Tomara. A family line of Cossack officers that originated in Greece in the 17th century. Ivan (Jan) Tomara was a wealthy merchant in Pereiaslav who served as a military inductor in the 1660s. During the tenure of Hetman Petro Doroshenko he moved to Kaniv. His sons served in the court of Hetman Ivan Samoilovych: Stepan Tomara (d 1715) was a captain of Domontov company (1689) and colonel of Pereiaslav regiment (1706–15), who initially supported Ivan Mazepa but later went over to Ivan Skoropadsky; and Vasyl Tomara (d 1726) was a captain of Vybli company (1704–15) and the judge of Chernihiv regiment (1715–26). Stepan's son, Vasyl Tomara, studied in Germany and served as colonel of Pereiaslav regiment (1735–9). Stepan's grandson, Vasyl Tomara (b 1746, d 1819), was a student of Hryhorii Skovoroda in 1753–9 (some items of their correspondence from 1772 and 1788 have been preserved); he later served as a Russian diplomat (imperial representative to Constantinople in 1802–9) and as a senator. He was also a friend of Vasyl Kapnist and a notable Mason. In the 18th and 19th centuries the Tomara family controlled massive estates in Poltava gubernia and Katerynoslav gubernia and held high administrative positions in Ukraine and Russia. Lev Tomara (b 1839) was governor of Kyiv gubernia and later a senator.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]