The following article is a direct translation from the classic genealogical and heraldic reference 'Herbarz Polski" by Kasper Niesiecki S.J. Lipsk edition 1839-46 Translated by William F Hoffman.
There are two white arrows, broken, on a blue field, arranged so that one of the arrowheads points up and the other down; on the helm is a peacock with its tail spread; its beak points to the shield's right, and in the beak it holds an arrow, likewise broken and twisted upward.
Bielski. fol. 228. Paprocki w Gniazdzie fol. 305. o herbach fol. 182. Okolski tom. 1. Ks. Petrasancta has no such arms, but he does say of France that this coat of arms is common there: a gold eagle on a shield on which there are, as in our Bogorya arms, two broken arrows with silver arrow-heads. Petrasancta cap. 63. fol 528.
All of our writers agree that these arms were born here in Poland on a particular occasion. Boleslaw the Brave, armed with only 3,000 of his cavalry, attacked a much larger band of Polovtsy near Snowskie and struck down the leader of the foe: in this fray one colonel from among the others, named Bogorya, mowed down Polovtsy with great courage of heart, and, heartening his forces to victory in his battalion, bore several wounds and arrows in his body. Boleslaw, returning from the site, saw Bogorya, and extracted those arrows from his chest with his own royal hands; and Boleslaw conferred them, broken as they were, on him and his descendants as an eternal honor. This first owner of the arms was supposedly Michal Bogorya, whose name I read in a decree granting privileges to Holy Cross monastery near Sendomierz in 1069, and a little before that in the papers of Trzemeszno monastery, when he was given the title of count, from which Paprocki concludes that this house must have had its earliest origins from that point.
In praising the Bogorya family Długosz says that they were always Humani, et tractabiles (humane and reasonable), and that was evident in the first ancestors of this house and the way they endeared themselves to their lords' hearts. Mikolaj Bogorya, voivode of Sendornierz under and highly esteemed by the Polish king Kazimierz the Just, was held in no less regard by the king's sons: sharing with God his substance, he bequeathed the Miechow convent the villages Jaxyce and Rzeplice; it is unknown by what law the villages later ceased to be part of this foundation. Nakielski, Miechow. fol. 69 et 101.
Regarding this Mikolaj there is more in Miechowita swiadczy lib. 3. cap. 6. Paprocki o herb. fol. 182. Starowolski in Vitis Episc. Cracov. I add this from the accounts of years: that he added to Koprzywnica monastery several of his villages as an eternal bequest, and by this his example he encouraged others of his house to similar generosity; and that in 1185 they made God and the Koprzywnica church heirs of their fortune. Mikolaj was Zawichowski (Zawichost?) castellan in 1311. On this see Kromer lib. 14.
Jaroslaw Bogorya was 28th archbishop of Gniezno. In his youth his parents sent him to study in Bologna, and in several years he advanced in knowledge so much that the whole academy chose him to be rector. He administered the academy with great credit, and with no less generosity of heart; for when the Bologna magistrate sentenced to the sword a certain English student convicted of some illegal excess, Bogorya defended the integrity of the academy's right by moving it to another place, returning it to Bologna only after he had received satisfaction on the score of the student's killing, on which see Damalewicz in Vitis Archiep. Gnesn. But Paprocki o herb. fol. 182 has more to say on this subject. Jaroslow ordered the English student executed for adultery he'd committed with the husband's consent; but he regretted it so much that he established a chapel for the dead man's soul at the behest of Pope John XXII. No more can one prove Damalewicz's surmise in that same work that his Bogorya, on a pilgrimage from Bologna to Avignon, was named archbishop of Gniezno there by Pope Clement Vl: for Długosz clearly says that in 1343 the Gniezno chapter, at the instance of King Kazimierz, chose him for that office unanimously on 14 February 1342 - at the time he was only Archdeacon of Krakow and Gniezno canon.This much is certain, that Jaroslow carried out his pastoral functions with extraordinary prudence, for he visited not only his own diocese but also those of other bishops of his metropolis. With King Kazimierz he settled successfully in 1361 the controversies that had been growing greater and greater for several years between Bodzenta, bishop of Krakow, and the landowners of Krakow and Sendomierz provinces concerning tithes, ecclesiastical jurisdiction, exemption of clerics from lay courts, and the funding of new rectories. Lublin and Sieciechow, districts has been desolated by the pagans' continual raids, and so he exempted them from paying tithes for thirty years. Damalewicz, Kromer. Through King Kazimierz he frustrated the designs of the Roman Emperor Charles IV to separate the Wroclaw bishops from the Gniezno metropolis, but later united his granddaughter in matrimony with this Charles in Krakow, and Kazimierz showed his gratitude for this by leaving several bequests to his cathedral in his will. But after Kazimierz's death, when the coronation approached of the successor to the Polish throne, Louis, the King of Hungary, Jaroslow, by agreement with the viovodes of Great Poland, wanted to crown him nowhere else than in Gniezno: but he finally acceded to the royal will and celebrated the ceremony in Krakow, inasmuch as Louis wished to follow the example of Wladyslaw Lokietek and Kazimierz, who had been inaugurated there. He cut off the Mazovian prince Ziemowit from the community of the faithful with ecclesiastical punishments because the latter had looked the other way - and may even have ordered it - as Piotrasz with his people plundered church properties: Ziemowit repaid the harm he'd done by leaving two villages to Gniezno cathedral in perpetuity. For damage done the church Jaroslaw took from Tomislaw z Przespolewa the village Kowalewo and attached it to the church. In addition he endowed Znin and the hamlet of Kamien, and he managed the kowicz demesne, which at that time he had been so devastated that it produced barely a grzywna of income for the treasury, so that by that time it brought in 800 grzywna annually. In addition, having preceded King Kazimierz the hamlet of Przedecz and Zarow with its lake, he took for them Spicimierz castle and village, Wolszczyce, and Kotamino; and again for Chroszlin he took Krolewce and Tarnkow, he took from the king Cienia and Michalow in Kalisz province. Thus administering his church's income, he worked for the greater glory of God: for this purpose he tore down ancient, mouldering wooden houses of God and erected ones of his own funding in Gniezno, Kurzelow, Opatow, and Skotniki, his ancestral estates. In Uniejow he invested and endowed canons at the church of the Virgin Mary; he also endowed the parsonage at the church of St. Mikolaj, and in 1370 ceded it to the Benedictine Fathers, adding the village Biedrzykow. Having restored the ruined collegiate-church in Kalisz, he added to it the villages of Tyniec and Dobczyce. He provided for tithes for other churches, e. g., in Budyowsice, in Pabianice, St. Stanislaw in Krakow, at the St. George castle, and did the same for the Krzepice church and thus for the town of Krzepice, which no longer belonged to his archdiocese, but Bodzenta, the Krakow bishop, looked the other way. Here I will not mention how many parishes he provided with ecclesiastical equipment. In Gniezno, Kalisz, Wielun, and Łęczyca he established episcopal courts. He introduced regular canons for the Kalisz parish of St. Mikolaj in 1358 at King Kazimierz's request. He consecrated four Płock bishops - Janislaw Wronski, and the Gulczewskis, Mikolaj, Stanishlaw and Dobieslaw - as well as Poznan bishop Jan, and Krystyn, the first archbishop of Halicz, although Miechowita incorrectly credits Jakob Swinka with this. Proceeding to the last years of pastoral labors of his 100 years, when he began to weaken visibly, he intended to resign his archepiscopate to his subordinate, Mikolaj z Koszutowa, Gniezno pastor, and he would have done so; but when Mikolaj, without consent of the chapter and even of the king, sought the appointment in Avignon from Pope Gregory, Jan Paszkowicz, the Gniezno chanter (kantor), was sent to the Pope by the chapter expressly to frustrate his designs, and did so. But shortly thereafter Bogorya resigned his cathedral to Jan z Strzeice, named Suchywilk, his nephew, with the permission of all concerned, and kept only two demesnes for himself. Wanting then to live more peacefully in God, he lived for two years in Lad monastery, then moved to Kalisz, where he died in 1376, after 34 years as an archbishop. He ordered that after his death he should be buried in Gniezno in a chapel he had erected: but he should be brought not through the doors but through a hole made in the wall; he wanted his body carried to his grave that way because, as he said about himself, he did not enter the office of archbishop by the route prescribed by church canons; which voluntary confession about himself Spondanus particularly praises. A headstone was erected for him in 1562 by Jan Kokalewski, Gniezno chancellor, with the memorial commendation of his virtues: you will find it in Paprocki. I came to see it in MS. Coll. Caliss. S.J. extrakt ex libro Benefic. with the seal of the Gniezno chapter, in which I read that this Jaroslow endowed the Kazimierz church in the archdiocese with new income in 1375, at the behest of Piotr, Lubusz bishop. The following wrote about him: Spondan. Ann. Eccles. anno 1376 num. 8. Bzovius anno 1374 num. 15. Długosz 1372. Paprocki o herb. fol. 182. Damale. in Archiep. Gnes. Nakiel. fol. 302. Szczygiel. in Tinec. fol. 118. Cichoc. Alloc. Osec. lib. 8 cap. 13.
But not all use the Bogorya arms in the form described earlier. In the first place, the house of Porebny places a cross formed as a written letter X between the two broken arrows. The Gorski and Tur families bear both arrows joined as if one; on the helm there are three ostrich feathers, two on the sides red, the third white. Others in Lithuania add a cross across the middle of the two arrows joined as one, as I saw in Krzysztof Bialozor's panegyric Upomniki.
Copyright © 1987 William F. Hoffman. Used by permission. This article originally appeared in Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter (Vol. X, No. 2, Fall 1987), the newsletter of the Polish Genealogical Society of America.