THE POLISH NOBILITY ASSOCIATION
A paper presented to the New Zealand Company of Armigers
By Michael Subritzky-Kusza Ct, GCCStS, KLJ, GMOZ.
Count of Annam
In ancient times the nobility was the ruling class of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with the exclusive right to enjoy full citizenship. Nobility was hereditary in the male line, and the knights' shield was an outward sign of this. The power to enoble resided originally in the King, but after the end of the XVIth century the approval of the Diet was required. In the year of Our Lord 1795, Poland was removed from the map of Europe, and from then until the end of WWI the nation ceased to exist; but not so the old nobility, nor the dream of a free Poland.
The Polish Nobility Association was born out of the ashes of the Polish uprisings of the 1830's as a loosely associated group of noblemen and ex-officers whos' original goal was the establishment of the Polish monarchy, with a Pole as the elected King. Poland regained her independence in 1918, and from that time onward the Polish Nobility Associations activities became primarily devoted to genealogical and heraldic research and the preservation of Polish cultural heritage under the Hetmanship of HH Prince Rafael Chylinski-Polubinski.
On the 27th January 1927, HH Prince Rafael formalised the PNA into a Noble Society for the continuation of the "Stewardship" of the chivalric customs of the Commonwealth of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; and for the perpetuation of Genealogical and Heraldic traditions of the Polish Commonwealth. Two Chivalric Orders were also created on that same date along the lines of Polands ancient Dragonet Societies; they are as follows:
1. The Royal Order of Piast (ROP)
2. The Royal Order of Jagiellio (ROJ)
These Orders were established in three classes to give honour to Polands ancient Royal Dynasties, and to recognise individuals for their efforts in educating the public about the Polish Lithuanian Peoples, and for charitable undertakings.
In the 1960's the Polish Nobility Association re-located to the United States of America where it was felt that a free climate to operate was available. The PNA is currently based at Villa Anneslie, in Baltimore County, Maryland under the Hetmanship of HH Prince Roger Chylinski-Polubinski, as President. Prince Roger personally received the Papal Blessing for the Order on 4 October 1983, at Castelo Gandolfo, the Holy Fathers Summer Residence. The aims of the PNA are to provide the following services to those many Polish families spread throughout the world who may be descended from a noble ancestor and wish to research this link. The PNA can provide the following services:
1. Ancestor name search assistance.
2. Issurance of nobility diplomas and registry.
3. Provide heraldic assistance in duplicating authentic Polish arms.
The current legal status of the Polish Nobility Association Foundation in the United States is that of a private non-profit foundation. Membership is international and through the Foundation members can be kept updated on international Monarchist activities. The association has for many years published a six monthly journal of a very high standard which relates mainly to historic nobility topics from Eastern Europe. Membership is available in several categories and is open to any individual interested in, or identifing with "Polonia". Annual membership dues are very modest.
Name Search Assistance:
This service is available to those who have reason to believe in the possible origination of their family from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as nobility, titled or untitled; the PNA offers a "Name Search Service" through the most extensive archive records maintained by the Foundation's Director of Heraldry. Searches are based on the spelling or spellings provided by the applicant. A fee is charged for each name searched, and applicants are requested to provide the most accurate original spelling of the name searched, plus whatever geographical origination data is known. Upon completion of the search, the Foundation provides a written response indicating the results of the name search. In instances where more than one coat of arms is identified with a surname, the Foundation may recommend further research by the individual or make available a list of genealogists for the applicant to contact.
For further information please feel free to contact:
THE POLISH NOBILITY ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION
529 Dunkirk Road, Anneslie,
Maryland, MD 21212-2014,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.