URMAN ... The Forest Village
near Berezhany in Western Ukraine

Wooden Church in Urman
Above: Wooden Church of St Peter and Paul in Urman, dates from 1688, according to the inscription, curved out at the doors. It was moved to Urman from Ivano-Frankivsk region (24 pairs of oxes dragged it all the way from Rohatyn according to the legend in 1777).

Urman' (means "forest" in Tatar language) is situated in Berezhany district of Ternopil regio in western part of Ukraine. Name is pronounced as oorman' in Ukrainian. It is famous and known first of all because of its nice lake, where many people like to go fishing. I was in Urman when I was a boy and have nice recollections of beautiful autumn scenery, lake stretched along the alley road, and nice house on the hill nearby surrounded by forests. Hills covered with forests (pine, hornbeam, oaks, alder, beech grow here) around Urman are quite high and reach 400 meters...Urman is located on P116 road which connects Berezhany and Zolochiv via Pomoryany. Neibouring villages are Plikhiv, Rozhadiv, Nadrichne, Zhukiv, Lapshyn (Lapszyn), Pidlisne, Hynovychi, Bishche, Poruchyn, Potoczany, Dryshchiv and Pomoryany...

Story of village of Urman'

By Andriy Kohut from Urman (written in "Berezhanska Zemla v spohadakh emihrantiv")
Translated by Roman Zakharii from Berezhany, town 15 km from Urman

History of Urman is history of Ukraineīs Galician province in miniature. Urman is a village in Berezhany povit (district), 15 km to the north from center (that is from Berezhany). The main part of the village stretches along the river Zolochiv - Berezhany, with silent river Zolota Lypa nearby, which forms wide pond. We find two Urmans on geographical maps. One is Velykyy Urman (Great Urman - the main part of the village) and other one is Malyy Urmanī - minor village suburbs, which are situated along the field road, at 2 kilometers to the south from Velykyy Urmanī. This suburbian part of Urmanī was also called "Na mlynakh" (at the mills), because there was a mill, behind the pool.


Urman is not a large village. In 1943, during German rule, it numbered 1900 persons. Church in Urman was affiliated with the church in Dryshchiv (Dryszczow in Polish), which is situated at 3 km from Urmanī Velykyy. But parish priest lived in Urmanī. Urman is ancient settlement. Its beginnings reach remote past. We have a documentary mention preserved, that Urmanī existed already in 1448. Certainly the beginnings of Urmanī reach much earlier times, maybe even to the duke era of our history.

Tatar (!) name Urman (meaning "forest" in Tatar language)

Name itself sounds so as if it came from remote past and in Tatar language Urman simply means forest. And in fact village is surrounded and located in forest area. So my presumption (Roman Zakharii) is that the nameUrman was given by Tatars, who inavded Berezhany land starting from the 13th century. So definately Tatars (or other ancient Turkic tribe) invadors / settlers were involved in giving such typical Tatar (Tartar) name for the village (in very Slavic area!) or establishing the settlement itself in 13th century. There was a massive Tatar invasion of khan Batyi in Galicia in 1239-42 and that might be then that Urman emerged as Tatars (Tartars) came and brought the name. First historical mention of Urman dates from just century later, (1385) after Tatar invasion. Urman is common toponimical name in Tatar (kara urman - "black forest", urman+dagy -"something situated in the forest as trees, animals, berries etc", sarli urman - "murmuring forest"). But we do not know why part of the village bears the name "Mistechko" (Little town).

Urman during Austrian rule (1772 - 1918).

Population of Urmanī during Austrian rule was Ukrainian, called themselves "Rusyns" (Ruthenians), that is by old our name. Besides that, there were a few families of Latinnics (Roman Catholics) and four Jewish families in the village. However everyday language of Latinnics was Ukrainian. Only two families in the village spoke Polish at home. One was Polish-Czech family of Vyskochylo (Wyskoczylo / Viskocylo / Viskocilo) and the other one was
mixed Ukrainian-Polish family. In 1890 s, that preserved in memory of the author, in the village, besides the church there was only one cultural establishment - small one class school with one teacher. There was a "korchma" (a sort of bar) in the village. In this korchma, gathered younger and older men in the evenings. Village did not have the reading hall. Only around 1900, reading hall named after Kachkovsky (Kaczkowski) was established by parish pries of old-ruthenian beliefs father Leontiy Luzhnytskyy. After his death, again old-Ruthenian became the priest - father Dudyk. He maintained that reading hall, but was not much interested in it.

The decisive year was 1907, year of elections to Viennese parliament, when Berezhany land unanimously voted for Ukrainian candidates. Urmanī changed then also. Parish priest father Dudyk, after having seen that he lost support of the village, resigned from the parish himself and moved to other place. New parish priest arrived to Urman. That was father Omelyan Havrysho (Hawryszo / Hawryscho), sincere Ukrainian patriot, who enjoyed unusual love and respect of all district. He was not only a notorious priest but also sacraficial worker at the peopleīs field: he organized Church choir, founded reading hall "Prosvita" (Enlightening), consumers cooperative and sportive and fireman organization "Sich". The outcmes of his work became obvious, when Urmanīs "Sich" arranged very succeseful festival in 1912, in which orchestra from neighbouring Hynovychi (Hynowicze), "Sich" and "Sokoly" (eagles) from neibouring villages participated. Many guests from Berezhany came then, namely the "koshovyy" (chiefman) of district "Sich" organization Dr. Andriy Chaykovskyy (Czajkowski / Chaykovsky), Austrian parliament deputy Tymotey Starukh (Staruch), professor and known writer Dr. Osyp Makovey (Makowej / Makovei / Makoway / Makovej / Makowey) and then university student Volodymyr Bemko and others. Festival was very successeful arrangement and manifestation of Ukrainian national consiousness of Urman and its inhabitants.

Next year in 1913, with the help of Urmanīs "Sich" again festival took place, for which military physycian of district headquarters Dr Osyp Kovshevych (Kowszewycz) came from Berezhany. Kovshevych was known Ukrainian patriot, in the end of the festival when it was getting dark, he entartained festvival participants with nice artificial fireworks, that flew up exploding into all the colors in the air and falling down.

In 1914, just before the First World War, Urmanīs Sich and all Urman community participated in opening of of monument to Taras Shevchenko, that was placed with the efforts of cultural-educational establishments of villages Zhukiv (Zukow / Zhukov) and Hynovychi (Hynowicze / Ginovichi). Monument was place next to the road ZOLOCHIV (Zolochev / Zloczow) - BEREZHANY (Brzezany), just inbetween Zhukiv and Hynovychi borders. In the celebration, many societies of "Sich", "Sokoly" (Falcons) took part, along with many people from whole Berezhany land. Urman was moving to the higher level of culture, knowledge and "national ego (I)", experiencing this also by sending of three village sons to study at Berezhany Gymnasia (Lyceum), and later many more. Urman understood the weight and importance of knowledge, science and knowledge.


September 1914 - August 1915: Urman under the control of tsarist Russia

When in August 1914, First World War started, all cultural-educational work stopped in Urmanī. Sometime at the end of August or beginning of September of that year, long columns of Russian troops went through Urmanī in direction of the Carpathians. There was no big fighting in this area, because according with military plans, Austrian army had to fortify the Carpathians and to defend there. In May 1915, when Russian front was broken-through at Gorlice in Western Galicia, Russian army quickly started to withdraw so, that already in June, the frontline stopped at 3 kilometers from Urmanī. During two months, masses of Russian troops had been stationed in Urmanī. These were mainly regiments from the Ukraine. Very often they sang Ukrainian folk songs. Author had a chance to observe that already then, soldiers Ukrainians of Russian army were interested in national problems and some of them had secretly little books, published by "Union of Liberation of Ukraine" (so called SVU - So!
yuz Vyzvolennya Ukrayiny) that was active in Austria and Germany during the war.

August 1915: Urman again under Austrian rule.

By the end of August 1915, Russian troops withdrew further to the east and Urman appeared under Austrian control again. Opportunity to restore villageīs cultural work emerged again, though in limited dimensions, caused by that time. Urman enjoyed with all Ukrainians, when in 1917, Russian empire collapsed and brothers Ukrainians over the Dnieper, started to build their own state. Those who experienced those unforgetable times, they remember what a joy and proudness was at every sincere Ukrainian, and first of all at Galician one.

Urman under control of short lived western Ukrainian state (1918)

When in October 1918, Galician Ukrainians started getting prepared to take over power in Eastern Galicia and creation of its own state on their lands of former Austro-Hungarina monarchy, Urman also did not stand aside of these events. The participant of November events Mykhaylo Kohut, son of Mykola tells:

"One day or two before 1st of November 1918, parish priest father Om. Havrysho called on his parish folks to reading hall and explained to them that Austria collapses and Ukrainian State is being created on Ukrainian lands and that all Ukrainians have holy obligations to help this state to establish itself. First of all, military unit needs to be organized and this appeal was realized straight, when 40 young men declared themselves for military service, and command over them was taken by Vasyl Trynka, senior of Austrian army, who was then on vacation in the village. Those who had what was those ammunition and commander Vasyl Trynka taught them commands and how to shoot from military positions. The decesive day came, the messanger of National Council from Berezhany arrived and Urman detachment went to Berezhany. Parish priest personally accompanied it to neighbouring village Dryshchiv, where it was united with just the same Dryshchiv unit. Father Havrysho wished them success and blesses with the cross and both units (under the command of Vasyl Trynka) went to Berezhany. This took place in first days of November, maybe on second and third day of that month. At former Austrian military exercising field, they met the same units from other villages....This way Urman boys were one of the first ones to serve native Ukranian state. Not many participants of that march to Berezhany, remained still alive, but they with tears of joy and proudness, and also of sadness, remind about those unforgetable November days 1918". The same month, after Ukrainian power was established in Berezhany, part of Urman boys were mobilized and included to Eastern-Galician Brigade, which with the beginning of December 1918, went to Kyiv. After it was dissolved, soldiers of thsi brigade were added to the corpus of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (Ukrayinski Sichovi Striltsi). Urman honored its authorities and did everything to maintain them, "but to survive there was no power"...Some !
of these who fought for Ukrainian statehood, died at the battle field, some died of typhus in the "rectangle of death", among these also son Stepan of father Havrysho.

Urman under Poland and Soviets

In June 1919, fresh Polish troops, that arrived from France under the command of general Haller, French generals and other officers, pushed Ukrainian Galician Army (UHA) out of Berezhany land and Urman happened to be under Polandīs control. In Urman itself it was peacefully, but in Berezhany and surrounding villages, Poles arrested many church and seculiar leaders, prominent peasants. There were acts of rough and often bloody violence and murdering by Polish military, for example in Lapshyn (Lapszyn), Bishche (Biszcze) and other villages. In the end of July or beginning of August 1920, Soviet army going after Polish one, occupied part of Easter Galicia up to river Hnyla Lupa (Gnila Lipa / Gnilaya Lipa) and Urmanī happened to be under Soviet control...But being defeted near Warsaw, Soviet troops quickly escaped, and Eastern Galicia was taken by Poland again but only for 20 years, since in 1929 it was occupied by Soviet Union and incorporated into larger Ukrainian Socialist Republic (today independent Ukraine) within Soviet Union.

Church in Urmanī

Since unknown times there was little wooden church in Urman (see photo at the top of the page). The church was under preservation of "Monumental Conservation Authority", as example of antique wooden architecture.

Consecration of new church in Urman, 1938
Photo above: Consecration of basement tor building new stone church in Urman in 1939.

Only in 1938, with the initiatve of father Stepan Horodetsky (Horodecki), building of a new church was started. It was not finished because of the Second World War and negative communist circumstances after it. Walls of unfinished church started to collapse and old wooden church, a witness of ancient past, stands until today, as Lord protects it!

It should be noted that building material (bricks and oaks) for new church was donated by count Potocki, owner of Pomoriany (Pomorzany) estates and forests. Although he was not member of Ukrainian church, but felt sympathy for Urmanī, probably because Urman carpenters made furniture for castle in Pomoriany (Pomorzany / Pomorzani / Pomoryany) and also because choir of Urman reading hall, upon inviatation perfomed a few times in the castle with Ukrainian songs.

(from Berezhany and Berezhany district Telephone book, 1988)

Baran, Bernatsky (Bernacki / Bernatskyy / Berntaskyi), Bych (Bycz), Bilan, Bilan, Bilinsky (Bilinski / Bilinskyy / Bilinskyi), Boychuk (Bojczuk / Bojtschuk)

Chariv (Khariv / Chariw), Chaykovskyy (Czajkowski / Chaykovsky / Chaykovskyi), Chvalyuk (Czwaliuk, Czwaluk / Chvalyuk)

Dzyubatyy (Dziubatyi, Dziubatyj, Dziubaty), Dziubaty, Drozdovska, Drozdovsky (Drozdvoskyy, Drozdowski / Drozdowski)

Furdyha (Furdyga), Furdyha

Hlubish (Hlubisz / Hlubisch / Glubish / Glubisch), Hnatyshyn (Hnatyszyn / Gnatishin / Gnatyshin), Hunka (Gunka), Hunīka

Jakymiv (Yakymiv / Jakymiw), Jacykiw, Jacyszyn

Khariv (Chariw), Koval (Kowal), Koval, Koval, Koval, Kohut (Kogut), Kohut, Kohut, Kohut, Kozak, Kulyk (Kulik), Kulyk, Kulyk, Kucher (Kuczer / Kutscher), Kuziv (Kuziw, Kuziv is listed neighbouring village Plikhiv - Plikhov - Plichow)

Lytvyn (Litwin / Litvin), Luzhetskyy (Luzecki / Luzhetsky, Luzhetski, Luzhetskyi)

Mazuryk (Mazurik), Nakonechnyy (Nakoneczny / Nakonechny / Nakonechnyi), Nakonechnyy, Nakonechnyy, Nimko, Nimko

Protsyk (Procyk)

Shevtsiv (Szewciw, Schewtsiw), Soroka, Shmyhelskyy (Szmigelski, Szmihelski, Shmehelsky, Shmigelski / Shmyhelskyy)

Tymovych (Tymowycz, Tymowicz, Tymovich), Tkachuk (Tkaczuk / Tkatschuk), Trynka (Trinka), Trynka, Trynka

Vashchyshyn (Vaszczyszyn / Vaschtschyschyn), Vidzivashets (Widziwaszec / Widziwaschetz),

Yakymiv (Jakymiv), Yatsykiv (Jacykiw, Jatzykiw), Yatsyshyn (Jacyszyn / Jatzyschyn / Jatsyshin)


If you want to write a letter to any family from the list, write address so: LAST NAME / INSTITUTION, selo Urman, Berezhanskyy rayon, 47501, Ternopilska oblast, Ukraine. I might provide you telephone number of the family upon kind request (note that I receive whole bulk of similiar genealogy request every day and I am not capable always to answer!)


tel +380 3548 31473

Buffet, cafeteria "Zalisok"
tel +380 3548 31480

tel +380 3548 31434

tel +380 3548 22091

tel +380 3548 31483

ATS (Urman Automatic Telecommunication Station, includes villages Krasnopushcha, (Krasnopuszcza), Plikhiv (Plichow, Plikhov), Urman and hamlet Volytsya (Wolica, Volitsa)
tel +380 3548 31449 and 31421

tel +380 3548 31422

Main physycian tel +380 3548 31498
Nurse on duty tel +380 3548 31418

Therapeutical cabinet +380 3548 31417
Stomatological cabinet +380 3548 31438

URMAN PHARMACY tel +380 3548 31410

URMAN FORESTRY, tel +380 3548 31451

FOOD STORE, tel +380 3548 31441

tel +380 3548 31467

Director +380 3548 31440
Teachers room +380 3548 31487
Heating central tel +380 3548 31487

Head tel +380 3548 21812
Secretary +380 3548 31431



BUDYNOK INTERNAT DLA INVALIDIV (Internment house for handicapped in Krasnopushcha)
Director +380 3548 31415
Accountant office +380 3548 31497
Medical office +380 3548 31455
Heating central +380 3548 31455

Monastery of fathers Vasylians in Krasnopushcha near Berezhany
View from the yard over the Monastery of fathers Basilians (Vasylians, Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Monastic Order) in Krasnopushcha. Now it serves as house for handicapped (monastery was shut down by communists) I think.

This House for Handicapped in Krasnopushcha is "subject of jokes" among young people in Berzehany and area, but it should not be so since many of these wretched handcapped and mentally retarted people need help. If you feel you are able to assist them, here is postal address:

Budynok Internat dla Invalidiv v Krasnopushchi
Berezhanskyy rayon 47501
Ternopilska oblast, Ukraine

Polish (Austrian) names for neighbouring villages: Dryszczow, Buszcze, Wierzbow, Lapszyn, Pomorzany, Poruczyn, Rozhadow (Rozgadow), Krasnopuszcza, Kalne, Nadriczne (Nadrzeczne), Kuropatniki...

Page created on 17.11.2001 by Roman Zakharii (from Berezhany, Western Ukraine. Berezhany is 15 km to the south from Urman') in Oslo, Norway (where I worked and studied now, doing two years MPhil in Medieval Studies). I had graduated in history of Ukraine from the University of Lviv in Ukraine and hold MA in Modern Central European History
(specializing in Polish Jewish historiography) from Board of Regents of the University of State of New York
(I did it at CEU in Budapest). I would be interested to teach Ukrainian, Russian, Soviet, Polish history
or languages or Eastern European Jewish history abroad. Please contact me, if you have any suggestions.
Page updated in Aug. 2013 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
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