The Zakrzewski name eminates from a proud heritage. The surname was borne by one clan, founded from settlements of 25 noble families of Poland. The actual name of the clan was Zakrzewski von Felden, introduced by a family of Teutonic Knights named Felden. With the help of these Teutonic Knights (Feldens a.k.a. very early Zaks), Prussia became a fiefdom of Poland. As a reward for their assistance to the king of the time (King Kasimierz Jegiello) Karol von Felden was given the region of Chilmo. A branch of that house was granted the estate of Zakrzewo and they adopted the surname of Zakrzewski. The preceeding information is according to polish historians.
This noble heritage has survived for a 1000 years. Jedzrej Zakrzewski of the clan Gryf, royal scribe, was ambassador of King Zygmunt I to the Turkish Court. Ignatius Wyssogota Zakrzewski (1745-1802) was the first president of the Capitol of Warsaw, appointed by the King of Poland (Stanislaw August Poniatowski) in 1792 and described as, "A friend of mankind" who was immensely popular. Ignatius also served as Poznan Deputy as a member of "The Great Seym" (1788-1792) which assisted the King to enact the Polish Constitution of May 3rd 1791. During the 1800s Robert Zakrzewski was a Mayor of Prussia. Most recently, Andrzej Zakrzewski served as speaker for Lech Walesa and as the Polish Minister of Culture & Arts.
Many Zaks sought relief from the tyrany of the Czar of Russia during the 1800s to early 1900s. Perhaps in part due to the stigma of possible persecution as potential political opposition to the Czars rule. Since the Zakrzewskis had a history founded in nobility and even the Polish Constitution itself, this would make sense. Indeed, Zakrzewski is a name confirmed as being victims at Dachau and Auchwitz concentration camps during WWII.
Happily, many Zaks made it to America and a great number are alive and well in Poland as well. Poland is being restored to it's magnificince and grandeur, with the restored vigor of it's Polish Constitution since Lech Walesa led the way in overcoming the communist rule. The Royal Castle at Warsaw has been restored and the portrait of Ignatius Zakrzewski decorates "The Council Chamber".
Us "Zaks" need to coordinate our roots. All us Zaks are related to those original Teutonic Knights. Therefore, we (Zakrzewskis) must take it upon ourselves to share and contribute all information available to build our "Great Tree" for future generations. It's important for all of us to know who we are and where we come from. It's even more important that the kids of the kids of the kids know. So here's my summary contribution as I know so far:
Michalina Zakrzewska (Novak, Nowak, Nowaczyk, Nowakowski 1845-Jan. 2, 1927)/husband Paulus (Paul) Zakrzewski (dob/dod unknown). 4 sons: Anrzej Zakrzewski (Andrew, 1879-July 4, 1946)/wife Maryanna Zakrzewska (Powaga, 1880-April 19, 1929); Adam Zakrzewski (1881-Oct. 24, 1929)/wife Stanislawa (Stella, Stasia) Zakrzewska (Zaski, Walczak, 1873-Jan. 7, 1968); Waclaw (Walter, Wladyslaw) Zakrzewski (1888-August 14, 1965)/wife Maryanna (Mary) E. Zakrzewska (1895- Sept., 1976); Franciszek (Frank) Zakrzewski (1885-Jan. 29, 1944)/wife Mary Zakrzewski (1887-1961).
The four brothers immigrated as follows: Andrew/June 18, 1902 at Ellis Island, residence/Rownik; his wife and 3 children immigrated together on Nov. 30, 1904 at Ellis Island, residence/Konin. Adam/1898; his wife and a son immigrated in 1904. Walter/May 23, 1905 at Ellis Island, residence/Ostrowo; his wife arrived in 1910. Frank/1888? (unclear on census record); his wife also shows 1888 (this one is clear).
This is only a summary as of August 28, 2003. Much more is available and is being researched. Any Zaks who have more to contribute are invited to email myself. Thank you, and enjoy being a Zak. It's something to be proud of!