Syrena logo HELBICH   FAMILY   IN 19th. C. POLAND
The relatives of Irena Helbich Biega

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Helbich coat-of-arms

      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.
This branch then adapted and registered their new coat of arms (in Polish herb) for use, as shown in Herby Szlacheckie Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodow

     In the mid 18th century Antoni Frederik Helbich was a trader living in Warsaw, where he owned houses. He married Klara Vetter. They had one son Antoni, born in 1756, who married Marianna Mościcka and acquired an estate Konary, in the village of Wienawa (20km west of Radom), central Poland. Antoni Helbich was a captain of the horse artillery in the Polish army and fought alongside Tadeusz Kościuszko in the last battles against the invading Russians in 1794.

Kingdom of PolAND 1815 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 1818 he entered the army of the Polish Kingdom (created by the Congress of Vienna with the Russian czar as king) as a regimental doctor, later promoted to staff doctor of the Fifth Infantry Regiment. In October 1822 he resigned from the army and was appointed Doctor of the Konin District (on the western border of the Kingdom).
In 1827 he wrote his thesis and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine by Berlin University. He settled in the city of Kalisz and established a private practise as medical doctor.

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.
After the Uprising he was forced to work in the hospital for contagious diseases. In 1834 he returned to Kalisz. January 1835 he was appointed Head Doctor of the Kalisz hospital, and held this position for almost six years.

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.

Adam Bogumil HelbichDr. 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.
They had three sons - Adam Frederick (1841 - 1918); Alphonse (1843 - 1913); and Joseph Apolonius(1845 - 1901).

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.
Her brother Józef Lessel was also a well known Warsaw architect with many large buildings to his credit. Her sister Anna was the mother of the renowned Polish painter Joseph Brandt, who painted mostly historic scenes. Her second brother Stanisław took part in the November Uprising of 1830 and was aide-de-camp of the head of the administration gen. Krukowiecki. He was awarded the Virtuti Militarii. After the failure of the Uprising he emigrated to Dresden where he married. Later he returned to Poland and assisted in the administration of the Konary estate. Among other works, he built a canal to bring water to run a mill. Then he settled in Radom and lived with his widowed sister.

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 second son Alphonse became a businessman in Warsaw.

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. Irena Helbich and sisters

Józef and Józefa-Teresa had two sons: the first - Wojciech Barnaba (b.1869} became a monk of the Philipine brothers in Gostyn, western Poland. The second - Adam Szczesny Felix (b. 1873) was a graduate of the Kronenberg School of Economics and became a business man in Warsaw. In 1897 he married Helen Grzecznarowska. They had four surviving daughters and two sons - Jerzy Wojciech (b. 1905}, who became a writer and publicist - Adam Józef (b. 1908), a well known gynaecologist and scout leader in Cracow. Two daughters were Krystyna (b. 1898) and Jadwiga (b. 1899). The third daughter Irena (b 18 Nov. 1901, d. 24 Oct. 1937) married Captain Stanisław Biega 4 Jan. 1923. Their son is Staszek Biega, now resident in Australia.

     All the Helbich estates were confiscated by the communist Peoples' Republic after World War II.

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last update December 2009.