The name Skaskiw

Skaskiw (or Skaskiv) is a somewhat rare name. Amazingly, I’ve met six or so Skaskiws besides my immediate relatives.

There’s also partisan leader Yaroslav Skaskiw whom I read about on Wikipedia.

The name seems to come from the village Bozhykiv (also transliterated as Bojekiv).

The name means God-village. God was banned in the Soviet Union, so it’s name was “Pryvitne” which means welcoming, until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I’ve been to Bozhykiv a couple times. It was a really touching visit the first time. I remembered my dad’s story about visiting in 1974 (on his honeymoon) and sneaking away from the Intourist tour to arrange a car for a visit to the village. He ran up the hill and enjoyed the panorama he hadn’t seen in thirty years, but just briefly. He hurried back to the car, lest the authorities

The neighbor’s remembered my grandparents (whom I’ve never met). They recalled how they used to be invited over when my grandparents received letters from my father in America.

As I understand it, my grandparent’s house was sold to them shortly before my grandmother died, because they had no heirs other than my dad who was in America. Their two-room house is now a woodshop. I was touched almost to tears when they offered to give me the property, should I want to live there.

I estimate that 20% of the tombstones in Bozhykiv’s cemetery had the name ‘Skaskiv.’ It’s a small village. A few hundred houses. This past year, some guy wrote a big book about the village history. I was shown a .pdf, but it’s in Ukrainian, which I read very slowly. The .pdf had 340 pages, and it’s setup so one .pdf page equals two book pages. I need to read this book some time, or have it translated.


See also, UPA organizer Halyna Skaskiw: