Książyk and Księżyk

 Summary of the previous episodes:

♦    Some members of the Paprzyca family from the Kuszaba Clan arrived in the Niewino area (Podlaskie) during the early 15th c.;

♦    These families decided to bear the name of Niwiński to reflect their settlements in several hamlets in the vicinity of the Niewino villages;

♦    After a few generations, a branch of the Niwiński family used the nickname “Książyk” to differentiate from other members.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Książyk people were still living in the area of the Niewino villages (parish of Wyszki) from which our family is originating. The records available on geneteka.pl locate a Książyk family in Liza, a hamlet from the parish of Topczewo. Actually, today there are two Liza hamlets: Liza Stara and Liza Nowa, distant by some 2 km. They are located in the district of Poświętne (Białystok County). The parish of Topczewo was founded in 1433.



1.         Książyk and Księżyk

The records of geneteka.pl are still uncomplete and to date, the documents are not available online.  The reading highlights a confusion between the names Książyk and Księżyk in one same family. The genealogy tree of this Książyk family in Liza below needs confirmation.

KZ Liza


This  confusion between the letters Ą/ą and Ę/ę  is a very interesting point that underlines the extent to which the orthography of names was somewhat uncertain before the mid-19th century. Ą/ą sounds like a French “on” while Ę/ę sounds like a French “in” (the English phonems “on” and “in” sound differently).  Other whimsical interpretations of the letter Ą/ą are possible. As an example, we found documents from our family in Grochale Górne (Mazowie) that read Ksionżyk. However, in the record from Liza, our name ends with a “-yk”. This writing confirms that Książyk is not Książek! 

2.      Poland and Lituania

The records of this Książyk family in Liza are kept in different places that reflect the history of the area of Podlaskie.

⇒ For records of the late 18th century: Archives of Vilnius (Państwowe Archiwum Historyczne w Wilnie) and Archives of the Drohiczyn Diocese (Archiwum Diecezjalne w Drohiczynie).

⇒For records of the early 19th century: Archives of Bialystok in Lomza (Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku Oddział w Łomży) and Archives of the diocese of Lomza (Archiwum Diecezjalnym w Łomży).

3.   Still there?

We found an article from Poranny.pl written in 2007 that mentions an Iwanowski-Księżyk family in Liza Stara before the Second World War.  The name Liza comes from a river but the author proposes a nice legend about the daughter of a wealthy man who was inspired by the Mona Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci. In 2009, Agnieszka Wisniewolska produced a short-cut movie “Skrawek Ziemi – Liza Stara” (WSAP Production). On the pictures below: traditionnal houses in Liza Stara.

According to mojkrewni.pl,  914 Księżyk and 285 Książyk are living in Poland.  Księżyk people are not living in the area of Poświętne any more. However,  a handful  of them is located in Białystok and several families are still living in Podlaskie.  Some Książyk people are living 63 km eastward in Hajnówka, a small town close to the border with Belarus.                   












Marie-Jeanne C.K., Paris


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