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Whence these millers

The Konopacki Family is very widespread. One can find people bearing this name living in all the continents. For example, in the United States there are more than 2000 Konopacki individuals, almost as many as in Poland. Konopackis can be found in Argentina, France, Germany, Russia and Australia.

On this website, we shall deal mainly with the history of the Konopackis and Pytlewskis millers families, which is only poorly documented, information being handed down by word of mouth to succeeding generations. All the same, we have decided to publish these incomplete accounts in order to satisfy the natural curiosity of the numerous younger generation, mainly 20 to 30 year olds, who seek to find out something about their family's past. The first mention of the Pytlewski family comes from 1374. They may have existed much earlier. Starting as knights, and enriched by war booty, they began to build water mills, which in time and for many generations provided for their livelihood. However not all men became millers, every generation can boast of a celebrated Pytlewski warfare enthusiast. In early times, the presence of rivers largely determined where the Pytlewski families settled. Starting in the Poznañ district, where the first family settlements were founded, they followed the tributary of Warta through Pyzdry, Dzia³oszyn and other villages, building mills for their own use and for leaseholds, reaching finally the Kielce District. It was here, that they first made contact with the Konopacki miller family. Konstanty Konopacki married Franciszka Pytlewska in 1884 and they settled in the place called Fa³ek situated on the river Luci±¿a, a tributary of river Pilica. From that moment, many marriages took place between these two families strenghthening bonds of loyalty and friendship which have lasted until the present time. The Konopacki family came to the Kielce region from the west part of Mazowsze area in the middle of the 19th century. They are the descendants of Jan Konopacki (1802-1874) and his second wife Marianna Pêczkowska. Children from his first marriage to Marianna Straganowska, as well as descendants of his brother Wojciech remained in Mazowsze region. The well known sportswoman Halina Konopacka, granddauther of Wojciech was born in Rawa Mazowiecka. Family legend has it that Andrzej, Jan's father lost his estate after the Kosciuszko uprising and subsequently became a miller. The Konopacki family were very patriotic, enlisting in large numbers in the 19th century uprisings and in Legiony in 1915. We do not know when and from where the Konopacki clan arrived in the Mazowsze region. It proved impossible to establish a direct link with the well known families in counties of Pomorze and Podole, who have a well documented genealogical tree beginning from XIII century. However striking similarites in Christian names such as Lucjan, Eugeniusz or Franciszek coupled with physical likeness betweem nominally distant persons, tends to suggest common family roots.

From the early years of the twentieth century, the milling industry became less and less profitable, and this fact compelled many Konopacki family members to change their profession and seek other means of earning a living. In the twenty years between the wars (1919-1939), industrialists Waclaw, Ignacy, Tadeusz and Antoni, all sons of Konstanty from Falek, founded in Mosty near Grodno, a production plant for making aircraft quality plywood, which was at that time one of the largest and most modern plants for wood processing in Europe. After 1945, members of the Konopacki family joined the ranks of the working intelligentsia, whilst only the eldest among them could remember the dull rattle of a water mill as distant memories of their childhood.

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Last actualization 21 January 2017
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Web site designed by Barbara K³osowicz
English translation by Maciej Dubenski
© Photographs: archives of Konopacki and Pytlewski