Polish estate near Bela Tserkva PRITZKER FAMILY #ukraine

Susan Miller

  1. I would appreciate any help in finding the Polish estate on which my relatives lived from approximately 1875 to 1905. We think it was called Stepanivka. It was near Bela Tserkva, Ukraine. My male relative, David, was the overseer of the sugar beet plantation and factory. When he died (1886) his sons took over. The Polish count who owned the estate offered to help David’s widow (Rose) open a small store on the estate. The count's daughter, Alexandria, was friendly with Rose’s young daughter who was on many summer days invited to spend time at the manor house with Alexandria. We think it may be the Branicki family, but we can’t find the specific Branicki who owned the estate in c. 1886 and who had a daughter named Alexandria.
    Thankful for any assistance in verifying the location of the estate and the name of the Polish count that owned it.
    Susan Miller
    Philadelphia, PA



Hi Susan,

My maternal grandfather's line is from Belaya Tserkov (Averbukh, Kuppershmidt, Gabovich, Zurakhov) and my grandmother frequently mentioned the Branitskys. They were Polish which was not unusual because the region had belonged to Poland at some point. The family pretty much owned the town by keeping many merchants and artisans in business; it was rather benevolent. My grandmother, the family's seamstress beginning from a young age, would run to the Branitsky estate when Countess Branitsky was in town in order to catch sight of her and "copy" the latest fashion. There were even sayings in Belaya Tserkov for someone who considered themselves superior: "Look at him, a new Branitsky." 

My mother-in-law was from Tarashcha and an adjacent hamlet Stavishche both near Belaya Tserkov. She, too, recalled the Branitsky name. And she talked of the Pritzkers who emigrated from Tarashcha and kept in touch with kin in the old country, so as a child she was present when some of their letters were read. The current Illinois governor comes from that family. I wonder if the Pritzkers had their family tree done. 

Good luck,

Bena Shklyanoy.


Susan, I just sent a reply and then searched for the Branitsky (sorry, used to Russian spelling) in Russian.

Here is what Wiki says: "Countess Alexandra Vasilyevna Branitskaya, nee Engelhardt, known as Sanya (1754 - September 15, 1838, Bila Tserkva) is the niece and lover of Grigory Potyomkin, wife of the Crown Hetman of Poland, Xavier Branicki." I'll be happy to translate the entire article and look for more info on the family. It's possible that the Alexandria you're looking for was named after her most distinguished grandmother(?).