A long time age…
Historically, the Dzieżyc family lived in the Lida District of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Dzieżyc have held their nobility since before the Union of Lublin in 1569. At the turn of the 17th century, members of the family would adopt such names as Andriej, Iwan and Fedor, demonstrating their Orthodox roots. Following the union of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the family would be gradually polonized. Before the middle of the 16th century, the Dzieżyc ancestors would call themselves Hlebowicz. Then the sobriquet would be added and the name changed to Hlebowicz-Dzieżyc. Finally, starting in the mid 17th century, the family’s name would be only Dzieżyc.
The first documented representative of the family is Andriej Hlebowicz Dieża whose name is mentioned in a few documents dating back to the mid 16th century. The oldest record comes from 1551 and mentions him as a ‘bojarzyn hospodarski” (a nobleman who holds land). In 1554, King Sigismund conferred on this Andriej a landed endowment of Kazuliszki near the town of Stare Wasiliszki and other lands on the river Niewsza. Over the next 400 years, the Dzieżyc family lived in and managed Kazuliszki. The end of the Dzieżyc history in Kazuliszki came after World War II when Poland’s Eastern Territories were annexed by the Soviet Union and when the majority of Kazuliszki’s land underwent collectivization. Part of the family remained on their ancestors’ land and now live in what today is the Republic of Belarus whereas others moved to live within the borders of present-day Poland.
The family archives
During the period of partitions, in the Russian Empire, the Dzieżyc family proved their nobility before the Commission of the Lithuania-Vilnius Province and, in 1799, the family was granted a legal confirmation of their nobility with their Lubicz coat of arms (Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius, LVIA 391-01-0948)
Very likely, however, the family used a seal with their own coat of arms whose design would be similar to the one of Lubicz. The one piece of evidence to support this thesis is the image of the coat of arms on the preserved church bell in Raduń in today’s Belarus. The bell was endowed in 1746 by Jan Dzieżyc, Guard of Lida
Inscription on the bell
On the head: a frieze of an acanthus with an inscription: IEZUS ET MARIA SONET IN CORDIBUS NOSTRIS ANNO DNI 1746 APRILIS 16 ("MAY [THE NAMES] JESUS AND MARIA RESOUND IN OUR HEARTS 16 APRIL 1746"); on the waist: plaques with images of St Christopher and St Casimir; between the plaques: the Dzieżyc coat of arms; below: an inscription “PERILLU(STRIS) MAGNIFICI D(OMI)NI IOANNIS DZIEZIC EXCUBITORI LIDENSI CERTISSIMA MUNIFICENTIA ERECTA" ("FOUNDED BY THE UNFAILING GENEROSITY OF THE HONOURABLE JAN DZIEŻYC, GUARD OF LIDA")