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Wierzejski Family from Siedlce

While gathering materials to build the Genealogical Tree of the Wajszczuk Family, I was interested from the beginning in obtaining information about several other families and people from Siedlce, whose names I was hearing and whom I was seeing as a child, and whom I still remember – to learn, if and how they were related to my family. In this task, Włodzimierz Bieguński from Siedlce became very helpful and a source of abundant information. Apparently, he is also a “historian” of their family. Our families were related through my uncle Dr Edmund, (0075) whose wife, Maria was his aunt. As will be shown below, this relationship was further extended to the family of Wierzejski, by marriage of one of them to Maria’s sister. That’s how friendships and social life proliferated and grew in Siedlce between the two wars, while I was a child. In addition, the presence of a large military garrison with their high-ranking and gallant officers, a town surrounded by landed gentry living on their estates and arranging splendid Carnival balls, closeness to the capital in Warsaw, lively cultural life – it all created a special atmosphere and way of life – and left us with nice memories and a specific outlook at life, as well as with ambitions and expectations for the future. The war arrived… and everything changed! But, one can not, and should not, give up.

Below are fragments of communications (e-mails) from Włodzimierz Bieguński with his answers to my questions and later, from the correspondence with Mrs. Beata Domańska, a member of the Wierzejski family.

Wlodzimierz Biegunski wrote:

November 29, 2005 - “My memory associations with the name Wierzejski are with two families: - Judge Karol Wierzejski, d. 1932, had 4 sons: Stanisław was married to my aunt Janina, Stefan, a physician-phtysiatrist (pulmonary and tuberculosis specialist) perished in Katyń,  Jerzy and Witold were land surveyors.”

December 1, 2005 – “Stefan Wierzejski had his consultation practice in Warsaw and in Otwock. He lived with his mother in the area of Wilson Square.

A Wierzejski family (perhaps a different one?) owned a red 3-story apartment building at Asłanowicza street, at its proximal end, across from the Żółkiewski Gymnasium. He was a principal of several grammar schools. I remember this Wierzejski couple as older people. They also owned a rather large farm and my mother was buying honey from them.”

December 12, 2005 – “(…) I do not know, whether there was any true family relationship between the Wajszczuks and Wierzejskis. I know, however, that aunt Mania (0075 – Maria Wajszczuk), and also the Leszczyłowskis (0076), stayed with aunt Janka Wierzejska, when they were coming for a visit from Ostrów Mazowiecka. Aunt Mania stayed with her, when she moved back to Siedlce and died there. Her son-in-law Bazyli Leszczyłowski died in May of this year.”

January 18, 2006

“This picture was taken ca. 1935. From left: Stanisław Bieguński (BG010), Stanisław Wierzejski (BG011) – both born in 1900, they were classmates and later became brothers-in-law, and Jan Bieguński (BG006), their father and father-in-law. Stanisław Wierzejski designed the house behind them, which belonged Stanisław Bieguński (it was built ca. 1934, 1935).”



Quite unexpectedly an e-mail arrived in November 2011:

Beata Domanska, nee Wierzejska wrote on November 22, 2011

“Warm greetings, While searching for information about my family, I discovered your website and a mention about the Wierzejski family: ‘Judge Karol Wierzejski. d. in 1932 etc.(…)’.

I am enclosing a picture of this family. From the right (standing): Antonina Wierzejska, nee Wolska, (sitting) Karol Wierzejski, on his knees Ryszard Wierzejski (son of Janina and Stanisław) and (standing) sons - Witold, Jerzy (my grandfather), Stefan and Stanisław with wife Janina, nee Bieguńska.


Respectfully yours,
Beata Domańska, nee Wierzejska

As previously suspected, mystery is solved and distant relationship confirmed:

Maria (0075, „Mania”), wife of uncle Edmund Wajszczuk, nee Bieguńska had a younger sister, Janina Bieguńska, who married Stanisław Wierzejski (Stanislaw’s brother, Stefan was a physician in Warsaw – perished in Katyń. IPN: camp – Kozielsk, murdered – Katyń. April 1940, son of Karol, b. 1901.) http://www.indeks.karta.org.pl/en/szczegoly.jsp?id=4080

November 24, 2011 – (…) I was convinced for many years that there was nothing left after our ancestors, until last year, when I got hold of some notes made by my father’s uncle. After my aunt died, they wanted to throw them away. I discovered that he was tracing the genealogical tree of the family. A few pictures and letters of my great-grandmother, Antonina Wierzejska, nee Wolska, wife of Karol Wierzejski, were preserved. In one of the letters, she describes the arrival of Mrs. Wajszczukowa and Danusia, for a visit. In a few days, I will send you some scans or photographs of the letters. I think, she arrived from Ostrów, I am not sure. (…) Perhaps, this is somebody from your family? On my part, I would like to ask you for any information in your possession regarding the Wierzejski family, if you come across some. We know almost nothing about Karol Wierzejski, we do not even know the names of his brothers and sisters. :(

Warm regards, Beata Domańska

December 21, 2011 – (…) Everything seems to indicate (a close relationships between the families) – they even spent the holidays together, as written in the enclosed letter, but I do not want to take away from you the pleasure of reading about it yourself directly from the enclosed letters. (see – letter excerpts).

January 19,2012 – Greetings, Please feel free to forward the copies to Mr. Bieguński and to Mrs. Anna Świderska (Maria’s granddaughter)  - I hope that samples of news about everyday life of our ancestors will please them. (…) My father remembers very warmly Mr. Jan Bieguński, when, as a child, he was coming for a visit to grandmother Antonina at Asłanowicz street. Mr. Jan, who lived in an apartment on the other side of the wall, was taking him for a walk in the garden. There bloomed lots of flowers and magnificent plants – he remembers, and it is also described in Antonina’s letters.

I am enclosing more scans. (…) In one of the letters, my great-grandmother Antonina describes a visit of M.(aria) Wajszczukowa with her grandchildren, two boys and Ania, this must have been Anna Świderska. Everybody was planning to go to Mierzwice, if I read it correctly? I have a picture of my great-grandparents there, but I have no idea, what they were doing there? Did they live there temporarily? May be the explanation will come with time? (WJW – it was a popular summer resort area in a village on the banks of the Bug river.) Antonina received this picture from Mrs. Moric(owa) – here, also I am not sure, if I read well? Did you encounter this name in the past and do you know, who it was? Mrs. Klimczykowa, a sister of Dr. Wajszczuk is mentioned in the letter #6 - do you know, who these people were?

I was surprised with your offer to include our family on your website. I was very pleased that you are interested in our family, although I feel somewhat uneasy that I caused you trouble and added more work. On my part, I agree to have the letters published. Is it worth? I leave the decision for you. Antonina’s correspondence does not have any historical value, but it is an interesting source of information about their normal everyday life. It gives us an opportunity to find out, how they were spending their free time, what were their pleasures, problems and passions. This kind of information we usually get only from the oral tales within the family.

While scanning some digitized publications in the resources of the Warsaw University Library, I came across an article, which may be of interest to you: I am sending you an excerpt:   Głos Podlasia: community and literary weekly / [edit. & publ. by Zygmunt Michałowski]. R.1, (1910), no.1

Until 1864, our county was populated by the Poles and Ruthenians. The fist ones were Catholics, the other were Unites, although at that time religion did not determine nationality. (…) The Unite clergy derived (…) mostly from the small nobility or manorial officials, as indicated by their last names ending with “ski”, “cki” or “icz” - as long as a candidate graduated from a middle, if not a higher level, educational institution, he could enter a Seminary.

After 1870, when the Unites were forced (by the Russian occupants) to convert to orthodoxy, included with them were also the Catholics, who were (…) baptized in the Unites’ houses of worship (cerkiew). Next came a ruling, to change the last names of peasants, ending with “ski”, “eki” or “icz” - to “czuk” or “iuk”, but some officials, due to their eagerness were also changing names of the nobility – for instance Zembrzuski was changed to “Zebrn-czuk”. (…)       

Dr Stefan Wierzejski -

I mailed some of the pictures of Stefan Wierzejski to the Museum in Siedlce. Many pictures were preserved, especially from the time period, when he worked in Otwock at the children recovery sanatorium, dated July 22, 1930, as well as a whole album with a dedication:

To the respectable Doctor Stefan Wierzejski. who was always willing to provide us with medical assistance, on His Birthday – Personnel and Children of the “Olin” Colony in Otwock – September 2, 1930.”


Katyń - Osrodek KARTA - http://www.indeks.karta.org.pl/en/szczegoly.jsp?id=4080

Ogrody Wspomnien – Katyn - http://www.ogrodywspomnien.pl/index/showd/39265

Lieutenant (in the Reserves) Stefan WIERZEJSKI, son of Karol and Antonina nee Wolska, born Sept 2, 1901 in Siedlce. In 1920, a soldier in 22 PP (Infantry Regiment), graduate of the Medical Faculty of the Warsaw University (1928) and SPRSan. (Military Medical Corps?) in Warsaw (1929). Physician in the Social Insurance Sevice (Ubezpieczalnia Społeczna), Koło District in Warsaw. Specialized in phtysiatry (tuberculosis treatment). 2nd lieutenant with seniority Jan 1, 1933, lieutenant January1, 1937. Attached to the cadre of the 1st district hospital, (bdd.?)

Source: http://www.katedrapolowa.pl; http://www.radaopwim.gov.pl

CAW, AP 1529, 13369; MiD WIH, L.W. 022/1 z 9 IV 1940; AM 1359. http://www.katedrapolowa.pl/lista_awansowanych.php

Posthumously advanced to a rank of Captain. List of persons murdered in Katyń, Miednoje and Kharkov, who were advanced to the next higher rank, during official ceremonies held on November 9 - 10, 2007.

Picture taken ca. 1935. From left: Stanisław Bieguński (BG010), Stanisław Wierzejski (BG011) – both born in 1900 r., they were classmates and then became brothers-in-law,  and Jan Bieguński (BG006), their father and father-in-law. Stanislaw Wierzejski designed the house behind them, it belonged to Stanisław Bieguński (the house was built ca. 1934 - 1935).

Prepared by: Waldemar J Wajszczuk & Paweł Stefaniuk 2017
e-mail: wwajszczuk@comcast.net