Image - Ilia Repin: Portrait of Sofia Tarnovska (1880). Image - Vasyl Tarnovsky

Tarnovsky [Тарновський; Tarnovs’kyj] (Tarnavsky). A family line of Cossack officers from Right-Bank Ukraine, dating from the late 17th century, when their surname was Liashko. Ivan Liashko was a military fellow of Pryluky regiment (1661), and his son, Fedir Liashko-Tarnovsky, was captain of Varva regiment (1689–93). Fedir and his older brother, Vasyl, were the originators of two lines of the Tarnovsky family, the senior, Chernihiv line and the junior, Poltava line. A number of captains of Varva regiment during the period 1689–1769 were from the junior line, including Ivan Tarnovsky (1760–9), who was also colonel of Hadiach regiment (1772–9). Members of the senior line were more prominent in Ukrainian history. Vasyl's son, Stepan Tarnovsky (stepson of D. Nesterenko, d ca 1730), was captain of Baturyn (and its defender during the sacking of 1708), a fellow of the standard, and codirector (with S. Chuikevych) of the General Military Chancellery in 1728. Stepan's son, Yakiv Tarnovsky, was a general standard-bearer (1761–79). Yakiv's sons were Vasyl Tarnovsky, a graduate of Königsberg University and the marshal of Chernihiv gubernia (1790–4), and Stepan Tarnovsky, the marshal of Kyiv gubernia (1791–2). Vasyl's son, Volodymyr Tarnovsky, was a member of the Poltava general court (1818–26) and the Love of Truth Masonic lodge. Stepan's son, Hryhorii Tarnovsky (b 1788, d 1853), an art scholar and patron, owned the Kachanivka estate in Borzna county and was a friend of Taras Shevchenko. Vasyl's grandson, Vasyl Tarnovsky (b 1810, d 1866), was a leader of the peasant reform movement and also a friend of Shevchenko. The great-grandson, Vasyl V. Tarnovsky (b 1837, d 1899), founded a museum dedicated to Cossack history in Chernihiv (opened in 1901). Their relative, Mykola Tarnovsky (b 1858, d 1898), a magnate in Kaniv county, was an amateur archeologist and collector of Kyiv antiquities. He published a catalogue of his collection of Ukrainian artifacts (1898, with an introduction by Volodymyr Antonovych). Serhii Tarnovsky (b 1883, d ?), a pianist and a professor at the Kyiv Conservatory in the 1920s, was also a member of the family. It is unknown whether the colonel Ivan Tarnovsky, who commanded Cossack garrisons in Volhynia in 1657–8, belonged to the line.

Oleksander Ohloblyn

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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