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The First Three Brothers

Cholewa heraldry coat of arms chosen by the first Borawski brothersSometime prior to 1421 a clan of family members settled a village just southwest of present day Przytuły.  How they came to be there is not known (at this time).  The family, as we know them now, were the Borawski. Though perhaps at that time they were without surname, they did call their village Borowo. Today that village is known as Borawskie in the parish of Przytuły.

The year 1421 is important because according to the Instytut Jezyka Polskiego PAN in Krakow, the first record on file of the existence of Borowo near Przytuły was 1421, as well as, 1426 and 1471.

The year 1426 is, also, important because it is the year that three brothers from Borowo obtain land through a Duke from Mazovia, Janusz I (Duke of Czerwin). Therefore elevated to the Szlachta (Polish Nobilty).  It must be noted that according to information on the Polish version of Wikipedia, in regards to this event, the three brothers were said to be from Borowo near Ostrołęcka and not Przytuły, though the land given was near Przytuły.  Thus far, no known genealogy records pertaining to the Borawski surname or descendents have been known to come from village Borawce near Ostrołęcka.

The three brothers were: Dobiesław, Stanisław, and Mikołaj

[You can access each brother's ancestry profile in the Borawski Trees by clicking their name] 

It is unknown as to why Janusz I gave land to the brothers.  However, is it very possible that the brothers were in service to the Duke during the Battle of Grunwald that ended the Polish-Lithuanian Teutonic War against the Teutonic Knights just sixteen (16) years earlier.  

Since we do not know the birth years of the three brothers it is hard to determine if they were even born, more less of fighting age, during the year 1410 when the battle took place in northeastern Poland. However, should the brothers have been in their twenties and thus received the granted land while in their thirties and forties, then it is most likely that they were in the Battle of Grunwald.  Additionally then, the land grant may have been bestow to them because of their service in the war, an undocumented heroic act during the battle, or for something quite distance from that of the Battle of Grunwald.  We may never know.  What we do know is that they were elevated to Szlachta (Polish Nobility) status and the brothers were adopted into the Cholewa clan and it became their coat of arms.  The reason as to why they chose Cholewa, again, it is something we may never know.

Griunvald11 Janusz I, in liege to the King of the commonwealth, gathered many men from his duchy and met at in Czerwinsk.  Though he was in old age, there he met his brother, Siemowit IV, another Duke of Mazovia, and with their large armies went northwest to Grunwald.  Both Dukes had personal history in reagrds to the Teuntonic Order for over the past several decades the Order had taken land that belonged to their father, Seimowit III.  It is hard to imagine that if the Borawski brothers were of age to fight in 1410 and being that the Battle of Grunwald was the largest medieval battle ever fought in Europe then they would have most surely been involved. The battle did not just involved the Polish-Lithuanian armies and the knights of the Teuntonic Order but thousand of knights and fighters from France, Hungary, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, and even England.  The Battle of Grunwald saw (in some estimates) a massive 70,000 knights and warriors in battle; all in real living vivid color.  Imagine 70,000 decending for battle just 100 miles/170 km west of the village Borowo near Przytuły.  Yes, if the brother were of age to fight then they definitely would have been involved in a grand battle such of this.

 [ Still to this day, there is a yearly re-enactment of the battle in Grunwald.]

This livilhood of knighthood is one of little detail. The existence of records about the Rycerstwo (Knights) is maeger.  Thus, we will never know if the first three Borawski brothers were, indeed, knights.  It should be express that after the year 1413 (just three years after the Battle of Grunwald) new laws concerning the union between Poland and Lithuania extended Szlachta priviledges to the Lithuanina Boyars.  However far fetched it may sound, there is a slight possiblilty that Borawski brothers were originally from Lithuanian and settle in Mazovia after the Battle of Grunwald. Though highly unlikely, the thought must be mentioned.

However, sixteen (16) years after the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth defeat the Teutonic Order in their land, the a Duke of Mazovia, Janusz I, gave the brothers 10 włóks[1] of land near the town of Rostusz, which is call Obrytki presently, in the parish of Przytuły.  Why land near Przytuły?  It may, again, be that they had already lived there and that their pre and post battle livihood was rooted here.  Dobiesław is considered, historically, the founders of the current village Borawskie in the Przytuły parish.

For unknown reasons as to why, eleven (11) years later, in 1438, the new Duke of Mazovia and grandson to Janusz I (for Janusz I had died in 1428) granted land to a "Mikolaj of Borawskie Dobków and his sons Maciej and Wit" near the river Wissa and thus he leaves Borawskie.  He and his two sons, Maciej and Wit, are considered the founders Borawskie-Awissa.




he other two brothers, Staniaw and Mikołaj are recorded living in Borawski Dobków in the parish of Jedwabne around the same time, though the exact date is unclear.  Some suggest the this land in the Jedwabne parish was granted on the same day, 8 Decembr 1426, but uncertain, though very possible.  Today Borawski Dobków is know as just Borawskie. Stanisaw is considered the founder of Borawskie (Jedwabne).


[1] A włók is an old medieval measurement that is approximately, 18 hectares or 44.5 acres. Thus 10 włók is approximately, 180 hectares or 445 acres.