| HELBICH FAMILY IN 19th. C. POLAND
The relatives of Irena Helbich Biega
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Staszek Biega's mother was Irena Helbich Biega.
The Helbich family goes back a long way in history and originated in Saxony. The Blazon of Arms (coat of arms) was granted to Pankratius Helbich, rector of the University of Erfurt, in 1563. At least one branch of that family was living in Silesia (then under the sovereignity of Brandenburg) about that time and then moved to Olsztyn (Allenstein) in Royal Pussia, a province of the Kingdom of Poland.
They had three children. One surviving son, Adam Bogumil Helbich, born 20 Dec 1796 in Warsaw, became famous. His father died when he was 10 years old, but he received a scholarship from the city of Warsaw to study medicine at Warsaw University and obtained a masters degree in medicine.
In the 1830 Uprising against the oppression of the Russians, he was staff doctor and took part in several battles and in 1831 was awarded the highest Polish medal, Virtuti Militarii with Gold Cross.
In 1840 he moved to Warsaw and established a private practise. In 1847, he was co-founder and principal editor of the medical weekly Tygodnik Lekarski. He wrote over 80 articles. He was also active in the affairs of the Warsaw Medical Society and was vice-president 1853-56, president 1857-59. Later in 1860 he was awarded the Order of Saint Stanislaw 2nd class for his services to medicine and to the community, which included providing free medical services to the poor in Warsaw and Kalisz. In 1870 he retired and settled on his estate Konary where he died 19 March 1881.
Dr. Helbich married Rosalia Reitenstein in 1821. They had two daughters. After his first wife died he married Aniela Amelia Lessel, the daughter of a well-known Warsaw architect Frederik Lessel, who had been Architect to the last King of Poland Stanislaw II Augustus Poniatowski. It is his basic design and layout for the city of Warsaw that is still in use today.
His wife's grandfather was Albert Jerzy Lessel who was confectionary maker to the Elector of Saxony and came with him from Dresden to Warsaw when the Elector became King of Poland. He later opened up a coffee salon in the Saxon Gardens next to the Saxon Palace.
The oldest son Adam Frederick studied agriculture and was the main administrator of the family estate Konary, which he inherited after his father's death in 1881. He had two sons - Joseph Felician who inherited Konary but also acquired estates near Chlewiska in the Siedlce region of eastern Poland -
Stefan Antoni who became a lawyer in Warsaw and also owned estates in the Siedlce region.
The third son, Józef Apolonius Helbich (1845 - 1901), the maternal great-grandfather of Staszek Biega, took part in the January 1863 Uprising against the Russians. He owned an estate Brudnowo, near Radom and practised law in Warsaw. He married Józefa-Teresa Gałczynska. Her father, Wojciech Gałczynski, had previously taken part in the November Uprising of 1830, and was awarded the Virtuti Militarii for his actions during this campaign. He was deported to Siberia but escaped and made his way back to Poland. He had an estate near Radom, which is recorded in paintings and drawing by his son-in-law Juliusz Kossak, a renowned Polish artist famous for his portrayal of horses and cavalry battles. His grand-daughter became a famous writer, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka.
All the Helbich estates were confiscated by the communist Peoples' Republic after World War II.
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last update December 2009.