Leki Gorne and Leki Dolne, Poland

Leki Gorne and Leki Dolne

Galicia, Austria Poland

The following article appeared in the Fall 1998 Polish Genealogical Society of America Bulletin. It is a translation by William F. Hoffman of entries from the Slownik Geograficzny, a 15-volume Polish-language gazetteer published 1880-1902, so the data was correct as of that time.

Copied with permission.

    Leki Gorne and Leki Dolne, two villages in Pilzno powiat*, on the county road from Pilzno to Rygiel. Leki Dolne is located 4 km. west of the town of Pilzno, Leki Gorne is 4 km. farther west. Both villages are in an area of rolling countryside, covered to the north and south by fir forests, on a small tributary of the left bank of the Wisloka. There is a Roman Catholic parish church in Leki. The populace of Leki Dolne consists of 1,538 persons, of whom 21 live on the the grounds of the major estate, owned by the Tarnow Savings Bank, and 14 live on the manorial farmstead called "wygoda." The population of Leki Gorne consists of 1,700 persons, of whom 122 live on the grounds of the major estate, the property of W. Brzozowski. The ecclesiastical szematyzm* gives the total population as 3,390 Roman Catholics and 159 Jews. In Leki Gorne there is a church made of larch wood dating from 1312, with a beautiful Bysantine image on the side altar; there was also once a prebenda* called St. Wojciech's, funded by Wojciech Romer with income from 4 peasant farms, but it was abolished in 1836. There is also a fund for the needy, established 19 November 1795 by Michal and Katarzyna Letowski, who increased the previous fund of Wojciech Romer from 1638 for the upkeep of 13 paupers. This fund has a capital of 500 zlotys in Austrian currency and a yearly addition of 131 zlotys from the owners of Leki Dolne. The pastor administers the fund. A national school is located in Leki Gorne.

    In Dlugosz's day (see Dlugosz, Liber beneficiorum, Vol. I, p. 811) Leki belonged to Zaklika of Miedzygorz, and it had 20 peasant lans.* Siarczynski mentions (manuscript in the Ossolineum Library, Vol, I, p. 255) that at the beginning of this century flax cultivation flourished here, and that there were many weaving establishments. At that time Leki Dolne belonged to the Bobrownick family, and Leki Gorne to the Lubieniecki family. Emigration to America from Leki motivated Anczyc to write Emigracya chlopska [Translator's note: "Peasant Emigration" -- apparently referring to a work by the writer Wladyslaw Ludwik Anczyc, 1823-1883].

    In the 17th century Aryans of the Lubieniecki family built a baroque-style meeting-place in Leki Gorne, which was abandoned after the fall of Aryanism [Translator's Note: the Arianie, also called the Bracia Polscy, "Polish Brothers," a radical socio-religious movement in the 17th century, connected with the Socinians, were expelled from Poland in 1658] and was turned into a manor sometime after 1830. It is a two-story tenement with a mezzanine and two decorative side facades reminiscent of the Sukiennice in Krakow. Downstairs and on the second floor are rooms with beautiful arched vaults; in one half of the house there was a chapel. The building stands in a lovely garden with ancient beeches and spruces. Warsaw's Tygodnik illustrowany [Illustrated Weekly] gave a sketch of the manor in 1882.

    The major estate in Leki Gorne has 633 morgas* of farmland, 74 of meadows and gardens, 115 of pastureland, and 655 of woods; the minor estate has 2,139 morgas of farmland, 288 of meadows and gardens, 405 of pastureland, and 108 of woods. The major estate in Leki Dolne has 681 morgas of farmland, 72 of meadows and gardens, 38 of pastureland, and 389 of woods; the minor estate has 1,513 morgas of farmland, 234 of meadows and gardens, 180 of pastureland, and 150 of woods.

    The parish belongs to the Diocese of Tarnow, deanery of Pilzno, and it has a branch church in Machowa. Leki borders to the east on Dolczowka, to the west on Szynwald, to the north on Podgorska Wola and Machowa, and to the south on Zwiernik and Zalasowa. -- [Vol. 5, pp. 663-664].

*prebenda: a benefice or prebend, a church office (such as a rectory) endowed with fixed capital assets.
*lan: a unit of land measurement used in Poland since the 13th century; it means "field," and originally was used as a description of a full-sized farm; in Malopolska the Franconian lan was used, 23-28 hectares.
*morga or Morg: unit of land measurement; according to Gerald Ortell's book on Polish parish records, in Galicia 1 morg = 1.422 acres.
*powiat: territorial administrative subdivision used in Poland since the 14th century, smaller than provinces but larger than gminy or gromady; abolished in 1975 (to be reinstated in 1999).
*schematyzm or szematyzm: a list of officials; this term especially refers to a kind of annual report issued by Galician dioceses, which may include details on parishes, the diocese's holdings, etc.

    Editor's Note: For those interested in this part of Galicia, the Polish Genealogical Society of Texas published translations of the Slownik entries for Jaslo and Pilzno in the July, 1998 issue of Polish Footprints, with excellent photographs by European Focus Photography. For more information, write PGST, 15917 Juneau, Houston TX 77040-2155. The translations and some of the photos can be viewed at the PGST Website, www.pgst.org. -- William F. Hoffman

Links to the translations for Jaslo, Pilzno, and Debica can be found at PGST Publications.

The Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) has a timeline of Galician History at their website.


Created March 8, 2000 by Marge Galus Sandlier