- Clan of Ostoja
The Clan of Ostoja was a powerful group of Knights and Lords in late medieval Europe. The clan encompassed several families in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Upper Hungary (Slovakia), Hungary, Transylvania, Belorus, Ukraine and Prussia.
The precise origins and the organizational principles of the Clan are historically obscure. It had been traditionally presumed that the clan had extensive blood relatedness, which was supported by geographic nesting, particularly in Poland. However, historical records confirm that the Clan co-opted at least some of its members. Furthermore, DNA analysis of present living members of the clan shows that Ostoja families were not generally blood related to each other. It is unclear however what proportion of Clan membership was co-opted, and thus to what extent the Clan should be considered an hereditary lineage, in distinction to a rallying banner, but the latter concept seems scientifically more appropriate.
During the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth the Clan adopted several Lithuanian and Belorussian families and transformed into a Clan of Landlords, Senators and Nobility. Members of the Clan closely cooperated, often living close to each other. They held high positions, and held a great amount of land and properties in both Commonwealth and in Upper Hungary (Slovakia) in medieval times, including many great gothic style castles. Members of the Clan of Ostoja ruled several feudal lordships in Upper Hungary between 1390 and 1434 and Transylvania in 1395-1401 and again in 1410-1414, during the time of Stibor of Stiboricz. A line of the Clan, which included relatives of Stibor of Stiboricz who followed him to Hungary, is included in Hungarian aristocracy as barons of the Hungarian kingdom in 1389. Stibor of Stiboricz and his son Stibor of Beckov where both members of Order of the Dragon. At the same time in Poland between 1390 and 1460, several members of the Clan of Ostoja ruled Voivodeships and cities as castellans, voivods and senators on behalf of the King and was, therefore, in control of the Duchies of Pomerania, Kuyavia-Pomerania, and Greater Poland, which altogether was considerable part of the Kingdom at the time. Through the history, the Clan was involved in every war Poland participated in, and during the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth they can be seen in every movement and uprising, fighting against foreign forces. The Clan put high value on education and were, in general, good administrators of their properties as well as the properties of the King (starostwo). They were also inventors, poets, scientists, and great diplomats.
Legend of Ostoja
According to one legend, the Coat of arms were given in 1058 to a brave feudal knight, (Colonel) Ostoja, by Bolesław II the Generous. However, there may be another, older origin: Ostoja family members often used the name of Stibor (Scibor, Czcibor), on the basis of a family origin from Czcibor, victorious in the Battle of Cedynia brother of Mieszko I of Poland – first crowned King of Poland year 966. Although this legend is not confirmed, several sources claim that the documents that would have verified this legend were destroyed in World War II.
Piekosinski indicates that the early crest of Ostoja was almost identical with the Piast dynasty crest. It has two "moons" and a cross, and the crest of the Piast dynasty was the very similar, lacking the "moon" on top.
Ostoja's have a Dragon on the helmet and it is not the same Dragon as in the Przegonia coat of arms. Although Przegonia most probably origin from Ostoja, the Przegonia dragon comes from the story about brave Ostoja that was granted the dragon on his helmet because he had defeated the Moravians with such anger and ferocity. Another legend tells however that the Ostoja coat of arms origin from another brave Knight, Jan de Jani of Ostoja, first Polish voivode/duke of Pomerania and Gdańsk. Chased by a group Teutonic Knights, he had succeeded in crossing a river on horse despite being clad in full armor, and then raised his voice so the Lord would hear him and said "Ostalem" which means "I still stay" from which comes the name of Ostoja. However, this legend is undermined by the term "Ostoja" being known far before the time of Jan de Jani.
The earliest historical records that mention the Clan use the name Stibor, which derives from Czcibor (Scibor, Czcibor, Cibor, Czesbor, Cidebur) which comes from czcic (to honor) and borzyc (battle), thus denoting a person who “Battles for Honor” or who is the “Defender of Honor”. This is also what the clan's battle cry, Ostoja, means. Another popular Ostoja name was Moscic.
An early Clan location is a village 7 km north of Inowroclaw, which in 1065 was called Szczibersko, and is now known as Ściborze. The village lies at what was the northeast border of the Kingdom, suggesting that the Clan there may have served as border defenders.
By 1025, when Mieszko II Lambert was crowned, the Kingdom of Poland had borders which resemble modern day Poland. Many landlords (comes, comites) were against centralized power in the Kingdom. Rivalry arose between the Lords of Greater Poland, whose capital was Poznań, and those ofLesser Poland, whose main city was Kraków. The Stibors are thought to have been a mainstay of the Piast dynasty, Poland's first ruling dynasty. The Piasts were able to expand Poland during the 10th and the beginning of the 11th century. Clan members were appointed commanding officers of the army units that protected and administered these new counties. The expansion of Poland and of Clan properties seem to have gone hand in hand; for example, when Kuyavia and Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) were incorporated, the Clan expanded into the same area. Records refer to Stibor of Ostoja as Comes of Poniec in 1099, and also refer to Stibor as Comes of Jebleczna.
Late medieval period
Because of several conflicts, the seniority principle was broken and the country divided into several principalities for over 200 years until Wladyslaw I the Elbow-high(Lokietek) was crowned King of Poland in 1320. Instead of duchies in the hands of the Piast dynasty, those duchies turned into several Voivodeship where Voivode (Duke, Herzog, Count Palatine, Overlord) was appointed by the King and given to loyal landlords. The last King of Poland from the Piast dynasty was the son of Wladyslaw I, Casimir III the Great.
The Clan of Ostoja continued, during that time, to expand their land and was granted several high offices. Krakow replaced Poznan, the capital of Greater Poland, as the capital of Poland in 1039. The Clan of Ostoja expanded their land possessions toward the south to settle in the voivodeship of Kraków, Częstochowa and Sandomierz in the Lesser Poland region of Poland. Documents tells about:
- Moscic of Ostoja de Magna Kozmin was Duke of Poznań, ruling Greater Poland 1242-52. He was head of the main Ostoja line and in possession of the family nest Sciborzyce among others. His son was owner of towns Dynów and Rzeszów but this Ostoja line died out since he only had a daughter, who later married Nicolaus de Zerkowo of the Doliwa Clan.
- Piotr of Ostoja was Lord of the regality (starosta) of Sandomierz in 1259, and Miroslaw of Ostoja was Castellan of Sandomierz in 1270.
- Jan from Bobin was Treasurer and Chamberlain of Krakow in 1270 and Mikolaj of Ostoja was Chamberlain of Krakow in 1286.
- Comes Marcin of Ostoja in 1304 and in the family property of Chelm and Wola just outside Krakow city, furthermore there are notes about Comes Dobieslaw, Comes Sanzimir and Comes Imram, who were all great Lords belonging to the Ostoja family.
- Mikolaj of Ostoja hold high office as Standard-bearer of Inowroclaw 1311 and of Wyszogród 1315, Jędrzej of Ostoja was Castellan of Poznan 1343.
- Moscic Stiboricz of Ostoja was Duke of Gniewkowo in 1353 and Lord of regality Starosta of Brzesko County 1368. He was from the line of Ostoja family that become senior line after the line of Duke Moscic de Magna Kozmin extinct, owner of family nest Sciborzyce and also father to future great Lord Stibor of Stiboricz.
- In 1257 the Clan of Ostoja founded the church of St. Martin in Krakow together with the Gryf Clan family (see Gryf coat of arms).
Mongol and Tatar states in Europe were common at that time. In 1259, Poland faced second Tatar raid that was supported by Russian and Lithuanian forces. The defense of the town and castle of Sandomierz was in the command by Lord Piotr de Krepy of Ostoja. As the defense did not receive help from outside, the situation was hopeless for the defending side and finally Piotr and his brother Zbigniew were killed. The legend says that their blood then run down to the Vistula river and turned it red. A legend of the third Tatar raid tells how Lady Halina of Krepy, daughter of Lord Piotr of Sandomierz Castle used a secret underground tunnel from the castle and duped the Tatars by telling them that she could lead them back through the secret tunnel right to the heart of the Castle. The Tatar side verified that she had come through the secret tunnel, but she guided them deep inside the tunnel which was an extensive maze, and then released a white pigeon that she had with her to use as a prearranged signal. When the pigeon found its way out, the Polish closed the tunnel, trapping the Tatars.
Late medieval Polish clans, origin of the surnames
The influence of medieval Polish Clans was significant. Although each Clan was in charge of certain territory, each Clan had family members in many different areas of Poland, who would join and fight together under the same coat of arms. The most powerful member was usually also the head of the Clan.
Polish family names were appended with –cki or –ski in reference to the name of their properties; for example, if a person named Chelmski acquired the town of Poniec, he would change his surname to Poniecki. The medieval Clan seems to have been situated in more than 163 divergent locations, reflected in various surnames. A Clan become partly a name for the family members with different surnames.
However, the Blociszewski and Ilowiecki families, as many others, appear not to have a shared genetic origin.
As Poland was under pressure from the west from the rising power of the Teutonic Knights, Poland turned east to ally with Lithuania. In 1386 Ladislaus II Jogaila (Wladyslaw II Jagiello) was crowned as King of Poland and his brother Vytautas (Witold) become Grand Duke of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1410 Poland and Lithuania broke Teutonic domination in Prussia at the Battle of Grunwald and Tannenberg. The Union of Horodlo of 1413 declared the intent that the two nations cooperate. 47 Lithuanian families were adopted into 47 Polish clans, sharing the same coat of arms. This expansion eventually led to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was for a time the biggest confederated country in Europe. The Clan of Ostoja did not participate in the Union of Horodlo.
As the Ostoja’s expansion was in line with the expansion of Poland, we can also find members of the Clan in Lithuania, Belarus, Prussia/ Pomerania and Ukraina. Some families where adopted to the Clan after 1413. In Pomerania, powerful knight family of de Jani (Janski of Ostoja) was ruling the Dutchy becoming first Voivode of Gdańsk and Pomerania in 1454.
The clans did not just fight for Poland against the enemy. Polish lords and nobility liked to travel and visit new places. On their way, they had to stay overnight in places called Karczma, a place where you can stay overnight to sleep but also a place to eat, drink and meet new friends. Mead, made from honey and fruit aged in barrels for 1–2 years was drunk after warming. Bawdy songs and drunken rowdiness were common.
Sometimes, a Lord and his 15-20 men (all armed), could come over a nobleman's property and claim that the noble man is not noble but of simple origin and therefore commanded most surprised nobleman to leave his property by the decision of the mighty Lord. In such situation, it was very important to have mighty Lords in the clan that could protect from the intruder. Clan members could help both military and in the court.
Creating the Empire of Ostoja 1370-1460
Jan Długosz (1415–1480) was known as a Polish chronicle and was best known for Annales seu cronici incliti regni Poloniae (The Annals of Jan Długosz), covering events in southeastern Europe, but also in Western Europe, from 965 to 1480. In this work, he described Ostoja's as brave and talkative
Although Ostoja families was considered as brave, they would have more use of being talkative in the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, one of the oldest in Europe. Between 1400-1450 there are many of Ostoja's on the list of students. It was at this University that Clan members tight up the connection between each other and educated generations for taking care of coming expansion of the Clan. The Clan solidarity was very important, helping your Clan brother was something that was deeply implemented in the mentality.
Around year 1400 the Ostoja families owned over 250 properties in Poland, mainly in the area of Greater Poland and Kujawy, Kraków County, Częstochowa County and Sandomierz County with Kraków being the political center of Poland. As two families moved to Lithuania, one to Prussia and few more Lithuanian families was adopted including Russian Prince families like Palecki, the Clan of Ostoja was standing on good economic ground. This together with high education and loyalty towards the Clan members made it possible to raise in power.
The list of offices that Ostoja family hold in late medieval time show the power of Ostoja's at that time. Looking at the map of Poland those years, it also show that the Clan was ruling considerable part of Poland on the behalf of the King.
Name Land or offices Other information Abel Biel of Ostoja Burgrave of Wielun 1376 Powerful and wealthy Knight, in his belief a Lord that only God command. He, as many other Ostoja’s, supported the court of Prince Wladyslaw Opolczyk in 1373 . The Castle and stronghold in Bleszno was most probably of his creation Piotr (Pietrasz) of Ostoja Burgrave of Krakow Nightmare of Teutonic Knights, personal Chamberlain to the Queen of Poland, Zofia (wife of Ladislaus Jogaila) and her child Casimir Piotr Gajewski of Ostoja Castellan of Kalisz 1456 Jan Chelmski Castellan of Połaniec 1451 Piotr Stibor de Poniec of Ostoja Major General of all Greater Poland 1458 Starost of Malbork, one of greatest polish Diplomats of that time and adviser to polish King. Owner of Poniec Town Jan of Ostoja Abbot Closest advisor to the King Casimir II the Great, made great efforts in educating new generation in administration of Poland Mikolaj de Jerzykowo of Ostoja Castellan of Ostrow Chelmski Rokossius (Rokosz) of Ostoja Bishop of Kamianets-Podilskyi 1378-1398 Jan Rokosz Judge of Krakow 1400 Brother of Rokossius, powerful Knight. It is told that Jan participated in 26 battles, all of them victorious. Jakusz de Blociszewo of Ostoja Voivode of Lwow 1370 Moscic Stiboricz of Ostoja Voivode of Gniewkowo from 1353 Starosta of Brzesk from 1363, Head of the family deciding in politics of the Clan, father of Stibor of Stiboricz. Mikolaj Bygdoski of Stiboricz Castellan of Bydgoszcz 1380 Brother of Stibor of Stiboricz, Lord of Kazza Stibor de Radzimin of Ostoja Bishop of Plock 1390 Moscic de Staszow of Ostoja Castellan of Poznan 1413 Swietoslaw Ilowiecki of Ostoja Castellan of Karzec 1415 Mikołaj Błociszewski of Ostoja Castellan of Santok 1403, Lord of Poznan County 1417 One of the most trusted Lords of King Jogaila Piotr Chelmski of Ostoja Burgrave of Krakow 1418, Castellan of Polaniec 1434 Received Lembark Town from King Jogaila, one of Kings most trusted Knights, was in charge of education of Fredrich von Brandenburg (engaged with King Jagiello's daughter) on the behalf of the King Mikolaj Szarlejski of Ostoja Son of Mikolaj Bydgoski Voivode of Brzesk and Kujawy 1457, Castellen of Inowroclaw 1438, Starost of Bydgoszcz 1441, Starost of Tucholsk 1454, Starost of Brodnica and Gniewkowo, member of the Prussian Confederation. Supreme Commander of Forces in Prussia, leading Polish army in order to take back family possessions in Slovakia. Jan Janski de Turze of Ostoja Voivode of Pomerania 1454, Starost of Tczew, Starogard Gdański, Nowe County and of Kiszewskie Piotr Franczoch de Łopuszna of Ostoja Voivode of Sanok 1456 Piotr de Chotkowo of Ostoja Bishop of Plock 1480-1497 Chotkowo, property of Kotkowski vel Chotkowski Wawarzyniec line of Ostoja Landlords of Ciechanow and Plonsk Land including properties of Bogurzyn, Kuchary, Dobrsko, Malużyn, Niechodzin, Wierzbica, Dzyrdzynek and Nyechadzyno, Castles and economic buildings
From the original nests and properties, members of the Clan of Ostoja created names of different branches of the Clan. All those properties and nest's can be found within borders of Poland of today. The expansion of the Clan went both east, south and north, in the beginning of the 15th century Ostoja families was also owning land in Pomerania, Prussia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moravia, Croatia, Transylvania, Hungary and Germany. However, the biggest land area that the Clan owned was to be found in Slovakia.
The political and economical power of Ostoja's in Poland reached at the time the top. As Jan de Jani (Jan Janski or Jan de Turze) lead Prussian confederation together with Mikołaj Szarlejski followed by excellent diplomatic work of Stibor de Poniec, the Clan was ruling the Duchies of Pomerania, Kujavia and Greater Poland. Adding the power entrusted by the King to Piotr Chelmski, Jan Chelmski, Piotr de Gaj or Mikołaj Błociszewski, the Clan of Ostoja was among those that hold prime position in Poland at the time.
In Slovakia and Hungary
Connection between Poland and Hungary is dated to the 12th century when the Piast and Árpád dynasty was cooperating. From that time Royal families of both countries where family related through several marriages between ruling Houses. It was therefore easy to find Hungarian nobles in Poland and Polish nobles in Hungary and Slovakia. Abel Biel was the first of Ostoja's to serve on the Hungarian Court, he was also the first to receive land in Slovakia.
Most of the Ostoja families supported the House of Anjou on Polish throne and when Luis I the Great entered the polish throne in 1370 after Casimir III the Great, it made it possible for the Clan of Ostoja to expand south. Hungary at that time was a modern and expansive kingdom, after Italy it was the first European country where renaissance appeared. When Luis the Great died without a male heir some anarchy broke out in both the Kingdom of Poland and the Hungarian Empire. The Ostoja families continued to support the House of Anjou on both Polish and Hungarian throne. This did however not happene since Poland chose to ally with Lithuania and elected Ladislaus Jogaila on Polish throne.
At that time, Stibor of Stiboricz (1347–1414) of the Clan of Ostoja, son of Moscic Stiboricz (Duke of Gniewkowo), was holding the position as Lord of regality (Starosta) of Brzesc as he also served Louis I of Hungary but when the King died, he lost the position as Starost of Brzesk because of his support the House of Anjou and left Poland for Hungary. Although Stibor received office of Lord of the regality (Starost) of Kuyavia in 1383, he turned to help his friend Sigismund von Luxemburg (later Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor) on Hungarian throne 1386 and become his most loyal ally.
Stibor of Stiboricz and Sigismund von Luxemburg
Sigismund was the Prince of Brandenburg before entering Hungarian throne. He become later on Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany, Bohemia, Hungary (including Slovakia, Balcan states, Romania and Bulgarian land), Italian republics and Prince of Luxembourg. At the age of 13, he was sent to Krakow in order to study polish language and customs. He married Mary, daughter of Luis the Great and became one of the most powerful Emperors in Europe.
In Poland, as Stibor of Stiboricz recognized the competitors of Jogaila on Polish throne, he immediately entered Poland with an army of 12.000 men, commanded by Sigismund von Luxemburg, to assure that younger sister of Mary, Queen of Hungary, would mary Ladislaus Jogaila and end the battle for Polish Crown. 1384 Jadwiga was Crowened as Queen of Poland and in 1386 Jogaila married her and became King of Poland.
As the Ottoman Empire was expanding in every direction including west, Sigismund led the combined armies of Christendom in 1396 against the Turks. Stibor of Stiboricz was one of the generals and commanders of the army. This European coalition of Christian brothers formed huge army but the Turkish side succeeded to form even more men strong army and crushed the Christian side in the Battle of Nicopolis. It is said that when Sigismund was in great danger while retreating from the battlefield, Stibor of Stiboricz saved his life.
Sigismund recognized Stibor of Stiboricz as his most loyal friend and adviser. In 1387 he granted Stibor the position as Master of Hungarian Court and also the Governor of Galicia (Eastern Europe). The King gave also Stibor exclusive right to receive high offices in the Empire. To avoid conflict with Hungarian Lords, Stibor was granted land and position mostly in Slovakia which was called Upper Hungary. Very soon, the amount of land, castles and nominations made Stibor the most powerful Lord in Slovakia. To be able to rule his "Kingdom", most talented family members and close family moved to Hungary and Slovakia. Stibor could nominate his relatives to the offices of Castellan, Voivode or Bishop but it was not popular among Hungarian Lords. In 1395, Stibor become Duke of Transylvania, a nomination that made him Lord of almost half of Romania of today.
When Stibor had left for Brzeg to follow the King's fiancée, Margarete to Hungary, his opponents, led by the Archbishop John Kanizsai and the Palatine Detre Bebek, demanded that the king should dismiss his foreign advisors and escepcially Stibor and his family of the Clan of Ostoja. When the King refused to comply with their demands, they brought him into captivity and deprived Stibor of his offices (28 April 1401). But Stibor and the Clan returned with their army to renounce the possession of most of castles and finally, the members of the Royal Council set the King free on 29 October 1401. Stibor remained the Emperors major adviser and he could maintain his possessions, as well. Shortly afterward, Stibor led the negotiations with the Teutonic Knights who powned the Neumark (in the Margraviate of Brandenburg) from Sigismund in 25 July 1402.
Again, in 1403 there was upraising against Sigismund led by Archbishop John Kanizsai of Esztergom that offered the Hungarian crown to King Ladislaus of Naples. Stibor recruited then mercenaries, invaded the north-western parts of the Kingdom and defeated the rebels' troops. The parties made an agreement under which the rebels accepted the King's rule and they were granted a royal pardon on 29 October 1403. Shortly afterwards, the King entrusted Stibor to govern the possessions of the Archdiocese of Esztergom and the Diocese of Eger (1405). Stibor himself entrusted those possessions to close family and memmbers of the Clan of Ostoja.
In 1409 Sigismund signed a treaty with Teutonic Knights which was seen as direct action against Poland and in 1410 Scibor was in charge of the negotiations between Poland and Teutonic Knights on the behalf of Sigismund where polish side was asked to not attack the Teutonic side. On behalf of Sigismund, Stibor sold Neumark to the Teutonic Knights for a remarkable big sum. This reinforced Sigismund's finances and made it more difficult for the Teutonic side to hire mercenaries that could fight on their side against polish-Lithuanian side in Grunwald-Tannenberg.
Negotiations in May 1410. King Sigismund entrusted Stibor and the Palatine Nicholas I Garay to mediate between the Teutonic Knights and King Władysław II of Poland but when the negotiations failed, the war broke out. Legendary Battle of Grunwald took place and almost all of the Ostoja's left Hungary to join polish forces. All except Stibor and both sons of his brother Andrzej that remained loyal to his Emperor. Instead, Stibor led small Hungarian army to attack Poland from south. Because of the diplomatic work of Stibor of Stiboricz, Sigismund abandoned hostile actions against Poland and turned to support the wealthy and mighty Teutonic Knights ny signing never executed agreements in to order to gain financial benefit to protect his own Empire for the Ottoman threat. Leading King's army against Poland was mostly marking the support to the Teutonic Knights rather to do any serious damage. Few places have been burned down but Stibor's army did not siege of any stronghold, which Stibor easily could do leading elite army forces and well equipped. After burning down the land of Stary Sącz, Stibor's army turned back to Hungary in order to prepare the peace negotiations between Poland and Hungary. In several polish sources, there is a legend noted that small polish army chased the army of Stibor and defeated him in small battle. Having in mind that Stibor of Stiboricz and his army, defeated several Principalities and burned down entire Austria except Vienna, being victorious general in almost all the battles including against at the time powerful Venetian empire, those rumors have no scientific relevance, they are rather falsification of the history in order to glorify polish victory over Teutonic Knights.
At the end of 1411, Stibor, his brothers and other members of the Clan of Ostoja was in charge of leading troops to fight against the Venetian Republic in Friuli. In 1412 Stibor was meeting with Zawisza Czarny (The Black Knight) in his Castle of Stará Ľubovňa in Slovakia, preparing the negotiation between Sigismund and polish King Vladislav Jogaila, which ended with the Treaty of Lubowla.
Stibor proved to be great diplomat that could combine the loyalty to King Sigismund with his diplomatic work in favour of Poland. In 1397 Stibor was chosen by Sigismund to represent him in negotiations with the polish King Jogaila that appointed Mikolaj Bydgoski to represent polish Crown. Two brothers Stibor and Mikolaj met on each side being in charge of that diplomatic mission. Later on, around year 1409, King Jogaila appointed his most trusted diplomat Mikołaj Błociszewski of the Clan of Ostoja to lead the negotiations.
Stibor's and Mikolaj's great diplomatic work was to be continued by Stibor de Poniec that some 50 years later proved to be diplomatic genius, continuing the Clan tradition in fine diplomacy. He went to Gdansk (Danzig) to raise founds for new campaign against the Teutonic side and finally to break the stronghold of the Knights - undefeated and mighty Malbork (Marieburg). Once he succeeded in raising founds he turned to the Czech/ Moravian side that was in service of the Teutonic Knights and that was the main force in their defence and made them leave the stronghold of Malbork paying them with money raised from Gdansk. The Teutonic Knights faced financial problems at this time and was in dept to their mercenaries. By paying mercenaries from Bohemia and Moravia, Stibor of Poniec took control of this mighty stronghold without any battle and King Casimir IV Jagiellon entered the castle in 1457. This led to the Second Treaty of Thorn that was sealed 1466 by Sibor of Poniec. Furthermore, he negotiated on behalf of polish King with Danish side that supported Teutonic knights which made Danish side to cancel the blockade they had on polish goods in Baltic Sea. Other members of the Clan of Ostoja was recognized as great knights in the conflict with Teutonic side, using the art of the sword when needed.
The genius of Stibor of Stiboricz diplomacy is showed in the work of Wenzel and on this ground of Antoni Prochaska and Daniela Dvorakova. As Sigismund wished to sell Neumark (Brandenburg) in order to reinforce the economy, Stibor set up a plan to make Teutonic Knights to pay much higher price that expected, having in mind that they would not be able to finance bigger army against Poland. Neumark at this time was a land of trouble since there was no order and the land was well known of robber barons being terrorizing the population which made the land dangerous to visit. To buy Neumark was to buy problems, the fact that Teutonic Knights was very well aware of. It is also the reason why they did not hurry with buying the property. On the other hand, Neumark would surround Poland and give Teutonic Knights protection from being attacked from that side. Problem for the Teutonic Knights arise when they got notified about Stibor being in charge of selling Neumark to Poland for much smaller amount of money. The price was low and not realistic to accept for King Sigismund and it would be sure to be understand as putting pressure on Teutonic Knight to buy the property since they could not afford being surrounded by polish forces from the west. Agreement was made by Stibor and two powerful Lords in Poland to sell Neumark to Poland. The agreement tells that if selling Neumark to Poland would fail, all the properties of those three Lords that signed the agreement would go to Polish Crown as compensation for the loss. A loss that would be remarkable high having in mind that only Stibor owned almost half of western Slovakia at the time of negotiations. As the Teutonic Knights was forced to buy the land, they also had to pay all the penalty for breaking the agreement with polish Lords. It is noted in Teutonic books that Stibor was one of their top expenses at the time. The price of Neumark was not just 3 times higher that the values, the penalty that Stibor took from the Knights was astronomic. To this, problems inside Neumark have to be added as very costly for the Knights to organize the territory. This was beginning of the end of the power of Teutonic Knights. After losing the war in Grunwald year 1410, they had to pay additional penalty to Polish Crown to survive. It is significant that all those penalty founds that have been paid to the Polish Crown as compensation for losses in the Grunwald war, ended in Hungary and the treasury of King Sigismund on the base of diplomatic work of Stibor of Stiboricz and Zawisza Czarny. In return, Poland gained Spiš that was in hand of Poland to the time of partition. However, the most significant and amazing information in the documents are about those two Lords that signed the agreement to sell Neumark to Poland. They were Sędziwuj de Szubin, the Duke of Kalisz and Mostko de Staszow, Lord castellan of Poznan.
The first one was father of Stibor's wife and the second was of Clan of Ostoja family . There is no sources that can confirm that the penalty was ever paid to the Polish Crown, in fact there is no information at all about the agreement in the documents that consider the Crown.
It is remarkable that many of those that was assigned to negotiate between Poland and Teutonic Knight with Sigismund as a part in negotiations, was members of the Clan of Ostoja, creating picture of family meetings. It is also possible that Zawisza Czarny also was a relative to the Clan and the fact that he spend much time visiting many castles of the Clan during many years also show close connection between this famous Black Knight (named so because of wearing black armor) and the Ostoja. Another interesting fact is that is that King Jogaila was also a member of the Order of the Dragon. It was a secret society and there was never any member list done at the time. However, all members of this Order was forming one political body against the enemy of Christianity (read Ottoman Empire). No member of the Order was representing the Teutonic Knights. Secret meetings and agreements between Hungary and Poland and so between the Sigismund and Jogaila using most trusted couriers question wherever there was ever any serious dispute between both ruling Kings. Declaring war against Poland in 1410 was more a show to play in order to gain economic advantage from Teutonic Knights than a real war. The facts remain, Teutonic Knights paid considerable amount to Sigismund for declaring and attacking Poland from south. The outcome was small peace of land burned down to show the Teutonic Knights some action. The penalty paid by Teutonic side after losing the Battle of Grunwald was much bigger and was transferred as a loan to Sigismund. All together, the diplomatic game show on paper that Poland and Hungary was enemies but in reality they were close friends.
The land and nominations
In 1388, King Sigismund granted Stibor Beckov Castle, and Uhrovec Castle in Slovakia and in 1389 Stibor also become Head (Ispan ) of Pozsony County including Bratislava Castle where he appointed Castellan to administer the property. He also was granted a Town, Nové Mesto nad Váhom
In 1392 Stibor receives more nominations and become Head of Trencsén and Nyitra Counties. Also here he nominated family members of the clan to hold position as Castellan or Voivode of the County. Furtheremore, Stibor was granted the possession of Csejte and Holics (today Čachtice and Holíč in Slovakia); and he received then Berencs, Detrekő, Éleskő, Jókő and Korlátkő Castles in 1394 (today Branč, Plaveč, Ostrý Kameň, Dobrá Voda and Korlátka, respectively, in Slovakia). In 1395 he become Voivode of Transylvania and in 1403 Scibor was entrusted to govern the possessions of the Archdiocese of Esztergom and the Diocese of Eger
When the Order of the Dragon was founded 1408, Stibor was one of its first members. This Order was a very exclusive club of selcted members, holding mostly royalties and most powerful Prince houses in Europe as well as some of most distinguished Hungarian Lords. In 1409 Stibor was appointed again to the office of Voivode of Transylvania, which gave him recognized title Duke of Transylvania.
His son Stibor of Beckov continued his fathers work and succeeded to extend the land and was also appointed as Lord of Árva County including Orava (castle). He was also member of the Order of the Dragon. The son of Stibor's brother Andrzej, also Stibor - was the Bishop of Eger in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Eger. When Sigismund took the nomination from him, he moved back to Poland but never accepting Sigismund decision, calling himself Bishop of Eger to the end of his life. Although he was granted several nominations in Poland and hold several properties, those could never match those properties that he was in charge of in Hungary.
In 1407 Stefan of the Wawrzyniec line of Ostoja moved to Slovakia where Scibor gave him the position as Castellan of Košecy. In 1415 he was in charge of whole Trencsén on the behalf of Scibor. He expanded his properties with Ladce, Horné and Dolné Kočkovce, Nosice and Milochov which he left to his six sons.
Stibor of Stiboricz died in 1414 and was supposed to rest in his own Chapel inside St. Katarina's Church in Krakow. This was also supposed to be the place to rest for his son. It was also written that both father and son was resting in the Chapel until 1903 when the grave of red marble stone was found in Buda. That was of Stibor Stiboric of Beckov dated to 1431. Lately a grave was found in Székesfehérvár. The grave was broken into pieces because of Turkish side destroyed this place in past. However, it have been established that it was the grave of Stibor of Stiboricz. It was made of same stone, red marmor and when the piece of coat of arms was finally found and there was no doubt. Stibor was granted place beside along Hungarian royalties 
Since Stibor of Beckov did not have any heir that could inherit the properties, the testament told that it would be past to closest family, including Beckov Castle that was made as power center of the clan in Slovakia. This Castle was made to be one of the most significant residences of that time, including great paintings, sculptures and chapel that was formed by artist from many different countries. Several testaments have been approved by the Emperor Sigismund and also his wife. Main issue in those was that all the properties of the Stibor's in Slovakia and Hungarian empire would be divided by closest family in case of lack of hair in the line. In that way, the land would stay in family hands.
Altogether, Stibor of Stiboricz was - together with his son - head of several Counties including Bratislava, Governor of Galizia, Duke of Transylvania, owner of over 400 villages, towns which in total was half of western Slovakia of today. He was owner of 31 castles and in control of further 5 in Slovakia of which many could be found along all the 409 km long Vah river. Because of that, Stibor stiled himself “Lord of whole Vah”. He was governor of Archdiocese of Eztergom, Diocese of Eger, Master of Hungarian Court, closest friend and adviser to the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. Adding the land, Castles and nominations that was granted to the Clan, close family of Stibor and the fact that Stibor of Stiboricz gave all important offices in his power only to family and clan members, the Clan of Ostoja was ruling Slovakia for almost 35 years. Beside being Duke of Transylvania, German, Slovakian and Hungarian sources styled Stibor of Stiboricz as "King Stibor" of Slovakia.
Name Family relation Other information Stibor of Stiboricz Son of Moscic Stiboricz, Voivode of Gniewkowo Duke of Transylvania, Ispan of five Counties, owner of 31 castles and over 300 towns and villages. Married Dobrochna, daughter of Sędziwoj of Szubin (of Pałuka Clan), one of most influential Lords in Poland, Magnus Procurator of Poland 1380 Stibor Stiboric of Beckov Son of Stibor Stiboricz Inherited all the land and castles from his father, expanded with Orava Castle Jachna Stiboric Daughter of Stibor Stiboricz Radochna Stiboric Daughter of Stibor of Stiboricz Married Andrzej Balicki, member of the Order of the Dragon Katarina of Beckov Daughter of Stibor Stiboric of Beckov Received 25% of all the land value including Beckov Castle in cash Marcin of Stiboricz Brother of Stibor of Stiboricz Canon of Plock Zofia of Stiboricz Sister of Stibor of Stiboricz Married Przedpelek of Steszew Hugon Son of Zofia of Stiboricz Introduced in Hungary by Stibor of Stiboricz, in possession of big land area in Racza region in Croatia after marriage with daughter to wealthy Hungarian Lord Moscic Son of Zofia of Stiboricz Introduced by Stibor of Stiboricz, received Šintava Castle in Slovakia from King Sigismund Mikolaj Bygdoski of Stiboricz Oldest brother of Stibor of Stiboricz Lord in Poland, Castellan of Bydgoszcz. Baron in Hungary where he received Castle of Košeca from King Sigismund. Diplomat of the behalf of Jogaila (King of Poland) in negotiations with King Sigismund Stibor Stiboric Jadrzny of Roznatow Son of Mikolaj Bydgoski Castellan of Dobrá Voda, received Castle of Dobrá Voda from Stibor Stiboric of Beckov Mikolaj Szarlejski Son of Mikolaj Bydgoski Voivode of Brzesk and Kujawy 1457, Castellen of Inowroclaw 1438, Starost of Bydgoszcz 1441, Starost of Tucholsk 1454, Starost of Brodnica and Gniewkowo, member of the Prussian Confederation. Supreme Commander of Forces in Prussia, leading Polish army in order to take back family possessions in Slovakia. Andrzej Podczaszy of Stiboricz Brother of Stibor of Stiboricz Voivode and Castellan of Trencsén, received from Stibor the Castle of Ugróc (Uhrovec) Stibor de minori Stiboric Son of Andrzej Podczaszy Bishop of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Eger Moscic Stiboric Son of Andrzej Podczaszy of Stiboricz Wawrzyniec Leski vel de Lieskovo Close family of Stibor of Stiboricz Stefan de Lieskovo Son of Wawrzyniec Leski Castellan of Košecy (Kazza) 1407, Ispan of Trencen 1415, Lord of Ladce, Horné and Dolné Kočkovce, Nosice i Milochov Piotr, Jakub, Jana, Stanisław, Władysław and Stefan All of them son's of Stefan de Liesková of Wawrzyniec line Divided properties among them
The Castles that the Clan received in Slovakia were of great importance as they controlled the borders, Vah river and important roads. They was all build to give good defense against enemy. Inside the strongholds the clan had own army unites, their upkeep was paid from the income Ostoja's gained from their land that they owned or controlled. They could also afford to hire mercenaries when necessary and they was in close cooperation with each other, often visiting and helping to maintain the power they have been given in Slovakia. All of them were in possession of land that was much bigger than any of the clan members had in Poland.
The end of the Ostoja’s domination in Poland and Slovakia
Although Sigismund's most loyal Stibor's was not to help him anymore, the presence of the Clan in Slovakia and Hungary was still significant. The testament told that the fortune of Stibor's was to be past to closest family witch included children and grandchildren of Stibor of Stiboricz's brothers, all except the Beckov Castle with belongings that was supposed to be given to Katarina, daughter to Stibor Stiboric of Beckov. This testament was approved by the emperor Sigismund and his wife, the Queen. The testament of his son, Stibor de Beckov was in line with his fathers but with one important difference. It was written 4 August 1431 and the difference in the testament from his fathers wish told that in case Stibor de Beckov would not have a son, all the properties that he personally owned would pas to his daughter Katarina. THis however under the condition that she will marry Przemyslaus II, Duke of Cieszyn of the Piast dynasty. In case of his death, Katarina was to marry his brother. If the marriage of Kararina and Duke Przemyslaus II would not result in any hair, all the properties would go back to close family of Scibor of Beckov, as in the testament of his father. By this marriage, Stibor's of Ostoja would have dynastic claims in case of extinction of the Piast Dynasty in the future.
Fighting many wars with Ottoman Empire could not stop Turkish side to grow and take more land in east, west and south. Sigismund found himself in difficult position. He already took a loan from polish King when signing the Treaty fo Lubovla but the royal coffers was empty since he used every penny in the war against rebellious Venice. Since he could not pay back the loan given by polish King, he lost 16 towns in Spiš area to Polish side.
Emperor Sigismund saw his enemies expanding in almost every direction. The Ottoman Empire in the east, Italian republics in south, the Hussite threat in north. However, the pact with Albert II of Germany that was supposed to marry Elisabeth of Bohemia, the daughter and heiress of Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg, and the pact with the Clan of Ostoja was protecting north side of the Kingdom. And through marriage between Katarina of Beckov and the Duke Przemyslaw of the Piast dynasty, the Kingdom could count on more support in the battle against Hussite side. It was all set to form powerful coalition. As Albert II would be the successor on the Hungarian throne and the Clan of Ostoja would hold the position in Slovakia and south of Poland together with the Piast dynasty, the focus could then be to stop Ottoman Empire to expand more in west direction.
Unfortunately, Stibor of Beckov died suddenly in battle against hussite side and just shortly after the agreement between Emperor Siginsmund, Albert II of Germany and the Piast dynasty have been made. It was now up to Katarina to marry Duke Przemyslaw II in accordance to her fathers wish. However, this did not happen as Katarina later married to Lord Pál Bánffy of Alsolindva. Soon after, Stibor the Bishop of Eger lost his office and the Wawrzyniec loose all their offices and properties including the Castle of Košecy (that they received from Stibor of Stiboricz). All this because of their support to the Hussite side. According to the testament, all the land of Ostoja's in Slovakia was to be past to the closest family of Stibor's. Since all the lines that where mentioned in the testament was extinct, the one to inherit all the land and properties was Mikolaj Szarlejski. He was son of Mikolaj Bydgoski, Lord castellan of Bydgoszcz and brother of Stibor of Stiboricz. Szarlejski was, at the time of the death of Stibor of Beckov, the Commander of polish forces in Prussia and he was also Voivode of Brzesc-Kujawy. Beside that, he was also Lord of several regalities and all together one of the most powerful and influential Lords in Poland. However, Szarlejski was supporting the Hussite side and was making several hostile raid's on Hungarian properties and strongholds which was not in accordance with the policy of the family. Since the land of Ostoja's in Slovakia was main defense against Hussite side, it would now be in hands of the enemy. In this situation and because Katarina did not marry her Prince of Piast, the Emperor Sigismund gave order to the Hungarian Court to cancel the testament of Stibor of Beckov. The testament was cancelled on 28th of march 1435.
Minding Stibor's loyalty and friendship, Sigismund did not leave Katarina of Beckov without any funds. She received one fourth of the value of all properties in cash. Also, in his last day alive, Sigismund gave Beckov Castle and belongings to Pál Bánffy under the condition that he will marry Katarina which was also fulfilled. Although Katarina received only 25% of the property value, the sum was gigantic but it did not stay in the Ostoja family.
In 1440 Władysław III of the Jagiellon dynasty assumed the Hungarian throne and for 4 years he was king of both Poland and Hungary. However, he died in the Battle of Varna and his brother Casimir IV Jagiellon became King of Poland in 1447. Casimir married Elisabeth of Austria (1436–1505), daughter of the late King of Hungary Albert II of Germany and Elisabeth of Bohemia (daughter of Sigismund, the Emperor and King of Hungary). The Jagiellon House challenged the House of Habsburg in Bohemia and Slovakia.
Following the death of Albert II of Germany in 1439 when defending Hungary against Turks, Mikolaj Szarlejski recognized opportunity to regain the land of his family and the Clan in Slovakia. Szarlejski tried to convince Hungarian Royal Council that family properties have been taken in violation of the law. However, Hungarian Lords and Royal Council in Hungary had no intention to give back all of the north defence to their enemy. Then in 1439 Szarlejski decided to raise army against Hungary. With help of the Hussite side, he succeeded to siege several strongholds in the Vah area. Supported by Jan de Jani of Ostoja, the Voivode of Pomerania and Gdansk and several other powerful Lords from the Clan of Ostoja and with support of many friends, the war against Hungarian Empire and Germany was in the beginning successful. Unfortunately, Szarlejski although being in charge of polish forces in Prussia, did not have any significant commanding talent  and ironically, both Stibor of Stiboricz and his son Stibor Stiboric of Beckov made great improvements in the fortification of their Castles which made siege of many of them almost impossible. Beckov Castle would later hold siege from Turkish side about 100 years later. As result of that and because the enemy was to strong, military action failed.
The line of Stibor of Stiboricz was extinct, other lines of Stibor's family that derived from Stibor of Stiboricz brothers and that was called Stiborici in Hungaria (the Barons of Hungarian Kingdom) was also extinct. Szarlejski had no heir of his own and his large properties in Poland was past to the Kościelecki family of Ogończyk Clan  as the daughter of Stibor Jedrzny married Jan Kościelecki, close friend of Szarlejski. Economic power of Jan de Jani was broken because of all wars with Teutonic knights that he had to pay for himself and all the lines of the Moscic of Stiboricz (Stibor of Stiboricz's father) was extinct. However, other lines of the Clan that still was considered as close family to Stibor's was in position to be the successors of the land in Slovakia in case of death of Szarlejski.
Stefan de Liesková (Leski) of Wawrzyniec line had six son's and they would naturally be the main successors of the clan properties. In 1462 Matthias Corvinus of Hungary took all the land from the successors because of their support of the Hussite side. Košeca together with all the properties was instead given to Mad’ar (Magyar) family that was fighting the Hussite's. In 1467, Wawrzyniec and his Hussite friends successfully regained the Košeca Castle but shortly after lost it again to the Hungarian side. The Mad’ar family extinct in 1491 and the Košeca Castle with belonging properties was given to Zápolya family in 1496. At that time the Jagiellon dynasty was kings of both Poland-Lithuanian empire and the Hungarian. In this situation, the Wawrzyniec line was protesting against the Zápolya family being in possession of their properties. However, the Zápolya family was too powerful and also family related with the Jagiellon side since Barbara Zapolya became Queen of Poland in 1512 and Jan Zapolya (János Szapolyai) became King of Hungary in 1526.
Also in Poland Wawrzyniec line, together with other members of the Clan of Ostoja, claimed the property of Szarlejski that past to Kościelecki's as well as Janski (de Jani) family claimed compensation from the King but also here the resistance was to big and finally they had to give up plans to regain the properties.
The land that Ostoja's once owned and the land that they were in control of made the Clan very powerful and Stibors in Slovakia one of the most powerful families in Europe. Comparing with the Habsburg dynasty, the Clan had good chance to challenge if they would stay united and with the Stibors as leading force in Upper Hungary. However, it was necessary for the Stibors to be related with ruling dynasties or those that have been ruling to be able to claim power in the future. Marriage with prime families of central Europe was not enough. The family needed to be connected with royal blood. Instead of challenging Habsburgs, Stibor of Beckov and the Clan of Ostoja made agreement of cooperation which would benefit both sides. Both side's had equal forces and before Albert II of Germany become king of Hungary, Stibor of Stiboricz successfully challenge Austria, burning down the country to the ground except for Vienna that he left alone.
Lack of heirs that could continue politics of the Clan successfully was also part of the reason of economical problems. While in most countries properties was past to younger lines in the family, in Poland women have same rights to inherit the properties as males. Since all main lines of the Clan suddenly faced lack of males at same time, it were the daughters that inherited the properties and brought them into other families through marriage. As did Katarina when she married Pal Banffy. The Banffy family inherited all the founds given to Katarina by the Emperor Sigismund when giving her 1/4 of all property value in cash. The Beckov castle was in the hands of the Banffy until also this family family extinct and Beckov returned to the Hungarian Crown.
Finally, it was coordinated politics of the Clan of Ostoja that made it powerful. It was also Szarlejski's own politics that in the end ruined family power in Slovakia. Although the Clan supported Poland against Teutonic Knights, they did not support the Jagiellon dynasty in the beginning as the kings of Poland. Clan members staying and living in Poland was however granted power by Jagiellon kings in return for their support. In many cases, the Clan was forced to raise founds from their own treasury in order to defend polish boarders. In the end, it was during the reign of the Jagiellon dynasty, the Clan of Ostoja lost its power and all doubts that the Clan had against those kings from the beginning, become very true. Also in Hungarian history, Jagiellon dynasty have been described as weak and incompetent, which was the result of the politics's of the Lords of Lesser Poland as they was responsible of electing kings that would sign documents in favor of their financial ambitions rather than choosing strong kings with benefit for the kingdom
As main properties in both Slovakia and Poland was finally lost, the economical power was broken and the Clan of Ostoja was outside the politics of Poland for next 100 years, concentrating mostly in increasing their land properties, holding offices on local level. The Union of Lublin in 1569 that created biggest country in Europe, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, did not change anything for the Ostoja’s in the beginning.
Clan of Ostoja during the Commonwealth and in the name of Liberty
Nobility of the Commonwealth
At the end of 15th and beginning of the 16th century the Commonwealth was the biggest and one of the most powerful countries in Europe. In 1569, the Union of Lublin created a real union of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, replacing the personal union of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It encompassed territories from Poland, Lithuania, Prussia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldavia, Podolia, part of Spisz and part of Russia including Smolensk.
The skills needed to expand and secure the borders of the nation were different from what was required when the expansion was completed. When the Union of Lublin was finally signed it also ended a period of 150 years of consolidating new Empire. The new nation needed new kind of administration and the goal was different. The time of brave knights was over and the nobility was now the successors. The Clan organization lost their importance.
Although the Clans always existed, families did not cooperated with each others like in old time. As for the Clan of Ostoja, several families to the original group of Knights and Lords was added through adoption or became incorporated in other way.
The Union of Horodło in 1413 made first step to unify Polish and Lithuanian/ Belarus nobility when 47 most prominent Lithuanian/ Belarus and Ruthuanian families where adopted to 47 Polish clans. Following that, several families from east joined the Clan structure before 1569. In such way, the Lithuanian, Belarus and Russian nobility received same rights as their noble Polish brothers. The structure and the law in the Commonwealth was same in every province and it allowed democratic process to develop. The adoption to Ostoja Clan recommended by the King or by the Senat (Government) had to be approved by the senior lines of Ostoja. Looking at the work of Piekosinski there is a list of adopted families as well as families that received nobility. Only in few cases there are notes including Ostoja's, less than 10 families. All other adoptions to the Clan took place in late medieval time when the Clan tried to regain in power after losing the main senior lines of the Clan. Almost all of those adoptions included powerful knight families or leading nobility in their provinces, including several Prince families. It was the Clan, not the King or Senat that decided who to adopt to the Clan at that time and before 1569.
The administration and structure was same all over but there were some important differences. In Poland noble titles were formally removed by the constitution in 1638 and confirmed in 1641 and 1673 since the nobility was equal according to the law. The titles were in 13th century used during the lifetime but it was common to pas it to next generation although according to the law, all nobility had equal rights and hold equal rank. Looking for influential families in Poland, one have to look for the senatorial position and not the titles that have been given to Poles during the partition time of the Commonwealth. However, in many cases families holding prime positions in Poland during medieval times and holding titles like baron, comes or dux (duke, voivode, count palatine) did never accept this equality system of the Commonwealth and continued to hold their titles, specially when traveling abroad in diplomatic mission. Those families where never equal to simple noblemen and therefore was holding to their old titles. It is very similar to English peerage although the title was inherit by all members of the family, not only the oldest son. All of those old and powerful medieval families that played central role in building polish Empire was part of hereditary High Nobility. The title depended on the position of each family member.
The Union of Lublin made an exception for the Lithuanian Prince families and therefore the Commonwealth could see several Lithuanian, Russian or Belarus families with titles. Some of those families was very powerful and wealthy. In time of the Commonwealth they expanded their properties to be of such size that there were few families in Europe to match them. They were the Magnates of the Commonwealth.
Magnates of the Commonwealth are often called the aristocracy of the Commonwealth but the definition of what constitutes aristocracy differs from the rest of Europe in that the Magnate families were much more powerful, often comparable to Princes. A good example is the extinct family of Pac that ruled the Duchy of Lithuania in the 17th century. The Pac family had not descended from a Prince, and therefore did not use any title at all. During the partition of the Commonwealth the Pac family received the title of Count. However, when looking at the size of the Pac properties and their position in the Commonwealth, a simple Count title seems not adequate to their power and property size that was far beyond imagination of most of the European Lords.
Partly in Poland but certainly in Grand Dutchy of Lithuania and Ukraine, almost all important positions was in the hands of the Magnates and it was passed through generations. The only question was which of those about 20 great Magnate families would rule most Voivodeship, Counties and Provinces. The list of those Magnates during the days of the Commonwealth include following families:
Princely Houses: Radziwill, Sapieha, Wisniowiecki, Lubomirski, Czartoryski, Ostrogski, Sanguszko. Other Magnat families: Chodkiewicz, Pac, Tyszkiewicz, Zamoyski, Hlebowicz (without any hereditary title), Mniszech, Potocki.
Those families had most significant impact on the politics of the Commonwealth. They chose the candidate for the King and they made sure that the candidate was chosen to serve their interest. The nobility voted for the candidate that Magnates and other aristocracy told them to vote on. The Magnates became the true power in the Commonwealth and the King was, with some few exceptions, only a Marionette of the Magnates in their political game.
Furthermore, there was then some 50-60 influential and very wealthy families and with great family history, sometimes with Prince titles. However, those families did not have same impact on the politics of the Commonwealth, still being considered as Magnats of the Commonwealth. Among them there are most magnificent families like Lanckoronski, Tarnowski, Tęczyński, Prince Holszanski, Rzewuski, Gonzaga-Myszkowski or Prince Czertwertynski.
The next 300-400 families (of in total tens of thousands of noble families) counting in power and land possession in the Commonwetlh could more likely be equal to the European aristocracy when referring to counts and barons. Those families should also be included as aristocrats but most publications refer only to titled nobility as the aristocracy which is not in accordance with polish rank system during the time of the Commonwealth. There were many wealthy and influential families that hold several offices in the family like Voivode, Castellan, Bishop or Hetman which gave them a place in the Senat of the Commonwealth. This group hold many great families like Sieniawski, Arciszewski, Ossolinski, Koniecpolski, Prince Giedrojc and finally also many families included in the Clan of Ostoja.
According to the Etymological Dictionary of the Polish Language, "a proper magnate should be able to trace noble ancestors back for many generations and own at least 20 villages or estates. He should also hold a major office in the Commonwealth". By this definition, number of magnates in the Clan of Ostoja is considerable high. Lords like Radziwiłł, Wiśniowiecki or Stibor of Stiboricz that was among richest and most influential Duke's in Europe where much more than local magnates. They ruled a nation, either Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine or Slovakia.
Aristocratic titles given to noble families in the time of partition of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by Russian, Prussian and Austrian emperors as well as by Holy Vatican City State cannot be compared with the titles of from medieval times. Those are, except single cases, foreign titles. The constitution of 1921 (§96) in march, removed all the titles in Poland including the nobility itself. However, the constitution of 1935, did not confirm the paragraph 96 in constitution of 1921. Therefore, families that received or bought titles from foreign Emperors could still legally use them. As the titles where not legally forbidden, the peerage of old families in Poland is also taken to consideration. However, usually when referring to titles in Poland, it is understand as the titles given during the partition.
The end of the golden age of the Commonwealth
Before the Union of Lublin only families have been adopted to the Clan of Ostoja. Also there were several families to move to the east part of the Commonwealth like for example Unichowski family from the Radom line. There were also more than 50 families that proved to be part of the Clan of Ostoja during the partition time.
Because of almost total domination of the Magnates in all Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Ukraine, it was very difficult to any family from outside to receive nomination of Senator rank. Most of successful Ostoja families in this area was instead in possession of highest ranked offices on local level in their Counties and Voivodeship's such as County Judge of mayor cities, Lord of regality (Starosta) or Lord Chamberlain.
In Poland Ostoja families almost totally disappeared from the political life in the 16th century. Most of the families was owning enough of land to live quite and peaceful life. In most, they were holding offices on the local level mostly to guard their own interests in the County. Notable members of the Clan in that century are to be found in late XVI century. Kacper Karliński, Lord of Olsztyn, become famous fir his legendary defence of the town in 1587. Maciej Kawęczyński reformed the printing system in Lithuania. Mikołaj Kreza was Rittmeister of the Crown, Michał Maleczkowski was Magnus procurator (Latin for "ruler") of Lesser Poland 1576-1577 and Gabriel Słoński (1520–1598) was architect and Burgrave of Krakow. However, since education was still of importance in the philosophy of the Ostoja families, new generation was upcoming in the end of 16th century holding many inventors. Also, this century saw the Jagiellon dynasty end in 1572, Sigismund II Augustus was the last of this dynasty to rule the Commonwealth. He was followed by Stephen Báthory, the Duke of Transylvania, considered one of greatest kings in polish history. The end of Jagiellonian era was a start of new chapter in the history of the Clan of Ostoja.
The 17th century provided much more activity from the Clan. First half of the century was the Golden Age of the Commonwealth. In Lithuania families was fighting for the supremacy of the Grand Duchy which lead to many confrontations. The leading families was Prince Radziwill, Prince Sapieha and Pac. In Volyn, Podole and Ukraine Wisniowiecki family reached the supremacy of the area. Estimated amount of people working for Wisniowiecki on his estates was almost 300.000 at that time.
In Lithuania, the Sluszka and Unichowski families of the Clan of Ostoja raised in great power. Krzysztof Słuszka became Voivode of Livonia and Aleksander Słuszka Castellan of Samogitia and later Voivide of Minsk, then Voivode of Novogrod and ended as Voivode of Trakai in 1647. Samuel Unichowski of Ostoja followed up 40 years later and also became the Voivode of Trakai. Lady Elżbieta Słuszka (1619–1671) was the richest and most powerful Lady of the Commonwealth. She was the Crown Court Marshall and after death of her first husband inherited the Kazanowski Palace in Warsaw. Josef Bogusław Sluszka (1652–1701) was Hetman and Castellan of Trakai and Vilnius. Dominik Michał Słuszka (1655–1713) was the Voivode of Polotsk and finally Aleksander Jozef Unichowski became the Castellan of Samogitia.
Other families in Lithuania that was part of the Clan of Ostoja became very wealthy. Prince Boratynski family joined Clan already in the 16th century and was often holding high military rank, Prince Palecki family also joined at the same time. The Danielewicz family was by adoption included in Pac family and inherit part of their land possessions.
In Poland, the Szyszkowski family of Ostoja became very powerful. Piotr Szyszkowski was the Catellan of Wojno 1643, Marcin Szyszkowski was the Bishop of Kraków and Prince of Siewierz and Mikołaj Szyszkowski became the Prince-bishop of Warmia in 1633. Both Prince Mikołaj and Prince Marcin had great impact on the politics of the Commonwealth. Following information is mainly taken from polish Wikipedia.
Salomon Rysiński (1565–1625) was famous writer at the time, Krzysztof Boguszewski was one of the most famous painters and artists of Greater Poland and Stanisław Bzowski (1567–1637) was member of Dominican Order, friend of reforms, appointed by Vatikan City to write down its history.
Wojciech Gajewski was the Castellan of Rogozin 1631-1641, Łukasz Gajewski became Castellan of Santok in 1661, Michał Scibor-Rylski the Castellan of Gostyn in 1685, Mikołaj Scibor Marchocki, the Castellan of Malogoski (Żarnòw) 1697 and Jan Stachurski was leading the army against the Cossac uprising as Major General in 1664.
The most famous members of the Clan of Ostoja in that century was Kazimierz Siemienowicz and Michał Sędziwój (Michael Sendivogius, Sędzimir). Siemienowicz was the General of artillery, military engineer, artillery specialist and the pioneer of rocketry. His publications was for 200 years used as main artillery manual in Europe.
Michał Sędziwój that was from the Sędzimir branch of the Clan, was famous European alchemist, philosopher and medical doctor. A pioneer of chemistry, he developed ways of purification and creation of various acids, metals and other chemical compounds. He discovered that air is not a single substance and contains a life-giving substance-later called oxygen-170 years before Scheele and Priestley. He correctly identified this 'food of life' with the gas (also oxygen) given off by heating nitre (saltpetre). This substance, the 'central nitre', had a central position in Sędziwój's schema of the universe. Sędziwój was famous in Europe and very popular person since he declared that he can make gold from quicksilver In time when mighty Lords needed gold for payment of the army, such talent was widely recognized. During a demonstration how to make the gold and in presence of the Emperor Rudolph II, Sędziwój was captured and robbed by a German alchemist named Muhlenfels who had conspired with the German prince, Brodowski, to steal Sędziwój's secret.
The 18th century provided many changes in the Commonwealth, most significant was choosing incompetent Kings of foreign origin that was mostly interested in fighting personal wars against other Countries. This is the time when total disorder led to total bankruptcy of the state finances, where Magnates cooperated with foreign forces in order to gain even more power. As for the last King Poniatowski, he was paid by Catherine II of Russia, received money from Russian governors and was obliged to report to Russian ambassador Otto Magnus von Stackelberg. He was furthermore richly paid to join the Constitution of Maj 3 but because of his character or rather lack of it, he did not fulfill his promise.
Most families that signed Poniatowski's election, including many Ostoja families, was signing for the Czartoryski family that wanted to make necessary changes in the Commonwealth. However, to support those changes Czartoryski asked for help from Russia, an offer that Russia could not resist.
Except some single cases, the Ostoja families in Lithuania and Poland stayed far away from this political chaos. The King was appointing those that supported his own ambitions, which was the beginning of some new great fortunes. Founds and properties that belonged to the Crown was this century given away to all those that served the King and Russia well. Many new Magnates was created and the order in the Commonwealth at that time looked more like Wild Western. This political disaster ended in Partitions of Poland, 1772 when Prussia, Austria and Russia decided to divide defenseless Commonwealth between them. Poniatowski's reign until 1795 became the darkest chapter in Polish history. The Constitution of May 3, 1791 come far to late. This was the first time that the Commonwealth included Ruthenians and not just Poland and Lithuania. New Commonwealth was to be formed of three nations. Also this intentions came far to late. However, the Constitution of May 3 united families that wanted to make necessary changes and that would serve the nation. In this movement we suddenly see lot of activity from the Ostoja families. Almost all of them supported the movement and in many cases all members of the family joined, women and men. In the first half of the century, the Ostoja familie hold many offices and was still prospecting. In the second half of the century, they clearly turned into military commanders and supporters of the resistance, leading Confederations and armies against foreign forces and specially against Russia.
Ignacy Ścibor Marchocki of Ostoja (1755–1827) created famous "Kingdom of Mińkowce". Marchocki proclaimed his estates an independent state and installed on its borders pillars with the name plates, identifying that this is "The border of Minkowce state". The "Kingdom" hold one town, 18 villages and 4 Castles (one for each season) with some 4200 souls living in the "Kingdom". Marchocki liberated peasants from serfdom, granted them a self-government, established jury (court with jury and court of appeal)), built school, pharmacy, orphanage, churches and monuments, cloth and carriage factories, factory of anis apple oil production, with brickyard, varnish and paint plants, with mulberry trees gardens. Its own paper was manufactured there and lime – calcined. He opened his own printing house, where different decrees (like "agreement between the Lord and the peasants"), directions, resolutions and even sermons, later delivered by him in Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. The government of the Kingdom that included Jews, serfs, town citizens, peasants and foreigners. He also employed two doctors within the property.
All of this was of course reported to Russian Administration that in the beginning was stunned, thinking that it was an act of madness. However, the "Kingdom" was working excellent and the Lord of the Kingdom was getting richer and more famous, buying even more properties and land to expand the "Kingdom". Life inside his estate was considered as heaven comparing to normal life peasants outside the border pillars which would more correctly be referred as hell. Peasants was at that time normally property of the estate that could be sold any time. In the "Kingdom" people was living in wealth and prosperity and Marchocki himself was the most successful administrator of his goods in Russian Empire. This eccentric man was summertime wearing a Roman Toga during official meetings on the property that looked like picture taken from paradise.
In the end, this started to worry Russian administration that gave order to burn down all the printing so this madness would not spread to other provinces. This could cause a revolution because suddenly it was clear that making democracy inside a property was making owners rich and people happy. Soon, every citizen of not noble origin in the area wanted to live in the "Kingdom of Mińkowce". It was a plague that started to spread all over the countryside and infect entire system. To stop this revolution, the Tsar ordered Marchocki captured and imprisoned. Following information and source is taken from polish Wikipedia.
Lady Krystyna Ścibor-Bogusławska (-1783) - was Lady of regality of Wągłczew by nomination received by the King Poniatowski and Aleksander Scibor Marchocki became the Castellan of Malogoski after Mikołaj. Franciszek Gajewski became the Castellan of Konarsk-Kuyavia and Florian Hrebnicki the Uniat Archbishop of Polotsk. Antoni Gajewski (-1775) was Castellan of Naklo, Lord of the regality of Łęczyca and of Kościany. His relative Rafał Tadeusz Gajewski (1714–1776) became the Castllan of Rogozin. Józef Jakliński was then the Castellan of Kamensk/Spicymir 1759-1775.
At the end of the century, Józef Siemoński, the General adj. of King Poniatowski became supreme commander of Sandomierz uprising initiated by Kościuszko and Karol Podgorski escaped the Russian side by joining the Prussian army where he became General Major. Also in other parts of the Commonwealth the resistance against Poniatowski and Russia formed Confederations. Michał Władysław Lniski was vice Voivode and Marshal of the Contederetion of Bar in Pomerania and Franciszek Ksawery Ścibor-Bogusławski was Rittmeister of same Confederation. Then Wojciech Marchocki was the Castellan of Sanok County and Józef Andrzej Mikorski the Castellan of Rawa County from 1791.
The Ostaszewski and the Blociszewski of Ostoja families hold many family members that were fighting against forces behind the partition of the Commonwealth. Of them, Tadeusz Błociszewski was General Major and Michał Ostaszewski (1720–1816) was one of main initiators of the Confederation of Bar in Subcarpathian Voivodeship. Tomasz Ostaszewski was helping the Confederation in his position as the Bishop of Plock. Finally, Antoni Baranowski of Ostoja was awarded and apponited as General Major of Royal Army by Tadeusz Kościuszko. Baranowski participated as the head of the division in the Battle of Maciejowice. Subsequently remained off-duty, in 1812 he organized levée en masse in Lublin and Siedlce.
The Uprising of the nation
In the 19th century the conditions and structure changed once again since the Commonwealth was not existing anymore and the land was occupied. It was the time of the boom for the nationalism and it was also the century of Adam Mickiewicz, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Frédéric Chopin and many others. This century shows also many Ostoja families as wealthy aristocrats holding Palaces, Manor houses and big properties not only in Poland and Lithuania but also in other European countries. This is also the century when the Ostoja families became once again very active and participated in every political action but this time against ruling authorities.
During the 19th century the nobility of the Commonwealth raised once again to fight those that occupied their Country. In history books this century is marked with major Uprisings against Prussia, Russia and Austria and also with the Napoleonic Wars. However, between those most known events, there was more than 100 smaller military actions to be remembered. In all those wars, big and small, we see almost all of the Ostoja families participating and in many cases in commanding position.
As many others, Ostoja families was punished for participating in Uprisings and other military actions and lost their properties as they were confiscated. According to Norman Davis, the consequences of the January Uprising in 1863 in Russian part of the Commonwealth was deportation of 80.000 people to Siberia or other working camps. Confiscated properties of Ostoja families where given to those families that was loyal to Russia, Austria or Prussia. In such way, several families gained in power during the partition, receiving high offices, nominations and lot of land. They were also given noble titles of Baron or Count or even Prince for their support and service. But Ostoja's was not only good at fighting the enemy. Families kept part of their properties, Manor houses and Palaces outside the conflict and war to be able to support refugies, wonded and those in need. They acted both openly against foreign forces and in conspiracy using same successful tactics as families did in the time of Stibor of Stiboricz. Following information is taken from articles in polish Wikipedia.
Adam Ostaszewki of Ostoja (1860–1934) was a pioneer of polish aviation constructing several aircraft's. Ostaszewski hold doctor degree in philosophy and law. He was furthermore writer, poet and translator of poetry from all over the world as he knew some 20 languages. He worked with astronomy, made sculptures, painted and was also interested in several different fields like optics, physics, electricity and magnetism, history, archeology, chemistry, botanic, zoology and many others. This remarkable man was often called "Leonardo from Wzdow".
Kacper Kotkowski (1814–1875) was catholic priest, head and commissar of the Sandomierz uprising while Stanisław Błociszewski received the Order of Virtuti Militari for his patriotic fight as an officer against Russian forces. Jan Czeczot was famous poet and ethnographer in Belarus. In Russia, Andrzej Miklaszewski was Actual State Councillor (e.g., Marshall and General - Table of Ranks) and in his position being able to help many families, saving them from exile in Siberia. In the mean time, Jan Kazimierz Ordyniec was owner and publisher of "Dziennik Warszawski" was heating up the resistance with articles. In the end, he was forced to emigrate and joned famous society at Hôtel Lambert in Paris.
Spirydion Ostaszewski (1797–1875) was writing down polish legends which was important for the cause and fight for the liberty of Poland. He participated in November Uprising 1830-1831 and helped many families returning from Siberia to settle down in west part of Ukraine. In the mean time, Teofil Wojciech Ostaszewski initiated first program against Serfdom. He was also the Marshal of Brzostowo County. Łukasz Solecki was Bishop of Przemyśl and professor of the Lviv University, Jan Aleksander Karłowicz became well known ethnographer, linguist, documenting the folklore while Mieczysław Karłowicz was composer of several symphonies and poems. Zygmunt Czechowicz was one of the initiators of the uprising of the Belarus Nation.
Ladies Emma and Maria A. from Ostaszewski branch of Ostoja (1831–1912 and 1851–1918) where both devoted social activists and patriots. They raised founds for helping wonded and poor during the time of uprisings. Lady Karolina Wojnarowska (1814–1858) born Rylska was author writing under the pseudonym Karol Nowowiejski.
Between the First and Second World Wars, several Ostoja families were still in possession of many castles and manor houses. Despite Ostoja involvement in all military actions and uprisings. This show that the strategy was still to keep few family members out of the Uprisings and military actions to preserve some economical ground for the future of the family.
Also here we can find almost all Ostoja families fighting. From the end of the 18th century to the end of World War II, many army Generals was from the Ostoja Clan and there were several great Colonels, Majors and Captains that the Clan contributed with. Almost all men from the Ostoja Clan was holding the officer rank, even if they were poets or artists. Some of them was fighting in Polish Army (Armia Krajowa), some of them left Russian Camps and Siberia to join the Anders Army, others joined the British Royal Air Force and some helped to break the Enigma machine ciphers.
Hipotit Brodowicz and Adam Mokrzecki reached the rank of General Major in the army, the later widely decorated for commanding troups in Polish–Soviet War between 1919-1921. Stefan Mokrzecki was also a general in the Polish army serving country well. Witold Ścibor-Rylski (1871–1926) was officer that emigrated to the USA in 1898 but came back to Poland in 1914 to help the Country in World War I holding the rank of Colonel. He was serving Poland through the Polish-Soviet War and left for United States after the campagne. His service for Poland was widely recognized and he also finally received the rank of General from President August Zaleski.
Włodzimierz Zagórski (1882–1927) was a general in the Polish army. During the years of 1914–1916 he was a chief of staff of Polish Legions. Since November 1918 in Polish Armed Forces. As former intelligence officer, he accused Józef Piłsudski for being spy in favour of Austria. Outside the military service, Władysław Chotkowski (1843–1926) was a professor and head of Jagiellonian University and another Adam Ostaszewski was President of Plock to year 1934.
Adam Hrebnicki-Doktorowicz (1857–1941) was a professor in agriculture development, founder of Institute in Ukraine and Karzimierz Zagórski (1883–1944) was widely recognized adventurer-pioneer, photographer.
Bronisław Bohatyrewicz (1870–1940) was a general in the Polish army, died in Katyn. General Zbigniew Ścibor Rylski (born 1917) succeeded to survive World War II and his wife, Zofia Rylska was during the war a master spy under the cover name of Marle Springer. Her information led to localization and destruction of German battleship Tirpitz. In the mean time, Stanislaw Danielewicz was working with Enigma machineciphers breaking. Karola Uniechowska(1904–1955) was voluntary medical doctor during World War II, she also participated in the Battle of Monte Cassino while Zofia Uniechowska (1909–1993) - achieved Order of Virtuti Militari for conspiracy against Nazi government in Poland. Stefan Ścibor-Bogusławski (1897–1978) was richly awarded Colonel, also for his decisive actions in the Battle of Monte Cassino.
Stanisław Chrostowski (1897–1947) was a professor and artist and Maxim Rylski (1895–1969) became a famous poet in Ukraine. There is a park and institution named after him in Kiev, there are also three stautes of him in this town in memory for his great contribution to the people of Ukraine. Another Hrebnicki, Stanisław Doktorowicz-Hrebnicki (1888–1974) was decorated professor in geology.
Wacław Krzywiec (1908–1956) was famous komandor of the legendary ORP Błyskawica warship. Falsely accused by communistic regime in Poland after World War II in a famous trial, he was sent to prison and died shortly after being released. The Słoński brothers where all serving in the RAF as pilots and officers. All three of them were finally shot down and paid the ultimate price for their fight for the liberty. Zbigniew Rylski, a major in Polish army, widely decorated for many great sabotage actions during World War II.
Zygmund Ignacy Rylski (1898–1945) - legendary Major Hańcza, later advanced to rang of Colonel. One of most devoted and widely decorated officers during World War II. Lady Izabela Zielińska born Ostaszewska year 1910 have experience of 101 years of past changes and many wars. Being musician, she was decorated with medal of Gloria Artis in 2011. Marcelina Antonina Scibor-Kotkowska of Ostoja was the mother of Witold Gombrowicz.
The end of 20th century and beginning of 21st
After World War II, it was for many not possible to live in Poland as they were the enemies of the state. Many choose living in exile and moved to several different countries all over the World. Some Ostoja families stayd in Poland or returned back to Poland from France, England, Scotland or other part of the World where they were placed after military service during WW II and survived Stalinism. All the land and properties, except the Ostaszewski Palace in Kraków, have been confiscated and became property of People's Republic of Poland. Same happened in Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine. Although communism is not longer ruling in those countries and most of them applyed democratic system, non of the properties of Ostoja families have been given back to their rightful owners and no compensation given. Most of the old familiy properties have been burned down by fighting armies during WW I, WW II and during Polish-Sovjet war 1919-1921. The existing Ostoya Palace around Rzeszow taken care by Rylski branch of Ostoja is an exception.
Antoni Uniechowski (1903–1976) was widely recognized painter in Poland, known for his drawings. Aleksander Ścibor-Rylski (1928–1983) was poet, writer and film director and Tadeusz Sędzimir (1894–1989) was worldwide known inventor. His name has been given to revolutionary methods of processing steel and metals used in every industrialized nation of the world.
Joseph Stanislaus Ostoja-Kotkowski (1922–1994) was famous artist that worked with photography, film-making, theater, design, fabric design, murals, kinetic and static sculpture, stained glass, vitreous enamel murals, op-collages, computer graphics and also laser art. He was a pioneer regarding laser kinetics and "sound and image".
Tadeusz Ostaszewski (1918–2003) was professor of fine arts in University of Krakow, Adam Kozłowiecki (1911–2007) was Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lusaka in Zambia, Andrzej Zagórski (1926–2007) was devoted officer of Armia Krajowa that wrote over 250 publications about polish underground resistance and Kazimierz Tumiłowicz (1932–2008) was creator of Siberian association of remembrance and social worker in Greater Poland. Andrzej Ostoja-Owsiany (1931–2008) was Senator in Poland after the fall of the communism.
The end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century mark new age without wars and it also end over 200 years of Ostoja families fight for the liberty. It also end the Clan of Ostoja's more than 900 years old military service for Poland.
DNA of Ostoja
The Ostoja Clan DNA project on FTDNA shows that Ostoja families are generally not blood related to each other. As the geographic composition of early family nests show small islands on the map of Poland, it have been earlier presumed that most families on those islands are family related. Part of the families have same origin when changing the name after new property. In most, those changes have been recorded between 1400 and 1500.
Results on today living lines of the Clan show that Ostoja have been a battle cry for certain group of knights in medieval time that settled down close to each other. There is no record at the moment who was the leading force behind this group. The DNA results match in several cases with other old knight families in different part of Europe, many of those early genetic matches can be found in England, Scotland and Ireland with families that are assumed to have records back to the Norman conquest of England year 1066.
Haplogroups found in the tests of the project are different with Haplogroup R1a (Y-DNA)dominating. Based on 10 different tests (Y67-67 markers) of old medieval lines of Ostoja, the composition is following:
Haplogroup R1a (Y-DNA) (slavic origin)
- 1 result matching east-north slavic origin with subgroup E, found in Lithuania andLatvia.
- 2 results matching western-slavic origin, south west of Poland, Slovakia.
- 1 result matching almost in all cases families in England, Scotland, Ireland andNorway.
- 1 result matching both slavic families and those to be found in England and Scotland.
Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA) (Western Europe)
Haplogroup I2 (Y-DNA) (Scandinavia, Western Europe - I2b1)
Haplogroup N (Y-DNA) (Ugro-Finnic origin)
- 1 result matching Rurikid lines with genetic distans of 18-20. Mostly in Ukraine,Belarus and Lithuania.
Notable members of the Clan of Ostoja
The list of notable members of the Clan of Ostoja is to be found in the article of Ostoja coat of arms.
- Treaty of Lubowla
- Nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary
- Stibor of Stiboricz
- Rulers of Transylvania
- List of castles in Slovakia
- Second Peace of Thorn
- Beckov Castle
- Malbork Castle
- Union of Horodło
- Union of Lublin
- Sejm of the Republic of Poland
- Offices in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
- Polish Hussars
- Polish heraldry
- Polish clans
- Battle of Lwów (1918)
- November Uprising
- January Uprising
- Kościuszko Uprising
- Ostoja coat of arms
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- ^ Bran Castle Museum official site, section about Dracula
- ^ John V.A. Fine, The Late Medieval Balkans. p. 509
- ^ Florescu and McNally, Dracula, Prince of Many Faces. pp. 40-2
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- ^ Informator o kaplicy św. Moniki przy kościele św. Katarzyny w Krakowie – Archiwum Sióstr Augustianek, ul. Skałeczna 12, Kraków, datowany: w Krakowie, 25 marca 1987 r., zebrała na podstawie materiałów archiwalnych T.II.ASA, s. Aleksandra Józefa Trojan
- ^ Igor Ďurič, Národná Obroda. 2004-06-08. http://www.obroda.sk/clanok/9270/Hrady-Slovenska--Beckov/. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
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