III) there is also in record number IV a description of the completion of the baptismal ceremony for Franciszek, which is placed under the record of the completion of baptismal ceremonies for Kazimierz. This is the text:

(Dies) 14. Ego idem supplevi caeremonias baptismi super Franciscum Peterum Augustum Stanislaum filium eorundem parentum ut supra baptisatum ante aliquot menses in eccl(esia) paroch(iali) Grabonensi. Patrini fuere ill(ustrisim)us Augustus Alexander dux Czartoryski palatinus Russiae, ill(u)s(tri)mus dux Michael Czartoryski procancellarius M.D.L., ill(ustrisi)ma Constantia Poniatowska palatina Masoviensis et m(agnifica) d(omi)na Maria Antonina Rudzinska castellana Cernensis.

Record number III has its own unauthentic "duplicate," which is a "record" written from memory in Warka, twenty years after the fact. This record is found in a list compiled by Father Grzegorz Zambrzycki which contains the names of members of the Pulaski family creating an impressive collection of successive "records" recreated from memory. This "source" is full of obvious errors. It was badly used by researchers and led to many misunderstandings.13

Records number III and IV testify to the splendorous completion of baptismal ceremonies for two brothers: Kazimierz and his elder brother Franciszek Pulaski, which took place on 14 March 1745 at the the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw.

The rcords from the completion of baptismal ceremonies give all four names given at baptism to Kazimierz, and also to his brother Franciszek. For researchers this is a valuable prize. The act of giving multiple names at baptism was an old and common custom among the high-born. It is possible that only on 14 March were the children's names settled upon. The name Kazimierz is first and foremost in all the records. Record number I lists the names: Kazimierz, Wiktor and Waclaw, but the final two seem to be written in an unsure hand. It is possible that the cleric administering the baptism, a foreigner, had problems with the spelling. Record number III lists four names for the child: Kazimierz, Michal, Wladyslaw, Wiktor which had by then been settled upon between the parents and god-parents. Record number IV repeats these names faithfully. These are the names we must consider as final.

The parents of the baby being baptized are of course Jozef Pulaski, member of the bar, Starosta of Warka, Secretary of the Treasury for the Radom Court and secretary to the royal court, Sejm delegate, a marshal of the Bar Confederation,14 and his wife Marianna Pulaski nee Zielinska.15

Records III and IV also give reliable information about the names of Franciszek Pulaski, brother of Kazimierz. Franciszek also had four names: Franciszek, Piotr, August and Stanislaw. To date in literature there only appeared the names Franciszek Ksawery.16 In addition, these records tell us that Franciszek was born in Grabow some months, at least nine, before 14 March 1745. Therefore, Franciszek was born in 1744 and not as it was stated in 1743.17

The witnesses to the completion of the baptismal ceremonies were carefully chosen, influential couples.

1. Stanislaw Poniatowski (1676-1762), from 1731 the Mazowsze Voivode, father of the future king Stanislaw August, and his second wife princess Konstancja Czartoryska, the mother of King Stanislaw August (about 1696-1759);18

2. Prince August Alexander Czartoryski (1697-1782), from 1731 the Ruthenian Voivode, and his wife Maria Zofia Sieniawska (1698-1771);19

3. Prince Fryderyk Michal Czartoryski (1696-1775), from 1724 the under chancellor for Lithuania, and from 1752 the Great Chancellor for Lithuania, and his wife Eleonora Monika Waldstein (1712-1795); 20

4. Kazimierz Rudzinski (about 1676-1759), castellan of Czersk, then Mazowsze Voivode, and from May 1744 the marshal of the Radom Tribunal (treasury) and his wife Maria Antonia nee Nowosielska (1753).21

Thus we have to accept the fact that Kazimierz Pulaski was born in Warsaw on 6 March 1745.

The finding of the above four records of baptism and completion of baptismal ceremonies verified much of the basic information about Kazimierz Pulaski, the legendary hero of two nations - Poland and the United States of North America.


1. Kronika polskich rodow szlacheckich Podola, Wolynia i Ukrainy [The Chronicle of Polish Noble Families of Podole, Wolyn and Ukraine] vol 1, Brody 1911, page 165.

2. Kazimierz Pulaski, Krakow 1931, page 7

3. Pulaski Kazimierz h. Slepowron (1746-1779), Polski slownik biograficzny, [Pulaski, Kazimierz of the Slepowron crest (1746-1779) Polish Biographical Dictionary] vol. 29, Wroclaw 1986, page 386 (Further cited as PSB)

4. Faktyczny rok urodzenia Kazimierza Pulaskiego [The factual year of Kazimierz Pulaski's birth] in "Tygodnik Powszechny" [Universal Weekly] 1 II 1987, number 5, page 5. The author erroneously calls the Book of Baptisms the book of births and calls the record of the completion of baptismal ceremonies found there the record of the sacrament of baptism, which is also an error.

5. At this time, previous information notwithstanding, all four records for Kazimierz Pulaski were located. S. Makarewicz, Kazimierz Pulaski urodzil sie w Warszawie [Kazimierz Pulaski was born in Warsaw] in "Ave" (a publication of the Radom Diocese) 1995 number 40 (119) pages 13 and 14; also Warszawski dom rodziny Pulaskich [The Warsaw Family Home of the Pulaskis] "Ave", 1995 number 53 page 13; also Pulascy h. Slepowron z ulicy Nowy Swiat w Warszawie [Pulaskis of the Slepowron crest of Nowy Swiat Street in Warsaw], "Ave", 1996 number 3, page 13.

6. Liber baptisatorum ab a. 174