Swienca family

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The Swienca family was a medieval Pomeranian noble family which held high offices under various political powers in the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp (Sławno and Słupsk) and Pomerelia from the mid-13th to the mid-14th centuries. It is named after its founder, Swienca or Swieca (Polish Święca, German Swenzo; referred to as Swenzo, Swenso or Suenzo in contemporary documents[1]), the elder of two brothers.

In Pomerelia, the Swiencas were transiently the most powerful family after the dukes.[2] In the Lands of Sławno (Schlawe) and Słupsk (Stolp), the region in Farther Pomerania between river Unieść (Nestbach) in the West and the river Łeba (Leba) in the East,[3] the border to Pomerelia, they ruled de facto autonomously under various dynasties until finally the sons of Wartislaw IV of Pomerania-Wolgast of the House of Pomerania made use of their rights as legal sovereigns of the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp and limited the power of the Swienca family considerably.

The Puttkamer family considers them to be their first documented ancestors.[4] However, historians are divided on this issue.[5]


  1. Swenzo, palatine and wójt of Pomerelia
    1. Peter I of Nowe (Neuenburg), "chancellor" and "capitaneus" of Pomerelia, Lord of Nowe
      1. Peter II of Nowe, Lord of Tuchola (Tuchel)
    2. John I (Jasco or Jesco, Polish: Jaśko) of Schlawe/Sławno, since 1308 Lord of Schlawe
      1. Peter III of Schlawe
      2. Lawrence (Lorenz, Polish: Warzyniec) III of Schlawe
    3. Lawrence (Lorenz) I of Rügenwalde, Lord of Neuenburg, since 1308 Lord of Rügenwalde
      1. John (Jasco) II of Rügenwalde
      2. Nathalie (Nathalina)
  2. Lawrence (Lorenz), castellan of Stolp
    1. Swenzo junior (Swenska)
      1. Lawrence (Lorenz) II
    2. Casimir (Kasimir, Polish: Kazimierz) of Tuchel

Coat of arms[edit]

The escutcheon of the Swienca family consisted of a griffin the lower half of the body of which is replaced by a sturgeon's tail, a type of arms known in heraldry as a fish griffin (German: Fischgreif). The fish griffin appears also in the escutcheons of the town of Darłowo.


  1. ^ Cf. the respective entries in Pommersches Urkundenbuch and Pomerellisches Urkundenbuch
  2. ^ Hartmut Boockmann, Deutsche Geschichte im Osten Europas. Ostpreußen und Westpreußen: Ostpreußen und Westpreußen, Siedler, 1992, p.161
  3. ^ Ellinor von Puttkamer: Die Swenzonen und das Land Schlawe, in: Der Kreis Schlawe - Ein pommersches Heimatbuch (M. Vollack, ed.), Vol. II: Die Städte und Landgemeinden, Husum: Husum Druck und Verlagsgesellschaft, 1989, ISBN 3-88042-337-7, pp. 545-550.
  4. ^ "Swenzo I". Verband des Geschlechtes v.Puttkamer e.V. 
  5. ^ Kausche, Dieter (1986). "Review of E. v. Puttkamer: Geschichte des Geschlechts v. Puttkamer, 2nd edition (1984)". Blätter für deutsche Landesgeschichte (122): 759–760. 
  6. ^ Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln. Neue Folge. Band 19. Zwischen Weser und Oder, Vittorio Klostermann, 2000, table 8, ISBN 3-465-03166-0 [1]