Starbanow Family History (Novo Selo)

Our Shtarbanov-Family rises from a man named Starban who was born approximately 1710, coming from the “Махала Shtarbanite” (Shtarbanov-Region) resp. “Щърбанова могила“ (Shtarbanov-Hill) in the Apriltsi-Region. He was kind of rich, having a Мандра, a dairy farm where he produced кашкавал, famous bulgarian cheese.

They say, one day Starban was raided by ten bandits. But he did not surrender, no, on the contrary, he captured five of them, putting the others to flight!

His great-grandson Kolju (Nikola) Mateev (Starbana), born in 1785 in Novo Selo, was a famous master of wood-carving. Together with his son Jonko Kolev Marangozchyiat (Starbanow) and his grandson Nikola Jonkov Marangozov they are responsible for the splendid wood-carved Iconostases in Trojan and Batoshovo Monastery as well as in the churches “Св. Илия“ in Sevlievo and “Св. Николай“ in Gumoshtnik.

 part of the Iconstase in Sevlievo Church

These three men were also members of the revolutionary committee of the Apriltsi Uprising against Turkish Rule in 1876. They built two cannons, one made from cherry wood, the other from beech. The iron tires were made by smiths from Novo Selo, maybe by another member of our family tree, Kolju Todorov “the Smith” Mateev, but this is only an assumption of me. The hole in the tree was made as big as master Jonko’s fist. The gun powder was hidden in two houses, one belonging to Jonko’s other son, Matju Starbanow.

In the shelter of the night, from the 2nd to 3rd May 1876, they carried the cannons up to Zla Reka. On the 4th May, 500 Bashibosuk came to suppress the resistance. These people were armoured civilian Turks, cruel, slaughtering and murdering local people. The cannons were fired and though the beech cannon bursted, the Bashibosuk were impressed.

Nine days after the proclamation of the Novoselskian Republic, the resistance was ruthlessly suppressed. 150 people were killed, more than 770 buildings destroyed, the Novo Selo Holy Trinity Monastery was burnt to ashes.

My great-great-great-grandfather Kolju “The Smith” (1844-1876), mentioned above, was cruelly murdered by the Turks. He was part of the resistance by forging weapons for the rebels. When he was captured by the turkish enemy, the 10th May 1876, the Bashibosuk forced him to carry them on his back, starting from the cemetery up in Novo Selo. Far away from there, where he collapsed, the Bashibosuk murdered him, cutting him into pieces. They cut off his legs, his hands, then his eyes. Finally, they hacked off his head.

A memorial was erected to his honour.

Another famous member of our family, a cousin, is Ivan Marangozov, the chronist of the Apriltsi Uprising. Though born in 1874, he interviewed survivors of the rebellion and noted everything in his book that appeared in 1903.  


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