Known history of the village of William Paskall's birth


Given name at birth:        Wasyliy Hryhorovych Paskal






1. The Hurmuzachi family in the history of the village Chornivka.


The evidence of the first owners of Chornivka is found in the first mention of the village made on April 5, 1412. It says that Master Oleksandr Dobryi gives to Jurko Dragocescu, for his upright and loyal service, two villages, namely, Volodivtsi and Verknia Chornivka with their boundaries established for ages. Unfortunately, the evidence about further owners of the village during the Middle Ages is fractional. However, it is known for sure that from the end of the 15th through the 20th century the Chornivka estate belonged to the Boyar (Lord or Master) family of Hurmuzachi.


Hurmuzachi and Chornivka for a long time were in the center of the cultural and political life of Bukovina. A prominent member of the family was Doksaki Hurmuzachi. He was born in 1782 in Horodesti, Dorohoi region . He was a son of Medlinicher (Lord or Steward)Constantin Hurmuzachi and Ruksanda who lived in Moldova. In 1804, they move to Bukovina, to the Chornivka estate that was owned by the family from the 1680s to 1890s. In 1810, Doksaki marries Iuliana (Iulinka) Murgulet, the daughter of the big Romanian Boyar from Mihalcea.  The spouses had 12 children of which 7 children became grown-ups: Constantin , Udocsiu, Alexandru , Nicolae, Eufrozina, Eliza.


By 1825, Doksaki Hurmuzachi builds a new Boyar’s palace, planting around it a park of rare trees. He owns 1,500 hectares of plough-land and 1,500 hectares of woods. In 1820, Protopresbyter (Member of Presbyterian Church) of Chernivtsi, Ioachim Voitytskyi, inspects Chornivka and informs about the church and the Boyar’s house in the direction of Toporivtsi. Made of oak, the old church in Chornivka was old and small and had wooden walls whose pillars started to rot. The church roof, like the fence around the structure, was also old. The graveyard  was enclosed in wicker fence . The watchman who guarded the Boyar’s house in the night also cared about the church. Doksaki Hurmuzachi builds a new house-palace and a stone church in the center of the village.


In the inspection statement dated 1824, the village priest Nicola Magiar states that the old church is in the same pathetic state as before; however, the Boyar Doksaki Hurmuzachi has built in its stead a new church of stone, with a high dome over the front porch that housed the bells. The church was not yet completed: the plastering and the soffits were missing and so was the fence. The Boyar manor and the church were completed in 1825 and consecrated by the bishop of Bukovina, Balasescu. Found in the church territory are the memorial crosses with the following inscriptions:

  1. Resting under this stone is the slave of God, Roksana Hurmuzachi, Medilnicherness, who died in the house of his son, Chornivka, August 12, 1818.

  2. Resting under this stone is the slave of God, Iordache Murgulet , stolnyk (an ordinance - High Steward), who ended his life here, in the house of his son-in-law, Chornivka, October 25, 1818.

Close to the grave of Iordache Murgulet , there is a metal fence enclosing another two stone crosses and four graves:

  1. Resting here are the slaves of God, Doksaki Hurmuzachi, the great Courtier (Broker) of Moldova, with his wife Iuliana who died on January 17, 1858 aged 62. Doksaki who died on April 1857 aged 75.

  2. Resting here is baron Aramis Petrino, owner of Chornivka, born in 1816, who died on February 1, 1891, and Baroness Eufrozyna Petrino, nee Hurmuzachi, born in 1819, who died on February 14, 1891.

Eudocsiy Hurmuzachi died in 1874. He was the Marshal of the Bukovina Seym, amateur historian, founder of the large collection that included 600 historic documents. The collection was named after him. At his request, no gravestone was put on his grave, it was only marked by a simple oak cross that later disappeared. In 1934, the place where Eudocsiy Hurmuzachi was buried was fenced in and a large oak trinity cross was erected that serves as the symbol of the Hurmuzachi family until now.


On December 31, 1867, George Hurmuzachi sells Chornivka to Petro Petrino in exchange for the two houses in Vienna valued for an aggregate sum of 1,530,000 florins (Finnish money).  And on May 4, 1892, Alexandru, the son of the poet Dmytriy Petrino, sells Chornivka for 6,550 florins to Bernard Rosenschtock of Halychyna who rented Bukovyna estates. Rosenschtock shuts down the Orthodox St. Michael’s Church in the village, but looses all litigation in Chernivtsi and in Lviv in 1894. From 1899, the church in Chornivka becomes a communal property. The Hurmuzachi manor was ruined in August 1914 by the Russian troops, and in 1917 the Austrian troops used the solid parts of the ruined structure to fortify the roads. In 1914-1940, separate houses and property left at the disposal of the Hurmuzachi family were turned over to the university for students’ use.


Chornivka never was a large village. Since the old times, several hundred people inhabited it. In 1829, Chornivka housed 142 families of 1,879 people. Later in 1834, there lived 173 families of 906 people. In 1840, the number of families rose to 175 and the total of 886 people. In 1910, Chornivka had 2,507 inhabitants and 511 households. The Boyar lands, from the ancient times, covered more than 1,200 hectares of plough-lands and 1,800 hectares of woods.


For many years Chornivka was owned by the Hurmuzachi family who played an important part in the political and cultural life of Bukovina. The old master Doksaki Hurmuzachi lived here for half a century. His palace in Chornivka had been a guest house for many prominent people for quite some time. Starting their lives from Chornivka were also his children: Constantin, Eudocsiy, Gheroghe , Alexandru, Neculai, Eufrozina and Eliza.


The past of Chornivka is not that well-known as the past of other Bukovina villages. The reason for this is that the manor documents were lost during the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774. This fact is mentioned in the 1872 statement by the advisor to the Master of Moldova Stefan Luka who was the owner of Chornivka at the time. That is why the history of the village is not entirely clear at the moment.


From the discovered documents that became known we can state that in the  15th  century Chornivka was the property of the great Logophet (Baliff) Mateyash Havrilash. From the will written by him, we can find out that on March 1652  he distributes the village between his children, Ieremia, Iuliana and Alexandra. The latter got the upper Chornivka and a half of the lower Chornivka. She was married to the state treasurer Iordache  Cantacuzino and, therefore, the largest part of the village became the property of the Cantacuzino family. Doksaki decided to build a new Boyar Manor and a new church in the center of the village.


The inspection statement of 1824 signed by the village priest Nicolae Magioran states that the Chornivka church is in the same pathetic state as before, however, a new church, “made of stone and having a tall belfry” that housed four bells, was built by Doksaki Hurmuzachi of the good Boyar family. However, the new church has not been completed, as the plastering and the ceiling are missing and the churchyard has not been put in order yet. In the summer of 1825 neither the church nor the Boyar Manor were completed. All the works were completed in October 1825. To consecrate the building according to the customs, on September 1, 1825, Doksaki writes a letter to the bishop of Bukovina, Uspi Balosescu, telling him that the consecration of the Boyar house will take place on November 6, 1825 and the church in Chornivka will be consecrated two days later. Having learned that the bishop will be traveling around the Chernivtsi povit (district) making inspections, Doksaki begs him to come over for the consecration of the buildings on November 6. In return, bishop Balosescu promises to come over to Chornivka to consecrate the Boyar’s Manor and the church.


Naturally, Doksaki invited many famous people from Moldova and Bukovina for the consecration of his house and the church, and prepared many nice surprises for his peasants.


Doksaki Hurmuzachi buys another house in Chernivtsi from Giacomo Logoteti. The house was built by Leon Umbault, the headman of Chernivtsi. Doksaki bought the complex in 1812 for 4,000 florins.


Politicians and refugees from Moldova and Ardeal found refuge in the Doksaki’s Chornivka mansion and the Chernivtsi house over the course of 1821-1948. Aron Pumpul, Andrei Saguna, G. Baritiu, Vasile Alexandru, Mihai Kogalniceanu  and other prominent figures of the Romanian cultural and social life of the time came to stay at Chornivka.


The board and lodging of the great number of guests and political emigrants required major expenditures. Doksaki Hurmuzachi was borrowing more and more money. The old debts had also to be repaid. The debt of 2,813 florins 9 kr. made in 1815, was only repaid by Doksaki in 1828. Another sum of 1,400 florins was repaid in 1829. In 1824, an Ioan Mavromati (maybe one of the builders) sues Doksaki for 300 Turkish piastres payable to him under the contract dated December 7, 1823. The latter had to pay the sum within two weeks. Doksaki owed big money to various shops in Chernivtsi. Maintenance of the houses with numerous guests consumed a lot of money.


Thus, in 1833, Hans Josef Sknirk, a shop owner from Chernivtsi, files a claim to Doksakiy Hurmuzachi for a debt of 1,104 florins. In 1837, Doksaki borrows a sum of 67,436 florins from the same shop owner. The Chornivka Boyar undertakes to repay these two sums no later than April 1840. However, the debts were actually repaid in 1845.


The debt at the perfume shop owned by Rozina Sknirk ran at 1,666 florins. In 1837, he promises to pay back the sum within the next three years. Doksaki borrows 2,715 florins from the company run by Ludovik and Anton Mykulia. The money was only paid back in 1842. Here he also buys various items for a total amount of 2,418 florins and repays the money in 1842. Thus, D. Hurmuzachi’s finance was far from flourishing due to the great costs of the construction in Chornivka and support of his guests. These and other financial troubles made D. Hurmuzachi on August 2, 1845 borrow 30,000 florins at 5% interest payable every quarter from the economic house in Vienna.


Doksaki had no resources to pay back the borrowed sum. Weak with years and business, on June 1, 1850, he writes his will, leaving his estate to his children: Constantin , Eudocsia, Gheorghe, Alexandru , Neculai  and Eliza. Eufrozina, the daughter of Doksakiy and Olena, who was married to Baron Petru Petrino of Ruzhnitsa in Bassarabia, after she had received in 1846 her part of the estate in money, did not make any claim to father’s property. Chornivka and the house in Chernivtsi are transferred as an undivided estate into the collective ownership of the above mentioned brothers and sisters.


Children were obliged to pay to parents a dependency allowance of 5,000 florins, 1,250 florins a quarter. Upon the death of either parent, the sum was to be reduced by half. It should be said that the children undertook to pay back the debt of 30,000 florins earlier made by Doksaki in Vienna. Upon receipt of the sum of 5,702 florins, Constantin gives 500 ducats plus 6% to his father in 1849, when Doksaki received and catered for the refugees from Moldova. The children also repaid the other debts of 28,047 florins 53 kr. incurred by their father during the revolution of 1848-1850. In 1850, Doksaki and Olena Hurmuzachi move from Chornivka for Chernivtsi. The father dies in 1857 and the mother follows him in 1858. Doksaki was a clever and vigorous person. His wife was always by his side supporting all his undertakings. He knew that he only tireless work would enable him to unite all parts of the Chornivka estate and leave it to his heirs as a single unit, as befitted the real master and caring father.





The Masters advisor who came to possess the Chornivka estate through a court order in 1765, sells the village the same year. According to the then laws of the country, he announces his intentions to his close relations. Neither of family elected to buy the estate, therefore, he contacts his cousin, Constantin Hurmuzachi, the son of Hurmuzachi Kyrse and Olena, nee Luka. From St. Petersburg where he was at the time, C.  Hurmuzachi gives his consent to buy the village and pays to Stefan Luka 1,000 leys, being the value of the estate.


The state treasurer Stefan Hurmuzachi,  Constantin brother, delivered the money and the sale-purchase deal went through.


In 1765, Chornivka comes into the possession of the Medlinicher C. . Hurmuzachi. For this reason Constantin entrusts all the old documents related to Chornivka to Stefan Hurmuzachi. Shortly after the sale of the village, the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774 started. Afraid of the Russians, Stefan Hurmuzachi changes his place of residence several times and looses the documents about the past of Chornivka that were entrusted to him. When Constantin returns from Constantinople, he discovers that the documents are missing. Stefan Hurmuzachi, in his turn, on July 12, 1784, writes a declaration in which he states that the documents concerning Chornivka have been lost and confirms that said estate is a property of his brother, Constantin Hurmuzachi.


After the lawful owner of Chornivka has been established, another dispute erupts with brother Matey Hurmuzachi, the owner of the estate Vasuiv  in Bukovina. He was the owner of Chornivka after the brother Stefan. The matter is that brother  Constantin leaves Chornivka under the authority of brother Matei  only for the collection of income.


Upon occupation of Bukovina, Austria established a committee to confirm titles of the land and estate owners. Such committee arrived at Chornivka on June 8, 1782 and demanded that documents confirming the title be presented. Neither the owner nor Matei Hurmuzachi appeared before the committee on the appointed date. The mayor of the village Vasile, Vasile Ivanovich showed up instead, presenting the proxy issued by Matei Hurmuzachi dated April 25, 1782 and signed by the administrator  of the  Neamt district. Ivanovich does not present any documents but declares that Chornivka is the property of Matey Hurmuzachi who bought it from his grandfather Stefan  Duca.


The document which Ivanovich did present was dated March 15, 1765 and described the transfer of Chornivka from Stefan Sturza to Stefan Luka. The Austrian committee was surprised that no documents were presented that would confirm the Hurmuzachi ownership of Chornivka.


The other part of the lower Chornivka was inherited by Iuliana . It is not known how long Iuliana managed her part of the estate; it is possible that after some time it was also transferred over to the Contacuzino family.


From this time any documented evidence concerning Chornivka is not available. When the documents re-appear, the estate is already the property of the Luka family. Stefan Luka, the old owner, probably bought the village at the beginning of the 18th century. His son  Mihalache Luka pledged Chornivka in 1741 to the advisor of the Master, Sandu Sturza, for 500 leys, and the son of Sandu Sturza ,  Stefanitse owned Chornivka for 24 years. Mihalache , son of Stefan Luka, sought to return Chornivka in 1765 filing a suit against Stefanitse Sturza at the state court.


The Master of the country, Grigore Alexandru Cica, establishes a committee made up of four Boyars, including courtier Lupu Balc, who finally declare that over the course of 24 years the Sturza Boyars have recovered the pledged money. Given 50 leys as the annual income brought by the estate, the Sturza Boyars received the total of 1,200 leys over 24 years. The debt of 500 leys plus surcharges came to 1,000 leys. Therefore, on March 15, 1765, the Master of Moldova Grigore Alexandru Cica rules that the Chornivka estate passes to the ownership of Stefan Luka because his right to it has been proved.


The same document says that the income from the estate receivable until January 13, 1765 should be left to Stefanitse Sturza, and any income after that term, to Stefan Luka. In 1775, Stefanitse Sturza files a claim with the Master of the country against Stefan Luka, stating that the latter did not pay to him as written in the ruling of the Master. Master G.A. Cica assigns the Boyars, Lascarache Rozhovanu, the great sygar, and Enache Canta, the great Courtier, to review the claim. In December of the same year, after the investigation and the court hearing, the Master of Moldova decides to secure the ownership of Chornivka after Stefan Luka and not revert to the case any more. This Master’s decision, dated January 1776, put an end to the long dispute between the Boyars.





Doksaki Hurmuzachi had to endure many sufferings and shocks to finally become the owner of the whole Chornivka. Even his brothers, seeing what heavy court costs Doksaki and his mother Ruksanda have to bear, voluntarily turn over their parts of the estate to him. It was more difficult to deal with his sister, Nastasia, who still owned 1/3 of her part of the estate and 1/12 of Chornivka that she came to possess after her mother’s death. Nastasia was married in 181???? to the Boyar Vasil Vasilko of Lukovitse (Lukivtsi). She gives her 1/3 of the estate to her husband. On April 13, 1811, he transfers 1/3 of Chornivka under to the administration of Stefano Vasilko, explaining this by the fact that the latter has more knowledge and will better care for Chornivka almost worn out by the unauthorized and unlawful acts of Doroftey Hurmuzachi. It was pointed out that Vasile Vasilku lived far from Chornivka and could not manage it.


After her sister’s marriage, Doksaki got married as well. His wife was Ilinka, the daughter of the Stolnik Iordache  Murgulet , the owner of  Mihalcea estate.


On November 8, 1811, he writes a letter to Chornivka in which he gives a half of the village Mihalcea (namely ½ of the village Kamyana, constituting ¼ of the entire Mihalcea ) to his daughter Ilinka and his son-in-law Doksaki. After some time, Doksaki and Olena (sometimes we come across the name Olena instead of Ilinka – this is the same person) surrender their title to the Kamyana and  Mihalcea manors to the spouses Vasil and Nastasia Vasilko. These give instead their parts of Chornivka – 1/3 and 1/12. After the death of his mother, Ruksanda, Doksaki becomes the sole owner of Chornivka, if we disregard his wife Olena who was registered as the co-owner. However, on September 12, 1830, she also turns her ownership over to her husband, Doksaki.


The village Chornivka expresses its thanks to Doksaki Hurmuzachi. He presented a splendid church to the inhabitants, erected the Boyar’s Manor and planted a luxurious park around it. The village had a church (existing until now) and the Boyar’s house at the outskirts of the village in the direction of Toporivtsi. During the quarterly inspection conducted by Ioachim Voiutski, protopresbyter of Chernivtsi in November 1820, he stated that the old Chornivka church was made of wood (oak), “old and small” with wooden walls whose pillars started to rot. The roof was also old and the fence around the church was in bad condition. The graveyard had no enclosure and was surrounded by a willow wicker fence. The watchman who guarded the Boyar house at night, also took care of the church.


Ivanovich, being ill-informed about these matters. could not explain when and how the Hurmuzachi family became the owners of the village. Then the committee member Alexandru Ileski reports that Stefan Luka becomes the owner of Chornivka as a result of the litigation with the Sturza family that has not been resolved yet. One of the arguments presented to the master in favor of the Chornivka’s ownership by Constantin Hurmuzachi was that the latter was a good speaker, much better than Luka. And therefore put the hand on this village.” It is clear that there was a big dispute between the Boyars. Not Matei, but  Constantin Luka bought Chornivka of Stefan Luka in 1765. The error was in that the established committee included the reviewed oral evidence and declared Matei Hurmuzachi as the owner of Chornivka. Everything was corrected after the litigation: Medelnicher Constantin Hurmuzachi is the owner of Chornivka.






Upon arrival to Bukovina, Giacomo Logoteti, lives at the place of his compatriot, Leon Imbault in the village Shrivka situated between Sadagura (Sadgora) and Cherpalka. The origin of this man is not yet known, however, as the documents of the Logoteti family inform us, Leon Imbault was a Frenchman who was born in Acarnaria, Greece. In 1721-1726, he was brought up in the Capuchin monastery in the city of Pera. He then served in 1733 in the French Embassy to Constantinople, and later changed his job for a position of interpreter at the isle of Greta, and in 1735 served in the same position at Moreya.


In 1745, L. Imbault arrived to Moldova, and starting from 1768, he served as a diplomatic agent of the Master of Moldova. He later is awarded the title of Utraquist and the chief of Chernivtsi. Serving in this position, he exchanges his property with the St. Spiridon monastery in Iasi , surrendering 6 houses with shops and 500 leys and receiving the Shireuts estate that was presented by the great officer of the monastery, Ioan Cantacuzino.


L. Imbault also had a manor in Chernivtsi close to the church of St. Paraschiva , where he builds a large Boyar mansion that exists until now. The house would later become the property of Doksaki Hurmuzachi, the place of meeting and the guest house for the refugees and prominent people from Moldova and Ardeal during the commotion of 1821 and 1848. The name of Leon Imbault’s wife was Andrianna  or Anna Andriana, nee, probably, Vuzin. Their daughter Catarina (their sole child) was married on August 6, 1775 in Chernivtsi to count Giacomo Logoteti. L. Imbault dies in 1780 or 1781, and his daughter Catarina dies in 1785. She and G. Logoteti had six children: Leon, Josyf, Alios, Francisc, Maria and Suzana.


Andrina Imbault, Leon’s widow, does not have the strength to manage the property and gives it as a gift to her son-in-law, Giacomo Logoteti, in 1785. Since then, Giacomo becomes the owner of Shireuts and the uncompromising fight with the Medelnicher C.. Hurmuzachi begins.  G. Logoteti prohibits using the road that leads to Shireuts, and neither C. Hurmuzachi nor the inhabitants of Chornivka could get to Sadagura or the Chornivka woods.


To resolve this issue C. Hurmuzachi appeals to Chornivka and Chernivtsi. On August 18, 1788, he writes a claim to Chernivtsi stating that “count Logoteti blocks the road” and asks for an order … that would make him stop this indecent act, and the road be open like it was from ancient times.” Commissar baron Dik, appointed to review the case, investigates into the situation and orders that the road be unblocked. After two years, in 1790,C. . Hurmuzachi again appeals to the committee and His Majesty for the case to be reviewed by the court. At the same time, the inhabitants of the villages situated near Shireuts, on November 18, 1790, submit a claim to the Bukovina Administration explaining that “the road is remembered by our fathers and forefathers as the old road”, and count Logoteti, the owner of the lands, blocks it unjustly.”


The peasants ask the administration to order that free access be granted to the Chornivka road that leads to Sadagura. C. Hurmuzachi comes to Chornivka the same year looking forward to the end of the litigation. On seeing that the litigation takes a long time, he authorizes a Toporeutsi (Toporivka) Boyar, Manole Potlog, to defend his interests in the court, as he cannot attend the hearing for a valid reason. The court hearing was appointed for February 9, 1791. Mr Plessing, an officer of the Bukovina Administration, was appointed the commissar, and the other officer, Mr Ducilovic was appointed the secretary.


As soon as the hearing began, Logoteti challenged Manole Potlog as the deputy of C . Hurmuzachi asserting that Mr. Potlog was his personal enemy. Logoteti was very angry and spoke for a long time displaying to the committee his disrespect towards the Boyar, “this man, says Logoteti, is my enemy, he ate me and all my family and hurries to eat me again, he is a damned peasant”. In his defense Potlog says that Logoteti is not worth to reproach him. Logoteti then got even more nervous and assaulted the Toporeutsi Boyar with the language that was even more foul, “If I had a knife, I would carve up his gut.”


To add persuasiveness, Logoteti shouts, “I am a Count”.  To which Potlog replies, “Yes, you are a Count, but who knows what a hopeless huckster you are.” Logoteti then seizes a chair and throws it at the opponent. The latter catches the chair, approaches the mad “Italian”, and a fierce fight between them erupts in the course of which they overthrow the table at which the two assessors of the Imperial committee sat. The latter, being unable to continue the case, declare the hearing adjourned. On March 7, 1791, the court decision was announced, saying, “the road is free again, Count Logoteti does not have the right to block the road”. Probably these events prompted Doksaki Hurmuzachi to build a new road to Sadagura that exists until now.





Of the two older sons of Doksaki Hurmuzak, Constantin  left Bukovina and lived in Moldova, and Eudocsi was a scholar, so none of them could take care of Chornivka. The estate was left at the disposal of Gheorghe , who moved to Chornivka to administrate it. The care for the estate was one of the reasons for Gheorghe ’s hasty leaving the Chernivtsi editorial board of The Bukovina newspaper, which he entrusts to his brother Alexandru. Seeing that the Hurmuzachi brothers could not manage the property collectively, they decided to transfer all their respective parts over to Gheorghe . The deal was made on February 16, 1854. Constantin surrenders his part for 800 ducats, Alexandru – for 9,000 ducats or 54,000 florins payable over the course of 5 years; Neculai  also surrenders his part for the same amount, and so does Eliza married to Sturza . Eudocsi surrenders his part on December 23, 1855 for 7,000 ducats. This is how George became the owner of the entire Chornivka. To repay the debts made by him to acquire the father’s estate, he also borrows 60,000 florins from the religious fund at Chernivtsi.


For some time Gheorghe personally manages the Chornivka estate. In 1857, he rents it out to the Jews Lazar Finkelstein and Jacob Skapir for the period from 1857 through 1863 for an annual payment of 16,000 florins. A year later, J. Skapir withdraws from the deal and assigns his rights there under to Finkelstein.


The village was not in the ownership of Gheorghe Hurmuzachi for a long time. On December 31, 1867, he sells Chornivka with all the inventory to Petro Petrino. He, in turn, transfers to G. Hurmuzachi two houses in Vienna at  787 Wollsele with the value of 650,000 florins and at 15 Josefstadt with the value of 880,000 florins. The houses had large debts that were cancelled by George.


In addition to this, the latter receives the sum of 500,000 florins in the Austrian currency. P. Petrino’s family came from Greece. They arrived  to Bukovina during the Austrian occupation. This family owned the (lower) Urechesti , estate in Moldova, the former estate of Iancu Bads and the Vlodnyk estate on the Prut in Iasi district. They owned five estates in Bassarabia. On arrival to Bukovina, the brothers Christodol, Ioan and Apostol Ioan Petrino buy from the Boyar Teodor Mustache the Veskeuts (Vashkivtsi) estate on the Cheremosh and ¼ of the Voloka estate on the Cheremosh that before 1805 were owned by the great Logophet Nikolae Russet.



As a result of the deal of 1816, Christodol returns to Moldova and Apostol remains in Bukovina.


In 1830-1835, Petru Petrino, the son of Christodol, acquires from Neculai Kazimir the Rusnita estate in Bassarabia, Balti district, Petro Petrino was married to Eufrezima, the daughter of Doksaki Hurmuzachi; they were the parents of the poet Dimitriy Petrino. In 1867, Petrino sells  Rusnita estate to Ioan Bibera and settles in Chornivka. The new Master takes care of the village and the church built by Doksaki. In 1866, she refurbishes the church; all the internal artistic works were done with the help of the artists he brought from Vienna.


P. Petrino gives expensive gifts to the church. The refurbishment of the church took two years, and on January 30, 1870 it was consecrated again. Bishop Yevghen Gakman expresses to P. Petrino his thanks and appreciation of the works performed. Ten years later, in 1880, P. Petrino again gives to the church the expensive items for the total of 18,000 florins. In 1891, P. Petrino dies and the Chornivka estate passes to his son Alexander. On May 4, 1892, he sells the village for 655,000 florins to Bernard Rosenschtock, a former tenant from Galitia .


Thus, for many years Chornivka was owned by the Hurmuzachi family who played an important part in the political and cultural life of Bukovina.


Doksaki Hurmuzachi lived here for half a century, his castle in Chornivka for a long time was the hospitable place for many prominent people, namely, Aron Pumnul, Andriy Shaguna, G. Baritsiu, Vasile Alexandri, Mihail Kogalniceanu . He presented a splendid church to the inhabitants, built the mansion that later became the school in which children study until now, planted a luxurious park of rare trees and maintained close ties with the embassies of Austria and Moldova.


The weavers from Chornivka supplied their woolen carpets to the Empress of Austria, which means that the Hurmuzachi of Chornivka were known and respected at the emperor’s house back in 1833.


By 1825, Doksaki Hurmuzachi erects a new Boyar’s house. In 1821-1848-1849 Chornivka becomes the centers of politics and culture for the four provinces: Bukovina, Bassarabia, Transilvania and Moldova.


Ferenz Liszt gave a concert there on May 24-25, 1847. Working with the documents that relate to the history of the village Chornivka and its inhabitants. I came across the interesting materials that concern the life and work of the Ukrainian writers Dmytro Yakovych Makohon and his daughter Iryna Vilde. A report of the elementary school in Chornivka to the regional education authority of Bukovyna states,   “The three-grade school was attended by 344 children; practicing there were the instructors: Hregirchek Liudmila, Makohon Dmytro, Semeniuk Mykola…”


Written and submitted by Yulia DROZDOVYCH

Initial translation by Ihor KOHUT

Final translation by A&T Interpreters Translators Ltd.



Table of Contents

Chornivka Church built 1825

Picture taken June 2004


Additional Ancient History for the Village of Chornivka

Feudal Fortified estate in Chornivka

XII – XIII Centuries



of the book listed above written in the Ukrainian language

            The concentration of land property in the hands of private persons took place with the beginning of the epoch of developed feudalism. This process was accompanied by mass building of feudal estates, one of which is the Chornivka settlement.

            The archaeological investigation of the Chornivka agricultural-administrative centre has found out a number of ancient antiquities which may characterize the history of this cluster of settlements, which gives the possibility to show with more details and in some cases for the first time a number of questions, the solution of which was impossible because of lack of written sources.

            The planned investigations of the Chornivka settlement have given a considerable amount of material for the study of planning, building and material cultural of the Old-Russ settlement, its economic and cultural links. The Chornivka feudal estate was not very large. Its area is about 2000m2. As to its topographical peculiarities it belongs to the so-called V-type, which prevailed among the given category of settlements on the territory of the whole Kyiv Russ of the period. The feudal castle did not only provide the rule of its owner over the neighbourhood population, but it also played a great part in the defence of the principality of Halych from outside invasions. It mostly explains the fact that the construction of its lines of defence was calculated to withstand the pressure of the regular feudal armies. The Chornivka settlement was circled by a deep moat and defence log wall. There were towers above the entrance and in front of it in a square; the towers were discovered during the archaeological diggings. Additional fortifications were built on the most vulnerable sides. The defence constructions were built according to the demands of war architecture of that period.

            The Chornivka settlement has a definite planning. The dwelling places were built on the inside of the defence quadrangle along its perimeter; the soldiers lived there. The horses of the feudal; his officers and other structures in the centre of the court. All the court was divided into two parts: the apartments and the horse-hold part, where different kinds of store-houses, stables, barns were housed, and the square in the middle which was paved with stone. The further investigations of feudal fortified estates on the territory of North Bukovyna will surely give new material for the further study of their social functions and it will enrich our knowledge in the branch of the Old Russ fortification architecture.

            During the investigations various artefacts were found, they are an important source for the study of material and spiritual culture of the local population. The agricultural tools and great amount of burnt grains prove the great role of agriculture in the economy of the settlement. Artisan production, specially metallurgy and pottery were highly developed on the territory.

            The great amount artifacts of the settlement characterize different sides of the dwellers. Different silver and bronze ornaments which belonged to the layer of the people living there and it is a striking indication to the social inequality.

            One of most important features which differentiate the settlement as a feudal estate from the usual settlements were the findings of the military equipment of a heavily-armed horsemen and horses. Almost all the categories of armament of Old Russ warriors have been discovered on the territory of the settlement.

            The location of the feudal estate on the bank of the river and the discovery of important goods have proved the indirect economic links with Kyiv, Halych and other Old Russ cities and towns, as  well as with Bythantium and the North Black Sea Coast. The constant trading and economic links of the dwellers of the estate   favored the development of culture. The artefacts with inscriptions have witnessed that the population of the settlement was literate. The discovery of artefacts of the cult has to some extent proved the spiritual culture of the people.

            A specific feature of this particular settlement is a large settlement and six small separate farms located on the outskirts of the settlement and existing at the same time.

            The absolute majority of all the artefacts is either very close or completely identical to the artefacts found at the same time in different Old Russ settlements of the period.

            The identity of the material culture of the Chornivka settlement and the whole territory of Eastern Europe, where east-Slavonic tribes lived, permits to state with a great degree of assurance that it was founded by Slavonic people, which is a proof of the unity of material culture and spiritual life of the population of Russ; at the same time there were certain local ethnographical peculiarities.

            The definite all-Russ features of the material culture of the Chornivka settlement convincingly prove that the Old-Russ population of Bukovyna is an ingredient of the united eastern-Slavonic population; a silver forehead ornament which was found in an old tomb of XIII-XIV century (the ornament is a part of wedding dress which has been used for centuries and it has not changed its appearance since then, which proves the stability of ethnic structure of the North-Bukovynian population; it refutes the statement of some foreign scientists concerning the given theories).

            The archaeological findings discovered at the Chornivka feudal estate do not contradict the statements of written sources which describe the feudal court. They do not only refute the information of the last, but they also enrich the historical science with more complete data of the economy, material life of the given type of Old-Russ settlements. The feudal estate was in full economic and cultural prosperity when it was tragically wined at the beginning of the XIII century. The archaeological materials tell a vivid tale of its consequences. All the dwelling places perished in a great fire that inflamed the settlement in the very last hours of its existence. All the logs and the clay floors of the rooms were scorched by the fire; everything was covered with soot and ashes. All the citizens were killed; the proof of it is the remains of the defenders on the fortifications. The agricultural tools, instruments etc. were scattered all over the place, some of them were damaged by fire. If the people had been leaving the place under usual conditions, even if it had been a fire, they would have never left the things behind.

            The Mongol-Tatar invasion had a negative effect upon the economic development on North Bukovyna. Many Old-Russ settlements were levelled with the earth and they were seldom revived; only one out of 7 farms of the Chornivka settlement was populated again. The same was the fate of most settlements of the XII-XIII century. The Old-Russ trading roads along the Dniester and the Prut came to degrade. It was accompanied by the degradation of trade; it is vividly seen in the case of pottery. Clay plates and pots were carelessly made; sand and mortar were added to the clay. The life on the territory of the settlement has never been revived.

            Agriculture was the leading branch of Old-Russ economy. The mass ruin of agriculture settlements was a great loss for Old-Russ economical life.

            The Chornivka settlement did not exist for a long time. It has been proved by fact that there was only one layer of dwellings. Usually if a settlement existed for several centuries, a number of layers were discovered during excavations. Thus we have a very narrow chronological layer which characterises a definite period of life in this micro region of Halych-Volyn Russ. The Chornivka settlement was founded on a empty place. There had been no previously built dwelling places. The fact may confirm the conclusion that the land had been gifted to the feudal for his military service.

            The archaeological investigation of the settlement has introduced new various and in some cases unique material. The conclusions and generalizations, which were received on the grounds of concrete investigation, have been originally intervened into the twill of the achievements of archaeology and history of this country. Thus, all the archaeological material has given an ample proof that the Chornivka settlement was a typical castle-estate of Kyiv Russ.

Article by Ihor Voznyj


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