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    I know, what a strange question that only I can answer. Here’s the thing: I’m in doubt. I always thought myself as of polish origin (I’m born and live in Brazil), but some new info may have changed my notion. My greatgrandfather was Constantine Bojko, born in modern-day Potrubowszczyzna (a little village just near the border of Poland and Belarus), in 1911 (not sure, but I think by that time, the region was under russian control). Some years later, he moved to Dereczyn, in modern Belarus. When he moved to Brazil, in 1930, he was a polish citizen, so I always identified him as polish. But as I found out, it’s more complicated. Not only he spoke russian (we have some letters from his mom to him in russian), he was a member of the Russian Orthodox Church and had a patronymic surname (Semenovich, son of Simon). Is it possible or likely that he was ethnically russian living in modern-day Poland? The whole orthodox thing with the patronymic really confuses me. There was any massive campaign of russification in the region to justify that?



    You are sure he wrote them in Russian or not just use cyrylic letters? Or maybe it was Ruthenian not Russian.



    The guy who translated the letters said it was Russian. I even remember that in one of the letters, my greatgreandfather’s brother-in-law calls him shurin, that is supposed to be a russian translation for brother-in-law.



    It is possible, as well as it is possible that he was either Belarusian or Ukrainian. Bojko is quite common Ukrainian surname.



    Also possible. For me, the polish origin thing seems farther and farther, mainly because of the religion.

    Boris V.
    Boris V.

    I know a Boyko from Ukraine Crimea, but he is undecided if he is Russian or Ukrianian. He feels like both probably.



    @ghpedroso your grandfather was probably not a Pole.



    If he was from a village, then he was most likely Belarusian. Belarusian were eastern Orthodox and russified especially when it came
    to writing. Boyko is common western Belarusian surname. Boyko is
    not a Russian surname. Belarusians used patrynomic names. Few Russians lived in western Belarus / eastern Poland (Grodno governate) during those times, especially in rural areas. In general , Poles were Roman Catholic. Potrubowszczyzna village is 20-30km from Grodno city , north-western Belarus (border of Belarus, Lithuania, Poland) which is too far from Ukraine. During 1921-1939 western part of Belarus was part of Poland, so your ancestor traveled using Polish official documents and he was Polish citizen. Also, north-eastern Poland has Belarusian communities to this day. So , it’s likely your ancestor was a Belarusian.



    The village The village was in Sokolski uezd of Grodno governate. Demographics of Skolski uезd as per 1897 census.

    83.8% Belarusians
    12.2% Jews
    1.8% Russians
    1.2% Polеs

    Grodno state archive may have church records of your ancestors. 



    Sometimes, looking at other slavic cultures is like looking into those distorted image mirrors.
    “Boyko” as a surname? Blashpemy! So familiar and yet so hideously twisted. We need a Bulgarian empire to
    conquer and unite all Slavs and root out such foul corruption of the one true slavic culture.



    In family, the surname has been “translated” as Boico, Boiko and Boicko.



    Belarusian surname spelled as Бойко (on some occasions Бойка) in Cyrillic.



    aaaaa was referring to Boyko being a common personal name here in Bulgaria (our current prime minister being a Boyko himself). Boyko was a surname seems to us… somewhat strange indeed.




    There is a Bulgarian surname Boykov (Бойков) derived from given name. There is no given (first) name Boyko among eastern Slavs.



    Бойки (Boikos / Boykos) – Ukrainian highlanders of Halychyna in western Ukraine. Subgroup (one of the largest groups) of Ukrainian highlanders who inhabit the Carapathian mountains in south Lviv, and western Ivano-Frankivsk regions of Ukraine. Traditional Boiko music. 


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