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Most Biega families around the world are descendents of the Biega farmers who have lived in the village of Dębna in the sub-Carpathian valley of the river San since the 16th century. This page is dedicated to Walter (Władysław) Biega of Perth Amboy, NJ - his ancestors and descendents.

     Jan Biega, a farmer resident in the village of Dębna, was born in the early 1770s. In the late 1790s he married Marianna Kołodziej from the village of Liszna, just across the river San. They lived in house #36 in the village. They had four surviving children. The first was Michał (Michael) who was born in 1800, see ../biega-debna-1800.html, reference #101.

     When Michael was an adult he moved to the neighboring small town of Mrzygłód, probably to work in one of the small industries that then existed in the town. He married Tekla Rudnicka, seven years younger, November 13, 1825. They established residence in house #9. They had seven children during the next 25 years - Bartłomiej (Bartholomew), Jan, Stanisław, Szymon, Katarzyna, Piotr and Maria.
Szymon (Simon) was born October 26 1840.

      In the meantime, the French adminstrator of the huge estate of Count Potocki in Łancut, near Rzeszów, de Renefort married Rudnicka of the clan Strzemie and a cousin of the Potockis. Forenames and dates unknown, but the marriage had to be in the late 1830s or early 1840s. They had only one child, a daughter, Waleria (Valery), who was brought up in the company of the Potocki children. Valery followed in the footsteps of many young Polish women and went off to the Russian partition of Poland to take part in the 1863 Uprising as a courier, carrying messages between various rebel groups. Perhaps she was carrying messages from the Count to his kinfolk fighting the Russians? An unrelated young woman could slip through the cordons of Tsarist police and troops much easier than a man or relative.
Somehow Valery met up with Simon Biega and they married and later settled in Mrzygłód.

    They had six children:
  • Kazimiera, married Rudolf Pochmarski, son of Baroness von Latscher.
  • Aniela, born July 1877 in Mrzygłód, died in 1967 in Żywiec. She married Edmund Ludwik Odrowąż-Kulinski, who later was legal advisor to the Sanok police force.
  • Wladyslaw (Walter), born in 1882 in Mrzyglód, died in Perth Amboy,NJ.
  • Tekla, born 1885, died 1965, married Wlodzimierz Gutwinski. They lived and died in Miejsce Piastowe, near Krosno, about 20 miles west of Mrzygłód.
  • Wilhelm, born in 188?, died in 1920 in Mrzygłód, had a daughter Susanna.
  • Jan, born in 1890 in Mrzygłód, died in America.

Now let's see some old pictures. Then continue for more about the family.

On left a house that belonged to a Biega family in Mrzygłód

On right a map of the area in the early 1900s
Biega home Sanok map 1910

On the left a photo taken about 1900 of Waleria Biega with daughter Kazimiera, older sister of Wladysław (Walter). Waleria is holding Kazimiera's daughter Irena.

In center, a younger Kazimiera.

On right, Jan, the youngest brother of Kazimiera and Władysław, who later followed Władysław to Perth Amboy, NJ.
Waleria&Kazimiera Kazimiera Jan

      Władysław, at age 18, emigrated to the United States in 1900 and settled in Perth Amboy, NJ, see biegacensus.html, #002. There, in 1906, he married Frania (last name unknown) 4 years his junior, who had also arrived in America from Galicia in 1900.
In 1910 it is recorded in the census that he was working on the railroad as a brakeman. By that time they had two daughters, Aniela (Nellie or Angelina) born in 1908 and Helen born in 1910.

Apparently Frania died shortly after the birth of Helen. Władysław married Prasheda(?) in 1910. She was three years younger than him and had come to New Jersey from southern Poland (Galicia) in 1902. They had a son Andrew, born November 10, 1911. Władysław, had now changed his forename to the more easily pronounceable Walter. The 1930 census reveals that Walter had retired from the railroad and was working as an automechanic.

      In 1912, Walter's younger brother Jan came to the U.S. and for a while lived with the family. Later on Jan established a print shop in Perth Amboy (see 1930 census. position #142).

In 1909 Walter brought his cousin Victor from Mrzygłód. After three years in Perth Amboy, Victor moved to Wallingford, Connecticut and established another thriving Biega family branch, see biega-victorct.html.

Helen M. Biega died 4 December 1996 in Perth Amboy; Andrew W. Biega died 16 November 1995 in Perth Amboy

     At this time little more is known about this branch of the Biega family, except that Andrew had a son Richard born in Perth Amboy in 1947. Richard became a Roman Catholic priest, but in 1984 he was received into the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Texas at St. Mark's Church, Austin. Since 2007 he is Rector of Holy Trinity Church in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. One of his daughters, Dawn is a well known cellist and has played in several orchestras and bands.

      The webmaster hopes that living descendents of Walter or Andrew will contribute more information about the family, especially photos of Walter and Andrew and other family members. Please send to Bill Biega.
The writer is indebted to Bolesław Twaróg, a descendant of Aniela Biega and Edmund Odrowąż-Kulinski, who discovered the connection between Szymon Biega and Valery de Renefort and supplied the old photos. He discovered the missing link while searching his own roots. Thanks also to Tomasz Kwiatkowski of Warsaw, a great-great-grandson of Kazimiera Biega, for establishing the contact with me.

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Last update January 20, 2011