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Pilawa Coat of Arms


Pilawa Coat of Arms

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Piława (Polish pronunciation: [piˈwava]) is a Polish coat of arms. It was used by several szlachta (noble) families under the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.


The progenitor of the Piława Clan was supposed to have been Żyrosław z Potoka, who was fighting the Prussians, a pagan tribe and brought himself glory in the Battle of Pilawa, where he fought along Bolesław IV the Curly. The legend states that Żyrosław reached the pagan chief, fought him in hand-to-hand combat and killed him. The terrified enemy hordes fled the battle field. The related legend tells also that in 1166, to commemorate the victory, Bolesław IV bestowed a coat of arms upon Żyrosław, naming it for the place, where the battle took place.


The Piława coat of arms assumed its final form in the late 14th century. Formerly, there were two differing patterns, and the records from the years 1387, 1388 and 1389 mention that it had to be a letter "Z" with two and a half of a cross, or an arrow with two and a half of a cross.

Notable bearers

Notable bearers of this coat of arms have included:

Potocki family

Family name changes during the Second World War and 1944-1953

The communist government of Poland was in deep opposition to every rich (specially noble) family. Hundreds of Potockis were killed by NKVD and Red Army. Many Potockis, who decided to stay in Poland were forced to change their family names (otherwise they could be killed, imprisoned or have other problems).

The most popular changes was from Potocki to Nowak, Kowalski, Gnejowicz, Stanisławski, Pryszkiewicz, Wszelaki, Petecki, Blacha, Musiał, Woldan, Walera, Melka, Madej and Pastuch.


See also


  • Tadeusz Gajl: Herbarz polski od średniowiecza do XX wieku : ponad 4500 herbów szlacheckich 37 tysięcy nazwisk 55 tysięcy rodów. L&L, 2007. ISBN 978-83-60597-10-1.

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