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Poland Heraldry and Nobility in names/families


genecps 7 | 131
2 Jul 2012 #1
Hey, I would like to see different family crests from the people to whom they belong to and hear some descriptions of different meaning, their origin, and what the different symbols represent, and how their families acquired the titles. Also I heard that the Polish Nobility was very different then the rest of Europe that it didn't have as many different titles as say the English like Dukes, Knights, Barron, etc, what titles were present in the Polish Nobility?
Ironside 49 | 10,349
2 Jul 2012 #2
There you go:

d

Some more:

d

d

something that may interest you: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Polish_titled_nobility#Princes
OP genecps 7 | 131
2 Jul 2012 #3
Is there a big difference between Polish, Belarus, and Lithuanian Heraldry as far as style, and were most of them issued during the commonwealth?
Ironside 49 | 10,349
2 Jul 2012 #4
No difference,Belarus was an integral part of the Grand Dutch of Lithuania. Lithuanian Heraldry derived and emulated Polish Heraldry.
OP genecps 7 | 131
2 Jul 2012 #5
We found 2 family crests that we believe came from Poland or Belarus. I have seen very similar looking Polish crests to the first one, and one that looked a lot like ours with the same type of shield, helmet and branches of "leaves" (for a lack of better word), just different content inside the shield and different colors. If anyone has anything that they could identify or comment that would help me track down some more history about the crests I would appreciate.


  • My family crest 1

  • My family crest 2
Ironside 49 | 10,349
2 Jul 2012 #6
We found 2 family crests that we believe came from Poland or Belarus.

I'm pretty certain that is not the case.
See for yourself:
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Herby_szlachty_polskiej
OP genecps 7 | 131
2 Jul 2012 #7
Good link. Still leaves me to ponder where those two originated. There are some common things like leaves and seen a similar helmet. But I would immagine all of Polish Heraldry is registered, recorded, and accounted for. Oh well, back to the drawing board as they say.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
2 Jul 2012 #8
Sorry to rain on your parade, but AFAIK the leaves, helmets and other stuff are just incidental to the crest (e.g. superfluous ornamentation, a sort of picture frame, if you will). What really matters is the crest (shield) itself. So the two crests you have posted next to each other are actually completely different.
OP genecps 7 | 131
2 Jul 2012 #9
The shield with the green background makes total sense to me, it's a merging of 2 families: One family was land owners and the other were merchants. The other I have no idea. but what eludes me, are the origins of these crests.
boletus 30 | 1,366
2 Jul 2012 #10
House of Names web page clearly says this up front: Where did Jewish Family Segal come from? What is the Jewish Segal Family crest and coat of arms?

And later:
The Segal family crest was acquired from Houseofnames.com archives. The Segal Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons.

Amazon sells cups decorated with Segal family crest.

Meaning of names website says this:
Segal Meaning: one who cultivated rye.
and this
Coat of Arms: A shield divided perpale: 1st, green with two scythes; 2nd, red half with four silver lozenges.

Both coats of arms miss some of the items I enumerated above. Firstly, it does not have "korona" on top of the helmet, which is characteristic to Polish nobility coats of arms. Secondly, its helmet is of the type "tournament helmet", or "żabi pysk" (frog's mouth) - very characteristic to "burgher coat of arms", pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herb_mieszcza%C5%84ski

This is in Polish only, but click at least on the picture inside to see a magnified image of Albrecht Dürer's coat of arms. He was a burgher.
OP genecps 7 | 131
2 Jul 2012 #11
Segal Meaning: one who cultivated rye.
and this

House of Names are retarded. They said my name is of German origin (My family never resided in Germany, we migrated to Belarus from Southern Russia). What they should have done is checked Wikipedia (lol). They would have gotten a much better explanation. My name is an acronym of a Hebrew Honorary title: SeGan Levi (SeGaL), which means Prince of Levites or Assistant High Priest.
boletus 30 | 1,366
3 Jul 2012 #12
boletus: Segal Meaning: one who cultivated rye. and this House of Names are retarded.

Maybe, but the above quote comes from different source, surnames.meaning-of-names.com/segal/, not from houseofnames.com/segal-family-crest. So you have two sources to hate and complain about now.

But Ancestry confirms what you just said.

Segal Name Meaning: Jewish (Ashkenazic) acronym from the Hebrew phrase SeGan Levia 'assistant Levite'

There is a separate web page, segal.org/name/index.html, devoted to the origin of the name Segal. And it talks a lot about Segals living in Germany, France, Poland, Hungary - not all of them Levites - and about possible variations of the surname: Segal, Siegel, Sagal, Sigal, Segel, Siegel, Segalot, Szegal, Ziegelbaum, Zygelberg, Segelbaum, Segalis (Lithuanian female:Segalyte, Segaliene), Chagall.

So the HouseOfNames was not that far off by saying that Segal originated in Germany. Some probably did. There are Segal people currently living in Germany (estimated 114), Austria (15), Switzerland (21).

From [verwandt.de/karten/absolut/segal.html] and similar search engines.

There were 9000 Segals and 24000 Siegels in USA in 2007. You can check frequency all the surname variations yourself, using this search engine.
OP genecps 7 | 131
3 Jul 2012 #13
So the HouseOfNames was not that far off by saying that Segal originated in Germany. Some probably did.

Seigal originated in Germany. It's a completely different name, that by chance ended up sounding and looking the same. Ours is really a honorary title. We know this by certain other traits. My ancestral family profession was Kosher butchers. Kosher butchers were generally the richest people in the Jewish communities (especially in Belarus). This is because all meat had to be cut by us, ever Rabbi's couldn't do it. Even if you owned cows you had to come to us to get them slaughtered. The title of butcher was given to Levites only, and this was the most lucrative title to be given.

There is also a name called Seagal, which is of English origin, and also doesn't have any relation to us. Almost all the variations of our name a 100 years ago had only one vowel:

Segal, Sagal, Shagal, Segalchik, Segalevich, Segaliovich, Segalov, Segalovich, Segalovskij, "Segel, Segelman, Segelson, Segelevich, Segil, Seglin, Segolov-Shchegolev, Sejgal, Sejgalus, Sejgel, Sigal, Sigalchik, Sigalskij, Sgalov, Sigalovich, Sigalovskij, Sigalus, Sigolovich, Sycal, Sycalovskiy, Tsigal, Tsigal, Tsycal, Tsoglin, Salal, Dagalchik, Sagalin, Sagalov, Sagalovich, Sagalovskij, Sagelevich, Saglovskij, Sagol, Sagolovich, Sogalov, Sogalov-Shchegolev, Sogalovskij, Sogolov, Sogolovich, Sogolovskij, Shegal, Shegal, Shegalov, Shegelman, Shejgal, Shigalov, Shugal, Shugol, Shugul, Shagaliovich, Shagalov, Shagelman, Zegal, Zegelman, Zigal, Zigelman, Zygal, Zagel.

The other 2 versions started being used by some members of our clan after they moved outside of Eastern Europe. But origins of those two names are not related to our own. There is also Shagal in India, and even thought it is completely identical to my name (I'm from the Shagal/Chagall, as in Marc Chagall family) it is also completely unrelated. Just a coincidence.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,094
3 Jul 2012 #14
Also I heard that the Polish Nobility was very different then the rest of Europe that it didn't have as many different titles as say the English like Dukes, Knights, Barron, etc, what titles were present in the Polish Nobility?

That's true. In the Kingdom of Poland only one noble title existed and it was the title of szlachcic (one belonging to the gentry). Hence the popular saying of the time: Szlachcic na zagrodzie równy wojewodzie, which meant that a modest person of the gentry (na zagrodzie) was equal by formal legal status and title to a very powerful and influential person occupying the high administrative position of wojewoda. However, in the Act of Union between The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania signed in Lublin in 1569, the Lithuanian princes or dukes (książe) were guaranteed to retain their original titles of dukes of the Grand Duchy. From then on, you would have wealthy Crown families without the title of a duke (like the very potent Potocki family), and also not the less wealthy Lithuanian families with the title of duke (like the Czartoryski family).

Later on, the Seym ocasionally granted some Crown families the title of duke in acknowledging their merits and deeds for the country. The only name that comes to my mind now is the Poniatowski family, hence the title of książe for Józef Poniatowski (also called "książe Pepi" by the king Stanislas August, family and friends) whose monument is situated just in front of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

Other noble titles to the Polish nobility were granted by the partitioning powers Russia, Prussia and Austria after 1795, of which the title of hrabia was, I think, the most common.
OP genecps 7 | 131
3 Jul 2012 #15
Other noble titles to the Polish nobility were granted by the partitioning powers Russia, Prussia and Austria after 1795, of which the title of hrabia was, I think, the most common.

What's the English equivalent of Hrabia?

And are there people now days that still have the title of Dukes that have been passed down to their over time?
Ironside 49 | 10,349
3 Jul 2012 #16
What's the English equivalent of Hrabia?

Count !

And are there people now days that still have the title of Dukes that have been passed down to their over time?

check my links
jon357 63 | 15,214
3 Jul 2012 #17
What's the English equivalent of Hrabia?

Earl. However this is only British and Irish. Elsewhere they use Count. The state of Poland however does not recognise any titles whatsoever.

And are there people now days that still have the title of Dukes that have been passed down to their over time?

Yes but only in the UK. Other countries have equivalents (Spain, Belgium, for example) however Poland hasn't for centuries. The Duke of Krakow was an honorific title of the Austrian Emperor. The Russians did something similar during the partition. Old German, Austrian, Russian titles etc are not recognised by their respective governments or any other competent official body except occasionally as a courtesy with no official status.
OP genecps 7 | 131
3 Jul 2012 #18
Yes but only in the UK.

A lot of countries "officially" do not recognize "royal titles, but there are usually Heritage organizations in different countries that still hold fast to their members titles, and a lot of general public sees nothing wrong with people who are descendants of the different royal clans holding on to their birth rights.

Ironside, is there an official Heritage Foundation of polish royals?
Ironside 49 | 10,349
3 Jul 2012 #19
Ironside, is there an official Heritage Foundation of polish royals?

None that I know of.
There is Society of Polish Landowners (nobles) : ptz.info.pl
jon357 63 | 15,214
4 Jul 2012 #20
royal clans holding on to their birth rights.

It isn't a 'birth right'. In countries where titles have been abolished, it is just a historical curiosity. In countries like the UK where titles still exist it isn't a 'birth right' either. It is a privilege and a responsibility. So called 'heritage organisations' are an irrelevance.
OP genecps 7 | 131
4 Jul 2012 #21
There is Society of Polish Landowners (nobles) :

Yah, that's what I meant. Thanks

It isn't a 'birth right'. In countries where titles have been abolished, it is just a historical curiosity.

In your eyes they might be irrelevant. But to the families who lost their land to communists this is very relevant.
jon357 63 | 15,214
4 Jul 2012 #22
In your eyes they might be irrelevant. But to the families who lost their land to communists this is very relevant.

No. It is a club only. Millions of people lost property during the upheavals of the Twentieth Century. Most don't feel the need for vanity projects. Have you actually been here in Poland?
boletus 30 | 1,366
4 Jul 2012 #23
So called 'heritage organisations' are an irrelevance.

More like a hobby for most of the members, but then who knows, some of them could be very serious.

There is Society of Polish Landowners (nobles) :

Here are more such organizations. The first one seems quite active and with many local chapters.

szlachta.org.pl, Związek Szlachty Polskiej, Confederation of the Polish Nobility

zspkwpoznan.republika.pl, Związek Szlachty Polskie Kresów Wschodnich i Galicji, Association of Polish Nobility of Easter Borderlands and Galicia

szlachtawielkopolska.eu/kronika, Stowarzyszenie Szlachta Wielkopolska, Association of Nobility of Greater Poland

It is a privilege and a responsibility.

Marcin Zamoyski comes to mind, pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcin_Zamoyski_(samorz%C4%85dowiec). Former Voivod of Zamość Province, democratically elected president of City of Zamość since 2002, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamo%C5%9B%C4%87.

See also Zamoyski Family, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamoyski_family (in English), pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamoyscy (much more in Polish)
jon357 63 | 15,214
4 Jul 2012 #24
More like a hobby for most of the members, but then who knows, some of them could be very serious.

It would be unfair to knock such clubs too much I suppose, especially if they have a genuine interest in it, some sort of credentials and especially if they're involved in some kind of community or charity work too. God knows, there are enough spurious counts round Europe.

I suppose that coming from a country where aristocratic titles are regulated by law and bring obligations as well as just something nice on your visiting card makes me very sceptical of some of those things going round in republics. Google Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband for an example of such crap. He's by no means alone.

There is however a very respectable Order of Chivalry in Poland (I won't name it here) which takes the mickey out of all of that with comic ceremonies whilst raising money for disadvantaged kids. JPII was a member. Paradoxically most of its members are among the great and the good but are somehow too classy to use abolished titles if they have them.
OP genecps 7 | 131
4 Jul 2012 #25
No. It is a club only. Millions of people lost property during the upheavals of the Twentieth Century. Most don't feel the need for vanity projects. Have you actually been here in Poland?

A long time ago in Eastern Poland for a very short period. I remember it being very beautiful.
jon357 63 | 15,214
4 Jul 2012 #26
It is certainly beautiful. Were you born in Europe?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,094
4 Jul 2012 #28
What's the English equivalent of Hrabia?

What comes to mind is that this title is a polonised version of the title of graaf which is proper to Germanic countries.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Of the original ten Rutheno-Lithuanian families with the title of duke (książe) acknowledged to them officially by the Seym in 1569 (the so-called "old noble descent"), there exist only four today: Sanguszkowie, Czartoryscy, Czetwertyńscy, Radziwiłłowie. The other six families died out between 1592 and 1744. Other noble stock (the so-called "new noble descent") are: Lubomirscy (since1682), Poniatowscy (since 1764) and Sapiehowie (since 1768); members of these families still live.

There are more types of noble stock of which I will name the so-called "royal descent" (members of these families once became kings): Sobiescy (since 1674) and Leszczyńscy (since 1705), and the still living families of feud dukes: Hohenzollern (in 1525 became Duke of Prussia), and Biron (in 1737 became Duke of Courland).
OP genecps 7 | 131
4 Jul 2012 #29
feud dukes

Whats that?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,094
4 Jul 2012 #30
That's a strictly European thing of the Middle Ages; you've certainly never had a chance to have it in America. "Feud" is something on which the more commonly known adjective "feudal" was formed, but my English is too poor to explain the word itself.

Both the Principality of Prussia in 1525 and the Principality of Courland until 1795 were dependency territories of the Polish Commonwealth with their own administration, currency etc.


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