Image - Oleksander Lazarevsky

Lazarevsky [Лазареський; Lazarevs’kyj]. A Cossack family from the Chernihiv region that included a number of noteworthy figures in 19th-century Ukrainian culture. Matvii (1778–1857) left some interesting memoirs about the Chernihiv region in the first quarter of the 19th century. His oldest son, Vasyl (b 27 February 1817, d 18 April 1890), held government positions in Kharkiv, Orenburg (1847–8), and Saint Petersburg (from 1848). He translated William Shakespeare's plays and French literature into Russian, published a few sketches in Russian journals, and compiled a Ukrainian dictionary (unpublished). Mykhailo Lazarevsky (b 12 July 1818, d 3 May 1867) served as an official in Tobolsk (1841–6) and Orenburg (1846–50), where he became one of Taras Shevchenko's best friends. He helped the poet financially and, after getting a position in Saint Petersburg, worked for Shevchenko's release from exile. He took care of the ailing poet in Saint Petersburg, arranged his funeral and the transportation of his body back to Ukraine, and acted as the executor of his estate. In 1858 Shevchenko presented his diary and self-portrait to Mykhailo. Other members of the family include Fedir (b 20 April 1820, d 13 August 1890) and Oleksander Lazarevsky and his children, Borys, a Russian writer, Hlib, and Kateryna Lazarevska.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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