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Shugaevsky Family

Part 2 (Grandfather's Grandfather)

Stefan Vasilyevich, 1810 -1904, another priest

Vasily had at least two sons, Stefan and Trofim.  Like his father. Stefan became a priest and then he became an archpriest. Stefan lived to the ripe old age of 93. 

Below is a short biography of Stefan that I found on a Russian language web site. It was written in 1904, the year of his death, so it may have been his obituary. After the Google translation I show the original material (hopefully someone will make a better translation). My mother originally thought her great grandfather’s name was Stepan but in these sources it is definitely Stefan (Стефан). More on this inconsistency later on. This material contains the earliest mention of Chernihiv (Chernigov in Russian) in regards to this family history. 

Stefan Vasilyevich Shugaevsky was born in 1810, December 27, in the village of Krasnovichi, Surazhsky district, Chernigov province. His father was a priest in the village named. At the end of the course of the Chernigov Theological Seminary, with a student degree, in 1831, S.V. Shugaevsky was defined as a teacher in the two-year Chernigov spiritual parish school on September 1 of that year. From 1834 to 1839 he was an inspector of county and parish schools. In 1836, Stefan Vasilyevich was ordained by the Archbishop Vladimir in the rank of priest to the Chernihiv Cathedral, where he served until 1839. On September 1 of this year, according to the petition, he was transferred to the St. Paraskevievskaya Church of the city of Chernigov, where he was a rector till 1898. Thus, God judged 55 years to be the head of the ancient church in Chernigov, which according to historians, was once the church of the female Pyatnitsky monastery, founded, in all faiths, by the princess Predislavoyu, which in time of monasticism was adopted, the sister of that Prince of Chernigov, David Svyatoslavich, who was the builder of the Chernigov Borisoglebsky Cathedral. He died on February 19, 1904. 
      Chernigov Diocesan News, No. 5, 1904.

      Стефан Васильевич Шугаевский родился в 1810 году, декабря 27 дня, в селе Красновичах, Суражскго уезда, Черниговской губернии. Отец его был священником названного села. По окончании курса Черниговской духовной семинарии, со степенью студента, в 1831 году, С.В. Шугаевский был определен учителем в двухклассное Черниговское духовное приходское училище 1-го сентября того-же года. С 1834 года до 1839 года он состоял инспектором уездных и приходских училищ. В 1836 году Стефан Васильевич был рукоположен Архиепископом Владимиром в сан священника к Черниговскому Кафедральному Собору, где служил до 1839 года. 1-го сентября этого года, согласно прошению, переведен к Свято-Параскевиевской церкви города Чернигова, настоятелем которой состоял по 1898 год. Таким образом, Бог судил 55 лет быть настоятелем древней церкви в Чернигове, каковая, по словам историков, была некогда церковью женского Пятницкого монастыря, основанного, по всем вероятиям, княжною Предиславою, принявшею со временем иночество, сестрою того князя Черниговского Давида Святославича, который был строителем Черниговского Борисоглебского кафедрального собора. Умер 19-го февраля 1904 года. 
      Черниговские епархиальные известия, № 5, 1904 год.

Stefan’s Education

Stefan graduated from the Chernigov Theological Seminary in 1831. He was about 21 years of age. Unfortunately, the earliest graduation list I found for Chernigov Theological Seminary is from 1867. The “student degree” mentioned may refer to a teaching degree – his first position was a teacher in a parish school in Chernihiv. The seminary was a secondary school, but with two more years added which focussed on theology. There is no evidence that Stefan attended a theological academy after graduation – maybe he was able to be ordained without additional schooling. There will be more information on the Chernigov Theological Seminary in an upcoming section of this family history.

From the Encyclopedia of Ukraine (an English language web site),  click here for source.


Chernihiv College.  One of the oldest secondary schools in Ukraine, the Chernihiv College was established in 1700. It had a six-year program and provided a general education (no theology or philology classes). The students were mostly the sons of priests (in 1743–4, 78 out of 253 students) and Cossacks.

In 1776 the college was reorganized into a theological seminary, which functioned until 1917.

Chernihiv College.jpg

Chernihiv College

Stefan or Stepan

In the Genealogy Book of Chernigov Landed Gentry from 1901, Stepan is used instead of Stefan. Stepan is a more common name in Russia. His wife’s name is Efrosenia Alexeyevna. According to Valentin’s notes, they received property from Efrosenia's father – a house across from the main synagogue in Chernigov and also (we think) a small country estate. We have no other mention of this property.

In the listing below is the word "protoierey". It translates as "archpriest" which is  (I believe) the highest position a married priest could attain in the Russian Orthodox Church. I believe that the position of archpriest was associated with being the rector of a church.

The last two lines translate as  “decree rights. sen March 23, 1883” (from Google Translate). At first I thought this was a date of death, but now I think it may refer to when he attained the status of nobility (see below).

Geneology p394 detail 3.jpg

Below is a very rough translation of the text to the entry on Stepan Vasilyevich. The document uses letters that are no longer in the Russian alphabet and abbreviations that I haven't deciphered. 

Stepan Vasilievich,
born 1810, Protoierey;
wife Efrosenia Alekseevna
decree rights (?) March 23, 1883

Geneology cover.jpg

Geneology Book of Chernigov Landed Gentry from 1901. It uses letters that were eliminated in 1918

Geneology p394 detail 2.jpg

Some More About Stepan from Valentin's Notes

(from what my Rena could decipher)

According to Valentin, Stefan was awarded the order of St Vladimir, first and second class. This may be what gave him the status as “hereditary nobility” and why he is the first generation listed in the Genealogy Book of Chernigov Landed Gentry..

According to the Russian Law about the Nobility, people who were awarded with the St. Vladimir Order (each class) had had the rights of hereditary nobility until the Emperor's Decree of 1900 was issued. After this only three first classes of the Order gave such a right.

For more information go to: Wikipedia: Order of St Vadimir

Stefan's wife, Efrosenia, was a the daughter of Alexei, a bureaucrat, or “chinovnik”. This refers to the chin (or ranking) system explained below. Valentin didn’t know anything more about Alexei. When my grandfather Valentin graduated from St. Petersburg Polytechnic, he entered government service at a lower rank. I don't know if his position at the Ministry of Finance was a civil or a court position or if he would have been called a chinovnik.

From Wikipedia: Tsarist bureaucracy

Russian-speakers referred to bureaucrats as chinovniki (Russian: чиновники) because of the rank or chin (Russian: чин) which they held. Contrary to popular imagination, the Russian Empire was an under-governed country compared to the rest of Europe.

In 1722, Peter the Great set up a system of fourteen ranks. In theory, everyone in government service started at the bottom and worked their way up through merit. Even an educated serf could enter government service and work his way up. At at certain rank a person achieved hereditary nobility. The old nobility managed to chip away at this system but it still had the effect of creating an educated bureaucracy.    

Stefan's Church in Chernihiv (Chernigov)

.. he was transferred to the St. Paraskevievskaya Church of the city of Chernigov.

Using Google Translate and Google Maps to find the exact church I’m looking was difficult, even with my mom helping. Part of the problem that the Orthodox Church built lots of churches (and there are many different ways the names get translated). Then the Bolsheviks destroyed many of them. We are now confident that we’ve identified the church where Stefan was a priest for many years.

Pyatnytska Church (Chernihiv)

Architectural style:   Ukrainian Baroque

Completed:     the end of the 12th century – beginning of the 13th century

Pyatnytska (St. Paraskeva) church 

(Ukrainian: П'ятницька (святої Параскеви) церква)

The information in the following box was added after the page had already been published. It is from an email I received from a historian in Chernihiv.

Stefan Vasilyevich Shugaevsky was a priest (archpriest) of the Pyatnitsky church in Chernihiv (50-70 of the 19th century),  and a member of the Chernigov spiritual consistory (governing body of the Chernigov diocese).

In 1887, Stefan wrote a manuscript about the “artistic and historical values” in the church. I found it for sale at a Russian bookseller. The Google translation of the website is a bit rough.


Pyatnytska Church, beginning of 19th century


Pyatnytska Church, 2016, partially restored after destruction during WWII.

stefan's book.jpg

Stefans wife, Efrosenia, died some time in her fifties – well before 1900. Some years before his death, when Stefan was "old and frail", he retired with a pension. According to the obituary the year was 1898 so he would have been around 88 years old!  His daughter, Olga, was not married and took care of her father till his death in 1904 at the age of ninety-three. Stefan died on November 31st and was buried December 4. The cause was “heart failure”.

Olga would have been around sixty years old when her father died. She became reclusive and didn’t leave the house. Valentin’s mother, Anastasia, brought her meals every day and it was on one of these visits when they found that Olga passed away. No date is mentioned.

There is also no mention of what became of the property. One Shugaevsky family portrait (Andrei’s family, taken in 1906 ) was taken in their apartment owned by Dr. Sikorsky. Perhaps Anastasia and Andrei were able to move there.

Stefan 1904 p1.jpeg
SS 1904 p2 b.jpg

Stefan's death certificate which (I believe) is at least partly written in church slavonic. 

Stefan's Children

Below is a very rough translation from the Geneology Book of Chernigov Landed Gentry from 1901. It uses letters that were eliminated in 1917-8  and abbreviations that I haven't translated yet. As usual, females are cited after the males. All we know about Olga was already mentioned – she was unmarried and took care of her father till his death in 1904. All we know of Sofia is below – she married a man named Goydenko. I write about Pavel and André on a separate web page.

André, born. 1846, jury candidate, attorney.
wife Anastasiya Andreyevna Koshman

Pavel, born 1849, clerk of states. nobles land bank

Sofia, born 1840, married a man named Goydenko

Olga, born 1844, maybe died in 1908 (see below)

Geneology p394 detail 2.jpg

Geneology Book of Chernigov Landed Gentry from 1901.


The following information was sent to me by Maxim, a historian in Chernihiv. He sent me some images of the city directory with an explanation.

The Shugaevsky house (priest Stefan Shugaevsky) in 1901-1921 was located on Vozvizhenskaya street. Now this place is at the intersection of the streets - Rodimtseva and Mstislavskaya.

Later on, Maxim sent me a newspaper article from 1908 announcing that  Andrei moved to his own house on corner of Mstislavskaya and Vozdvizhenskaya streets. My guess is that Andrei's sister, Olga passed away in 1908 and Andrei moved into the family house. Maybe this is the house in which he lived as a child.

Shugaevsky House location - Google Maps.

A map of Chernihiv Ukraine from 2020. The location where Stefan's house stood is marked by a flag. Nearby is the Pianytska Church where he was a priest.

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