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    The text below is based on the article
    found on a site about the genealogy of Netczuk family, somehow the
    author – luckily for me – was determined to search for the
    information about the history of the region I live in. For a long
    time I was a bit confused, to some level I still am, but finding this
    information was still like finding a philosopher’s stone to me.
    “Międzyrzecczyzna”, how it is written in Polish, can be
    translated as the Międzyrzec land. Międzyrzec, today known as
    Międzyrzec Podlaski, is a small town in Lublin voivodeship (powiat
    [county] Biała Podlaska), it’s northern part. It was founded before
    1174, and got town rights in 15th century.


    Międzyrzecczyzna is the area of that
    town and its surrounding villages, incorporating two other
    communes/municipalities (in Poland known as “gmina”) –
    Drelów and Kąkolewnica. Here goes the text translated by me on
    amateur as fck level from badass Polish language to extremely
    soulless and neutral English. :D Here’s the source site, just in
    case, maps used here comes from there as well:


    Below is presented a map showing
    approximate territorial range of Międzyrzecczyzna microregion, as a
    part of a bigger ethnographic-cultural unit, commonly known and named
    by local researchers as Southern Podlachia (Podlasie Południowe). In
    history the area was called: Międzyrzec land (ziemia międzyrzecka),
    Międzyrzec county (hrabstwo międzyrzeckie – in times of Czartoryski
    and Potocki families reigns), klucz międzyrzecki (name of Międzyrzec
    properties, groups of villages and farms), eventually as Potocki’s
    Międzyrzec Fee tail. Międzyrzec’s goods since the first it was
    granted to Abracham Chamiec in 1390, were broad. The net of
    settlements was shaped between Krzna and Piszczka rivers, on the
    royal route connecting Vilnius and Kraków and the route east-west
    connecting modern Berlin and Moscow through Warsaw, Brest-Litovsk and
    Minsk. On south-east from the city, in the direction to Drelów, was
    a road toward Lviv and Halych.

    “The territorial range of
    Międzyrzecczyzna on the background of Międzyrzec parish in 1890″


    Red – the largest range of Międzyrzec

    Dark blue – the border of Latin parish
    of Międzyrzec in 1890

    Green – the border of planned in years
    1996-2000 Międzyrzec county [only planned]

    Light blue – approximate range of
    Międzyrzecczyzna with Kąkolewnica

    – railroads

    Międzyrzec goods were changing the
    owner by inheritance. Until 19th century were not divided; later
    grants for Nassut family from the beginning of 15th century and
    joining other goods in 16th/17th centuries resulted in the expansion
    of the area from Wohyń on south to Huszlew on north. Nassuts also
    owned goods in other regions, in Drohiczyn and Mielnik starosty. They
    were the ones who were locating plenty of villages and populated
    their goods after the period of devastating – for borderland
    population – fights over these territories.

    Also, existing here without continuity
    since 1174, the center of Christian faith – whether originally
    eastern or western since 13th century, as the documents written by
    Łuków’s Templars mission suggest – until locating first wooden
    church around 1390, and later building by Nassut a gothic Catholic
    church in first half of 15th century, was helpful for consolidation
    of the population of Mazurian origin. Local Latin parish had broad
    extent, and technically covers 75% of Międzyrzecczyzna region. With
    this region are connected the communes of Międzyrzec Podlaski and
    Drelów, and their extent pretty much covers the borders of region in
    the time of its greatness.

    In the area of cultural and
    agricultural of once the biggest town in this region (which was
    Międzyrzec) were located also villages from the outside of the
    parish, such as Brzozowica, Woroniec, Witoroż, Sokule and Danówka.
    From the outside of the parish various authors were incorporating to
    the Międzyrzecczyzna also former royal village Kąkolewnica with its
    surroundings, Turów, Wohyń, Ostrówka, Komarówka Podlaska,
    Przegaliny and Kolembrody with its surroundings. Neighbouring parish
    in Trzebieszów due to seniority of its church (1410) and more
    homogenous Mazovian settlement were culturally distinct from
    Międzrzecczyzna, having connections only with Międzyrzec boyars,
    petty szlachta and bourgeoisie. Trzebieszów was on the border of the
    influence from Łuków and Międzyrzec, always being closer to Łuków
    starosty. Similarly was with Kąkolwenica, Wohyń, Komarówka and
    Kolembrody, which were leaning toward Radzyń or Rossosz and Łomazy.

    South-eastern territories of
    Międzyrzec land were inhabited by people who called themselves
    “Bagnosze”, and the territory of Drelów
    commune/municipality (gmina) – Bagnosze, due to its lowland, woody
    and marshy location [“bagno” in Polish means swamp, marsh].
    The society here have evolved a specific ethnic-cultural type. In
    15th-16th centuries local population was most likely predominantly of
    Mazovian origin. In 16th century Zbaraski family have started a
    colonisation of Międzyrzecczyzna with the peasants from their
    Ruthene (Hresk, Mołodeczno, Mohylew in Belarus, Zbaraż in Ukraine)
    and Lithunian goods (Siemieliszki, Rudniki, part ot Żośla), likely
    to the south, north and east from the city. With time the region got
    a predominantly Ruthene character, which was proven by three Unitary
    tserkovs being built in 16th/17th centuries for local Ruthenes. In
    19th century have began the process of ruthenisation of Bagnosze by
    tsarist administartion; as at first the surnames with the Ruthenian
    endings and roots were only 1/5 of all inhabitants of Drelów
    village, soon authoritarian officials started to change the surnames
    of Mazovian population, adding to them Ruthene endings. In other
    villages of the gmina there was either the majority of Ruthenian
    population, or the population was mixed. At the end of 19th century
    the half of surnames sounded Ruthenian. This process have contorted
    the population censuses, on basis of which tsarist administartion
    were showing the presence of Ruthenian majority. In reality the
    proportions of both ethnic groups before 19th century were similar,
    with small differences – in some villages there were often more Poles
    than Ruthenes, while in other villages it was the opposite. It was
    even more surprising, that the number of population with Ruthenian
    surnames were not the same as the number of population of former
    Unitarians, and certainly later Orthodoxes.

    It’s necessary to accent a great
    mobility within Międzyrzec parish. To the half of 18th century the
    population was migrating to the level that resulted in fact, that
    villages of Międzyrzec boyars were already inhabited in half by
    Ruthenian population. Many of boyar and szlachta families from Sokule
    and Rogoźnica, trough the marriage, were migrating to the city and
    to serfdom villages. At the beginning of 19th century some of
    villages have been taxed (Grabowiec, Szóstka, Przechodzisko,

    “Classes of inhabitans of
    Międzyrzecczyzna between 1868″


    Dark red circle – villages of
    Międzyrzec boyars (szlachta and Mazovian “kmiećs” – Poles
    and Lithuanians)

    Yellow circle – villages, farms (Poles,
    Ruthenes, mixed population)

    Light red circle – originally probably
    boyar or free villages

    Green circle – villages taxed in
    18th/19th centuries, mixed population

    Yellow-red circle – mixed

    Blue circle – Międzyrzec bourgouisie

    Red ”

    ” – approximate
    border of the Polish-Lithuanian and Ruthenian settlements to
    15th-16th centuries

    “Churches, tserkovs and chapels”


    I think no legend needed. Just the
    cross that looks Orthodox is Greek-Catholic.

    “Nationalities in various
    villages, 1880″


    Red – inhabited mostly by Poles

    Yellow – inhabited mostly by Ruthenes

    Red-yellow – inhabited by Poles and

    “Former national character of


    Red – dominant Polish character

    Yellow – dominant Ruthenian character

    Green – dominant Lithuanian character

    Green-Red – formerly Lithunian, then
    Polish character

    Red-Yellow – formerly Polish, then
    Ruthenian character

    “Local ethnic groups”


    Green – Bagnosze

    Red – Międzyrzec boyars, szlachta

    Blue – Międzyrzec bourgouisie and
    their lands

    Purple – North-Eastern mixed groups

    South-western, western, and
    north-western territories were inhabited by the population of
    Maziovian and Lithuanian origin, since 15th century in privileges and
    laws titled as Międzyrzec boyars. They were brought by the Nassuts.
    On similar law the owners of Biała [Podlaska] – Ilnicz family – were
    founding the villages for petty szlachta on east from Międzyrzec.
    One of them – Sokule – became a part of Międzyrzec goods with
    surrounding villages of Witoroż and Danówka. According to
    Pleszczyński, for Ilnicz family the name of boyars was unknown. More
    probable is that boyars in Biała land were proper boyars in the
    understanding known in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in which were
    prevalent the Belarusian Ruthenes, Volhynian Ruthenes, Lithuanians
    and Tatars, who left marks not only in toponymy of Biała Podlaska
    surroundings, but also in material culture – architecture, Tatar
    mizars, and traditional clothings, dialects and customs. Local
    sources of Biała mention few villages inhabited by Ruthene boyar



    For some reasons I can’t post an image normally, the window with this “post image” doesn’t show up. So I posted the links instead.



    @GaiusCoriolanus The post image icon doesn’t work for me, either. I just copy/paste the image into my posts now.



    @Karpivna, copy paste will surely work :D My village is painted yellow on third map :P



    @GaiusCoriolanus Yeah, me and Hannia, the Queens of Copy/Paste.  :D



    @GaiusCoriolanus This information and the maps are fantastic! 




    Here goes the text translated by me on amateur as fck level from badass Polish language to extremely soulless and neutral English.

    You got that right! 
    :D However, thank you for the translation because I am only fluent in the soul-sucking English.  :(



    @Karpivna, I can even go further with translation to a very spiritual old-school language. “Międzyrzec” means baiscally “between rivers”. Just like in Greek language “Mesopotamia”.



    Excellent summary. But I haven’t noticed any mentioning of Jewish community that was sizeable in the region. I have information on demographics for Sedletskaya Gubernia (gubernia Siedlecka), Belskiy uezd with major centre being Bela (Biala-Podlaska) from 1897 census.

    Ukrainians (38.1%)
    Poles (33.9%)
    Jews (21.7%). Likely most of them lived in largest towns
    Russians (5.6%)




    In 1897 the language spoken was recorded rather than ethnic identity. The dialects spoken around Bela (Biala Podlaska) and Brest-Litovsk was considered that of Malorosy (Ukrainian) rather than Belarusian.




    (Here goes the text translated by me on amateur as fck level from badass
    Polish language to extremely soulless and neutral English.)

    You got that right!  D However, thank you for the translation because I am only fluent in the soul-sucking English. 

    English should be officially renamed to “soul-sucking English”. Why? Because it sounds badass. So it would be translated from badass Polish to badass soul-sucking English. :D I think it sounds fair.



    @Sviatogor, good point about the Jews. According to wikipedia, in 1614 the 21% of Międzyrzec population was Jewish, in 1788 – 40% and in 1827, 65%. They also lived outside the city. Before the war there a quite big Jewish community, they had also synagogue near the main square of Międzyrzec (in which the nazis created ghetto), nowadays there’s only abandoned Jewish cemetery.

    A year ago some foundation invited main rabbi, Israeli youth and representants of Yad Vashem on a ceremony of uncovering some tablets in places where the Jews were killed (two places in forests, one near one guy’s house), plus two men were granted the title of the Righteous among the nations.

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