Mierzejewo near Ostrołęka  

Legend From Ostrołęka                                                        Mierzejewska marrying Mierzejewski                 Mierzejewski name common around Ostrołęka

 

Mierzejewo near Ostrołęka

   Most Mierzejewskis originate from the Mierzejewo near Ostrołęka.

   Mierzejewo has also been spelled Mierzeiewo, Mierzejowa, Mirzeiewo, Mirzegewo, Mirzejewo, Mirzeyewo, Myerzeyewo, Myrzegewo, Myrzeyevo, and Myrzeyewo. Some of the old Latin documents are hard to read!

   The Mierzejewski forests were begun to be colonized by Prince Janusz already about 1370, but the record books of the Mazovian princes from that time period did not survive. From what I understand [from the document] the region Mierzejewo included villages that were in the direction towards Ostrow Mazowiecka from Czerwin. At present the villages are: Dąbek, Jelenie, Zalesie, Przyborowie, Chrośnice, Wysocze, Rynek, and Trynosy. [Skarzyn was also a Mierzejewo village]. PŁO.

   The area around Mierzejewo wasn't permanently settled until the 15th century. Factors include: close proximity to aggressive neighbors (Teutonic Knights/Order and Jaćwinga/Jadwinga tribe), lack of roads (river navigation was common), and the area was still a forest. Only a few settlements existed before 1400. Brzezno dates back to 1223, Troszyn - 1239, and Ostrołęka is first mentioned in a 1373 document. NMP. NIE.

   In 1385 Poland and Lithuania became a union and they combined their forces to defeat the Teutonic Knights at Grunwald (Gruwald-Stebark-Tannenberg) on 15 July 1410 in the largest battle of Medieval Europe, making Northern Mazowia safer to live in. It was customary for the King to reward brave soldiers/knights/szlachta by giving them land and consequently all around Northern Mazowia many new (noble) villages were created in the 15th century. The Teutonic Knights were finally defeated in 1466 (Thirteen Years' War). BOG, DAV, POG.

This area, as early as 1473, was so large that it contained at least 16 villages, all with the prefix/first name "Mierzejewo-". The villages were Bobin, Borowce, Czambrowizna, Damiety, Drwecz, Janczyki, Janki Mlode, Janki Stare, Jarnuty, Przeczki, Repki, Tomasze, Wielgouchy, Wojsze, Zamosc, and Zapieczne. The villages Bryski, Gierwaty, and Nogawki have also used the prefix, for a total of 19. A 1822 map shows these villages with the prefix "M".

   The earliest written date associated with Mierzejewo or Mierzejewski is 1421 in Ururski's Rodzina and says: " Mikołaj 1421 Dadzibog and Ścibor, Jan's sons, of 1455", but no one know what 1421 refers to.

   The year 1426 is in MKM t-1, 275, Nowe Miasto, 25 April 1426, "Mirzegewo-Skarzyno; Mikolaj and Ratibor heirs of Panszyn, of their own free will all their distributions in Mirzeyewo situated nearby Ostrołęka, to Gaykon, Stanisław, Dobiesław, Jan and sons of Mirzon of Skarzyn sold for 50 sixties of Prague grosz [‘kopy groszy praskich’!] and one unit of land measure – 5600 square meters [‘morga’] in Skarzyn, forever sold; the mentioned four brothers received four divisions of these areas, sons of Mirzon, on the other hand, [received] the fifth division".
       

   In 1442 Mierzejewo was documented as part of the Czerwin parish.

   By the mid 1400s there was a paid army ....

The best description of Mierzejewo is in the 1957 book Nazwy Miejscowe Północnego Mazowsza (Name Places of Northern Mazowia) by Karol Zierhoffer. It's here in Polish as copied from the book. This is the English translation:

 

 

Here is Mierzejewo in Słównik Geograficzny in English:

 

 

As recently as 1981 maps showed Mierzejewo-Repki but the prefix/first name is no longer used (an effort is being made to put Mierzejewo back on the map. Wielgouchy appears to have combined with Jarnuty. Bryski, Czambrowizna, Janczyki, and Przeczki have been absorbed by their neighbors. The exact loction of Zygmunty/Sigmundhi [Strusin] is not known. SG, .


Mierzejewo, about 50 square km in size, was apparently at first a pine forest/wooded area that came under control of nobility before its 19 individual villages came into being. Mierzejewo-Borowce is mentioned with the date 1426 and may have been the first Mierzejewo village but more research on the subject is necessary.  Mierzejewo is listed in a 1442 Diocese of Płock church document. BOG.

 

An ancient cemetery in or near Mierzejewo is being excavated under the direction of Ewa Kawalkowa. It is believed to be 3.5 to 4 thousand years old. Remains of people burnt at the stake have been found in holes in the ground. An open air museum based on the results of this and other archeological digs is planned. ROZ.

Second colonization...

Legend From Ostrołęka

Mierzeja is the Polish word for sand bar or spit of land. "There is a legend in Ostroleka Region telling that the family of Mierzejewskis come from Czechoslovakia. "During the battle of Grunwald on 15 July 1410, between Teutonic Knights and Polish King's Army of Władyslaw Jagiello, there was a detachment of Czech fighters who distinguised themselves on the battlefield. King Jagiello in reward for their gallantry offered them some land near Warsaw town over the right bank of Vistula (Wisła) river. They had settled there, started to build their houses and cultivate the soil. The region inhabited by these valiant knights was called by them - Praga, just to remember the name of their Capital in Czechoslovakia. Up to now, a part of Poland's Capital holds the name "Praga". Some years later the other king of Poland on Czechs' petition agreed for their move to northern parts of Poland because the lands round Warsaw were rather sandy and difficult for plants and crops. They were mostly located within Ostroleka district and because there were large marshes called by local population MIERZEJA...many Czechs adopted this word to their name, so there are many Mierzejewskis around here...". So this is the local legend but surely there is some truth at least in some of it". Narrated by K. Karaszewski, 25 July 1989, Ostrołęka.

Mierzejewska Marrying Mierzejewski

Mierzejewski grooms marrying Mierzejewska brides has been documented scores of times in recent history. The author has found 133 so far, although some are probably repeats or mistakes. In 1859 in Janki Stare a Mierzejewska wife died at age 55 and her Mierzejewski husband was 36 at the time, 19 years younger than his wife. Some Mierzejewska wives married a second Mierzejewski husband after the first one died.

The last woman whose father, mother, husband, and mother-in-law all had the name Mierzejewski died in 1978. There is known to be alive only two persons (one man and one woman) whose father, mother, and spouse are all named Mierzejewski. There are about 17 couples still alive composed of a Mierzejewski husband and Mierzejewska wife. The last Mierzejewski/Mierzejewska marriage may have been in 1969.

The top ten most popular surnames of spouses of Mierzejewskis are: #1 Mierzejewski, Dobkowski, Gumkowski, Chrostowski, Zebrowski, Choromanski, Tyszka, Goclowski, Struniawski, and #10 Bobinski. (From data the author has collected up to the year 2002). The Top 50 can be seen here.
 

Mierzejewski name common around Ostrołęka

Mierzejewski is still a common name around Ostroleka. The January 2001 population of the city of Ostroleka was 55,500, with 775 Mierzejewskis, making it the most popular name, followed by Zebrowski (531), Kowalczyk (384), Kaczynski (372), and Zalewski (353). The area around Ostroleka, formerly the Province (woj.) of Ostroleka, contains another 1300 Mierzejewskis. Nowak is most popular name in Poland and there is a 1 in 164 chance that anywhere in Poland the person sitting next to you on a bus is a Nowak, but in Ostroleka the chance that the person sitting next to you is a Mierzejewski is 1 in 72, twice the Nowak chance. There is a legend in Tomasze that until 1860 all residents were named Mierzejewski (all residents related to Mierzejewski is closer to the truth).

The present 13 Mierzejewo villages contain about 510 houses. In the 1995 woj. Ostrołęka phone book there were 3 Mierzejewskis out of 16 total phones.

In the 2002 woj. Mazowieckie  phone book there are 243 phones for the approximately 510 houses meaning about 47% of the houses have phones. Not all households in Poland that would like a phone have one yet. Of the 243 phones 30 (12%) are Mierzejewski. Tomasze has the highest percentage of Mierzejewski phones, 39% (7 out of 18), followed by Janki Stare, 21% (3 out of 14), and Zapieczne, 17% (3 out of 18).

The cities with the most Mierzejewski phones are Warszawa, 286, and Ostroka, 168. Note: As of 2005 there are more cell phones in Poland than land/wire phones.

. Of the 405,670 surnames in Poland, Mierzejewski ranks 456th in popularity. (Top 1/8th of 1%).