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Wołodkowicz is the name of a noble family originating from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
The Wołodkowicz (Wolodkowicz) family is an ancient noble family originating from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Scolars argue whether the family name derives from Wolodko (born 1420), grandson of Gedymin Grand Duke of Lithuania (1275-1341) or from his descendant Grand Duke Wolodko.
Marcin Wołodkowicz (1510-1595), the son of Wolodko and his wife Racza, is the common ancestor of all members of the Wołodkowicz family. He was ambassador of the Great Duchy of Lithuania in Moscow from 1573 and Governor of Minsk from 1588. He was married with Rajna princess Drucka-Horska. Marcin Wołodkowicz had eight children, most of which had high positions in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. As a result thereof the family became far more numerous in the 17th century; its members mainly residing in the districts of Nowogródek and Minsk.
During the 17th and 18th centuries members of the Wołodkowicz family played an important role in public life. Apart from political and governmental positions, members of the Wołodkowicz family held positions in the army and in the Roman Catholic church.
Stanislaw Wołodkowicz played an important role in the defense of Vitebsk during the war between the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth and Moscow. He was taken prisoner and sent into exile to Kazan in 1655. The founder of the French line of the Wołodkowicz family, Henry (1765-1825), took part in the 1794 uprising of Tadeusz Kościuszko and emigrated to France. He was aide-de-camp of Napoleon, served as a general in the French army and from 1806 he was appointed commander of the Polish Legion of the Grande Armée. During the Napoleonic war against Russia, he was exiled to Siberia and after having received amnesty, he moved to St. Petersburg where he died. He was awarded the Légion d'honneur and his name 'Henry' is immortalized in the Triumphal Arc in Paris. Alexander Wołodkowicz (1806-1861) headed the rebels in the Vileika district during the uprising against Russia of 1830-1831. After the defeat he emigrated to France. He was buried in Paris, but his heart was brought home and placed in the church of Radoszkowice, the ancestral tomb of the Wołodkowicz family.
Jakub Wołodkowicz was rector of the Jesuit collegium in Polotsk, Anna abbess of the Benedictine monastery in Minsk and Felicjan (1697-1778) Metropolitan of Kiev. Members of the Wołodkowicz family founded several monasteries and churches, such as a monastery and a seven domed church in Grozovo, a monastery in Nowodwortsi, the Carmelite church in Minsk, the cathedral of Chelm, a church in Zary, a church in Radoszkowice and a Russian-orthodox church in Chashniki.
There are several branches of the Wołodkowicz family:
- "Gałąź Nowodworska" (Branch of Nowy Dwor)
- "Gałąź Iwanska" (Branch of Iwansk)
- "Gałąź Francuska" (French branch), since 1903 'de Pairier-Wołodkowicz' with the right to use the title of count
- "Gałąź Ukrainska" (Ukrainian branch)
- "Gałąź Galucyska (Galician branch)
Many members of princely and other great aristocratic polish and russian families have members of the Wołodkowicz family as one of their ancestors, such as Drucki-Horski, Drucki-Podbereski, Pac, Podhorski, Polubinski, Puzyna, Reytan, Radziwill, Sapieha and Tyszkiewicz.
In the 19th century the branch of Iwansk became the most prominent of all branches of the Wołodkowicz family. Iwansk together with neighboring villages was bought by Tadeusz Wołodkowicz in 1774. This was to become the main, though not the oldest, domain of this branch of the family. Owing to entrepreneurship and fortune the wealth of the Iwansk branch further increased during the next generations. Two years later Iwansk was inherited by his brother Wincenty (1761-1838) chamberlain of Frederick Augustus I of Saxony, who passed his properties to Emanuel Ignacy. Last owner of Iwansk was the son of Emanuel Ignacy, Wincenty Wołodkowicz (1846-1927). In 1917 his estates (Iwansk, Kopciowicze, Czaszniki, Solomerecze, Wojsznarowo, Podolanka, Stare Siolo, Krasne Siolo, Imszarki, Slobodka, Hatsyanava, Fedzki, Tovpentsy, Naviny, Vishanki, Pachaevici, Demidovichi, Prystoi, Medvedsk, Krasnitsa, Punki, Smolance and Deksniany) made about 100.000 hectares, and included more than 20 towns and villages, as well as a paper mill ('Skinia'), mills, distillery plants, breweries, a brickyard and a glass factory. Iwansk had a famous stable of horses, which won prices at races in Moscow and St. Petersburg. During the revolution of 1917 Wincenty Wołodkowicz escaped to Poland, where he died in Bydgoszcz in 1927.
Coat of arms
The Wołodkowicz family use the "Radwan" arms, with on top a cock holding a golden ring.
Notable members include:
- Krzystof Wołodkowicz (fl. 1600-1670), wojewode of Nowogródek and Minsk and senator of the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth in the second half of the 17th century. Writer of historical books like 'The history of Inflant Wars', 'The life of prince Casimir' and 'On incorporation of the inflants by king Sigismund August'. Krzystof Wołodkowicz was very handsome and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire commissioned Krzystof's portrait for his palace in Istanbul. Married to 1. Halszka princess Drucka-Sokolinska and 2. Izabela princess Massalska.
- Felicjan Wołodkowicz (1697-1778), bishop of Chelm, metropolitan of Kiev.
- Henry Wołodkowicz (1765-1825), general in the French Army, aide de camp of Napoleon. Commander of the 2e Legion du Nord. Founder of the French branch. Married to 1. Anna Ferguson-Tepper, 2. Thérèse de Lasseray.
- Michał Wołodkowicz (1735-1760), landowner, hooligan, notable for extraordinay physical force and courage. Fought bears with a wooden fork only. He is mentioned in Book VI "Pan Tadeusz" by Adam Mickiewicz as a man standing above the law. Sentenced to death for his improper behaviour.
- Wincenty Wołodkowicz (1761-1838), chamberlain of king Stanislaw August, marshall of the nobility of Borisov. Founder of the branch from Iwansk, Married to 1. Teresa Przezdziecka 2. countess Jadwiga Tyszkiewicz.
- Emanuel Ignacy Wołodkowicz(1805-1852), landowner, entrepreneur. Married to 1. Victoria princess Drucka-Lubecka, 2. Alina princess Drucka-Lubecka.
- Alexander Wołodkowicz (1806-1861), commander during the uprising Russia of 1830-1831, diplomat. Author of "Ni paix, ni sécurité pour l'Europe avec la Russie" (Paris 1855)
- Wincenty Wołodkowicz (1846 1927), last owner of Iwansk, landowner, entrepreneur, State counsellor of the Russian Empire, honorary judge of the province of Lepel. Married to Sophia baroness Hartingh.
- Roman Aftanazy, Dzieje rezydencji na dawnych kresach Rzeczypospolitej, tom 1, Wroclaw 1991
- Wiktar Hrybko, Iwansk, Minsk 2011
- Mieczyslaw Jalowiecki, Na skraju Imperium, Warsaw 2000
- Wołodkowiczowie, studium genealogiczne, Ottawa 1978