| BIEGA FAMILIES FROM DEBNA AND SANOK
Their Origin and History
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The name BIEGA is rare, as a perusal of telephone books ascertains anywhere you try. Virtually all the families with the name BIEGA, wherever in the world they are located, are descendents of a family of farmers in the Sanok area of southern Poland. Although none have acquired fame because of title or wealth, they have all been hard working people and many have achieved positions of importance in the communities in which they reside and in the organizations in which they work.
The southern boundary of Poland is a natural one created by the Carpathian mountain range, which stretches from Romania in the east to the valley of the Oder in Silesia in the west. The highest peaks (2,600 meters) create the Tatra Mountains at one end and the Rodna Mountains in Romania at the other. The river San originates below lower peaks of only 1,300m. (4,300 ft.) of the Bieszczady Range. This mountain group still retains a wild beauty, rounded peaks covered by forests, which has become protected by the creation of a national park. For 200km. the river flows through a charming region of gradually lower mountain ranges, sometimes through narrow gorges, other times through gentle valleys until, at the ancient fortress town of Przemysl, it enters a sandy plain and finally after 440km (275 miles) joins the mighty Vistula to continue on toward the Baltic Sea.
The old city of
Sanok lies in the upper reach of the San river, only 45 km. due north of the Bieszczady
mountains and near the border of modern Ukraine. The name Sanok appears already in an old Ruthenian chronicle
of 1150. Then there was only a wooden fortress standing on the steep hill, where the present stone castle is
situated, 70m. (230 feet) above the river. A document granting township privileges to Sanok is dated 20 January 1339.
In 1850 Sanok had a population of only 3,000. The rebirth of the town was brought about by the railroad, the discovery of oil in the area and the development of new industry in the middle of the XIX century. In 1914 it suffered considerable damage at the hands of the Russians who had momentarily pushed the Austrians back to the Carpathian mountains. Again in 1945 a battle between the retreating Germans and the advancing Soviets caused substantial destruction of property.
Today it is a vibrant city of 40,000 with two large industrial plants and an energetic town
council. The streets are clean, roses and other flowers are planted in the city squares and along the main streets. It possesses a large cultural center with a theater; a large library; an artificial skating rink; indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Twenty kilometers north from Sanok, along the road which follows the river, lies a small village called Mrzygłód. At one time this was a town called Królewslka Tyrawa established by King Jagiello in 1431. The stone church was built at that time. However in the XVII century the town declined due to destruction by wars, frequent floods and epidemics and never recovered. A small ceramic industry still existed here until the early XX century. Just to the west of the road from Sanok to Mrzygłód lies a village Dębna, which already in the XV century was part of an estate.
This is the area from which virtually all the Biega families, wherever they may be today, originate. According to the records of Father Joseph Michałkowski of Mrzygłód, written in 1912, the name Biega appeared in church records in the 16th. century. The name biega in
Polish means "runs", so perhaps some forefather was fast on his feet and was given this name to distinguish him from his siblings.
Other than a normal career movement to other Polish cities, the emigration of Biega families to other countries occurred in three distinct phases.
Biega on the Internet.
However there are some interesting Google references that repeat many times (2007).
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last update December 2009