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Search for ancestors of Albert Herman

New information obtained recently from the convent biography of Helena Herman (see) led us on July 4, 2004 to Bledow (Grojec district, Mazovian voivodship - see map) in search of the ancestors of our maternal grandfather - Albert Herman (see). His mother's ancestors presumably lived there already at the beginning of the XIX century. Her father's (Albert's grandfather's) name was Hildebrandt and he was born supposedly in Italy. When and under what circumstances he came to Poland - remains unknown! He got married in Poland, (the maiden name of his wife is not known) and settled in Bledow (see). Later on, in 1863, he participated in the unsuccessful "January Uprising" against the occupying Russians, was killed in a battle, the family estate was requisitioned by the tsarist authorities and the remaining (Hildebrandt and his wife's?) family was expelled and moved to Zyrardow. We have no further information about the family of the wife of this settler from Italy.

The origin of his german-sounding last name - Hildebrandt - and his reported arrival from Italy, was a mistery to us. The details did not seem to fit, until a friend of mine from Warsaw called my attention to the complicated history of the Upper Adyga (Italian Tyrol). At present, it is an Autonomous Region in the north-east of Italy, at the border with Austria. Over the centuries, it belonged to Bavaria, Tyrol or Austria. In the XIX century, for a short period of time (1809 - 1814), it belonged to the Kingdom of Italy, subsequently again to Austria and since 1919 again to Italy. Its northern part (Upper Adyga with the city of Bolzano) is German-speaking(!) (,haslo.html). Also, in a chapter on the history of the town of Bledow ( it is written that "at the time of the existence of the Warsaw Principality (under Napoleon - WJW), in 1819 detachments of the Austrian(!) army passed through Bledow, they participated subsequently in a battle at nearby Raszyn". (Perhaps a wounded Austrian soldier - from Italian Tyrol - stayed behind and was taken care of by a Polish young lady)?

Perhaps pieces of information currently in our posession, make sense after all? Although during this visit we were not able to find any new or definite materials, we made contacts in the local Commune Council Office and in the Roman-Catholic Parish and were promised a search to be carried out in the old documents.

(click to enlarge)

Roadside sign

Entering Bledow

Anna Religa (0090) in front
of the Council Office

Catholic Church of St. Joseph the Labourer in Bledow

Lutheran Cemetery -
Messerschmidt family grave

Luteran Cemetery -
remnants of another grave

Corn poppy flowers in the nearby Catholic Cemetery

Old tombstone of the Trabczynski i Sieradzki familie

One of the four annex buildings of the palace-park complex in Bledow

Unfinished restoration of the destroyed palace building initiated several years ago

Roadside chapel with a statue of St. Prokop, who traveled here in the company of King Casimir the Great

Restored Walicki palace in the nearby Mala Wies - (of similar lay-out and style, probably constructed by the same architect)

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Text and photographs:
Waldemar J. Wajszczuk and Paweł Stefaniuk
(c) 2004

 Błędów | Drelów | Żółkiewka, Lublin, Krasnystaw | Sułów | Zamość, Wysokie | Klimontów , Studzianki Pancerne | Lublin