Homo Książykus, a step ahead for Mankind
According to 19th century genealogists, the origins of the Książyk families are located near Bielsk Podlaski (Podlasie) in the 15th century. The name Książyk is mentioned in a series of reference Herbarz books that list the names of Polish nobility.
Local historians confirm that the Książyk people are members of the Niwiński family, a branch of the Paprzyca knights who settled in the area of Wyszki during the 15th century. The name Niwiński comes from the villages Niewino.
Historians locate Książyk families in the hamlet of Niewino Stare. Along with other Paprzyca relatives, the Książyk were allowed to use the herb (coat-of-arms) of the clan. Hence the "h." for herb that we can found after our name in herbarz books. Over several centuries, the Niwiński and the Książyk families remained related, as confirmed by Church records.
From Podlaskie, some Książyk families established in Galicia during the 17th century. This region of Western Ukraine was a province of Poland from 1540 to 1939. During the years 1875s, many Książyk families emigrated to the USA and Canada. Those who remained in Galicia were brutally expelled in 1945.
Genealogists confirm that the Książyk families from Podlaskie and Wielkoposka are related. An herbarz book (Siwik) records the presence of a Książek h. Paprzyca family in 1600 in the Powiat Śremski (Śrem County), a region of Wielkopolska. There is no more information about this family who presumably had a property registered by the tax administration.
Another herbarz record (Boniecki 1909) specifies that in 1752, Tomasz Książyk h. Paprzyca was granted przywilej na sołectwo (royal privileges on taxes) over the village of Turek near Kalisz. This decision was recorded in the register Akta Grodzkie Czerskie, zwane Perpetuatis. Unfortunately, this register located the Czersk town was destroyed during WWII and there is no existing copy.
Today in Poland, the largest group of Książyk families is still living in this region. Most of them are located in the area framed by Jarocin, Kalisz, Gostyń, Kościan, and Poznań. The Książyk families in France are also originating from this area, with 18th century roots in Żegocin, Nowe Miasto nad Wartą and Śrem.
We found no records establishing a link between our name and the town of Książ, some 30 km away from Śrem. We can only report the similarity in spelling. Long ago, this town was also written Xsiąż and we have many "Xsiążyk" spelling in the Church records of the Książyk families during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Książyk in Śrem: Jan Siwik, Encyklopedia Nazwisk i Przydomków Szlacheckich, Warszawa 2010.