Symyrenko (Симиренко; Semyrenko, Simirenko). A family line of manufacturers, sugar refiners (see Sugar industry), pioneers of steamship navigation (see River transportation) on the Dnipro River, pomologists (see Orcharding and fruit farming), and patrons of Ukrainian culture. The first reliable information about the Symyrenko line concerns Stepan Symyrenko, who lived in the later 18th century. He was a Zaporozhian Cossack who had been enserfed, reputedly for refusing to pledge allegiance to Catherine II. As a result, he left his village in the Cherkasy region and became a chumak. His son, Fedir Symyrenko, purchased his own freedom with earnings from leasing flour mills along the Vilshanka River, and in the 1840s became one of the first Ukrainian sugar manufacturers. Fedir’s sons, Platon Symyrenko and Vasyl Symyrenko, were noted technologists and manufacturers and also patrons of Ukrainian culture; Platon assisted Taras Shevchenko in publishing Kobzar (1840). Platon’s son, Lev Symyrenko, and Lev’s son, Volodymyr Symyrenko, were noted pomologists and founders of fruit-breeding as a distinct branch of science and economy in the Russian Empire and later in the USSR. Volodymyr’s son, Alex Simirenko, was a sociologist in the United States of America. The journal Rodovid published a special issue (no 10, 1994) dedicated to the Symyrenko family and its individual members.

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

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