Translation Osadnictwo w regionie biłgorajskim
HISTORY OF BIŁGORAJ PROVINCE FROM THE 14TH TO 17TH CENTURY
South-western part of present day Lubelskie region was the last inhabited territory of Lesser Poland. The lands were incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland in mid-14th century as part of Przemyśl Land. The area where Biłgoraj was later settled, however, had already been part of Lublin Voivodship, Urzędów county. One of the earliest villages in the area are Łukowa and Obsza, founded by Jasiek Kustra in the second half of the 14th century. Manorial economy developed in Lubelskie region in the 16th century and the villages that were founded at that time were Rzeczyce, Kąty, Sokołówka, Gromada, Dąbrowica, and Olendrów.
The oldest town in the area is Goraj and surrounding villages are Łada, Radzięcin, Chrzanów i Branwica. The Gorajscy, quite influential Ruthenian family, owned a huge part of lands that also included Kraśnik and in later period – Szczebrzeszyn. Goraj, which used to be a village with a castle called Łada, was bequeathed to Dymitr and Iwan of Klecia by Loui I of Hungary in 1377. That might have been the beginning of Goraj as town. Another hypothesis states it was an acknowledgment of earlier conferment by Casimir III the Great.
Other town privileges in the area were granted in later period. Tarnogród, originally being part of Krzeszów starostwo (starostwo is an administrative unit) was established by Sigismund II Augustus in 1567. Zamość was granted town privileges in 1580. In 1588, Grand Crown Chancellor Jan Zamoyski became the starost of Krzeszów starostwo and Zamch starostwo, and Krzeszów received its rights in 1641. A few years before, in 1589, the Zamoyski Family Fee Tail (Polish: Ordynacja Zamojska) was established and Goraj, Turobin and the lands in the area were incorporated. Zamoyski purchased a number of villages, among which were Chmielek, Rakówka and Zawadka. Józefów, located where village of Majdan Nepryski used to be, had its town charter signed in 1725 by the town’s owner Tomasz Józef Zamoyski.
Biłgoraj and Frampol constituted a significant part of the Zamoyski’s wealth. Thanks to Adam Gorajski’s efforts, Biłgoraj received town privileges in 1578 and was granted Magdeburg law by King Stephen Báthory. Frampol received its privileges in the 18th century, however they were never approved by the King. The two towns, unlike surrounding towns and villages, were never part of the Zamoyski Family Fee Tail, which was a steadily developing aristocratic latifundium. Its main source of income was trading and exporting crops. They also created favourable conditions for the development of industry. In the 19th century, Hamernia near Józefów had a working steel mill and a paper-mill. Jewish printing-house from Józefów was famous all around the Kingdom of Poland.