A Page from the History of Zdroje in Tuchola county, Poland

The following text was translated from the Polish from an article in the
Tygodnik Tucholski [The Tuchola (Poland) Weekly], 3 Aug 1995, No.
31 (178), p. 9, by J. Szwankowski. It was originally entitled "Kartka z
przeszlosci Zrdojów" ["A page from Zdroje's history"]; and it was
privately obtained in Poland.  The article did not cite any sources.
Zdroje is a village in northwest Poland, near Bydgoszcz, about ten
miles directly east of Tuchola, and about seven miles northeast of
Lubiewo. The village used to be in Swiecie county. The article
discusses the role of Mateusz Suchomski in the development of
agriculture in the first half of the eighteenth century in former forested
lands surrounding Zdroje. Single quote marks and parentheses are the
original author's. Double quote marks, brackets and footnotes are the
web site's.

Ruins of a pitch oven, Laski (Tuchola). Source: 'Polskie Pomorze,' by Józef Borowik, Toruñ, 1929, Vol. I, p. 195. From a private collection."Products from the smoldering of wood, namely charcoal, 
pitch and tar, found wide application, for example, in shipbuilding. These
products were exported via Gdañsk to western Europe. Considering
that pitch products and charcoal were resinous pine, but the virgin
[pine] forest surrounding Zdroje was established royal property, to
keep the pitch ovens busy with raw material, appropriate sums of
money were paid to and work was performed for the prefect [of the
district]. Until the time of the Polish-Swedish war, 1655-1660, pitch
[production] from Zdroje annually paid for the 120 florins [prefectural]
rent. On top of this, there was an obligation to work an additional 3
days per year during harvest on the manorial farm in Wierzchach, and
one day to haul waste. The Swiecie prefect Przyjemski increased
the obligation to five days of work for one and all, 'adding to the
burden.' Besides the higher quota every year from Zdroje to Swiecie's
treasury, there were two cartloads of charcoal and two barrels of
pitch expected. After the gentry's portion, the surplus was for sale,
which altogether in the year 1664 was bought by the Gdañsk
merchant Jakub Rummelman.

   "As years passed, and the raw materials for pitch products were
depleted, principally, clear pines, [the region] gradually became
agricultural. And so it went with Zdroje. In the year 1682 cultivated
land here amounted to 4 morgs [1 morg = 0.631 acres]. Agricultural
production did not rise greatly because the sandy soil did not allow
it. Finally, in 1730, the prefect of Swiecie, Stanislaw Jablonowski,
'desiring to consolidate his entire prefecture and bring it to profit,'
transferred Zdroje into Mateusz Suchomski's hands and into his
lawful descendants' [hands] together with 'buildings, settlements,
arable land, fields, forests and thickets; from agriculturally fallow
land to vacant sheep pens and beer stores, for his own home....
and with [his] renters....separate craftsmen, wheelwrights and
coopers.....' [1].

   "In exchange, each year Mateusz Suchomski had to convey to
Swiecie rent money in the amount of 150 Prussian zlotys, not
counting a head tax 'to the government' (that is, the gentry). Apart
from this, the prefect waived all other duties. [In fact, other barter
took place]: the wheelwright one year [might] perform 'necessary
repairs' on two wagon wheels for requested provisions.

   "In the forty years [since the time] when Zdroje received Mateusz
Suchomski, the number of farmers in the village grew, and this resulted
in sectioning [of the land] [among] families or selling of parts of the
properties. In the year 1773 in Zdroje there were 5 farms, each 1
wloka and 15 morgs in area [1 wloka = 30 morgs; 1 morg = 0.631
acres; thus, each farm was 45 morgs or about 28 acres]: Wawrzyniec
Suchomski's [2], Kazimierz Suchomski's [3], Bartlomiej Szynderlat's, Mar-
cin Kosecki's and Szymon Dembek's [4]. Moreover, in the village there
lived gardeners, who [each] had a small piece of arable land, a so-
called 'garden,' as well as a cottage. The total number of people
amounted to 77 persons. Livestock included: 9 horses, 29 beef cattle,
21 cows, 97 sheep and 5 hogs. In cultivation, rye predominated; in
smaller amounts, wheat, barley, peas and flax [grew]. [This] rural
land provided annually 7.5 wagonloads of hay.

   "From such people Zdroje moved on to a new stage in its history:
functioning within the framework of the Prussian nobility. But that is
a story for another time."

Tucholski Forest View [10KB]

Digitized photographic image of the Tucholski forest, Kujawy-Pomorze province, Poland (26 Sep 1996).


     [1]   Mateusz Suchomski was also mentioned in the marriage reg-
ister of Sliwice parish, Microfilm # 0840101, item 4, p. 54. Poland.
Bydgoszcz. Sliwice (Tuchola) - Church Records. Salt Lake City, UT:
Family History Library. In entries for 1715 and 1716, he was listed
three times as a witness. Zdroje used to be in Sliwice parish.

     [2]   Wawrzyniec Suchomski was listed in the baptismal and death
registers of Sliwice parish, Microfilms # 1186086, item 5, p. 10 and
# 0840101, item 7, p. 40, respectively, same source as above. His
parents were listed in the baptismal record as Mateusz and Katarzyna
Suchomski. His birthplace was Zdroje; he was baptized on  27 Aug
1728. In the death record, he died on 23 Mar 1788 in Zdroje, from
thussis [cough].

     [3]   Kazimierz Suchomski was listed in the baptismal and death
registers cited above in note [2], p. 7 and p. 8, respectively. He was
born in Zdroje on 28 Feb 1726, the son of Mateusz Suchomski. He was
also listed in the marriage register of Drzycim parish, Microfilm #
0162339, p. 25. Poland. Bydgoszcz. Drzycim (Swiecie), same source
as above. He married Anna Gaidowski of Drzycim on 14 Feb 1752.
He was married again, on 11 Feb 1760, to Jadwiga Polomowna,
according to the Sliwice marriage register. Kazimierz died on 12 Apr
1778 in Zdroje, from hydrops [edema]. According to the Sliwice
death register, his wife, Jadwiga, died on 15 Aug 1806 in Zdroje, aged
60 years.

     [4]   According to the Sliwice parish death register, pp. 10 and 19,
cited above in note [2], Szymon Dembek died on 15 Aug 1778 in
Zdroje, aged 68 years; and Marcin Kosecki died on 15 Jan 1781 in
Zdroje, aged 65 years. Szymon Dembek was listed in the West Prussian
Land Register of 1772/73 as Simon Dembeck, residing in Zdrogie [Zdroje],
Schwetz [Swiecie] county.

(All villages listed are in Tuchola County, Poland unless otherwise noted)
(Source information is available upon request)

1-Mateusz SUCHOMSKI (1695)
  sp-Katarzyna (1695)
   2-Maryanna SUCHOMSKI (1719, Zdroje)
   2-Anna SUCHOMSKI (1722, Zdroje)
   2-Kazimierz SUCHOMSKI (1726-1778, Zdroje)
     sp-Anna GAIDOWSKI (1730, Wetfie, pow. Swiecie -1760, Zdroje)
      3-Stanislaw SUCHOMSKI (1752, Zdroje)
      3-Kazimierz SUCHOMSKI (1755, Zdroje)
      3-Wojciech SUCHOMSKI (1757, Zdroje)
      3-Marcin SUCHOMSKI (1759, Zdroje)      
     sp-Jadwiga POLOM (1745, Rosochatka -1806, Zdroje)
      3-Wojciech SUCHOMSKI (1761, Zdroje)
      3-Jan SUCHOMSKI (1763, Zdroje)
      3-Jadwiga SUCHOMSKI (1766-1768, Zdroje)
      3-Jadwiga SUCHOMSKI (1768, Zdroje)
      3-Mateusz SUCHOMSKI (1772, Zdroje)
      3-SUCHOMSKI (1775, Zdroje)
   2-Wawrzyniec SUCHOMSKI (1728-1788, Zdroje)
     sp-Katarzyna (1733)
      3-Stanislaw SUCHOMSKI (1754, Zdroje)