Wladyslaw Pio-Ulski ~ 1878-unknown

Владислав Владиславович ПИО-УЛЬСКИЙ


Wladyslaw’s family tree …

His great grandfather was Alexander Pioulski, who was a noble landowner in Belarus.

Alexander was a member of the Polish-Lithuanian nobility and an official in the noble Military-Civilian Commission of the Voivodship of Polotsk (currently in Belarus) at the time of the final dismemberment of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by Imperial Russia. Upon his death, Alexander’s will stipulated that his eldest son would receive the manor and associated serfs, his middle son a sum of money to buy a folwark (which is a Polish concept, meaning “noble farm”), and nothing but his blessing for his youngest son Jerzy. He justified this will the fact that he had already spent much money on Jerzy’s education to become a lawyer (and later judge) in Mogilev.

His  grandfather was Jerzy-Grzegorz – the Russian version of his name was Igor-Grigori Alexandrovich – who was a judge and landowner, and his father was Wladyslaw Jerzy (Russian version, Vladyslav Igorovich), a mathematics teacher and secondary school inspector.

His mother was Sabina Bronislawa Biestrzykowska, who came from a noble family in western Poland.

Wladyslaw’s father managed to “reclaim” noble status for his family in 1893.
[Source: my nephew]

Sabina Biestrzykowska's family tree

Sabina Biestrzykowska’s family tree

Sabina's family crests

Sabina’s family crests




I don’t have any documents to show where Wladyslaw was born so I’ll take a guess that it was Mogilev, his hometown.

He was baptised in Novorzyev by Father Grigorii Gutovskii on October 9, 1878 and his godparents were Nobleman Joakim Ronilovich and his wife, Teresia.



The city is mentioned in historical sources since 1267. From the 14th century it was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, since the Union of Lublin (1569), part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, where it became known as Mohylew or Mogilew. In 16th-17th century the city flourished as one of the main nodes of the east-west and north-south trading routes.

Coat of Arms for Mogliev

Coat of Arms for Mogliev

In 1577 Polish King Stefan Batory granted it with city rights under Magdeburg law. In 1654, the townsmen negotiated a treaty of surrender to the Russians peacefully, if the Jews were to be expelled and their property divided up among Mogilev’s inhabitants. Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovitch agreed. However, instead of expelling the Jews, the Russian troops massacred them after they had led them to the outskirts of the town.  After the First Partition of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1772) it became part of the Russian Empire and became the centre of the Mogilev Governorate.

In the years 1915–1917, during World War I, the Stavka, the headquarters of the Russian Imperial Army was based in the city and the Tsar, Nicholas II, spent long periods there as Commander-in-Chief.
[Source: Wikipedia]

The Tsar and his son in Mogilev in 1916

The Tsar and his son in Mogilev in 1916


Since the Pio-Ulskis were a noble family in Mogilev, I’d say it would be a certainty that when the Tsar and his family came to the city during WWI, they would have been involved with looking after or entertaining the Imperial Family.



I found a link to a Russian site which had a list of residents in St Petersburg in the beginning of the 20th Century and Wladyslaw’s name was listed. This must have been when he was at the Marine Engineering College, although I would have thought he’d have to bunk down on base …

«PIO-ULSKY Vladislav Vladislavovich. He was born on September 28, 1878 Ml. engineer-mech. (1901). Manufactured in engineering mechanics Art»

In Russian «ПИО-УЛЬСКИЙ Владислав Владиславович. Родился 28 сентября 1878 г. Мл. инж.-мех. (1901)»

Admiralty Palace

Admiralty Palace

The document shown below, dated 1891, was something which George had managed to hold onto despite revolutions and wars and it’s a declaration by his grandfather to the Russian Imperial Court acknowledging his sons Piotr-Antoni’s and Wladyslaw’s line of succession and their claims to the ancestral home and whatever else the family had.


This is the translation of the document …


And here’s another document which George kept of the Tsar’s approval of his grandfather’s petition to have his sons’ nobility claim acknowledged …


with the translation …



There are so many holes in the story about Wladyslaw as we have no firsthand information about what happened to him from the time he left his family in Vladivostok to when he ended up in Poland.

Let’s see what we do know …

He joined the Marine Engineering College in 1896 and graduated 5 years later – in 1901.
He was a Junior Mechanical Engineer on the «Rurik» in February 1903.

In 1904 Russia was involved in the short but disastrous Russo-Japanese war but war was in the air  from the beginning of the decade. All seamen and engineers who graduated were sent to the Pacific Fleet so I’m wondering about Wladyslaw’s time with the Black Sea Fleet.




If he went to Sevastopol after graduating, it would seem obvious that he would have met Maria Makeeva, courted and eventually married her.  Lyova was born in 1905 and I think the family would have been living in the Crimea at the time.  I’ve come to that conclusion only because George was born in Odessa in October 1910 and then christened in Vladivostok in January 1911.

Now, according to my nephew ….

«In 1916 Wladyslaw was stationed with the Black Sea fleet and his family moved to Vladivostok. During 1917 he was transferred to the White Sea (Archangelsk) where he participated in the White movement and combat against the Bolsheviks. In 1919 he was evacuated by the British General Ironsides together with Allied Intervention Troops, and he subsequently made his way to Poland, his mother’s country of origin, by way of Paris. Upon arrival in Poland he joined the Polish Navy.»

So he didn’t have a clue what happened to his family after his 1917 posting and, from what my nephew found out, when Wladyslaw was in Poland and fighting the Bolsheviks there, he was also desperate to find his family.

He wanted to go back to Vladivostok to track Baba Manya and his children down so applied to the Soviets for a visa.  However the Soviets put a caveat on issuing this visa … «give us military information in your department and then we’ll give you a visa, not before!»

Foolishly, oh so foolishly, he agreed to the Soviets’ instructions and passed over some state secrets to the enemy  🙁

He was caught and sent to trial 😮

Apparently the prosecution and judge realised why he did what he did — trying to reunite with his family, or at least going back to Russia to find out where his family were — and so didn’t throw the book at him.

The judge had to sentence Wladyslaw but gave him a much lower prison sentence than if he had just been a dastardly, snivelling traitor selling secrets for cash!  What a fall from grace for my grandfather!

I wonder what his parents or brother – if they were still alive – thought about this!  And I’ll bet my last cent that this was the reason why my father decided to change his name to Parks!!

He must have been absolutely mortified when he heard about this through the grapevine in Shanghai and probably wished he could have dropped through the floor!  How awful  🙁

So, he was imprisoned and what happened to him is still a question mark.  I hired a Polish researcher to help me find out but he turned out to be a dud.

Never mind!  I shall continue to search!



A great site with lots of photos of the Varyag …

Photochronograph : Legendary cruiser “Varyag”





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