In Trouble with the Law (Part 1 of 18)

There’s one in every family – someone who runs afoul of the law.  In my case, I found not one, but four direct ancestors who were called into court to face charges leveled by one of their neighbors. To make matters worse, a plethora of my cousins were also called into court to testify in the case. The case was brought to court in the year 1756 in what at that time was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and continued into the year 1757. Evidence presented in the case dated as far back as 1639.

The court records, preserved in the Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych w Warszawie (Archives of Ancient Documents in Warsaw) were discovered last year by my cousin Christa Shukaitis. While the records do not relate directly to her own family, she recognized that this was an important document about my ancestors, specifically my 5th great grandparents Ignacy Niedziałkowski and Zofia Kamińska and my 6th great grandparents Mateusz Krzysztof Niedziałkowski and Konstancja Żaboklicka. The document was written in Latin and neither of us could read it. Fortunately, a friend and fellow genealogist in Poland, Adam Pszczółkowski, translated the record into Polish. Now, I’m translating the Polish into English. This double translation is not without its faults, however. I hope that the meaning of the original is not significantly distorted by these efforts.

The record occupies 18 pages in the “Ciechanowskie Grodzkie Wieczyste”, catalog no. 107, pages 51 recto – 59 verso. Because of the length of the document, I will attempt to translate it one page at a time. Thus, the translation will take over two weeks. While the bulk of the record deals with the evidence in the case, the verdict is revealed only on the final page. So, what were the charges against my 5th and 6th great grandparents? Were they found innocent or guilty? Besides the case itself, what else can I learn about my ancestors?

Let’s begin with the first page, “Ciechanowskie Grodzkie Wieczyste”, sygn.107, k.51r:

"Ciechanowskie Grodzkie Wieczyste", sygn.107, k.51r

“Ciechanowskie Grodzkie Wieczyste”, sygn.107, k.51r

SOURCE: Klonowo, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, “Ciechanowskie Grodzkie Wieczyste,” sygn.107, k.51r, Grabowski v. Niedziałkowski, 1756; Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych w Warszawie, Warsaw, Poland.

Translated from Latin to Polish, and then from Polish to English, the record states:

Being the amicable settlement of the Oblates in Klonowo by Zygmunt Grabowski, magistrate of Ciechanów Ziemia and Wojciech Grabowski.

This happened on the lands of the Klonowo estates on Monday on the eve of the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle in the year of our Lord 1756, in the presence of the well-born and noble (that is, the nobleman) Stanisław Grabowski underwriter of Ciechanów, Paweł and Tomasz Łaguna, both municipal burgraves of Ciechanów, Józef Kamiński, Ignacy Kołakowski and others, also the usher of the court administrator Maciej Umiemski.


Based on the judgment of the court of the Ciechanów Ziemia, announced in the Ciechanów negotiations, on the Thursday after the ninth Sunday before Easter this year, the parties were required to carry out a settlement on the lands of the Klonowo estates.  Parties in the matter are the nobles:
– Wojciech Grabowski, the principal plaintiff and defendant present in person,
– Ignacy Niedziałkowski and his wife Zofia Kamińska, defendants and plaintiffs, in person,
– Krzysztof Niedziałkowski and his wife Konstancja Żaboklicka, defendants and appointed, in person,
– Melchior Niedziałkowski, son of the deceased Franciszek, defendant, on his own behalf as well as that of Miss Agnieszka Niedziałkowska, Miss, his sister and his servants, in person,
– Józef Niedziałkowski, son of the deceased Adam, defendant, on his own behalf as well as that of his brothers and sister, …

To be continued…

For other parts of this record, see:

Copyright © 2010 by Stephen J. Danko

This entry was posted in Żaboklicki, Długołęcki, Grabowski, Klonowski, Milewski, Niedziałkowski, Sosnowski and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to In Trouble with the Law (Part 1 of 18)

  1. Donna says:


    Wow – this sounds like the start of a great story!


  2. Susan says:

    Fabulous! Have to admit the Part 1 of 18 really got me – so good to know it’s one court record and not 18 different relatives.

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