MAGDALINA TOSHEVA KOLCHAGOVA – STEFANOVA
THE KOLCHAGOV FAMILY
Descendents of Father Paisiy Hilendarski
To all the descendents
Of Toshe and Elena Kolchavov
And the families connected to them
Sofia, July 2003
Relatives do not offer each other meals,
But unfortunate is that person, who doesn’t have any.
Magdalina Kolchagova, with the genealogic family tree,
created by her, from memories and tales, told
by her grandfather Lazar
------------------------------- History of the Kolchagov Family --------------------------
“Tell me to which family you belong so
I can tell you what can become of you”
With the following work I have set the modest goal of introducing the members of the family to the common ancestors.
Toshe and Elena Kolchagov, as the forefathers of a branch of the Kolchagov family and its direct and collateral connections with the other families: Hajivulchev, Rabajiev, Trenchev, Stefanov, Daskalov, Bizev, Dimitrov, Popov, Mladenov, Bogdanov, Horozov, Kostakev, Golumanov, Sirleshtov, Petkanchin, Lagadinov, Radanov, Kokotanov, Balev, Popstefanov, Banskaliev and others.
A base for the research is the Kolchagov family – the descendent genealogy of Toshe and Elena Kolchagov.
The family connections are a factor, which has a big influence over human development and its variety. Moving forward into researching the family connections of the Kolchagov family, I was guided by the Bulgarian knowledge and experience in these matters and by personal understanding.
The origin of every genealogy of descendents is its Forefather. That would be one of the grandfathers, grandmothers, great grandfathers, or great grandmothers.
The first level (generation) in a descendent genealogy are the sons and daughters of the forefather. The second level would be his or her grandsons and granddaughters, third level – great grandsons and great granddaughters and etc.
The research for common family ancestry and description comprises all descendents of the family, men or women. Included in such a genealogy are female descendents, carrying other family names of their fathers, members of other families, along with ones carrying the common family name.
The followers of the common ancestry research believe their method is the best, since both male and female descendents share the same blood. Thus when common roots are present, the descendents of sisters – children of fathers coming from other families are accepted to be members of their mother’s family as well. Such descendents feel equally cousins with children of their uncles and aunts.
According to biologists, the main hereditary traits (genes) are passed on not only by the father, but by the mother as well. This is why a big percentage of children of sisters have common appearance and character with their aunts and uncles on the female side of the family.
In Bulgaria, there is a lack of tradition to record and pass on family chronicles and other documents to descendents, like there has been for centuries in other countries. This is why ancestry research may gather information for around 5-6, rarely 8-10 generations, 200-250 years ago.
When creating the family tree of Toshe and Elena Kolchagov I used various sources of family information – verbal and written on around 7-8 generations.
When determining the ancestry of the Kolchagov family, both men and women, who share marital status with a member of the family, are included.
My goal was to include pictures of every person, considering this to be a sign of commemoration, gratitude and respect for the deceased members of the family.
When studying the Kolchagov family and the ones linked to it due to intermarriage the historical, politic, economic, social and cultural conditions, in which its members have lived and live now must be examined. The housing and the living conditions inside have changed depending on the overall economic and political environment in the country.
An analysis of the life of the Kolchagov family, even though not entirely complete, leads me into making the following conclusions:
1. The hard work was the main and irreplaceable trait of all the members of the family. They have given and still give their part in different arts and crafts, in the industry, in science, in culture and when doing business in a free market economy.
2. Legendary modesty, financial skills, innovativeness, the desire to construct and own a personal home for the future generations and of course creating an environment for a better way of life.
3. A striving to ensure the continuation of the family through marriage and birth of children.
4. A pursuit to improve the level of education of a considerate part of the family in different branches of science, production and art.
5. The larger part of the family is famous with their good moral and their strong beliefs in the Christian teachings.
6. Many of the old traditions and customs are well kept and preserved in the family and new ones emerge due to the modern environment and conditions.
7. The tradition to keep the names of the members of the family, grandparents and parents is being maintained.
I know it’s impossible to fully describe everything about the life and social activity of every member of the Kolchagov family, either male or female side. This is the first attempt to make a Memorial to them since their existence in Bansko until today, considering they spread in other cities and countries around the world.
I believe, that in our large Kolchagov family, there are people, who will further add and describe many interesting facts and events from the history of the family – now and in the future. It will be useful and better for every family to have a notebook and bookmark the most important events in its history.
As you read this book, you should think about your family, its history and your own place inside it.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to every relative of mine, who gave me and let me use their biographical records.
“Let our descendents know their origin and their ancestors. Whoever remains ignorant of his family and does not respect it is not a good patriot.” – says P. R. Slaveykov
July, 2003 The Author
Magdalina Tosheva Kolchagova – Stefanova
Family meeting in the town of Bansko, 1897
Page 8: Family meeting in Velingrad on the 31st of August, 1985
Page 9: On the 1st of September, 1985 the family visited Bansko
Page 10: On the 1st of September, 1985 the family was on its way to the monument of father Paisiy
Page 11: Placing a wreath at the monument of Father Paisiy – Bansko. On the picture: Magdalina Tosheva Kolchagova and Boris Miloshov Kolchagov
Page 12: Magdalina Tosheva Kolchagova – Stefanova, who gathered information about the family since 1945
History of the Kolchagov Family
From 1780 To Today
Dear Bulgaria, land I cherish,
Land that brims with kindliness,
Land where I from birth was nourished,
Accept my obedience!
Bulgaria – our dearest motherland was established in 681 AD, by khan Asparukh, son of khan Kubrat, who passed the Danube River with his people and settled in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula. Bulgaria borders the Black sea, Turkey, Greece, Serbia and Romania. The main road from Europe to Asia, passes through Bulgaria. The country is gifted with picturesque valleys and beautiful mountains: Balkan, Rila, The Rhodope Mountains and impressive Pirin Mountain. In the foothills of Pirin lies Bansko, where the Kolchagov family finds its origin. The data, which I used for the book and the family tree I created for our famous Kolchagov family was being collected since 1945 out of verbal and written documents.
The idea to write about the Kolchagov family came to be after the many moments I spent listening to the stories of my beloved grandfather – Lazar Georgiev Kolchagov. He knew about and had memorized our relatives since 1780 and constantly repeated in front of our whole family that we originate from Father Paisiy Hilendarski and he was very proud of it.
The first members of the Kolchagov family – our forefathers were big boned, well structured and pompous Bulgarians, possessing the will to learn, to seek the truth and to be practical in life. They wore leather boots, but in order to preserve their knees and elbows, which usually get sore the most, they sew into their clothes pieces of fabric in a shape of a diamond, both to obtain a better look and to make their clothes more durable in these spots. They called this ornament “Kolchak” and that’s where the family name Kolchakov came from, but seeking a better sound in speech, they called themselves Kolchagov. It’s pronounced softer and more prolonged in Bansko – Kolcheegov.
The name of Kolchagov is included in the big dictionary of names of the Bulgarian citizens, which is introduced by professor doctor Yordan Zaimov, chairman of the department of Bulgarian onomnistics at the Bulgarian Academy of Science.
Bansko lies in the foothills of Pirin Mountain; the waters of the crystal clear river of Glazne, which passes through the town to wash the smooth stones in its bed.
The name of Bansko originates from the Slavic title – Ban. At some point, during times of war, a Slavic Ban escaped there along with all of his people and that is how the town came to be; it received the name – village of the Ban, which was later abbreviated to Bantsko until it got the name it bears today – Bansko.
Also, the family name of the descendents is preserved, but with a prolonged “a” – Baanov – Banov.
Mikhail Baanov – 1680
His wife is called Catherina Kundeva
They have three sons and daughters, whose names are known.
1) Lazar – bearing the holy name of Laurentius
2) Vulcho Hajivulchev
3) Peter – bearing the holy name of Father Paisiy Hilendarski
Mikhail Baanov (Bilyo) was born around 1680 in the village of Dobrinishte, but sometime in his young age he moved to Bansko, where he grew up and married.
When the Khiraj spread in the area of Razlog (around the end of the XVII century), Mikhail Baanov became one of the first “bech.” He became a trader and with a lot of hard work, he ensured himself a good living. He built a solid, two story house with a hideout and with massive stone walls in the middle of town. Later, next to it, members of the Baanov family built another two homes. Even today the memory of the “Baanov neighborhood” remains alive in Bansko, where the house was located, but later made into a branch of the Hilendar Monastery. After that, it housed the local school and following the liberation, in 1912, it became the town hall, after which a fire, which burned the entire west part of Bansko destroyed it (in 1934).
Family memories tell that Mikhail bore the title of “Haj,” which Bulgarians, who were better off financially obtained after visiting Jerusalem. This title created social prestige at that time.
Concerning the death of Mikhail Baanov, there is a belief in the family, which is considered to be a family secret and passed on only to direct descendents. According to that story, Mikhail was robbed and killed returning from Vienna, loaded with goods. His family had to repay the loan, used to buy the goods. The brothers of Mikhail settled the loan by selling much of his property.
Catherina Kundeva, the wife of Mikhail Baanov was a bright and hard working woman and she helped as much as she could for the material and spiritual well being of the family.
Her brothers, who were priests, had a big influence on her. One of them was a holy man for many years – Bishop Seraphim and the other was a monk in Rila and Aton.
Catherina had to work for other people. She was exceptionally hard working and innovative, she took wool and made clothes from it with the help of her children, for which she got money. In a cold and snowy night, the mother and her biggest son – Lazar came out to check on the animals in the barn and saw a mule in the yard. The wind had opened the wooden door, but there was no one around. They put the mule back in the barn to feed it, but when they took off the saddlebags, they found a bag full of coins. The mother decided that these were the money of some lost traveler, or money collected as taxes. They took them away and waited for someone to come and look for them. By springtime the brothers of Catherina came – they were monks in Sveta Gora. She and her son consulted with them what to do with the coins. Since no one had looked for them until then, they decided that the money represents a kind of a compensation for the killed Mikhail Baanov. As a sign of gratitude for the unexpected blessing, Lazar left under the influence of his uncles, the monks, for Sveta Gora and became a monk under the holy name of Laurentius.
Laurentius is the holy name of the oldest son of Mikhail Baanov – Lazar.
The information about the life of the eldest son Lazar is little. He left his birthplace to educate himself in Christ’s teachings – he became a monk in the Hilendar Monastery, taking the name Laurentius. We know his date of birth due to the writings of Paisiy Hilendarski in his “Slavic-Bulgarian History,” where it says that in 1762 he was 60 years old. Therefore it can be determined that he was born around 1702. Brought up in a bright and knowledgeable Bulgarian environment, striving for morals and ideals, Laurentius went to Sveta Gora – the center of medieval knowledge in the Balkans.
The writings in the books of Hilendar show also that Laurentius maintained a good connection with Bansko. Several times he brought relatives to the monastery. He collected donations for the monastery by visiting many towns – Vidin, Lovech, Kotel, Kalofer, Pirot, Sliven, Bansko and Sofia.
As a monk in the Hilendar Monastery, Laurentius wanted to contribute a great deal to the monastery. He brought people from Bansko, who donated silver crosses and coins to the monastery. He donated himself his father’s home to the Hilendar Monastery to serve as its branch in Bansko, which was discussed with his two brothers – Vulcho and Father Paisiy.
Father Paisiy Hilendarski
Father Paisiy Hilendarski is the holy name of the youngest son of Mikhail Baanov – Peter, who followed his brother and became a monk in the Hilendar Monastery at the age of 23 – in 1745. Ten years later he first left the monastery as a messenger to collect donations. Coming back to the Hilendar Monastery, Father Paisiy carried thousands of coins, gathered for the monastery.
The spiritual face of Paisiy Hilendarski portrays a very strong personality, which is entirely dedicated to his national goals. He accumulated records and wrote the “Slavic-Bulgarian History” in 1762 and with this deed he became the first person to record the history of our nation. Even though the conditions were unfavorable, the great Hilendarian traveled around from place to place and carried his “Slavic-Bulgarian History”, encouraged by the thought it will foster the awakening of the Bulgarian nation. He was not an ordinary annalist; he was a brave defender of the Bulgarian historical right. Shouting at the people: “You, mindless folk, why are you ashamed to call yourself Bulgarian?!”
He visited the village of Kuch in Montenegro, as well as the southern end of Bulgaria – Syar and Drama. The most distant place he visited as a messenger of the monastery was Sremski Karlovtsi (in the Vojvodina area). By the end of his life he visited towns mainly in Bulgaria, with the desire to spread the word of his book.
In 1770, Paisiy was 48 years old and as he said himself, he had been sick for a long time. In fact, three years later he died in Ambelino, a suburb of Stanimaka (now Asenovgrad).
The family of Mikhail Baanov was continued by his middle son Vulcho. The sons Lazar (Laurentius) and Peter (Paisiy) as monks do not have any descendents. A special merit of Paisiy is that he awoke the spirit in the Bulgarian nation by his call: “You, mindless folk, why are you ashamed to call yourself Bulgarian?!”
Vulcho Baanov (Hajivulchev)
The middle son Vulcho Baanov decided to follow his father’s business: he became a trader. Obviously he was a man of enterprise since he earned his independence for a short period of time and in the middle of XVII century he was already the one of the most respected and wealthy traders in Southern Bulgaria. Since it is extremely hard to pinpoint exact dates in the lifetime of Vulcho, we can only suppose he is born around 1710-1715. Most probably his childhood years passed in his birthplace – Bansko and the local school. It can be supposed, that under the influence of his father, Vulcho started participating in the Khiraj from early age. The long travels with the caravans give him the opportunity to get to know better not only the Bulgarian lands and the fate of the Bulgarian people, but to take a glance at lands free of Ottoman rule. These connections are maybe one of the main factors influencing his future activity.
When Vulcho Baanov achieved a decent financial status, he left his father’s home and made one for himself. It is a massive one with a hideout and fighting grounds. He used sketches brought from Vienna, where he created an office, like the ones he had in Buda-Pest and Kavala. He had a special privilege in the premises of the Ottoman Empire – his caravans made up of hundreds of horses were protected by armed mercenaries. He exported mainly tobacco, cotton and furs. He became one of the richest people in Bansko. With his generosity, he began to erect inns, bridges and wells, made large donations to the Hilendar and Zograf monasteries and became one of the most notable and honorable people. He began building the southern wing of the Hilendar monastery, where Father Paisiy‘s cell is located, as well as the demolished chapel of “St. Stephan”. Using his own money, he financed its painting and dedicated it to the famous Bulgarian saint – Ivan of Rila.
In 1764 Haji Vulcho made the largest donation in his life – he constructed the church of “Holy Assumption“in the courtyard of the Zograf monastery.
In 1755 Haji Vulcho along with his son went to make a pilgrimage in Jerusalem and left his family name for next generations – Hajivulchev.
Most probably the wife of Haji Vulcho was called Bilya. They had three sons:
1) Nikola; 2) Georgi; 3) Yovan (Ivan)
They continued the family.
Nikola Hajivulchev took his father’s business early on. At first Georgi Hajivulchev worked to help his father. Later he started trading independently. Yovan Hajivulchev passed away at an early age.
I will only examine the branch of Nikola Hajivulchev, where the Kolchagov family finds its connection with Father Paisiy.
Nikola Hajivulchev has a son: Lazar.
1) Lazar Hajivulchev was born around 1755 in Bansko. The year of his death is not known. He continues the trade business of the family. There is no more information about his life. He had three children:
1) Mikhail; 2) Nikola; 3) Elena
The first son – Mikhail continues the family of Hajivulchev. We will take a closer look at him.
Mikhail Lazarov Hajivulchev, great grandson of Haji Vulcho from his son Nikola was one of the great traders in Bansko during the XIX century. He was born around 1775 and died in 1860 in Bansko. He continued the trade relations with Vienna.
He married Pelagiya Hajistoilova. Pelagiya was truly beautiful. When she was running away from the Kurdjali (bandits), she covered her head with a thick and rough head cloth and darkened her face with soot in order to look ugly.
Mikhail and Pelagiya had two children:
1) Ivan Mikhailov Hajivulchev; 2) Elena Mikhailova Hajivulcheva
From this branch of the genealogic tree of the Haji Vulcho family originate the descendents who later move to Sofia.
The daughter of Elena became a widow at an early stage of her life and later married again to a well known trader in Bansko – Toshe Kolchagov.
This is where the Kolchagov family finds their common roots with the family of Father Paisiy Hilendarski.
Graphic of the family of Father Paisiy
born around 1680
year of death – not known
Wife Catherina Kundeva
Lazar (Laurentius) Vulcho Peter (Father Paisiy)
born in 1702 born around 1710 born in 1722
died around 1767 unknown year of death died in 1773
Nikola Georgi Yovan (Ivan)
born around 1735 born around 1737
unknown year of death unknown year of death
wife unknown wife unknown
Lazar Hajivulchev Lazar Hajigeorgiev
born around 1755
Mikhail Nikola Elena
born around 1775 born around 1780
died in 1860 year of death – not known
Pelagiya wife not known
Ivan Elena Hajivulcheva
born around 1795 Toshe Kolchagov – husband
died in 1830 born around 1780
The information is taken from a book in “Historical review” of the Bulgarian Academy of science, 1983.
Toshe Kolchagov (1780)
His wife is called Elena Hajivulcheva. They lived in Bansko.
They are the first ancestors known to us from 1780. They have four children:
1) Mikhail; 2) Alexander; 3) Kerafima; 4) Marinka
Alexander Toshev Kolchagov’s wife is called Magdalina – it’s not known which family she originates from. They have three children:
1) Elena (I have no information whether she was married or not); 2) Lazar; 3) Ivan
Lazar Alexandrov Kolchagov’s wife is called Mariya Daskareva – I have no information about the family.
Ivan Alexandrov Kolchagov’s wife is called Dzinka Sirleshtova – I have no information about the family.
Kerafima Tosheva Kolchagova’s husband is called Toshe Ajiruskov – I have no information on him.
Marinka Tosheva Kolchagova’s husband is called Minko Chuchalain – I have no more information.
Mikhail Toshev Kolchagov (1826)
His wife is called Mariya Venedikova. They have seven children:
I. Georgi Mikhailov Kolchagov
II. Todor Mikhailov Kolchagov
III. Parashkeva Mikhailova Kolchagova
IV. Kerafima Mikhailova Kolchagova
V. Dimitur Mikhailov Kolchagov
VI. Kostadin Mikhailov Kolchagov
VII. Yonko Mikhailov Kolchagov
They lived in Bansko.
Mikhail is named after his grandfather Mikhail Hajivulchev on his mother’s side of the family. The extensive branching of the Kolchagov family starts from this branch of the genealogic tree of Mikhail Toshev Kolchagov.
Mikhail Toshev Kolchagov had a business, dealing with trade in Vienna and Serbia. He died during a visit to Serbia and word passed on in Bansko. People said also that his horse had not eaten anything for three days. The animal felt for the loss of his master and this way it expressed the sorrow about his demise.
Mariya Venedikova, the wife of Mikhail was born in Guliyna Banya. She was a smooth talker, loved children and was very outgoing. When her grandsons visited her, she always gave them tiganitsa (a Bulgarian specialty) and made them compensate by rephrasing the word of God and by citing the Holy Bible. She was very religious. She was proud of her sons and daughters. The branches of the Kolchagov family originate from them.
I. Georgi Mikhailov Kolchagov
The name of his wife is Milana Rabajieva.
They have eight children:
1) Lazar Georgiev Kolchagov
2) Alexander (Sandre) Georgiev Kolchagov
3) Ivan Georgiev Kolchagov
4) Dimitur (Mitko) Georgiev Kolchagov
5) Hristo Georgiev Kolchagov
6) Mara Georgieva Kolchagova
7) Rayna Georgieva Kolchagova
8) Elena (Lena) Georgieva Kolchagova
Georgi Mikhailov Kolchagov was born in 1854 in Bansko. He was tall and thin with a respectable appearance. His profession was a craftsman – trader. He made earrings carved out of tin, rings and ornaments with different kinds of gems. He used casts to get his goods ready. Later he sold them himself in Solun (Thessaloniki), Karnobat and other towns in Turkey.
He built two homes in Bansko, in the upper and in the lower area of town. He had stores in them and that’s where his two sons – Lazar and Sandre worked.
Once, when he was coming back home, passing through Plovdiv, Pazardjik, the village of Lujene (Velingrad), Yakoruda, towards Guliyna Banya on his way to Bansko, a pack of wolves cut the way of his horse. To save his life, he used wit and tied a metal plate on a rod, which made a loud noise when the horse walked. This way the wolves backed away and he was able to escape. He was exceptionally sharp-minded and witty. He socialized with people and was very hospitable, hard working and righteous. He was a good father, but was also very short-tempered.
He was religious and was chosen to participate in the church order in Bansko, and later in the village of Lujene.
After the Ilinden (St. Elijah’s Day) Uprising, he moved to the free territory of Bulgaria, to the village of Lujene (Velingrad).
He built a house on the main street, with stores on the ground floor. Goods of all kinds were sold in his store – starting from different types of fabric, to metal cutlery. He also had trade and technical goods.
He participated in the revolutionary activity in Bansko. He collected lead from people, which had to be changed with the gold ransom, needed to liberate the American missionary Ms. Helena Stone, taken captive by the rebels. The gold was kept in the church (Grachenov house) and guarded by a Turkish soldier. Only the priest had the right to go into the church. He replaced the gold with lead, making sure the Turks didn’t find out. That same gold was spent on weaponry when organizing the Ilinden Uprising. After the uprising, Georgi Mikhailov Kolchagov moved to the village of Lujene.
In 1917, during the First World War, all of his goods were confiscated. Every son of his was a soldier serving in the army.
He donated money to the church, so the building may be reconstructed. He died in Lujene in 1917.
Milana Rabajieva Kolchagova
The wife of Georgi Mikhailov Kolchagov was born in the town of Bansko in 1856, in a patriotic Bulgarian family.
His father was a priest – Father Mitur Arabajiev (Dimitur Popmladenov) from the Rabajiev family. He had six children: Nikola, Ivan, Mladen, Lazar, Elena and Milana.
I will describe the environment in which Milana grew up.
Her father – Mitur was one of the brightest people in Bansko at that time. He maintained correspondence with Dragan Tsankov, Marko Balabanov and other important figures of the Bulgarian Revival, who lived in Tsarigrad (Istanbul) and was also an editor of the newspaper “Bulgaria.”
In that dark age, the priest Dimitur was the first, who created a school in his home, where along with other children, his own pupils studied reading and writing. That school, which was maintained solely using his personal funds, became a main center for knowledge and patriotism. That spark ignited a big fire.
I will describe in a few words the life of Milana’s two brothers.
The son of Father Dimitur – Lazar Mladenov was born in 1853 in Bansko. When he was 10 years old, he showed exceptional giftedness in science and his father sent him to Solun, in a French College, after which he continued his education in Tsarigrad (Istanbul), Italy and later he was sent to Paris to study in the Academy of Lazarists.
He was taken as a consultant on the Eastern Question and participated in the Congress of Berlin, which split up San Stefano Bulgaria into separate parts and his hometown Bansko remained in the premises of the Ottoman Empire. We can only imagine the sadness he felt, unable to help his parents, or his homeland.
After graduating from the Academy in Paris, he was appointed bishop in Solun. He used his influence there and helped imprisoned and exiled Bulgarians. Using his connections with The Great Vezir, he aided the exiled in the city of Adana – Turkey teachers from the area of Razlog.
Later, he left Solun and went to Rome as a consultant on the Eastern Question. Until the end of his life, he occupied the position of Assistant Director of the Vatican Library at the time of Pope Pius XII.
As an assistant director he had the opportunity to find documents and describe in an extensive and precious work the Bulgarian history. He offered this work of his to our past governments, but nobody paid attention to him and that large heritage about Bulgaria’s past remains in the Vatican Library.
A cousin of his – Dimitur Georgiev Kolchagov, living in the United States of America since 1912 was the only person, who went to Rome in 1973, asked to meet with the Pope in order to take this work, but he was not permitted and so everything remained as it was.
Lazar Mladenov left a will, stating that everything should be opened one hundred years later. He died in Rome in 1918.
Milana’s other brother – Ivan was exiled along with all teachers from Razlog in Adana – Turkey, where he could not wait for his brother Lazar’s help to arrive and ran away, getting onto a steamboat. The Turkish police searched the steamboat and Ivan died from a heart attack, worrying they will capture him.
Only Milana remained and continued her father’s work. She was the first teacher in Bansko and continued the task of educating the people that her father had initiated.
Milana married Gyogata (Georgi) from the famous Kolchagov family. He was illiterate and that was a big problem for him during his many trade travels. Milana taught him to read and write. She taught her eight children to have the positive traits of honesty, hard work, clear thinking and most of all love for the homeland under yoke. Revolutionary activity spurred in their home. Her two sons – Lazar and Sandre became rebels in the Pirin Mountain, in the division of Yane Sandanski. The mother, full of goodwill and desire to help in the liberation from Ottoman yoke, baked two oven-loads of bread and sent it to the rebels in the mountain using horses and mules. In order to find out who fed the rebels, the Turks started to watch the chimneys of the houses, so they can see which makes the most smoke, but they could not determine. Then they started to watch closely the people who went often to the mountain with horses and mules. They caught the man who carried the bread one day and after being mercilessly tortured, he turned Milana Kolchagova in. A Turkish asker (army division) encircled Bansko and started searching every home to catch Milana, who was hiding in a house at the outskirts of town.
When the asker came close to the house, Milana quickly dressed up as an old woman. Using the fact that the Turk respects the act of bearing children, she told the young hostess: “Quick, girl, lie down, bring hot water from the fireplace.” She enacted a scene of giving birth. When the Turkish leader came inside, he believed the scene. He closed the door quickly and came back telling the soldiers they won’t be entering that house. This way, her wit saved her life, but a further stay in Bansko became impossible, since they kept on searching the next days as well.
Yane Sandanski, seeing that her life is in danger asked a group of rebels to help her reach free Bulgaria. It was not easy to get her out of Bansko. They made her get into a large barrel, which they loaded on a horse cart and so she reached the village of Belitsa. A group of rebels awaited her there, among which were her two sons – Lazar and Sandre, Yonko Vaptsarov and others. She had to walk to free Bulgaria from there.
They had to cross the border through Aygidik peak (the same spot, where a few months later died the famous rebel leader Radon Todev with his division during the Ilinden Uprising), where there were only a few guards, since it was February, 1903 and that winter was very cold. The snow reached their waist. Milana could not walk. They made brushwood for her, placed a mat and started pulling her up. The climbing was tough and tiresome. At one point, she totally collapsed and told them: “Let me die,” thinking at least her sons would be saved. One of the rebels turned to her and showed her two human figures (a mother and a daughter) frozen to death, hugging, who probably also wanted to run away from the Turks. That sight mobilized Milana Kolchagova’s last forces and she continued the way they had taken to the Rila Monastery. After a while, they crossed the border, where she rested first. Later they sent her through Dupnitsa and Sofia to the village of Lujene (now a part of Velingrad), where her first cousin lived and that was where she settled.
Her return to Bansko was impossible. The Turkish military court in Solun sentenced her to 101 years of high security prison. She was the first Bulgarian in Bansko with such a sentence.
That became the reason for her husband and their children also to move away from Bansko and settle in the village of Lujene (Velingrad), where their descendents live nowadays.
Despite her old age, she liked to tell stories of the hard times under the yoke, about the rebels, about Yane Sandanski and the battles, which were fought with the enslavers. She liked to read, to sing and to be photographed. She highly valued the pictures put in a frame with glass and when she could not walk anymore, all of her pictures were arranged by the wall, next to her bed, like a carpet.
Milana Kolchagova was very religious and loved to say: “I am very grateful to God, that all of my children are normal!”
She loved to read the Bible and a newspaper called “Zornitsa”, where she had a picture taken. This picture is being kept in the civil museum of Bansko today.
Milana Kolchagova lived to very old age. She died in Velingrad in 1945, at the age of 89, where she was buried.
I will talk about all the sons, daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren until present days of the branch of Georgi and Milana Kolchagov: Lazar, Alexander, Dimitur, Hristo, Mara, Elena, Rayna and Ivan.
Lazar Georgiev Kolchagov
His wife is called Magdalina Yordanova Ivanova.
They have six children:
1) The first child died when it was still a baby
2) Todor Lazarov Kolchagov
3) Boris Lazarov Kolchagov
4) Alexander Lazarov Kolchagov
5) Elisaveta Lazarova Kolchagova
6) Yordanka Lazarova Kolchagova
Lazar Georgiev Kolchagov was born in Bansko on 06.16.1876 and died on 11.11.1953 in Lujene, an area of Velingrad.
Even when he was still young, he was inventive. As a child of 12 or 13 years, he made a wheel. On one side of the wheel there was a doll – a fallen Turk and on the other side another doll – a Bulgarian, who was standing up. He used to put the wheel in the waters of a small river and when it turned, the Bulgarian would kick the Turk and his hat would fall. Many people gathered to watch, to laugh and to admire, but one man told his father to make sure the wit of his child was kept in his head, or else he would be imprisoned.
Lazar Kolchagov is named after his uncle – bishop Lazar Mladenov, his mother’s brother, with the holy name of Laurentius.
As I wrote, even at an early stage of his life, the thought of fighting the enslavers arose in his heart.
He studied until the second grade of high school in his hometown of Bansko. He was taught to write exceptionally beautifully, since his mother was the first teacher in Bansko and asked that of him. Being brought up by patriotic parents, when he grew up, he took an active role in the fight for the liberation of Macedonia, which still remained under the Turkish yoke.
In 1896 Gotse Delchev founded a revolutionary committee in Bansko and Lazar Kolchagov was one of its first members. Gotse Delchev was a main teacher in Bansko and he created a network of revolutionary committees in the area of Razlog, as well as illegal underground ways from and into free Bulgaria to transfer weapons, munitions, literature and other materials needed for the upcoming fight for the liberation of the Bulgarians in Macedonia and in the Odrin (Edirne) area.
Lazar Kolchagov used his business as a trader in the stores of his father in organizing the revolutionary activity as well. He went to the market of Mekhomia (now Razlog) to sell fabric and before the eyes of the Turks a man from the committee went up to him and told him: “Lazar, give me the entire piece of fabric so my wife can say whether she likes it and then I’ll tell you if I’ll buy it”. Later he took the fabric to the inn and put the revolutionary letters inside. He returned the fabric to the market and said: “Lazar, my wife didn’t like it,” and so before the eyes of the Turks the revolutionary letters got to Bansko.
Lazar Kolchagov played an active role in the “Ms. Stone Affair”, which had the attention of the world press for a period of six months.
On the 21st of August, 1901, on the way from Bansko to Gorna Djumaya, the rebels, lead by Yane Sandanski kidnapped the American Protestant missionary Ms. Helena Stone and the Bulgarian from Bansko – Catherina D. Popstefanova – Tsilka in Pirin Mountain and wanted a ransom for their lives of 25 000 Turkish lira or napoleons.
The brother of Ms. Stone traveled through the entire United States and was able to collect only 14 500 golden lira. Loaded on horses, the gold traveled from town to town and also got to Bansko. That is where its replacement with lead took place. The coffers were placed in the church and were guarded by the Turks. Only the priest had the right to enter the church. He carried a bag, full of lead, in his belt and put the lead in the unlocked coffers, taking the gold. The merit of Lazar Kolchagov is that he carved out the Turkish seal, which was used to lock the coffers after taking all the gold.
After some time, without the Turks knowing, that the coffers contained only lead, they kept on traveling and reached Solun, where they were transferred to Ottomanbank and it was found out that the gold was taken, but how and where remained a mystery. Ms. Helena Stone was freed.
Lazar Kolchagov was chosen as an honest person, worthy of guarding the gold, which would be used to buy weapons for the Ilinden Uprising.
He slept on the gold and with other friends from Bansko organized its transportation, using horses, through Yakoruda and Yundola to Belovo, where he gave it to Yane Sandanski and Hristo Chernopeev. To remember that event, Yane Sandanski gave every rebel a lira.
His devotion and dedication were highly valued by his friends, who chose him to be a member of the management of the revolutionary activity in Bansko. In the spring of 1903 he was chosen to be a delegate from the Razlog area in the Syar revolutionary region.
Here, I literally state the documentary, left by my grandfather – Lazar G. Kolchagov as a participant in the fight for freedom of the Bulgarian nation in Macedonia. Armed with a shotgun, he fought a Turkish asker near the village of Belitsa, Bachevo, Skalata (the cliff) area and Sakandilov meadow.
“Battle in the village of Goleshevo, Sandanski area”
(from the memories of the Macedonian revolutionary Lazar Georgiev Kolchagov, from the town of Bansko, area of Razlog, Pirin Macedonia)
“Around the 16th of April – old style, 1903, we – six friends, delegates of the Razlog revolutionary area left for the village of Lovcha in the Nevrokop area (today area of Gotse Delchev), where the congress of the Syar revolutionary region would take place. For that congress, from Solun had departed Gotse Delchev himself, who was discovered by a Turkish asker in the village of Banitsa, Syar area and killed there, due to which the entire congress was cancelled. The Razlog delegation was comprised of six people: Yonko Vaptsarov (a rebel), from the town of Bansko, Radon G. Todev – a teacher from the town of Bansko, Sando Vitanov, a rebel from the village of Leshko in the Gorna Djumaya area (now Blagoevgrad area), Simeon Dragovchev, a courier from the village of Guliyna Banya in the Razlog area, Mitur Riskyov from the town of Bansko and the now writing Lazar G. Kolchagov, from the town of Bansko, member of the leading group of the organization in Bansko.
On the date stated above, we – the Razlog delegation, armed and lead by the couriers Mile Kolchagov and Yonka Sandrev followed the River Mesta towards Lovchan Mountain, where the congress was going to take place.
On the first night we passed through the village of Dobrinishte and reached the village of Kremen in the Nevrokop area, where we spent the next day, the 17th of April. At dusk, two teachers from the village arrived, coming from Nevrokop and told us that passing through the Nevrokop area is very dangerous, since a weapons transport was discovered in the village of Baldevo, which was later burned and many people were killed.
Having that in mind, we decided to pass through Pirin and so to the congress. The next day we left for the Pirin, staying at the large lake “Papaz-gyol”. At the lake, we found some villagers from Kremen, who told us about the legend that the waters of the lake did not engulf any objects, thrown inside and returned everything back to the shore. The couriers from Bansko led us to Kremen and from there to Papaz-gyol took us couriers from the village of Kremen. From Papaz-gyol to the area of Melnik, we traveled without couriers since we considered Pirin to be our territory, clear of the eyes of the enemy. In the bright of day we passed the Demir-kapiya gorge, where we saw the movement of many people. They could not be Wallachians (Kutsovlakhs), since they came here later in the year with their herds. We did not have any binoculars to be able to recognize whether they’re friends or foes. Since we supposed they could be a Turkish asker, we passed around them and our guess turned out to be a good one – the people who were in Lopovo were a Turkish asker.
Going around Lopovo, we went into a forest, which evaded us encountering the asker, which as we later discovered carried supplies for the Turkish sentries in Lopovo.
The first village in Pirin, which we visited, was Kashina, Melnik area. We knocked on the door of a house and we asked for the chief person in the village. The villagers called him right away and he found a courier who would take us to the village of Chereshnitsa, Melnik area. We reached Chereshnitsa during the night. We spent the next day there. We learned that in nearby Lyahovo we can find P. K. Yavorov, who printed the revolutionary newspaper “Liberty or Death” there. Our joy could not be described; we were going to meet Yavorov, to whom we had been introduced already before.
From Chereshnitsa to Lyahovo we left with a courier, who took us during the night to the house, where Yavorov lived and printed the newspaper. Yavorov’s assistant was Mitso Kereliev, a teacher from Kukush, who was also there. The happiness we felt was great. Yavorov was very delighted to see old friends from the battlefield coming from the Razlog area. We stayed in his house during the day, where he edited and as we said, printed “Liberty or Death.”
The author of these lines joined right away at the tasks dealing with the printing press, which sparked great interest in me, since that was the first time I saw how a newspaper is printed.
Yavorov knew about the upcoming congress of the Syar revolutionary region and we decided he would also join us, along with his assistant – Mitso Kereliev and also take the printing press, which the congress needed.
By noon, the host of the house came into our room, pale and worried and told us: “Men, a big asker is entering the village, find a place to hide!”
In a few minutes, the printing press, the ready issues and the handwritten papers were hidden with the host and we, now eight men, well armed, took a position in the barn. Several times Yavorov sent the host to find out why this asker is coming and whether we had been betrayed. We held the guns tight in our hands and waited to clash with the asker anytime, which had spread in the village, but did not initiate a search. After a two hour stay, the asker left the village without learning that rebels had been there, such as the ones it was looking for and turning around every stone in the villages of the area.
After the two hundred men, who the asker was comprised of left, the host finally relaxed, because his house would have been the first one to be set on fire. We returned to Yavorov’s room and started to get ready for the upcoming travel to the village of Goleshevo. We left Lyahovo at dusk. We waited in the outskirts of the village for the couriers to come. We had dinner by the walls of a destroyed monastery, not far from Lyahovo, where the courier from the Village of Krushevo found us; he would take us to Goleshevo, so we can spend the day there and then go to Lovcha Mountain – to the congress.
The courier from the village of Krushevo gave Yavorov two coded letters. He opened the first, written by Gotse Delchev (his last letter), which said: “Take the hectograph and come to the congress in Lovcha Mountain, we are waiting for you.” The letter was sent from the village of Banitsa, where a few hours later Delchev died fighting the Turkish asker. The other letter was from the chief man of the village of Krushevo, four hours away from Banitsa, which said: “Delchev’s company is surrounded in the village of Banitsa, I don’t know what is going to happen.” Yavorov put the letters in the bag and we left for Goleshevo – eight people, rebels, two couriers and a mule, on which we had loaded the printing press.
The road to Goleshevo was a difficult one during the night, since we passed through narrow paths and the mule could barely get through. In the middle of the night, we heard dogs barking and Yavorov said: “This can’t be good. The asker probably found us.” At dawn we were before the village of Goleshevo, located in a corner of Ali botush. Since the couriers were civilians and unarmed, they entered the village with the mule and the loaded printing press on it. We were unsure whether to enter the village in the middle of the day. Yavorov insisted we do, but Yonko Vaptsarov objected, he said we should go into an oak forest next to the village, where we would camp, in a safe place for us and for the villagers.
That was on St. George’s day – 1903. The company settled in the oak forest, where soon after that a villager visited us, the one who maintained our connection with the village. Yavorov and Vaptsarov sent a letter through him to elder Iliya Kurchovaliyata (a rebel leader), who was two hours away with his company in the “Dry Peak” area, with an asking to join us by Goleshevo in the evening and then depart for the congress in Lovcha Mountain. Elder Iliya was a rebel in the past as well, but after the creation of VMRO, he entered the battle ranks of the organization and was very useful and devoted to it.
Around one o’clock during the day, the chief man of the village came, along with a teacher from Goleshevo, with whom we spoke of organizational matters. The weather was truly wonderful – sunny. People were dancing by the village, both young and old. St. George’s day was a big holiday for these villages. It was almost three o’clock. The sentry watched closely and we were lying down to rest in the forest. Yavorov was fast asleep in a corner by the fallen leaves. Suddenly, we heard a loud noise over us and we told elder Georgi Kokalov right away to go and take a look at what is going on. We thought the noise came from some cattle herders and we did not want them to see us. Elder Georgi climbed around 50 meters to the top of the hill and when he looked down he saw a lot of asker. He ran to us quickly with the words: “Quick, boys, there is a lot of asker moving nearby.” We jumped and ran like scared wild animals and in our hurry we forgot to wake up the sleeping Yavorov. Going down towards the village, we noticed he was not among us. Then Simeon Dragovchev came back to wake and tell Yavorov about the coming of the asker. The two of them caught up on us in the deep gorge over the village. Running to the village, we came before the dancing people. They immediately broke the step and ran to their homes when they saw us armed and running.
Elder Georgi, the chief man in the village and the teacher turned away from us and probably went into their homes. We left our bags and our hats in our hurry back in the forest; we carried only our guns and the munitions on our belts. Crisscrossing the village, wondering where to go, one of our mates said: “Mitre is not with us, where could he be?” He was talking about Mitur Riskyov. Where to now? We were in a narrow village street. Vaptsarov told me: “Lazar, check the other side of the garden if there’s another gorge there, because I see no other way out.” I climbed on a partially destroyed wall, jumped over it, bent over and with a gun in my hand I ran through the gardens to look for a way out. Having not reached the middle of the garden, I heard a shot and a bullet hit the ground next to me. I realized the asker had noticed us. I didn’t sit and watch, I lied down before a pile of stones and I saw 10 or 15 people, soldiers from the Turkish asker moving through the oak forest, where we rested earlier that day. I lifted my gun and I fired twice. I noticed a kind of confusion in the asker. Later we found out that my first bullet had hit an unlucky man, who hadn’t done me any wrong to make me leave his children orphans. This little gunfight revealed us before the asker and I came back to my company.
Yavorov and Vaptsarov quickly consulted what to do because there was no time to waste; the asker was closing down on us. Vaptsarov gave a quick order to rush into the barn, telling everyone to run and not turn around and fire at the Turks before we reach the barn with the stone walls and the roof made out of hay, which was located at the end of the village.
We ran to the barn, galloping around two hundred feet in the open, while the bullets passed around us. Luckily, nobody was hit. Vaptsarov raised a large stone and broke the door of the barn. It was empty. We found a sharp metal inside, which we used to make loopholes in the walls to defend ourselves better. The door was used for that purpose, too. Vaptsarov and Mitso Kereliev entered the barn; three other people took cover behind the large pile of stones. Yavorov took the corner on the outside of the barn.
The soldiers from the Turkish asker found out were in the barn and started to fire at us more intensively. Most of them were surrounding the village from a distance at that time. The bullets could not hit us because wherever we saw a dangerously enclosing Turkish soldier, we showed no mercy on him and a few of them had already fallen, either dead or wounded. The asker had many soldiers and encircled us from almost every corner. There was a Turkish division behind a hill over the village and they were trying to bait us with a fez and hat, witch we had left behind. They closed up on us. Mitso Kereliev desperately fired from the door of the barn and held the coming uphill regulars and bashibouzuks. The asker shouted at us in Turkish and asked us to surrender: “The sultan would forgive us.” There was a rock on the hill behind us, which collapsed, being constantly hit by the bullets coming from the Turkish guns. The Turks yelled again telling us to surrender, but Sando Kitanov answered them by swearing at the Sultan and his harem.
There was no hope for escape and the asker was getting ready to attack. Realizing we were seven men, Radon, who was sitting next to me, said: “Lazar, the asker is going to attack us. Since they are too many, we won’t be able to push them back. They will overwhelm us and capture us alive. We do not have pistols and we won’t be able to put a bullet through our heads in the last moment. Our guns are long and we can’t use them for that. We can’t do anything else but wait for their attack and jump at them with bayonets, so more bullets can pierce us and they won’t torture us for a long time.”
That moment was the most critical of my life and I have never seen death so close to me as it was then. As a believer of the faith of Christ, I sent a prayer in my mind to the “Revelation” to help us escape, so we can see our families at least one more time. Not even a minute had passed and the “response” came.
The battle was at its boiling point. The Turks were fierce, seeing how seven men, rebels, could stand against 1000 people asker and bashibouzuk. At the opposite hill we saw people in Turkish military uniform. A horn blew. The Turks who had surrounded us also blew a horn in response. We overheard from their conversation that the asker on the opposite side is their second division, coming to their aid and they intensified the fire. The people in the Turkish military uniform we saw wore white hats (fez). They were running. I turned to Vaptsarov and told him: “Vaptsar, the ones coming from the top are going to eat us alive”. He responded: “Save your bullets, it’s not clear what will happen.”
The asker with the white hats came very close and three of them started yelling in Bulgarian: “Hey, Vaptsar, Sando, are you alive? Is anyone killed? This surprise thrilled us. Vaptsar replied: “Nobody’s dead, but one is lost.” They answered: “Hold on tight! Revolution! Down with Turkey!” They took cover behind bushes and in hollow spots and spoke between each other: “Here’s the asker, before us.” They opened heavy fire in the asker’s flank, killing some Turks.
When the Turks found out that the help was not for them, but for us, the Turkish horn gave a signal for retreat. The asker was hit from behind by the company coming to help us. Then, Radon Todev turned to me and said: “Hit, Lazar, shoot, the asker is running and hiding in the bushes.” We concentrated our fire at the bushes, out of where a few people of the asker never got out. At that time, the company that came to help us clashed with the asker coming from Melnik – around 600 people. The fight was in the village from the upper side and the other fight – in the lower. That was the most horrible moment for us and for the village. The battle went on in between the houses. Cries were heard. The Turks beat up and killed every villager they saw. Only two hours ago, in that peaceful village bagpipes were playing and people were dancing in honor of St. George’s day, but now – it was hell. People from Goleshevo will remember that St. George’s day, as long as they live!
It became even more dangerous for us now. The nearby houses filled up with Turkish asker and fire was coming from every little hole, window or door. One hope remained: if we could try to break through and escape when night came, under the cover of darkness. The asker wanted to light the hay roof of the barn on fire and to make us leave our fortress. To do that, they sent cattle towards the barn and hidden soldiers behind it, who would come close and throw torches on the roof. We opened fire at the cattle and they turned and ran. After that, the Turks tried approaching using villagers – women and children, thinking we would not fire at our brothers and sisters. The asker pushed them forward with their bayonets since they refused to walk. Vaptsar yelled at the villagers: “Go back! We know nobody now!” He ordered us to shoot over their heads. Scared by our gunshots, the villagers threw themselves on the ground and the Turks ran away, having lost their cover and so we don’t kill them.
It was hell in the village: women and children were screaming, dogs were howling, donkeys were yelping. At that time, I moved away from my position and took cover between Sando Kitanov and Simeon Dragovchev, who had made loopholes in the stone wall. Yavorov was at the corner of the barn (the outer one) and he watched the movements of the asker in two directions from there.
It started to get dark and even though we saved our bullets, whenever a shadow appeared, we shot at it. At that time, Radon Todev had hit a mulyazin (colonel). The fire continued, but some of us fell asleep for an instant because we were too tired. Suddenly, a man with a gun in hand appeared, standing 3-4 meters before our position and at first we could not determine if he was Turkish or Bulgarian. Before we did, Radon yelled at him: “Who are you?” And instead of replying, he pointed the gun at Radon. When we saw his gun, we realized he was a Turk; we lifted our guns and fired at him. Along with our guns, fired Radon’s as well. Hit by three bullets, the Turk fell on the ground, without firing a shot. He turned 5 or 6 steps away and lied in a little hollow on his back, still holding onto his gun. He snored and coughed for around three minutes, since he had heavy wounds, but he found the strength and shot once at the barn towards Yavorov. Seeing that, Radon Todev yelled at Vaptsar: “I will go and take his gun.” Vaptsarov replied from the barn: “Don’t come out, you will abandon your position.”
At that moment, the wounded Turk sent a second bullet at the barn, which pierced the wall, a palm away from the head of Yavorov. He said: “That dog almost ate me.” Radon got up from his position and fired another time at the wounded Turk. He looked like he was a strong man, determined to capture us alive. His rank was a high one – bash-chaush (commander in chief). The darkness of the night had already covered the ground. Sando Kitanov, who was sitting next to me said: “Give me the bomb so we can finish him.” He said that so the Turk can hear them and so he would get up and try to run away and so we can hit him with a bullet or two and send him to Allah. He was heavily wounded and he couldn’t get up, even if he wanted to. Simeon Dragovchev thought of something else: “Lazar!” he said, “Let’s finish him with stones.” The two of us started throwing stones at the Turk and we almost covered him. With a painful voice, the bash-chaush yelled: “Abdullah chaush, come, the rebels are here.” Even though we were besieged for six hours in the barn, the dying Turk thought he had found us now. From the surrounding houses, full of Turkish soldiers were heard replies: “We are coming, right away.” The battle continued with the same ferocity. The desperate cries weren’t ceasing in the village.
To prevent further losses, the Turks sent the mayor of the village to ask us to surrender. He showed himself before us through a little door of a house, opposite our barn and asked us to surrender and save the village. The sultan would take pity on us. The house, out of which the mayor showed up was full of asker and shots were fired at us from every side. Vaptsar turned to the mayor with the words: “Let the asker deal with us. What are you guilty of so they want to burn your village?”
Night came. We started thinking of a plan how to get away from the enemy. It was impossible to retreat through the village, since it was full of asker. It was dangerous to go through the hill as well. We could not take cover there and the moon had lit the sky, as if it were day. But still it was less dangerous to climb up the hill, even though there were Turkish soldiers there. We decided to break through the position on the hill and whoever remained alive would run to the Pirin. As Vaptsarov ordered, we started climbing the hill, crawling up a brook, 5 or 6 steps from one another. Our movement forward happened the following way: the last man crawled first forward, then the second to last and so on.
The only bomb we had was held by Sando Kitanov. Vaptsarov ordered Sando to be ready to detonate it so we can use the panic it will create to escape from the Turkish siege. We crawled up the hill and the asker, besieging the barn kept on firing at it, thinking we are still inside.
That encouraged us and gave us reason to think the asker hadn’t realized we were moving uphill. We were close to the top. We got ready to break through the Turks, who were there. Only fifty feet were remaining to the top. Out of the forest opposite us we heard a noise and overheard the word “Company!” We stopped, stuck to the ground, without anyone moving. Guns were fired. We heard bullets flying. It was clear, a fight between friendly and Turks. We realized that our mates, who came to help us during the day participated in that battle and they had most likely come to help us again and to unite the two companies.
That third battle went on for only a few minutes. We started to climb up the hill again. We closed the top. Vaptsarov sent me, Sando Kitanov and Simeon Dragovchev to go up front and take position on top of the hill and the other four would get up and attack in the clear and whoever remained alive – good for him, the rest, “God forgive!” Before that, Vaptsar told us which way is Pirin and Ali-botush, so whoever was able to escape would run that way. The first three of us crawled up very carefully. We looked around and to our dismay we did not see an asker. We signaled the rest of our mates to come to us. We all got up on our feet. Yavorov whispered: “Men, we are almost saved here.”
The shots of our friends had caught the attention of the Turks, taken the position on the hilltop and luckily for us, at the time we were there, there was not a single Turk. They had simply left a path for us to get through and taken their positions right away after that.
We took a path through the forest. A donkey yelped at us in our way. Vaptsarov gave a warning: “There are people here. We have to change our course.” We entered following no path in the oak forest and we reached Goleshevo River. Next to it, we saw a fire, a herd of sheep and a shepherd. We decided to capture him and take his bread since we had left our bags with food behind, while trying to escape. He noticed us and disappeared in the darkness. Some dogs started barking. We crossed the river and took to the Pirin. In our fast movement, Mitso Kereliev felt sick and his legs couldn’t hold him anymore. He told us to leave him since he could not walk anymore. We encouraged him to hold on tight. Simeon Dragovchev gave him a little bread and a sugar cube. We took his gun and his munitions. He came to his senses. We intensified our walk. The night of St. George’s day was a short one and we had to escape far from these lands, because it was not impossible to encounter the Turks again the next day.
We moved towards Pirin the whole night. The day after St. George’s day at dawn we found ourselves in a young forest, which could not cover us and our journey forward became dangerous.
We decided to spend the day in a cut down oak forest, which had new trees growing. All of us lied down, holding on to our guns, awaiting more shots from somewhere. We hadn’t slept for two or three nights already and we hadn’t eaten anything from yesterday. We strained our hearing in that forest, like rabbits do. It was after noon. Around three o’clock we heard trees being cut somewhere from the gorge. Vaptsarov asked who would go and catch the lumberjack and if he’s Turkish to take his head and his bread, or if he’s Bulgarian – only his bread. Simeon Dragovchev showed his will to do that first. The two of them went in that direction from two sides. Even if he’s Bulgarian, there’s a possibility that he would betray us and we would be discovered. Vaptsarov came close to the villager with a gun pointed at him and asked him which village he’s from. The villager put the axe down and said: “Vaptsar, is that you? Are you all alive? We were around thirty men, villagers, armed with what we could find, coming to help the besieged company in Goleshevo, but since there were too many asker, we did not have the courage to show ourselves.”
The villager came out to be a person Vaptsarov had known before. He asked whether any one of us was killed. Vaptsarov responded that nobody was, but asked him for bread. He told him he had some and cut him and Dragovchev a loaf. He brought them water from the gorge. That same villager later brought us bread from his full bag, as well as water. The bread was baked in a bad oven, but seemed very tasty to us. He made sure dinner was prepared for us in the nearby villages of Hrasna and Belyovo and became our courier. During the evening, he brought us to the village, where he came from, where around 30 men, villagers, waited for us, crying out of joy, seeing we were saved, except for the lost Dimitur Riskyov. We had dinner by the village of Hrasna. After that, Vaptsar asked the chief man of the village to send villagers in the woods, who would not be suspected, so they find the company, that had come to our aid the previous day and so we can unite and leave for the congress. We still didn’t know what had happened with the most worthy of Macedonia’s sons – Delchev.
We slept and spent the day in a forest by the same village. The next day, at dawn, the sentry told us that on the road between Melnik and Nevrokop, just over us, there’s an asker comprised of around 200 men. Then a second division and a third and after them, three soldiers, who were on horses, which meant they were wounded by us the previous day. Four villagers with tied hands from the village of Goleshevo were walking after them; they were going to be taken to Melnik. That asker came from the same village, where we had engaged it before. If only they knew that the seven rebels, who mocked them the previous day, are only a kilometer away, they would have cut us in pieces. The sun was already shining brightly. We had hidden in the bushes. We spent the day without worries and trouble. In the evening, the villagers came and took us to the company of elder Iliya Kurchovaliyata. There, we saw the company that had aided us. We saluted each other, but we noticed that our mates’ moral was low. Soon after, we found out why. They told us that Delchev, Gushtanov and half of Delchev’s company were killed two days before St. George’s day. Around 15 people had saved their lives by digging the walls of a few houses and a barn. Dimo Hajidimov, Georgi Chaluka and others were there. We felt that with the loss of the greatest son of Macedonia and the soul of VMRO – Delchev, we had remained orphans, like little birds without their mother.
The rebel leaders gathered to decide what to do with the congress. Due to the circumstances after Delchev’s death, which gave reason for the whole asker in Macedonia to be alerted, a decision to postpone the congress was taken.
Therefore, the congress in Lovcha Mountain did not take place. Another decision came after that: to leave for the Pirin and whoever would want to go to Bulgaria after that, should make it to Rila and all companies and delegates should return to their original places.
That is where we found our lost mate, Dimitur Riskyov, who split from us when we were discovered by the asker next to the village of Goleshevo… He hid in a bush next to the village and the asker passed by without noticing him. A young shepherd helped him find the company, which came to aid us in Goleshevo.
There, by elder Iliya Kurchovaliyata we found a few people – villagers from Goleshevo, who had escaped with the company the next day after the battle in their village. The same villagers told us they were left with the impression that we were killed in the barn, or around it, because they heard no more gunshots coming from it. They told us how the commanders of the Turkish blockade took two villagers as negotiators, who would come inside the barn and ask us to give ourselves up, because they would also suffer, as well as their village. How the Turks gathered in the church yard all the villagers from Goleshevo and were getting ready to burn the village. The two negotiators were sent to the barn and yelled from afar: “Surrender to save the village.” The Turks, who were close to the barn also yelled: “Surrender!”
At that time, the commander in chief, who was wounded by us in front of the barn thought the villagers yelled at him to surrender and instead of replying, he shot at them with his gun. The two villagers came back to the Turkish officers and told them: “If the rebels are willing to kill us, we better die by your hands.” The villagers thought we had fired since the shot came from the barn.
From this shot, the Turkish officers remained with the impression that we are still in the barn. Then they asked for the barn’s owner, so he would ask us to surrender. Fearing for his life, the same man had run away from the village and they did not find him. Instead of him, came his wife – Hajisimeonova. They ordered her: “There are seven men in your barn, ask them to give themselves up so they don’t get killed, since they are surrounded from all sides.”
The hostess came close to the barn and started yelling: “Surrender, boys.” To her dismay, she did not find a single rebel. The barn was full of fired cartridges, inside and outside, next to the pile of stones. She came back to the Turkish officers and told them that the rebels had run away. The officers were truly astonished: How was it possible for us to run away, when we were blockaded by a couple of divisions of asker! Although the woman insisted, they did not believe her.
The war horn gave the columns a signal for attack, to get closer and storm the barn. The asker reached it, ready to attack, but when they stormed it and opened the door, it turned out none of the witty rebels were inside. Angered, the commander called the officers, who were the first to open fire at us. They came to him and stood straight where our positions had been.
The commander asked them: “Did you start this fight?” – “We did,” replied the officers.
“Why is there not a single dead rebel here so we can see who those devils are? So many of us died, (eight soldiers and one colonel dead and eleven wounded), and there’s not a drop of blood from the rebels here,” said the commander with desperation. “We fired so many bullets, so many died and there’s not a single wounded or dead rebel. Our kingdom is gone,” concluded he with a lowered head.
At that moment, they raised up the commander in chief we had wounded, put him on a mule, but after moving for a bit, he died.
The Turks gathered the cartridges from the positions, as well as two stacks of unused munitions, which I forgot by the stone wall, since my belt was hard to unfasten and I had placed them there to ease my effort when shooting.
They filed a report at that spot. After that they gathered all of Goleshevo’s villagers and took them to the church yard. Barrels of petrol were ready to set the village on fire. Luckily, another Turkish commander in chief arrived there at that time, coming from the village of Petrovo. He traveled alone, accompanied only by his horn blower. When he came by the village, he ordered him to signal their arrival. He went to the commanders of the siege and asked: “Were the rebels found in the village?” – “No” – answered the officers. They had hidden in the woods over the village.
He asked them another question: “Did the villagers shoot at you?”
“No” – answered the officers.
“Then you will not set the village on fire”, said the commander in chief, who had just come, “The people of Goleshevo are not guilty that the running rebels had hidden in their village.”
They took away the killed and the wounded, arrested a few villagers and left the village.
As long as they live, the people from Goleshevo will never forget St. George’s day of 1903.
That entire story had been told us by the villagers from Goleshevo, whom we found in elder Iliya Kurchovaliyata’s company.
All of us, the six members of the Razlog delegation prepared to depart for Bansko. Two of the survivors from Delchev’s company, Dimo Hajidimov from Gorno Brody and Kotse Mutavchiev from Bansko joined us. Yavorov and Mitso Kereliev came with us as well. The group consisted of 10 people. During the day we reached the outskirts of Bansko and in the evening at dusk we entered the town.
It was Sunday when we entered my hometown. Those of us who were born in Bansko went to their homes. Hajidimov, Yavorov, Mitso Kereliev and Sando Kitanov were accommodated in other houses.
Known as a grocer, on the next day Monday I had to go to the regional market in Mekhomia (Razlog), where I was opened a street-stall as usual. Together with other traders from my town, I went to the market. Since I did not attend the previous market due to my departure to Goleshevo, I wrapped my neck with a scarf pretending to have been sick.
The Turks, whom I knew were greeting me, since I was one of the “obedient rayah”. A little after opening the street-stall, Yonche, the leader of the organization in Dolno Draglishte Village approached me and told me that he would like to buy some cotton fabric, but since his wife stayed in the inn if I could give him the whole roll of fabric and she would examine it and take as much as she needed. I gave it to him and he brought the roll to her in the inn.
The purpose of this “trade transaction” was to bring the cotton print to the inn and to wrap the revolutionary mail, concerning the entire Syar revolutionary district, which he received from Bulgaria through the Rila Monastery.
Indeed, a little later he returned the fabric untouched to me with the pretext that his wife didn’t like it. The handling of the roll of fabric by Yonche took place in the presence of many Turks from Mekhomia and Bachevo, without them suspecting anything.
It was not the first time the revolutionary mail was received this way. We also got newspapers from Bulgaria, amongst which was “Shang Mail”, which frequently had articles on the Macedonian affairs and we were reading it with pleasure.
The death of Delchev was felt all over Macedonia as the greatest loss for the revolutionary cause. This loss however did not discourage us; on the contrary, we tightened our rows even more for the final retribution with the Turks, which we expected to come with the forthcoming Ilinden Rebellion, the decision for which had already been taken in Solun. Western Macedonia was already on fire, the railway bridge over the River Angista was blown up by Delchev himself, youngsters from Veles blew up “Ottomanbank” in Solun, the French ship “Guadalquivir” was set on fire, bombs were thrown in the American consulates and in houses of American missionaries, as a result of which scared to death, the wife of the missionary Haskell died.
We, the leadership committee in Bansko, foremen and centurions were preparing for the Ilinden Uprising. Everyone was doing their best to acquire better arms and more bullets. We were permanently reading revolutionary literature like “Under the Yoke” by I. Vazov, literature about the French revolution, the poems by H. Botev, etc.
Such was the end of the battle in Goleshevo Village from which all participants came out unhurt. Amongst all only Simeon Dragovchev from Guliyna Banya Village near Razlog and I remain alive today.
Thirty years later in 1933 I visited Goleshevo for a second time to resurrect my memories about that heroic time.
The barn, where we were besieged was still there. Its hay roof was replaced with tiles. I went also to the small forest in which the enemy discovered us. I went about all places related to the battle. We spent nearly 2 hours beside the barn with the teachers and the mayor. Amongst all there were villagers still alive, who remembered that glorious battle on the very St. George’s day of 1903. I made pictures of the barn, of the village and the small forest.
10th of July, 1953
Town of Velingrad, Lujene area, People’s Republic of Bulgaria
The author of the memoirs above, my grandfather Lazar dedicated them to his son Boris L. Kolchagov, who lives at present with his family in Detroit, MI, USA.
After the defeat of the Ilinden rebellion in 1906 Lazar Kolchagov moved with his family to Lujene (Velingrad), where he lived until his death.
In September, 1912 the Balkan war began.
The poet Peyo Yavorov arrived with his battalion in Lujene. He stayed at my grandfather Lazar’s house; Lazar formed a company of 50 men in Lujene Village, all of them immigrants from the Razlog region. These two detachments united and moved to Yundola.
Just having built their camp on a meadow, they saw at a distance a coach and a woman in white getting out of the coach, who looked like an angel. When she approached, they recognized her – Lora Yavorova, who was visiting the detachments to give every rebel a piece of sugar. Putting the piece of sugar in his pocket, my grandfather wondered what the sugar would be for. Lora said farewell to Yavorov and left. The two detachments were the avant-garde of the 27th Chepino regiment. They crossed the border and headed towards Belitsa; they took the town and entered into battle with the Turks in Mekhomia (Razlog). As a result Mekhomia was taken and Bansko liberated.
Exhausted, the rebels gobbled the piece of sugar and felt better. Then my grandfather Lazar realized that Lora was right to give them something small, but useful at a particular time.
Bansko was liberated on the 5th of October, 1912. They gathered everybody in the church “St. Trinity” and announced that everybody is free thereafter. All men were wearing red hats (fez); everybody threw his fez on the ground and stamped upon it. A man from Bansko, who had brought a chisel and a hammer, began to hammer out the crescent from the church entrance, but Yavorov stopped and advised him that this is history. Even nowadays the crescent remains half torn off on the church entrance. That completed my grandfather Lazar’s revolutionary mission. Bansko was free, as well as all of Macedonia.
Lazar Kolchagov was a merchant in Lujene Village (Velingrad), working in the shop of his father, located in a newly built in 1910 house on the main street of the village. However, during the First World War in 1918 all goods in the shop were confiscated.
In order to support his family, Lazar Kolchagov entered into partnership with his brother Sandre (Alexander) and opened a small enterprise for chair production, which was located in Chepino area (Velingrad), opposite to the old public baths. They developed well the production of chairs and had 40-50 workers. In order to ensure timber supply, they built a cog wheel for sawing the timber into planks in the Lepenitsa area. This cog wheel operated using water force. For that purpose his son Todor Lazarov Kolchagov constructed a water wheel with an enormous diameter, which moved the machinery of the saw-mill by means of the water stream and produced electricity for illumination of the two story house built on site. Every floor had only two rooms and a veranda. As a child, I used to spend the summer in the enchantingly beautiful Lepenitsa area. The saw-mill existed until 1944, but was burned by the communist partisans.
In 1932 Lazar Kolchagov declared bankruptcy, having accumulated big losses; he closed the chair production and had to pay a tribute to the so-called Repayment Fund all of his life.
He opened a small shop for joinery, toys, poker-work, ceramics, frame-making and window glazing.
The shop was located in his father’s house on the main street in Lujene suburb under a label with “Souvenir” written on it. This is what he did for a living and that was his occupation until the end of his life. In 1949, when he was 73 year old, his shop on the main street in Lujene area was nationalized by the communist authorities, like all other shops in Bulgaria. He had a kiosk at the Lujene railway station, which was also taken.
He addressed the pension department to receive a pension as a Macedonian revolutionary and he was awarded with one.
In 1948 Lazar Kolchagov received documents and a ticket to join his daughter Elisaveta in the USA.
Two days after receiving the documents, he was arrested for selling apples at a higher price, but the actual reason was a different one, preventing him from joining his daughter.
He was kept locked up in the police department in Lujene for 2-3 days and then moved to the Pazardjik military arrest. Three days later, he was sent to crack gravel in Boshulya. He was 72 years old and Peter Grigorov, the secretary of George Dimitrov, who lived with Lazar’s son in America guaranteed for him. The communists freed Lazar, but he was already very ill of progressing cancer. His condition worsened and he died in Lujene on the 10th of November, 1953 at the age of 77.
Thus died away a life full of struggles as a Macedonian revolutionary, a life full of virtues. He was a great abstainer and he strived for all young people should neither drink, nor smoke. He was deeply religious, mild-tempered, humble, honest, hard working and a loving father. In his book “Haidouk Longings”, the poet Peyo Yavorov ends the story “One Battle” with my grandfather and with the definition “The Religious Lazar”. He was a deacon in the protestant church in Lujene, Velingrad. He had a great sense for music; he sang and he played the organ, which he had at home. He was fond of collecting coins and stamps. He had an innovative mind, but he lacked exploitation spirit which led him in losing material welfare. He was a great patriot.
He mentioned many times that we are relatives of Father Paisiy. He liked to share his memories, when all of us gathered around the table – these were the happy days in my childhood.
From my grandfather Lazar I gathered the data for the family tree of the Kolchagov family, dated from 1780 until 1950.
May his memory live forever!
Magdalina Yordanova – Kolchagova
She is the wife of Lazar G. Kolchagov.
She was born on the 20th of July, 1876 in Bansko. She became an orphan without a mother when she was one year old. She was raised by her grandmother Pana (the mother of her mother), who was the wife of Peter Ushev – a rich merchant from Bansko.
Magdalina completed the 4th grade in high school.
Her aunt Catherina Usheva became a teacher at the American College in Lovech after completing her education in England. She wanted to enroll Magdalina to the study in the College in Lovech, but Magdalina refused, for she didn’t want to leave her grandmother and thus remained with this education.
At the age of 19, she married Lazar Kolchagov. Her grandfather Peter gave her 100 golden coins as dowry, pleased that his granddaughter enters a family with traditions.
She gave birth to 6 children: the first died at the age of 1 month, while the others are: Todor, Boris, Alexander, Elisaveta and Yordanka.
Magdalina was a good wife and mother. She showed understanding for the thrilling desire of her husband to struggle for the liberation of Macedonia from Turkish yoke. He kept telling her: “We fight for our homeland, and for it we die!” She took all challenges in raising the children on her. She taught them in the Christian virtues – honesty, humbleness, gratitude, hard-work, austerity. Magdalina was very religious and kept reading the Bible all the time. She sang in the church choir. She had great trading talents, inherited from her father and her grandfather Peter Ushev.
Magdalina helped and opened street stands in Lujene herself, where she sold various goods, mostly joinery at the Lujene railway station and in the center of town. She traded until the age of 83 and in 1959 she concluded her work activity.
Besides that, Magdalina had artistic feeling towards folk-style fabrics and produce like blankets, tufted rugs in various nuances and fringy rugs. She was able to color by herself the woolen yarn in various colors. She weaved table covers and night-gowns from fine cotton and had ethnic motives weaved into them. She exhibited these works at the Varna fair and for her abilities, Magdalina received a special diploma.
She was very hard-working both at home in raising her five children and at her work. Very hospitable and generous, she never let anybody stay hungry in her home. Magdalina was very strong in spirit and very light-hearted. She was also engaged in raising the two children Slavka and Ivan, who remained orphans after the death of her sister.
Twenty five years she suffered from asthma. Three times Magdalina underwent surgery from hernia. Notwithstanding the above and suffering from her varicose veins, she overcame all and lived to a ripe old age. She was saying that her heart is beating like the one of a young girl.
At the age of 96 she wrote a letter to the American astronauts, who first landed on the Moon. For her 96th birthday, Magdalina received a greeting letter by the American astronauts with their photograph. She was notified that her letter had been printed in the American newspapers.
She died on the 2nd April 1972 in Lujene, Velingrad at the age of 98.
Todor Lazarov Kolchagov
His wife was Elisaveta Nikolova Trencheva.
They had four children:
1) Magdalina Tosheva Kolchagova-Stefanova
2) Lyuba Todorova Kolchagova
3) Alexander Todorov Kolchagov
4) Yordan Todorov Kolchagov
Todor Lazarov Kolchagov was born in Bansko on the 31st January, 1899. He finished middle school in Lujene, now Velingrad, where his parents and all the entire Kolchagov family sought rescue – in free Bulgaria, fleeing from the Turks after the Ilinden Rebellion of 1903-1907. Later Todor Kolchagov was sent to study at the American College in Samokov, where he completed sixth grade. He could not finish his education there, because his parents were unable to pay the expensive college tuition.
Family of Todor Lazarov Kolchagov and his relatives
He started working in the workshop of his father prior to being enrolled in the army. As a soldier having a strong and keen sense of justice, he reacted because he could not bear suppression and had to flee to Turkey – Istanbul. After returning to the barracks, he was punished for this deed. After serving his time as a soldier, he married Elisaveta N. Trencheva from Bansko. They lived in Chepino Village, now a suburb of Velingrad. Working in his father’s workshop, Todor Kolchagov demonstrated great inventiveness. Initially they were producing chairs; however the market was oversupplied by other producers – the Ushev brothers, and so the chair production led them to bankruptcy. Following the suggestion of his father, they decided to establish something new and for the first time in the Chepino bank was started a production of wooden toys, household articles and extending chairs out of fabric. The first items he began with were a thrust wheel, a small wheel with snapping, a stroller, Dobrudja perambulator, a small table with chairs, a small lorry, a small basket with a handle and etc. However, this production did not take them very far, because in those years nobody was interested in toys and nobody satisfied children’s hearts. They lost money again. Their village-mates mocked them by commenting on their new production: “The Kolchagov are playing with toys”. But as an inventor, Todor Kolchagov kept his idea for the new production deep in his heart.
In 1925, Todor Kolchagov left for Turkey for the second time, where he made a commitment to build a factory and to organize the production of wooden chairs. Since he was receiving from Bulgaria the newspaper “The Morning Star”, somebody slandered him saying the newspaper had communist propaganda and the authorities imprisoned him. The Turk, who hired him for the job paid the bail and the Turkish authorities set him free, however he had to flee the country. Having no money to return, Todor walked by foot the distance from Svilengrad to Lujene Village. Three months later, the Turk sent his son to Bulgaria to deliver him personally, in gold, the money for the job done in Turkey.
Todor Kolchagov founded anew in Lujene Village a workshop for the production of wooden toys, which was housed in buildings owned by Hristo Spasov.
Since he had technical, innovative and time-saving talent, he created new kinds of toys and increased the assortment and the production of over 20 items. Besides the enumerated above, he produced the following new items: a big toy truck, cradles – big and small ones, small beds, a small folding chair, a duck, a windmill, a jumping rabbit, a windmill with a string, a jumping clown and etc.
In addition to the production of toys, he started producing puzzles:
1) A bark with two pellets in which the centrifugal force is used such that the two pellets should get into two holes;
2) A pit with an elastic cord;
3) A pyramid in seven colors;
4) A cube to be assembled;
5) An assembling of houses from corresponding pieces and etc.
Games: bowling, a game with rings, Mikado.
1) Trays – big and small;
2) Spoon holders;
3) Shovels for stirring marmalade;
4) Shovels for pancakes;
5) A wooden fork for turning meat;
6) A nettle masher;
7) A sponge for pressing through colander.
8) Thin rolling-pins for banitsa
9) Thick rolling-pins for pastries
10) Hangers for clothes;
11) Wall hangers;
12) A vanity box with and without a mirror;
13) Recumbent chairs with cloth;
14) Folding chairs – small and big ones;
15) Wooden chairs for children;
16) Small kitchen chairs;
18) Thick chopping boards;
19) Wooden choppers for eggplant mash;
21) Wooden dripstones.
Thus expanding the making of wooden produce and toys, Todor Kolchagov became a permanent exhibitor at the Plovdiv Fair, where his works were highly valued and in 1934, he was awarded with a medal and diploma. He was also an exhibitor at the Varna Fair, as well as at other fairs in the country and in 1935, he was rewarded with a silver medal by the “Varna Chamber of Commerce and Industry”.
Later on, he moved his workshop in buildings owned by Bakurdjiev brothers. He equipped it with automatic wood-turning lathes, planers, belt-saw and other machines, which he developed himself. His production was very well organized and he traded with Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Karnobat, Ruse and many other cities in the country.
He had 17 workers, one shopkeeper, one accountant and a cook. He offered his workers free lunch.
In 1937 he opened a shop at the main square in Chepino suburb, and in 1942 he opened another one in the main street of Lujene (Velingrad) in a building owned by the Karaivanov brothers. In this shop he was selling toys produced by him, as well as toys imported from Germany, household articles, pyrographed vanity boxes from Oreshak Village, baskets and pottery.
Todor Kolchagov had time-saving and inventive traits. He developed a big machine made of iron and operated electrically, which would serve for the loading of timber on the flat goods wagons at the Lujene railway station. This way he facilitated the hard physical labor of timber loaders.
He laid the hot water from Chepino to Lujene Village through wooden pipes, which he developed himself and made from 5 meter long pine trees. This was a very good solution since the mineral water fretted the metal pipes. The same method was used to lay the hot water from Banite Village to Pazardjik, to supply the public baths there.
He applied his technical skills in many places in the country. He established various productions by developing machines (wood-turning lathes, planers, belt-saws) and founded small workshops for producing wooden articles. Such workshops were founded by various people in the following places: Surnitsa, Draginovo and Rakitovo villages, the towns of Preslav and Sofia and in Bansko, where he started in 1957 the first production of wooden toys.
He built in Draginovo in 1946-1947 a combined mill and workshop, in which the water force was used to move the mill stones, as well as the machines in the workshop. During the years after the Second World War, there was no electricity and all the production was interrupted.
Except for being a good master hand, who developed his machines by himself and had his own ideas for the development of new kinds of toys; Todor Kolchagov had a noble, compassionate and responsive heart. Should any of his workers start building a new home, he would help with a contribution of money. Even in present days, people who remember him say that he gave them free lunch, which always consisted of lamb and that is why they called him “Toshe the Kind”.
In 1948 Todor Kolchagov was the only producer in the Chepino bank, who used his capital (machines, resources and a loan of 1 200 000 leva from the Popular Bank) and together with his 17 workers founded by his own initiative the first cooperation for the production of wooden articles – toys and household articles. The latter was named “Milev Rocks”.
Its founders were:
1) Todor L. Kolchagov
2) Dimitur Tapigyozov
3) Georgi Daskalov
4) Dimitur Yovchev
5) Sharkov from Draginovo Village
6) Tsvetka Shumanova
7) Gosho Shumanov
8) Lenka Gajanova
9) And others – 17 workers altogether.
So, my father’s small factory became cooperation “Milevi Skali” (Milev Rocks). The production grew and later united with other workshops to become “Vela Peeva” factory, where around four hundred workers earn their living.
Besides the work in the cooperation, Todor Kolchagov carved out wooden models to cast pig iron for the new factories “Georgi Dimitrov” and “Vasil Kolarov” in the town of Velingrad.
When he was still young, Todor L. Kolchagov makes a large wheel, around 10 meters in diameter, which is placed in the forest in the Lepenitsa area, where his father Lazar and his uncle Sandre had a lumber mill. With the power of the water stream, that wheel turned and moved the machines, which cut the logs into planks and created electricity. With his technical skills, he helped his first cousin – Dinko Al. Kolchagov, who had a factory in Sofia – Durvenitsa. He manufactured wooden soles for the boots of the soldiers in World War II. His machines broke down and nobody could repair them. The military orders had to be done on time. Todor Kolchagov fixed them and put them back to work – he saved his cousin from paying a penalty fee.
In 1949, he closed down his store and sold the mill and the workshop to the cooperation in the village of Draginovo.
He didn’t have trade and exploitation traits, he had a very kind and gentle character. His feeling of righteousness and kindness remained until the end of his life.
After the death of his wife Elisaveta in 1953, three years later he married again to Nevena, who took her ten-year-old daughter with them to be taken care of. During his second marriage, Todor Kolchagov completely abandoned the children from his first marriage with Elisaveta.
He loved traveling and was very inquisitive, hard working, but not steady. He was very kind to people.
When he was still young, he had progressive ideas. Faithful to his innovative thoughts, during the resistance movement in Bulgaria, he gave aid to families of outlaw freedom fighters, among which the family of Zapryan Vasilev from the town of Velingrad and the interned in the village of Chepino poet Nikolay Hrelkov as well as others.
In 1944, he was accepted as a member of the BCP (Bulgarian Communist Party).
Until the end of his life, he worked in the woodworking industry in the Chepino bank and he felt content, that he was the creator of the wooden toys and home accessories industry.
Therefore, he had created a large duck, which opened and closed her bill when pushed. A child could sit on it. On both sides of it, there were writings with the following words: we have toys for every purse and on one side – make the child’s heart happier.
By the age of 75 he worked in that production line and traded using it.
Todor Kolchagov got stomach cancer and died at the age of 75 on the 27th of November, 1974 in the town of Velingrad, where he was buried.
Elisaveta Nikolova Trencheva – Kolchagova
She was the wife of Todor Kolchagov. She was born in the town of Bansko on the 20th of August, 1900. Her father Nikola was a servant of God and her mother – Zakhiya was from the town of Bitolya. Only her mother walked in civil clothing in Bansko and so they called her “the lady”. She knew how to treat the illness called sarajah (tuberculosis of the lymph nodes on the neck).
Elisaveta Kolchagova is the mother of this book’s author; she graduated from middle school in Bansko and sixth grade in high school in the town of Samokov.
She married Todor Kolchagov and gave birth to four children: Magdalina, Lyuba, Alexander and Yordan.
She lived with her family in the old house in the Chepino suburb of the town of Velingrad, across from Kleptuza. She took care of her children alone, as well as for the housekeeping, since her husband was very busy and also traveled around different towns in the country, dealing with trade.
She was a good mother and a housewife. She had a small amount of domestic animals – chickens and pigs. She loved to prepare wild strawberry yams, blueberry and plum jams, as well as canned foods.
One of her best abilities was the knitting of ornamented tablecloths in two colors – black and orange, handkerchiefs, red aprons, sheets and other things. She could knit on two knitting needles vests, blouses and pullovers. She embroidered carpets.
She was exceptionally hard working, responsible and kind, always ready to help anyone who would ask her.
She loved nature and flowers.
She was religious and she sang very well.
Her children always wore new clothes and were brought to church. She asked of the children (us) to be honest, hard working, to keep a clear consciousness, to be kind and to respect ourselves and other people. All of her neighbors loved and admired her.
She helped my father in his work and followed him when he moved because of his job to Sofia, Rakitovo and Lujene.
At the age of 45, she obtained myocarditis (a weakness of the heart), which made her have to lie in bed for the next 8 years. She lived those years thanks to her sister-in-law Elisaveta, who lived in Detroit, USA and sent her medicines for her ill heart.
She died in Chepino, Velingrad, on the 8th of March, 1953, at the age of 53. She was buried in the Chepino cemetery.
Magdalina Tosheva Kolchagova – Stefanova
Her husband is engineer Stefan Todorov Stefanov – officer – pilot.
They have a daughter – Rumyana Stefanova Stefanova.
Magdalina T. Kolchagova, the one writing this history was born in the town of Velingrad, Chepino suburb on the 23rd of December, 1923. I graduated from middle school in Chepino, at “Neofit Rilski”, while I went to high school in the town of Pazardjik and in Peshtera. Senior year I got sick of weeping eczema, which covered my entire head and that prevented me from graduating. Because of that, I finished high school as a private student in the high school in Lujene suburb, Velingrad, where I obtained my diploma. After finishing my high school education in 1945, I took an entrance exam in the University of Sofia “Kliment Ohridski”, in literature, which I successfully passed and I enrolled into the Law Faculty. I studied for three years, but because of my mother Elisaveta’s serious condition, I left the university to take care of her.
I have musical abilities – I sing well and while I was a student, I sang the solo in the protestant church in Lujene suburb under the guidance of madam Kanturjieva. I have a sense of combining colors and I painted very well. I loved literature and since I was a student in school, I collected a large library of books on artistic literature. I have mathematical skills as well – I excelled in math in high school without much effort. That helped me in the trade affairs, which I dealt with in my father’s store for wooden toys and other articles, located on the main street in Lujene. I combined taking care of my ill mother with the work in the store and I had a high sense of responsibility for the household income and strived for the well being of the family. I was my father Todor’s accountant and I managed his trade correspondences. I took care of all the bank payments and the reimbursements through railway station Velingrad. I also sent a lot of wooden toys to many towns in the country. And so, for five years I took care of my family.
In 1948, my father Todor liquidated his private small factory and with his own initiative, he cooperated with his 17 workers. That was the first cooperation for wooden toys in the Chepino bank. Two years later, we liquidated the store as well, since during communist times, the private sector died away. At that time, I started taking care of my ill brother Alexander.
When I turned 25, in 1949, I married Stefan Todorov Stefanov – officer pilot – teacher and instructor in the Military Air Force Academy in Bojurishte.
My sponsor became Hristinka Barumova, daughter of Magdalina Barumova, whose mother was Grandmother Parashkeva Dimitrova. In 1943, I lived in the home of the Barumov family on Opulchenska str. 66 in Sofia. Hristinka Barumova introduced me to my future husband Stefan. That happened in the city of Sofia.
Having married, I graduated from the medical institute, majoring in rehabilitation, with excellent notes, which gave me the right to choose which hospital I would like to work in. I went to work in the institute for urgent medical help “Pirogov”. Since I was the first class to major in rehabilitation in Bulgaria, I set the grounds for that field in “Pirogov” and took appointments in every department. I worked in the “Pirogov” institute for 15 years. Since I had the work history and the required age, I took a pension. We built an apartment in Sofia and we bought a car. At present, I live in Chepino, Velingrad with my husband, where I have my own house.
I have the following traits in my character: honesty, accuracy, workability and perseverance.
I love traveling, trips and nature. I have visited the following cities abroad: Istanbul, Belgrade and Warsaw.
I am a curious person. The desire to describe my family roots came to me when I was still young. In 1945, from the stories of my grandfather Lazar, I got the idea to write the history of our family, of which he knew 200 years. I wrote down the memories of my grandfather and I started working in that direction. I visited grandsons and great grandsons. I kept the information for every branch of the Kolchagov family in a separate notebook and I made the family tree of the Kolchagov family – 1.5 m in length and 1 m wide, which is placed in a frame with glass.
I organized a family meeting, which occurred on the 31st of August 1985 in Velingrad. On the 1st of September the family departed for Bansko, where the festivities continued after placing a wreath on the monument of Father Paisiy Hilendarski. In a two hour seminar, I introduced my cousins – the 180 people who came, with the history of the family. Four people from the USA had come to that meeting, as well as ones, who came from Switzerland and from Russia. We made pictures.
I published a few articles on my great grandmother Milana, who was sentenced by the Turkish authorities in Solun to 101 years of imprisonment, on my grandfather Lazar, as a rebel in the company of the poet Peyo Yavorov and on the first doctor – Dr. Tsvetko Kolchagov in the village of Lujene.
I spoke on the radio in Velingrad and on Radio Sofia.
I love Bulgaria and the entire geographical area of “Macedonia”, where our family originates from. These feelings are very strong and I believe them to be a hereditary trait.
I am eleventh generation of the family of Father Paisiy. I love my family with all of my heart, as well as every Kolchagov.
I have a daughter – Rumyana and a grandson Stefan, whom I brought up to be honest, hard working and patriotic.
I am deeply religious and that helps me overcome all kinds of hardships, failures and pains.
I have faith in God.
Engineer Stefan Todorov Stefanov, officer from the reserve forces, captain and pilot
He is the husband of Magdalina Kolchagova.
My husband, Stefan Todorov Stefanov was born on 03.11.1924 in the village of Lopushna (now the village of Georgi Damyanovo), Montana region. The village is located in the northwestern part of Bulgaria, in the foothills of Stara Planina (The Balkan). It is located on the banks of the upper part of River Ogosta, in a small and rich valley, surrounded from almost every corner by mountainous terrain, covered by forests and meadows. Near the village is located the famous “Lopushanski” Monastery, the church of which was built like the one in the Rila Monastery. Ivan Vazov wrote part of his novel “Under the Yoke” there.
My husband originates from a poor villager family His parents were farmers, plowing their own land. His family is part of a renowned family, which originates from Veliko Turnovo. They moved away when Bulgaria was occupied by the Turks. They were the first settlers where the village is now located. The family is famous with physically strong, long living and handsome men and women.
My husband graduated from middle school in his native village and finished high school in the town of Berkovitsa in 1945. He was accepted as a student pilot that same year in the military school of the air force in Sofia. He graduated with the best possible notes in 1949, becoming the class valedictorian. He received various material awards, as well as a trip to the military resort station in Orlino, a village in the Rhodope Mountains, near the village of Surnitsa – Velingrad area for a month. I met my future husband – officer pilot Stefan Stefanov on a trip I went to.
I was a law student in the University of Sofia at that time. My husband was appointed officer – pilot, a teacher and an instructor in the same school for the training of pilots in Bojurishte. In the meantime, he finished with a high result a one year course for high command at the Chief Department of the army and the Military Academy, where he obtained a civil title as well – engineer.
His inherited high sense of patriotism, excellent professional knowledge and skills in teaching are traits, which helped establish his fame he had in the aviation.
His bright career in the army, to which he was entirely devoted, caused hatred and envy in particular groups, which remained at a low professional level in his native village. His close relative, first cousin and communist functionary became the initiator, along with his entourage of a series of denunciations and slanders against my husband, which continued for several years.
He was fired in the spring of 1953 for political reasons. That ruined my husband’s health and he was ill for years after that.
This is how communists ruined people’s lives, out of envy, hatred and meanness.
In 1962, he became an engineer in the system of the Ministry of Construction; he took responsible occupations, as a designer, chief engineer and manager of a division, where he worked for 22 years. For his work, he was awarded with many medals and ribbons.
He was pensioned in 1984.
Rumyana Stefanova Stefanova
She is the daughter of the person writing this book.
Her husband is Roman Pelits – a Polish citizen.
They have one son – Stefan Roman Pelits.
Rumyana was born in Velingrad on the 31st of May, 1950. She was a very artistic and beautiful child with deep blue eyes and curly light hair. She was a curious and playful child, having no fears. When she was young, she loved climbing tall trees and riding a bicycle. She was a merry and a loving child, who was always encircled by many friends. She loved going to the movies. At a young age, her dream was to become an actress. From the age of seven, she started taking ballet in the class of the famous ballet master in Sofia, Madam Feo Mostakova, but a year later she stopped because she broke her arm. She had high notes from the first grade on and they put a band on her saying “excelling student”. She studied French and later took English classes with private teachers. She loves foreign languages. She went to a casting for models and she was chosen at the Center for New Produce and Fashion. She graduated from high school in Sofia with excellent notes.
She loved visiting her hometown – Velingrad, where later she met her future husband – Roman Pelits, a Polish citizen – orchestra leader. In 1972, she married in Sofia and left to Poland with her husband. In 1975, her son Stefan was born in Sofia, who is called after her grandfather. The child was brought up in Sofia, since her husband made contracts with the orchestra to work in Finland, where he worked for 6 years and Rumyana traveled with him there. She visited many countries in Europe – Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Germany, Yugoslavia and Finland. She traveled around for a period of 12 years. She graduated with excellence in Polish, at the Polish Cultural Center in Sofia and she speaks the language fluently. Although, she led a colorful and rich life, the feeling of nostalgia for her native town and for her homeland Bulgaria was so strong and painful with her that after all, she decided to return to Bulgaria and separated with her husband.
She settled in Sofia with her son Stefan.
She took the entrance exams for the High Medical Institute – Sofia and passed them with excellent grades, after which she became a medical student. She started work in the Medical Academy – Sofia, in the clinic for psychiatry, where she looked after women with psychic disorders.
She is very hard working, kind, honest and has a high sense of responsibility. All patients love her and await her impatiently to come to work. She is an exceptionally devoted mother, takes good care of her son Stefan to obtain his high degree. She loves her hometown Velingrad a lot. She is a good housewife and always dresses brilliantly, so everyone can admire her beauty.
He is the husband of Rumyana.
He was born on the 3rd of September, 1948 in Poland. He originates from a family of musicians. His grandfather taught him to play the piano. When he turned 20, he created his own orchestra, with which he gave concerts. Later, he started work on contracts in Bulgaria, Germany and Finland. He met Rumyana in Bulgaria and married her.
Stefan Roman Pelits
He is the son of Rumyana, grandson of this book’s author.
He was born in Sofia on the 12th of May, 1975. He was brought up in Sofia by his grandmother, his grandfather Stefan and his mother. He was a very beautiful baby, with white skin, deep blue eyes and blond hair. He was a calm and patient child. He started speaking and walking very early, when he was 10 months. He was an easy child to bring up, one who could be trusted. His favorite hobby, when he was three, was to cut pictures from magazines and newspapers. He learned to read early. He loved riding a bicycle, rollers and skateboarding. At the age of 5, he started learning English at the “Foreign Language Learning Center.” – Alliance – Sofia. He completes the full eight year course with excellence. He took folk dances when he was in the first grade. He loves dancing. He was an excellent student. He got his high school degree from the Technical School for Railroad Transportation. At the age of 18, he got his driver’s license since he loves to drive. He served in the military police in Sofia to avoid the mandatory army service. A month before his service ended, he took the entrance exam in the Economics University in Sofia. He was accepted and started his studies there. He was an excellent student and he was chosen to undergo training in the Ministry of foreign affairs.
In 2001 he got his diploma with excellence and he became an economist.
Stefan is tall and handsome. He is a hard worker, has perseverance, plans everything to the last detail. He loves economics and listens to economic programs from the entire world. He is preparing to get a second degree, in finances.
He loves his home city – Sofia.
Lyuba Todorova Kolchagova
She was born in 1925 in the village of Chepino, now Velingrad. At the age of four she got ill of meningitis – encephalitis. After this serious illness the beautiful girl acquired a retarded mental and physical growth. She could not finish elementary school – she remained without an education and with a disability. Her parents took care of her – her mother and after her death – her father. Lyuba Kolchagova worked in the workshop of our father – Todor Kolchagov. After his death, her sister Magdalina secured her with a social pension and accepted her to live in her house in Chepino, Velingrad. She lived around ten years there. Lyuba suffered from a serious form of high blood pressure and she was sent to be treated in a retirement home for people with mental and other types of disorders in the village of Shturkovo. She died of a heart attack at the age of 64 on 08.10.1989. Her sister Magdalina and her brother Yordan make sure she was buried in Velingrad.
Alexander Todorov Kolchagov
His wife is called Donka Kostadinova-Kolchagova. They don’t have any children.
Alexander T. Kolchagov was born on 02.12.1927 in the village of Rakitovo. He finished his middle school education in Chepino suburb in “Neofit Rilski” middle school. He went to high school in Lujene, Velingrad. He finished the last year of high school, but he did not graduate. As a student, he showed he had musical abilities. In middle school he played in the brass band and later joined the town choir, since he sang very well. Twice, he was awarded by the Ministry of culture. He wanted to study music, but the Second World War prevented him from continuing his education.
Although his father Todor Kolchagov was a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party, he could not help him serve his time as a soldier. Since he had relatives in the USA, he was branded as unreliable during communist times and he was taken as a worker. He was placed in very harsh conditions. First of all, he was amongst Turks and Gypsies and second of all, he had to take a heavy load – rock demolishing in order to cut tunnels in Dolno Kamartsi.
Alexander Kolchagov was a beautiful and gentle boy, but placed in these unbearable for him conditions and on top of that badly fed, he stayed hungry. He wrote his parents he did not eat and they sent him parcels, but he never received. He got physically weak and was unable to go forward. One day, they detonated a bomb in the tunnel to remove the rocks. The rest of the workers ran away, but he could not. Then, his supervisor went into the tunnel and saved him, risking his life. Alexander was punished for that in the following way:
Standing up, they tied a cart full of heavy stones to his back and he was made to face the sun. That was a severe punishment for him, not able to bear it, he lost consciousness and fell to the ground. His nervous system collapsed and he could not come to his senses for over four months. He went to the psychiatry of Alexandrovska Hospital in Sofia for treatment.
His sister Magdalina took care of him throughout his entire sickness, since his mother Elisaveta was very ill as well. After being treated for a few months in the hospital, his health improved.
This severe punishment destroyed his entire life after that. The cruel manager was not punished, since there were no laws for that and the times were such.
He restored his health and having inherited his father’s traits, he started work in the household factory in Velingrad, where he made casts and wooden articles.
He married Donka Kostadinova Koseva from the village of Yabulka, Gabrovo region. They lived in Chepino suburb, in his father’s home. He was very hard working, honest and respected by everyone.
He received a donation from his grandmother Magdalina – land in the “Lepenitsa” area, which he sold later to obtain money to build a house. His sister Magdalina helped him by giving her land, which is located over her own house. Alexander built a two story house and lived in peace. He helped every person, who asked him to. He had a gentle and merry character. He was known among people as an encyclopedic. He read a lot of artistic and other types of literature.
He had various abilities – having knowledge and skills for every kind of job and so they pulled him to work, as a tools and crafts teacher in the woodworking school in Chepino area. He gave solid grounds to the students there for their future education.
Evil people caused him a psychological trauma and he could not endure – he committed suicide in his home. He died at the age of 47 on 01.19.1974 in Chepino Suburb, Velingrad.
Donka Kostadinova Koseva – Kolchagova
She is the wife of Alexander Kolchagov.
She was born on 03.08.1933 in the village of Yabulka, Gabrovo region. She has a middle school education.
She married Alexander Todorov Kolchagov and lived with him in Velingrad. She worked as an ordinary worker until she got a pension. She has no children.
Yordan Todorov Kolchagov
His wife is called Elena Georgieva Ivanova.
They have three daughters:
1) Elisaveta; 2) Nevena; 3) Gergana
Yordan Todorov Kolchagov was born in the Chepino area of the town of Velingrad on 01.14.1934. He graduated from middle school in Lujene. He did not continue his education after finishing middle school, since his father Todor refused to pay him allowance to finish a technical high school, which was his dream. He was left with a basic education. He served his duty in the army in the town of Kostenets. After that, he started work in the “Vasil Sotirov” factory in Velingrad, where he made kitchen drawers. He worked in that factory until the end of his working age and obtained a pension after that.
He married Elena Blagova and they lived in her house, adding another story to it. In 1978, Velingrad was the epicenter of an earthquake, the result of which was the destruction of many homes. Their house was in ruins as well. In its place, they built a two story home out of reinforced concrete, with belts and plates, where they live with their children now.
Yordan Kolchagov is a good craftsman, who inherited his giftedness from his father; to be able to create all sorts of machines. He organized a workshop at his house and he started making small kitchen chairs and other articles made of wood.
He is a very good father and helped his daughters with physical labor and with funds to build their own homes.
He bought a car, with which to transport the wooden chairs and sell them in nearby villages. He transported the chairs for the new Evangelist church in the town of Velingrad. He was religious and he visited the church every Sunday.
He has the following traits: very honest, hard working and responsible. Whenever someone asks him for help, he always does the best he can to be useful.
He is a good husband and a father.
Elenka G. Ivanova – Kolchagova
She is the wife of Yordan T. Kolchagov.
She was born of the 19th of May, 1941 in the town of Krichim. She finished middle and high school in Lujene, Velingrad in “Vasil Levski” high school. She worked as an accountant in “Bulgarplod”, later in a family trade business and in “Chepinska Dolina” as a cashier.
She married Yordan Todorov Kolchagov in 1958. They made an extension to her father’s house, which was destroyed by the earthquake and later built anew a two story massive house.
She has three daughters: Elisaveta, Nevenka, Gergana and 4 grandchildren. She is a very good and hard working mother; she ensured her children were educated and took good care of them.
She sings very well and she is very religious. She has a lot of inherited arable land and after she took a pension, she started growing vegetables on it.
She has organized her home very well and she decorated all windows with wonderful flowers.
Elisaveta Yordanova – Kolchagova
Her husband is Victor Georgiev Atanasov.
She has two children – Daniela, from her first marriage and Alexander.
Elisaveta (Betty) Kolchagova was born on 10.23.1962 in Lujene, Velingrad. She graduated from the specialized high school for culinary art. She worked in the resort station “Kamena” in the Chepino area, preparing pastries.
She separated with her first husband and married again. Daniela was born during her first marriage.
She is gifted in painting and making tapestries. One of her best works is the Last Supper.
She married again, to Victor Georgiev Atanasov. He was born on 06.28.1967, has a semi-high degree from the Medical Institute “Mara Maleeva” in Plovdiv, with a specialty in dental mechanics.
They have a son called Alexander.
They live in Lujene, in the house of my aunt Yordanka Kolchagova, who gave it to them, so they take care of her.
Elisaveta is very kind and always ready to help everyone. She always has a wonderful smile on her face.
Nevenka Yordanova Kolchagova – Duleva
Her husband’s name is Stoyan Atanasov Dulev
They have two children.
1) Atanas; 2) Yordan
Nevenka Kolchagova was born in Lujene, Velingrad on 09.01.1966. She finished middle and high school in Velingrad.
She married Stoyan Atanasov Dulev, who has a special high school degree in economics. He is the director of road transport in Velingrad and Pazardjik.
They built a two story house on land, which was given to them by Yordanka Kolchagova in Lujene area. She is a good housewife and a wonderful mother.
Gergana Yordanova Kolchagova – Samuneva
Her husband’s name is Lyuben Dimitrov Samunev.
They do not have any children.
Gergana Kolchagova was born in Lujene – Velingrad on 04.14.1972. She finished her primary education in the high school in Velingrad. She studied in the medical institute in Plovdiv “Mara Maleeva” and received a semi-high degree – laboratory assistant.
She married Lyuben Dimitrov Samunev from Velingrad. He has a high school education. He was born in Velingrad on 06.08.1972.
Gergana Kolchagova continued the trade business of her forefathers, opening a store in her parents’ home, which is perfectly arranged.
Yordanka Lazarova Kolchagova
Her husband is named Kolyo Rusev Kolev. Yordanka Kolchagova was born in 07.28.1918 in Velingrad, where she studied in middle school up until the sixth grade of high school.
When she was still young, she liked the profession nurse and she took courses for that profession in Sofia. She started work in the hospital of Velingrad and worked in the surgery department. She had nursing abilities and never left the patients who were operated on to suffer. She always tried to help any way she could. The people treated at the hospital remembered her for that.
In her young age she helped her relatives in the stores. She assisted her ill sister in law Elisaveta when she was treated in the hospital in Pazardjik. She had a kind and compassionate heart. She made an “Abraham’s House” out of the home her father built in Lujene district. She accommodated many people and helped everyone with what she could. Especially her niece Magdalina, who slipped into a poor financial situation because her husband Stefan, who was a pilot was removed from his job occupation since he had relatives in the United States of America during the communist rule.
Yordanka married Kolyo Rusev Kolev, a teacher from Nova Zagora. She divorced him and remained living in Velingrad.
She took care of her elderly parents up until their demise.
With the help of her sister Elisaveta, she visited America three times. With the funds, which her cousin Victor Kolchagov supplied, they traveled around the whole country, reaching the islands of Hawaii.
During that trip in America, she made 900 color pictures of the monuments they visited.
In 1991 she got baptized and became a member of the church of “Jesus Christ and the Saints from the Last Days” – (Mormons)
She spent her old age in the town of Velingrad.
She died on 01.24.2003 at the age of 86.
Kostadin Lazarov Kolchagov died when he was still young (a baby).
Alexander Lazarov Kolchagov
He was born in the town of Velingrad, but when he turned 20, he got a tooth infection and died of this later.
Toshe Kolchagov, 1780
wife – Elena Hajivulcheva
Mariika Kolchagova Mikhail Kolchagov Kerafima
Minka Chuchulain Mariya Venedikova Toshe Ajiruskova
Georgi Kolchagov 1854
Milana Rabajieva 1856
Lazar Kolchagov 1876
Magdalina Yordanova 1876
Kostadin Alexander Todor Kolchagov Yordanka
born in 1899, died in 1974 born in 1918
Elisaveta Trencheva Kolyo Kolev
born in 1900, died in 1953
Magdalina Kolchagova Lyuba Yordan Alexander
born in 1923 1925 born in 1934 born in 1927
Stefan Stefanov Elena Blagova Donka Kostadinova
1924 1941 born in 1933
Runyana Elisaveta Nevena Gergana
born in 1950 born in 1962 born in 1966 born in 1972
Roman Pelits Victor Stoyan Liuben
______|_______________ Atanasov Dulev Samunev
born in 1975
Living in the USA
Elisaveta Lazarova Kolchagova – Daskalova
Her husband is called Ivan Daskalov
They have three children and also take care of two children of their relatives.
Theirs: 1) Mary; 2) Johnny; 3) Nicky
Relatives’ 1) Margarita; 2) George
Elisaveta Lazarova Kolchagova was born in the town of Bansko on the 28th of March, 1903. When she was three years old, her parents moved to Lujene – now Velingrad. She finished her primary education in Lujene and then went to study in the American college in the town of Samokov, where she studied for only two years.
At the age of 19, she married Ivan Daskalov and in 1922 she went to the city of Detroit in the United States of America with her husband.
She gave birth to three children: Mary, Johnny and Nicky. The daughter of her husband’s younger brother acquired a mental illness and left two children. Elisaveta adopted them saying: “Caring for three children would be the same as taking care of five.” These two children are: Margarita and Georgi. She ensured all five of them obtain a high degree. She has ten grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren from them.
Elisaveta lived her whole life in America in the city of Detroit, where she had a house.
She was a very good mother and wife, merry and outgoing, working for the benefit of her children, she could not finish her education. When all of her kids had families and were far away from her, at the age of 61 she finished her high school education. Because she graduated at that age, her name spread in the American press.
Besides that, she was a member in eight clubs in the USA:
1) Church clubs
2) Museum clubs
3) Bulgarian Charity club
4) Bulgarian-Macedonian club
5) Charity club for the poor
She made a museum out of her house.
She owned six national Bulgarian robes: 3 children’s, 1 male and 2 female.
She also had many Bulgarian national pieces of art: carpets, pillows, red aprons, tablecloths – Bulgarian embroidery work, silver chests, pyrographed boxes, copper bowls, dolls, which have traditional Bulgarian clothing, as well as “Pomak” clothing.
She was the first Bulgarian to visit Bulgaria from abroad after World War II. She met with the Slavic committee because of her enormous merit for spreading our arts and culture in the United States.
She exhibited all our national pieces of art in the “International Institute”, next to such from Germany, Poland, Greece, Italy and Japan.
Besides the expositions she had there, she organized festivities with Bulgarian dances, programs and feasts. She was a teacher in Bulgarian cuisine: banitsa, kebapche, kapama and surmi. She was recognized as the best specialist in Bulgarian food, for which she got praised a lot.
She collected funds in a period of eighteen years for the upkeep of a Bulgarian radio program on the Detroit Radio, using which she raised the morale and the self-confidence of the Bulgarians in the USA.
Besides that, she also collected money for the fund in assistance of the poor, for which she received a diploma and an appraisal from the mayor of the city of Detroit – Jerome Cavilo and from the governor of the State of Michigan.
She participated in various activities, collecting money for the people, who were affected by the Plovdiv-Chirpan earthquake in 1928 and after the big fire in Bansko in 1936.
She helped every Bulgarian, who was in need of assistance, especially immigrants who had nobody in the USA and had no job. She took pity on them and took them in her home to feed them and to offer them a roof over their heads, until they found work and a place to live. At some point her house was overflowing. This is why in “Velingrad” newspaper of 06.08.2001 they talk about her as the “Merited Bulgarian on American soil.”
For the celebration of 1300 years Bulgaria, she was part of the group of Bulgarians, who were living abroad and returned to Bulgaria for the occasion.
On the second of September, in newspaper “Pirinsko Delo”, edition 175, her article was published, containing her speech in the town of Bansko: “There are holidays in a person’s life.”
“I am very proud we started our voyage from my hometown Bansko,” an elderly woman told the people around her – Elisaveta Kolchagova – Daskalova, daughter of Lazar Kolchagov, a rebel, who was in the company of Yavorov. Tears filled her eyes when she learned that people from Bansko still remember her father.
Everything Bulgarian is holy, but most holy is one’s birthplace. It and the motherland awoke in her a patriot, who lived for dozens of years in the United States, in the city of Detroit – if not love – interest, if not worship – respect for the small and distant Bulgaria.
She taught her children that as well.
A true homeland lived in her heart. It was impossible for this once vital and lively woman, now barely standing at the age of 85 to renounce coming back to her motherland. Because her forces failed her that was the last time she came to Bulgaria – the 19th time.
When she felt she was at the end of her life, her husband Ivan – gone long ago, her children in different cities in the USA, she went in an elderly home supported by the church, where she had her own apartment and a nurse, who took care of her. She died on 02.18.1995 in Detroit at the age of 91.
He is the husband of Elisaveta Kolchagova.
He was born in 1892 and died in 1954.
Ivan Daskalov was born in the village of Kamenitsa, now Velingrad. When he was still young, he left for the USA with his older brother. Along with him, they went to Alaska, where they became gold diggers and acquired considerable wealth. After that, they came back to the US mainland, where they settled – in the city of Detroit and built a factory for lemonade and beer. Their business grew and they became owners of 40 trucks, which they used to supply the city with cold drinks.
They bought houses, which they didn’t change until the rest of their lives, as every Bulgarian does.
When Ivan Daskalov turned 30 and was wealthy enough, he came back to Bulgaria to find a Bulgarian girl to marry. He met the 19 year old Elisaveta Kolchagova. After they married, in 1922, they left for the USA, where they lived until the rest of their lives. They have three children: Mary, John and Nicky.
Mary Daskalova – Cornell
Mary Daskalova was born in 1922 in the city of Detroit, Michigan, USA. She is the daughter of Elisaveta Kolchagova.
When she was still a baby, at the age of 2, she turned on the laundry machine and her hand got stuck, after which the first finger of her left hand had to be amputated.
She finished elementary school in Ginfield Park. She went to high school in Pershing. After that she went to the Albion College, where she studied Biology and Chemistry, graduated and got an AB degree.
She became a teacher and as such, she worked for 25 years and then she retired.
She was very energetic and her hobbies were playing Bridge and shopping.
When she studied in the Albion College, the first year she was there she met Richard Cornell (Dick), whom she married. The ceremony took place in the city of Detroit in the Metropolitan Church. They spent their honeymoon in Toledo, Ohio in the home of her grandfather Lazar’s sister – Rayna Kolchagova – Boycheva. She traveled twice to Europe and Bulgaria, to the Orient and to Alaska. She went to the family meeting of the Kolchagov family on the 31st of August, 1985.
She lived with her husband in Las Vegas.
Richard Cornell (Dick) is Mary’s husband. He was born in 1920.
He graduated from Albion College, majoring in music and education. When he was still at the college, World War II began and he became an officer in the Navy. He was sent to the Pacific Coast, later taking part in military action. After the war ended, he became a teacher at Albion College, where he worked for 7 years and got a scientific title. He transferred to work in an insurance company, after which he got a pension.
Richard Cornell’s hobbies were working with a computer and playing the organ. He and Mary visited Bulgaria.
They have two children:
Donald (Danny); 2) Mary-Alice (Mickey)
Donald (Dan) Richard Cornell
He is the son of Mary Daskalova – Cornell. He was born in Detroit – Michigan in December, 1944. He finished school and college, majoring in Physics in Central Michigan.
After graduating from college, he started work for NASA in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1967, he married Alice.
In 1968, he went to the Air Force and became a military pilot.
In 1970, he was sent to Southern Vietnam, flying F-100 Super Sabre. In 1972, he operated an “A-7D Corsair” in Thailand. In 1975, he enlisted in an exchange service of the US Navy in the Pacific Ocean Marine Air Force for four years. In 1978 he became a test pilot for new airplanes and weaponry of that age.
Donald’s family lived in Ohio, Arizona, Louisiana, South Carolina, California and Florida. They settled permanently in Las Vegas, Nevada. They have their own house with a lot of vegetation – cactuses and with a swimming pool. They have a large snake – python, which guards their home and their cars, like dogs do in Bulgaria.
Donald is a good husband and father.
Alice Cornell is his wife, her profession is a teacher.
They have two children:
1) Scott, born on 08.25.1971; 2) Christine, born 02.17.1977
Mary-Alice (Mickey) Cornell
Her husband is Robert Humes.
She is the daughter of Mary Daskalova – Cornell. She was born on 03.04.1948.
She finished high school education and got a diploma for a secretary.
She married an army officer, who worked in the Navy. She lived in Chicago for a long time, but later she separated with her husband and moved to Las Vegas, where her brother Donald and her mother Mary live.
Mickey visited Bulgaria, but she does not speak Bulgarian. She is very kind hearted, kind and calm. She liked Bulgaria a lot and would love to visit again at first opportunity.
Mickey doesn’t care much about her physical appearance, she values the inside beauty of a person.
She has one son:
1) Christopher, born on 03.25.1976
John Ivan Daskalov
His wife is called Pappy. They have three children:
1) Bobby (Robert); 2) Deborah; 3) Vicky (Victoria)
He was born n 05.06.1924.
John is the son of Elisaveta Kolchagova – Daskalova. He was born in the city of Detroit, USA, in the State of Michigan.
He studied in high school and got a degree in finances in the city of Detroit.
He started work as an inspector in the automobile factories of Ford.
In World War II, he was sent to the Western Front, in Germany.
There, he met a German girl called Pappy. After the end of the war, he invited Pappy to the USA and he married her. They live permanently in the city of Detroit, where they have a luxuriously furnished house and a car.
His wife Pappy opened her own travel agency, dealing with air tickets for all over the world. After John got a pension, he started helping out in the agency himself.
All three of his children have families.
1) Bobby has a wife called Mandy.
They have three children: Mandy, Larry and Annie.
2) Deborah has a husband, whose name is Dan.
3) The name of Vicky’s husband is Bob.
They have two children: Johnny and Jim.
The two daughters of Johnny Daskalov, named Debbie and Vicky also work in the flight bureau of their parents.
Nicholas Ivan Daskalov
His wife is called Shirley.
Nicky is the son of Elisaveta Kolchagova – Daskalova.
He was born in the city of Detroit, where he finished his education and became an insurance agent.
He married Shirley and left the city of Detroit.
They have two children – Susan and Anne-Mary.
They are veterinarians.
Elisaveta Kolchagova Daskalova brought up two relatives’ kids, who were left without parents: Margarita and George. She adopted them.
Living in the USA
Boris Lazarov Kolchagov
His wife is called Tsveta Vuchkova.
They have one daughter.
1) Milka Borisova Kolchagova.
Boris Kolchagov was born in the town of Bansko. His parents moved and settled in the village of Lujene, now Velingrad. He finished his primary education there and the woodworking school in the town of Ruse. He continued his father’s woodworking business – production of wooden toys and home accessories.
He married Tsveta Vuchkova, who has a Serbian background.
They have a daughter Milka, who was born in the village of Chepino – now Velingrad.
In 1937, Boris Kolchagov left for the USA, he settled in the city of Detroit, where his sister Elisaveta lived.
He worked in his sister’s factory. Two years later, when he earned enough money, his wife Tsveta and his daughter Milka joined him.
He built a private home in the city of Detroit.
Boris and Tsveta have leftist views and accommodate the communist functionary Peter Grigorov, who had gotten in trouble. He came back to Bulgaria in 1944 and worked as Georgi Dimitrov’s secretary.
Boris Kolchagov worked in the USA by organizing a group of carpenters, who furnished stores.
After World War II, Boris and Tsveta collected donations and sent to Bulgaria parcels with clothes. They saved money to buy an electronic cardiograph and sent it as a gift to the hospital in Pazardjik.
They visited Bulgaria several times after World War II. Boris Kolchagov came from America for the meeting of the Kolchagov family on the 31st of August, 1985.
When his wife Tsveta died, her dust was sent a placed in the cemetery of Velingrad.
Boris died in the USA on 02.24.1994 at the age of 86.
Milka Borisova Kolchagova
It is not known who her husband is.
Milka was born in 1933 in Chepino, now Velingrad. At the age of five, she left with her mother for the USA, where her father had already been for two years. She finished her primary and her secondary education in Detroit – becoming a sociologist.
She is married and has her own house, villa and car.
They have three children, who are very religious:
1) Cindy; 2) Karen – Mary; 3) Bobby
Toshe Kolchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
Georgi Kolchagov 1854
Lazar Kolchagov 1876
Elisaveta Kolchagova Boris Kolchagov
Ivan Daskalov Tsveta Vuchkova
Mary Johnny Nicky Milka Kolchagova
Alexander Georgiev Kolchagov
His wife is Magda Bizeva
They have 7 children:
1) Milosh; 2) Dinko; 3 Georgi; 4) Ivan; 5) Danka; 6) Rayna; 7) Marushka
Alexander Georgiev Kolchagov was born on the 20th of April, 1879 in the town of Bansko. He has a middle school education.
His revolutionary activity in the town of Bansko is that he took part in the organizational tasks as a foreman and later as a centurion. His duties were to carry weaponry like guns, bullets, dynamite and other things from the Rila Monastery to the heart of Macedonia. With the dynamite, which Gotse Delchev carried, was blown up a station on the Solun-Tsarigrad railway.
In 1903, he participated in clashes with the Turks in the “Skalata” area. After that, along with other rebels – Ivan Vaptsarov, Mingyu Todev, Milosh Toshkov Kolchagov, Boris Golev and others – they departed for the congress, with Yane Sandanski as their leader to the “Kale” cave, where they had to discuss the rebellion in Demir Hisar and blowing up the bridge over the river Struma, at the village of Orlyak.
After the Ilinden-Preobrajenie Rebellion he moved to live in free Bulgaria in the village of Chepino-Banya, now Velingrad, 1905.
With the mobilization for war with Turkey, a company was created along with Vaptsarov and the poet – Yavorov leaving from Chepino through the “Kurtovo” area. The company crossed the border and fought with the Turks at “Nekhtenitsa” and from that area, they moved on to Samokov area, while later they cross the border again, this time at Semkovo, when finally they marched towards Bansko with rebel leader Hristo Chernopeev.
In Razlog, they fought with the Turks and a few rebels got wounded, while one was killed.
In Bansko, Alexander dealt with trade in his father’s store.
Since he took active part, along with his brother Lazar in the Ilinden Rebellion, they were sentenced to death and they had to run in order to save their lives. He crossed the border illegally by taking horses, loaded with chests, in which he put his wife Magda and his children and passed through “Lyutata Reka” (Wild River) on to free Bulgaria. Since the Great Powers did not take any stance on the sentences of the participants in the rebellion 1903-1905, the family had to run to Bulgaria.
He settled permanently in the village of Chepino-Banya. In 1915, he built a house with stores on the ground level. He opened a grocery store.
Alexander, along with his brother Lazar went to Solun to see an Armenian, who taught them how to cast rings, earrings and bracelets from tin and lead and then decorate them with various color gems. However, that business was not successful.
He participated in the First World War and when it ended, he closed the store in Chepino. His sons had already grown up.
Alexander, along with his brother Lazar bought on leasing from the Jews – Molkhov brothers a massive building, located across the last bath (Women’s Bath) in the village of Chepino-Banya. There, they organized a workshop, in which they placed various woodworking machines.
1) A cog wheel for sawing logs
2) A belt saw
3) An edging machine
4) A drill
5) Other small machines
They started chair production, but they had fierce competition in the face of Ushev brothers and they went bankrupt.
They started to produce wooden toys and were mocked for that by other villagers, since that was the first production of wooden toys in Bulgaria.
They had 10 workers and customers from all over the country, until the government allowed imports of wooden toys from Germany. Their customers got fewer and fewer and their production line stopped. They lost again.
Then the two brothers Alexander and Lazar made a workshop in the Lepenitsa area, where a large wheel, made by Todor L. Kolchagov was installed. The water power made it turn and it moved all the machines. There they made chair parts, which they were sending to Sofia, where they rented a workshop and Todor, Boris and Dinko until 01.05.1927 assembled the chairs.
They sold the workshop in the village of Chepino-Banya at a very low price to Tsvetko Hajipopov.
The workshop in Lepenitsa was burned by the partisans in 1944.
Alexander G. Kolchagov built a workshop in the yard next to his home, where he continued the production of chairs until the end of his life.
He was a very honest, hard working and modest man, helping everyone, who was in need of help. This way, when he was still in Bansko, before the Ilinden Rebellion, he helped Tsvetko Hajipopov. Tsvetko was in the Pumpalov Inn and was surrounded by Bulgarians, who were spies of the Turks, who started taking out their knives to kill him. That was when Alexander took out his gun and shot at the lamp, creating panic and yelled to Tsvetko: “Run, Tsvetko!” and this way he saved him.
Alexander had musical giftedness, he played the accordion.
However, the main and most important trait of his character was his merry soul and his ability to joke. When Alexander and Kolyo Todev gathered in the café in the village of Chepino, the people who were also there always laughed a lot. That’s what he was famous for among the people in his town.
In the company, they called him “Shlyupera.”
I will tell his “jokes”, as far as I could document them.
1) The kids were jumping on the bed and his wife told him in a serious tone: “Sandre, look at what the kids are doing, talk to them!” He went out, brought three small chairs, arranged them so they can have a seat and told them: “Kids, listen,” and he turned to his wife with the words: “Magda, now you get on the bed and start kicking.” Then everyone laughed.
2) The teacher spoke about Darwin, how man descended from the ape. Alexander took a greeting card with a picture of a monkey and went to the café, where his teacher David sat on a table, took out the card in front of everyone and said: “Oh, look, your grandma,” then everyone in the café started laughing.
3) After he came back home holding the card with the picture of a monkey on it, he took it out and showed it to her wife saying: “Magda, look at your grandma,” then came laughter again.
4) Grandmother Milana made all her children reply to bad words with good ones. She sent them in the morning with that in mind and in the evening, she asked them what they did during the day. One evening, Sandre told her that one kid told him a very bad word – “eat crap”. And then with pride, he told his mother that he replied “and you go eat banitsa”.
5) Grandmother Milana lied in bed, she was 92. There was a window before her. Her children passed by – her three sons: Lazar, Sandre and Hristo.
Grandmother Milana asked Shanka (grandfather Sandre’s sister-in-law): “Who’s passing by?” Shanka told her: “Father and the uncles.” “Call Sandre!” He came and standing next to her, he asked calmly: “Why are you calling me, mother?” She told him: “Sandre, do you remember when I got married?” He replied: “I remember of course, I was a big kid then. I remember well when you were to marry and all the people in the village were saying that Milana Rabajieva, the teacher was going to marry Gyogata Kolchagov.” He came out and calmly closed the door. Grandmother Milana told Shanka: “Young girl, do you see now how smart my children are; they remember when I was to marry.” Shanka laughed.
6) Sandre went to his wife and said: “Magda, come so I can show you that Jesus was born in our barn.” When they went, she saw her son Ivan lying drunk in the manger.
7) Every time when uncle Sandre went to the factory in Chepino, he brought halvah to aunt Danka. Once he did not. That time she went up to him and told him: “Thank you, uncle, for the wonderful halvah.”
8) Grandmother Magda took white chickens from the barn. She tied rags to their feet so she can recognize them. When he saw them, grandfather Sandre told her: “Magda, why are you tying them like that, the neighbor will untie the cloth and you won’t recognize them after all, let me mark them.”
He colored the birds with the dye they used for the wooden toys. He colored one bird in blue, the other in green, the third in orange and so on.
The next day a man from Yakoruda came into his yard and wondered what kind of birds are those and grandfather Sandre told him: “Your grandmother Magda had nothing to do and put Easter eggs under the chicken, so she hatched birds like that – colorful.”
“Grandfather Sandre, if she still has such eggs, ask her to give me some, so I can put them under my chicken, too”, replied the man. Grandfather Sandre laughed when he saw his story was believed.
9) Uncle Sandre was in the army supply train at the battlefront. He wanted to make the soldiers laugh with his liveliness and good sense of humor. He made a pair of glasses and put them on the oxen. One soldier went to the officer and said that Sandre mocked the oxen. The officer called Sandre and asked him: “Sandre, did you do that?” He replied: “Sir, look at all the dust around, why should it get into their eyes?” Everybody laughed.
10) Uncle Sandre was at the baths, where a general was bathing. He started taking water from the same basin, where the general did.
The general told him: “Do you not know who I am, so you take water from my basin?” Uncle Sandre replied: “You didn’t put on your epaulettes, general, how could I tell?”
11) Uncle Sandre and Kolyo Todev were in the barracks together when they served in the army. Kolyo was sick and he moaned a lot. That day however, he received money from his wife. Since he moaned until late at night even though uncle Sandre gave him plenty of different medicines and he still did not cease to moan, Sandre told him: “Kolyo, it’s clear you’re going to die tonight, tell me where you hid the money you received today from your wife, so I don’t have to cut you in pieces when you die and search for them. After that, the sick “Kolyo Todev” calmed down, but replied: “Now I know what kind of a friend I’ve got.”
12) Coming from Sofia at the station of Chepino, uncle Sandre dressed up as a “seasonal tourist”. Kolyo Todev waited at the station for visitors at his hotel, which was located close to the station. Uncle Sandre wanted a decent hotel. Without recognizing him, Kolyo Todev took his heavy luggage and took him to the hotel, carrying his luggage. When they reached the hotel door, uncle Sandre took off his costume and thanked Kolyo for carrying his suitcases on the way from the station. They were full of metal spare parts and were truly heavy. Kolyo Todev told him: “You took me for a bellboy”. He was angry at him for a long time.
13) Uncle Sandre, along with a group of people went to the woods to gather berries. A person from the group fell down, but quickly got to his feet again. Uncle Sandre told him: “The blueberries contain a lot of iron, which is why when you fall down, you come straight up again, like a soldier made out of lead.”
Until the end of his life, although the loss of his two sons Milosh and Georgi, who was killed after the 9th of September, 1944 (when the communists came to power in Bulgaria), Alexander Kolchagov kept his sense of humor. In 1952, he died of stomach cancer in the village of Chepino, now a suburb of Velingrad, at the age of 73.
Magda Bizeva – Kolchagova
She is the wife of Alexander G. Kolchagov.
She was born in the town of Bansko in 1879. She originates from a poor family – her father was a “bozajiya” (malt drink maker) and he also made halvah. They were five sisters and three brothers. She was very calm and hospitable. She helped her husband in his revolutionary activity. Once, when their house in Bansko was surrounded by a Turkish asker so they can search it, Magda found a way in the critical moment to save her husband and her family and carried out the gun in their house in the following way: The women in Bansko wore colorful national clothing and Magda placed the gun under it on her back. After that she called her little baby, putting sticks between his legs, so they cause him pain so he cried without stopping. She put the baby on her back and told the asker they are going taking him to the doctor to see why he’s crying. That is how she carried out the gun and the Turks didn’t find anything in their home.
She gave birth to eight children and she was a very caring mother. She cooked very well. She wove everything by hand, making clothes for all of her children. She taught her granddaughter Amalia to weave.
She was very religious and on her deathbed, she asked a particular song to be sung at her funeral. She was buried in Chepino area.
Milosh Alexandrov Kolchagov
He was born in Bansko. He dealt with woodworking, working in the workshop of his father. He married Mara Petrova – a teacher. Milosh fell ill from tuberculosis and died when he was very young.
Mara Petrova was Milosh’s wife. She was a teacher in Chepino area and in some of the nearby villages. She died in 1993 at the age of 88.
Ivan Alexandrov Kolchagov
Ivan Al. Kolchagov with the two sisters Rayna and Yordanka
His wife was Yanka Boyadjieva. They have two children:
1) Georgi; 2) Sashka
Ivan Alexandrov Kolchagov was born in Chepino – a region of Velingrad, where he finished his elementary education. He continued the woodworking business his father had. He was calm and gentle in nature. He liked to joke. Here, I describe two of his favorite jokes:
1) A Bulgarian Muslim came to his workshop with a request to saw planks 3.5 cm. thick. The Muslim did not pay him for the first favor. A second time the Bulgarian Muslim came to the workshop to saw planks 3.5 cm. thick as the first time. Ivan told him that he would saw the planks at the desired thickness, but the Muslim should not “pretend into 3.5” (typical Bulgarian expression when somebody turns a deaf ear about something) and “forget” to pay him for the favor, as the previous time.
2) A client came to the workshop to saw planks, but Ivan told him that the belt of the belt-saw “was tight and must be lubricated.” The client got the point immediately and asked him what kind of drink he liked. Ivan replied that he would like a bottle of wine. The client went to buy the wine, but came back with empty hands, since he considered it expensive. Ivan asked him “Why are you coming back with empty hands? Was the shop closed?” The client replied that the shop was open, but the bottle was SKAPA (expensive in Bulgarian dialect; however S KAPA means WITH A CAP in Bulgarian). Ivan said: “It doesn’t matter that it’s S KAPA, bring it to me, I‘ll take off its CAP and I’ll drink it.”
Yanka Boyadjieva – Kolchagova
She is the wife of Ivan. She was born in Lujene area of Velingrad, where she finished middle and high school. Then she followed the Pharmaceutical College and after graduation she began working in the pharmacy in Lujene. She was always smiling and ready to help.
The children of Ivan and Yanka are:
1) Georgi Ivanov Kolchagov – his wife is Linka Yovcheva. They have two children: a) Ivan; b) Yanka.
Georgi Ivanov Kolchagov served in the army.
2) The husband of Sashka Ivanova Kolchagova is Ivan Katsarov. They have one child. Sashka Ivanova Kolchagova graduated from the University of Economics.
What has been written remains –
What has been told is forgotten.
Time is ruthless and
Only true names remain.
People reflect the spirit of the time
In which they have lived with their deeds.
Amalia Kolchagova wrote
Sweet memories for:
Kostadin (Dinko) Alexandrov Kolchagov
His wife is Elena Lazarova Dimitrova – Kolchagova.
They have two children:
1) Amalia Dinkova Kolchagova
2) Magdalina Dinkova Kolchagova
Dinko Kolchagov was born on the 20th of October, 1903 in Bansko in a family of many children – the family of Magda and Alexander Kolchagov. He grew up together with his three brothers – Milosh, Georgi and Ivan and his three sisters – Rayna, Danka and Marushka. He developed strong love for them all and he helped them throughout their entire life.
Dinko attended middle school in Bansko, where he obtained a certificate for a master – woodworker.
However, his parents, together with most of the Kolchagov family fled from the Turks after the Ilinden (St. Elijah’s Day) – Preobrajenie Rebellion and settled in Chepino Village in the Chepino Valley. He started working with his father in the Lepenitsa area, where they had a cogwheel for sawing logs into planks, belt-saw and oxen to transport the wooden material to Chepino. They used the planks to make chairs, which were dipped in a cauldron full of orange paint, and also to produce a variety of toys.
When he was 12, Dinko Kolchagov used to hunt with father Sandre, who taught him how to shoot using a riffle. In an attempt to fire, he shot through the thumb of his left hand, which left him a scar for the rest of his life.
He used to hunt in the pine forests of Lepenitsa, together with his brother Milosh and his cousins Todor and Boris, who were also working in the area.
In 1927 Dinko Kolchagov and his friends left Chepino and went to Poduene suburb of Sofia in the home of their family friends – Pavel and his son Mitko Parmakov.
Later, he rented lodgings on “Murphy Street” not far from Parmakov’s house and organized a workshop on “Regetska Street” near the bridge. He accepted his friends from Chepino and Bansko – Simeon Todev, Tsanko Benin, Gosho Zagornin, Todor Rahov and his cousins Todor and Boris Kolchagov and Dine Dumanov, who all worked for a year with him and then returned to their native towns and villages. The reason was that Dinko Kolchagov was in a difficult situation and could not pay their wages. Dine Dumanov did not have a paid position and Dinko sent him a note to come back to Sofia, promising Dine 1500 leva and everything else he owed him. Dinko found out that Dine had a bride – Rayna Kolchagova (from other branches of the family), so the young family settled in Sofia, where their generation lives up until nowadays.
Dine Dumanov remained with Dinko all his life, he was his right hand and Dine relied on him for everything; he was his faithful friend and assistant. When Dinko was already gone, Dine Dumanov pointed his feelings towards Dinko’s daughter and his grandson Kostadin.
Besides his friends, Dinko Kolchagov helped his sister Rayna by initially taking her in his lodging in Sofia after her graduation from the American College in Samokov; for this occasion he bought her two splendid dresses.
From 1929 until 1932 Dinko Kolchagov was a bachelor. He was extremely hard working and an enterprising artisan; he opened a shop and had many customers. He advanced in his job thanks to his inventiveness, vigorousness and the fact that he was physically healthy. He respected people and his relatives and had special relations with everybody. Because of his virtues, he was respected by Parmakov’s relatives, who liked him very much. They recommended and introduced him in person to their brother-in-law, Lazar Dimitrov, a rich Macedonian fur tradesman from Banya Village, Razlog region. Later Dinko Kolchagov married the daughter of Lazar Dimitrov – Elena and became his son-in-law. Lazar Dimitrov aided financially and materially Dinko quite a lot by giving him money and a field in Durvenitsa Village located on the Durvenitsa Highway, No. 1354, where he built a workshop. The workshop grew into a woodworking factory with additional premises – offices, penthouses, storehouses and a canteen for the workers. He also built a two story house, where he lived with his family.
The 100 workers Dinko chose to work in the factory were hard working and non-smoking. Those were people from the villages of Durvenitsa, Simeonovo, Slatina, from Northern Bulgaria, and from Lujene (Velingrad). He served them free lunch by employing a cook and assistants.
Dinko Kolchagov received big and important military orders – wooden soles for the boots of the soldiers, frames for the rucksacks and tents and other specimen of wooden articles purchased by Rommel for Africa. For the production of these articles he needed modern machines. In order to equip in an up-to-date manner their factory, Dinko Kolchagov together with his wife Elena who was fluent in German, departed for Germany to purchase automatic machinery for production of wooden articles. He had an accountant in the office, who handled all accounts. Initially his aunt’s son Boris from Bansko had been appointed to this post, but later he was replaced by Naum, who worked long years until the nationalization of the factory in 1947.
Dinko Kolchagov was the first to connect a telephone line to Durvenitsa by installing telephone pillars at his own expense. The telephone was a must for his growing business. All his life, until his last breath Dinko used the telephone in the most rational manner. He conducted thousands of conversations in order to complete his business duties.
Since Durvenitsa is far from downtown Sofia, Dinko Kolchagov initially had a cabriolet with a horse, which Dinko Dumanov coached. Later he obtained a motorcycle. In order to carry out his business meetings, he bought a car No. 4711 and called it “the car of perfume”. He was one of the first in Sofia to own a car and a truck. He used the car to conduct business, for trips during the weekends, to go hunting, but all that was later nationalized.
Dinko Kolchagov was a member of the Union of Hunters and Fishermen. His wife Elena described him with the words: “Dinko is a passionate hunter.” He had a pedigree dog “English setter”, a rifle “Saint Etienne” and many friends – hunters; he was the heart and soul of the company. He hunted in all of Bulgaria and had reserved places in Voinegovtsi, in Koprivshtitsa, in Zavet Village, Kubrat region and in many other places.
As everywhere else, in this field as well, Dinko Kolchagov demonstrated the characteristic features of the Kolchagov family, such as hard work, trust and respect.
His friends – the hunters loved him very much and saved him and his family from exile, to which the communist regime sent fortunate and rich Bulgarians. The fact that he was a hunter since childhood is not accidental; it is inherited from old family tradition. Dinko Kolchagov like his father Alexander was merry and fun loving; he never brought alcohol to his home and was a strong abstainer to smoking.
He went hunting with a great delight. He waited with impatience the hunting season and prepared himself long before it came; he liked nature – the trees, flowers amongst which he spent the majority of his life. When he had eaten the food brought from home (meals and sandwiches), he and his hungry friends – the hunters took the shepherd’s yogurt hung on some tree so the animals didn’t find it, ate it and in the empty metal pot they put money. When he went hunting he did not like to be wished “Good luck”, since he always came back with a very good kill.
He kept his hunting attributes – the rifle and everything else according to the rules – always locked in order to prevent an accident. His rifle was always clean and shined like a brand new one; he liked it very much and took good care of it.
Dinko had the characteristic Kolchagov family feature – he would do everything he could for his friends. Often, he would take from home some everyday household items, like rolling-pins, small and big chairs and etc. to give them to his friends in case they liked them and needed them.
Dinko Kolchagov was an economizing person, who did not waste his fortune, but rather invested it reasonably in his production, by acquiring modern German machines to replace the old ones. Many times he had to get loans, which he paid off in time. His accuracy made him an image of a trustful person and whenever he applied for a loan, such was always approved. He was good at dealing with funds and he was able to arrange his accounts with accuracy.
He had the support of his wife, who had completed higher economical education in Germany and he highly esteemed her rare quality by saying: “My wife is an economist; she doesn’t spend unnecessarily, only for what is needed.”
Apart from the support of his wife, Dinko was sustained by his father-in-law Lazar Dimitrov, who was his firm stay; he advised, helped and encouraged him.
However, besides the good friends, the successful Dinko Kolchagov had such, who envied him and wanted to do him harm. In 1942 after the first snow fell, somebody committed sabotage – the factory was set on fire. The incendiaries improvidently left tracks at the farther side of the factory opposite the small house of the guard called Kraycho. Three minutes later the fire brigade arrived and handled the fire. There was damage, but fortunately no lives were lost.
During the Second World War, from 1942 to 1943 Sofia was bombed. The family of Dinko Kolchagov was evacuated to Chepino Village in the house of his parents – Magda and Alexander Kolchagov.
The young industrialist remained in Sofia, working extremely hard and dedicated himself to new tasks, plans and future projects. Dinko was on a move all the time. One could find pieces of paper in his pockets, on which he used to take notes about the countless tasks necessary to be fulfilled for the day. He crossed out every task that had been accomplished, while the remaining examined for the days to come. He passed on this habit to his children.
Having spent a lot of energy during the new workday in business meetings, conversations on the phone and trips in the country in search of wooden material, he did not have time to read books. He was only reading his newspaper and fell asleep with it fallen on his head like an astronaut.
He had a piano at home but did not play it, since he did not excel in music, but he liked to perform the hunters’ march from the opera “The Magic Shooter” (“Der Freischutz”) by Weber. His favorite song was “Slender Kalina Creeps”, he liked folk music and the songs performed by the ensemble “Pirin is singing”.
In 1947 Dinko Kolchagov’s factory was nationalized – it became a state property under the name “Sport prom”. His house was also nationalized, thus the family and his sister Rayna rented lodging on “Oborishte Street” No. 23. He made an attempt to build a house on “Ivan Rilski Street”, where a bomb had exploded but his wife’s brother did not give his approval and he remained without a home. Much later he bought a flat on “Oborishte Street” No. 23.
After the nationalization – the plunder of everything he earned honestly with hard work, his wife Elena and her father deacon Lazar Dimitrov helped him overcome the loss and retain his high spirits. Many people died during the nationalization. Dinko preserved his life and started from scratch with faith and hope for the future. Nobody in his family ever mentioned the past or the adversities and the destitution in the present. Rather, they looked forward – grateful everybody was alive and healthy and hoped on God’s good will and help for the future. Dinko neither complained he was tired and that he had no vital energy, nor did he mention “poor us” for the nationalization or the miracle that happened to prevent their exile.
In 1948 Dinko became a state employee in the woodworking industry. He was noticed immediately and appreciated for his wide knowledge, practical experience and good sense and intelligence. However, the work as a clerk was far from his strong side, he drew pictures, worked out models in order to mould his own lathe part by part. He organized and commissioned a small workshop and began accepting orders from various cooperations – “Hemus”, “Happiness”, and “Balkan Commune” from the villages of Bunovo, Zverino and Vurbitsa. He produced corks for wine bottles, standing dryers, saddles, pens, martenitsa (typical Bulgarian trinket to celebrate the coming of March, the month of spring), and fans. His wife, daughter, son-in-law Georgi, his son and cousin Dine all worked in the workshop.
Dinko Kolchagov is the pride of the Kolchagov family, since he started anew everything from scratch and achieved in the best and most effective way all he had planned in advance.
However, one of Dinko’s dreams remained unrealized – to visit the Ohrid Lake with his wife.
He accomplished another idea – he built a two story villa in Relyovo Village to be used by his children and grandchildren.
At the age of 75 he developed Parkinson’s disease in his hands from which practically everybody in the Kolchagov family suffered. At the age of 80, he underwent a surgery from hernia in the Institute for Emergency Aid “Pirogov”. His good look invoked admiration in all doctors. He told them that he was a hunter being out in nature for a long time and that’s why he retained his vitality.
He was very delighted because his daughter Amalia was taking care of him also.
Several months before the family meeting of the Kolchagov family at the age of 82 on the 25th of March, 1985 he passed away. Everybody felt his absence at the meeting. He was buried in the Central Sofia Cemetery.
Elena Lazarova Dimitrova – Kolchagova
She is Dinko’s wife.
She was born on the 2nd of March, 1902 in Sofia. Her mother Amalia was Parmakov brothers’ sister. They remained orphans very early. The protestant First evangelist church on “Solunska Street” 49 took care of the orphans, paid the tuition of Amalia at the Economics School “Mariya Luiza” and found a job for the boys.
Amalia was religious and attended regularly the church service, where she met Lazar Dimitrov. They liked each other, got married and had three children: Ivan, Dimitur and Elena. Everybody liked Amalia and Lazar Dimitrov who was deacon at the church, because they were very merciful, kind and religious.
They lived in a house with a courtyard and always had a servant at their home. Amalia loved her children; she was solicitous and favorable and left unforgettable impressions in everybody who knew her. She could knit and had a personal sewing machine “Singer” on which she used to sow, she was able to heal illnesses with herbs and people called her “the doctor”. One summer, she was called to assist during childbirth in Belchin Village, because she was taken for a real doctor.
Every summer the family used to spend their vacation in Belchin Banya, Borovets, or in Samokov where she was born.
She was dominated by spiritual rather than active social interests. These qualities Amalia passed to her children, especially to her daughter Elena.
Elena finished the First Sofia high school for women and continued her education in economics and finances in Germany. She studied German philology in Sofia University and was a teacher in German at the American College in Samokov for some time after graduation.
After the death of Elena’s mother, Dinko Kolchagov visited her home. She also had three very good friends - girls and four male friends, some of whom are: Vasil Furnadjiev, Penka Kasabova, Badjo Panov, Blagodat Kafedjiev, and Asen Mishkov. They were a magnificent company.
As a well-mannered young girl from the youngster’s associations Elena was always nice, kind, always smiling, energetic, pushing on hard and always well and stylishly dressed.
Her circle of friends, based on pure friendship, organized excursions to monasteries, sledging, visits of exhibitions and young poets – Hrelkov and others, in which her father Lazar Dimitrov participated frequently.
Elena had a camera. She liked to take pictures and sort then into an album, some of them she gave away so people can have living memories. She had a piano, on which she performed musical fragments from the classics when her friends visited her at home.
Dinko was fascinated by the young girl and on the 14th of July, 1933 he married her.
The wedding took place in Lujene in the protestant church with a pastor Gerasim Popov. The best woman and man were Dinko’s sister Rayna and his cousin Milosh Popov. The wedding was attended by many relatives.
Before the wedding Dinko asked Gerasim Popov to give a short speech during the ceremony, but he replied: “Short or long you pay the same.” This phrase was mentioned when Elena and Dinko celebrated their golden wedding in the presence of their children and Rayna.
After the wedding Elena and Dinko returned to Sofia and lived in her father’s house, which was located on “Ivan Rilski Street” No. 20. In this house their first daughter Amalia was born and on that occasion Elena said: “Accidental accidents happen by chance.” These words applied for a grandmother, mother and a daughter (granddaughter) born on one and the same day and month, but in different years.
Order and discipline reigned in Elena’s house. She did not spoil her children, did not kiss them, but satisfied them with fruits – apples, blueberries, chestnuts, peanuts, honey, sweets and chocolate.
Her best friend was Miss Penka Kasabova (director of all kindergartens), who gave Elena valuable advices for early building of children’s habits – to polish their shoes alone, to collect fallen garbage, to wash their hands, to go to bed early and to wake up early without remaining in the bed.
Elena worshiped her husband Dinko, she advised and encouraged him and she praised him affectionately: “Well done Dinko!” Dinko frequently went hunting, while Elena visited the services at the First evangelist church alone. In 1955, she lost her father Lazar; she grieved a lot but did not show it out, she was firm as always. After the loss of their property after the nationalization, she had to start working for a pension. She started working in a kiosk, held by a cooperation from Zlatitsa village at the Poduene market. After retirement, Elena and Dinko visited Koprivshtitsa, Bansko and Dobrinishte and even climbed the peak of Vihren. They used to take the grandchildren many times to their villa between Belchin Banya and Samokov.
All the native people there knew them and were good friends with them.
In 1983, Elena was at the villa for the last time. On the 4th of July, she died in the hands of her husband Dinko. She was buried in the Central Sofia Cemetery.
Amalia Kostadinova Kolchagova – Andonova
Her husband is George Arsov Andonov.
They have two children and one deceased.
1) Kostadin Georgiev Arsov; 2) Elena Georgieva Arsova
Amalia was born on the 2nd of March, 1934 in Sofia.
She was named after her grandmother Amalia. She was the seventh child. When Dinko Dumanov saw her first, he exclaimed: “She is like the moon, and looks like Dinko, too.” In 1935 father Gerasim Popov baptized her in Lujene.
She attended the American kindergarten and then completed second grade in the American school prior to its closure in 1942. She passed an admission exam in a school with only two classrooms, located on “Solunska Street”.
After the family moved from her mother’s house to the one on Durvenitsa Highway, she met the young countess Mariya Luiza and the young prince Simeon, who frequently visited their uncle Cyril and Evdokiya. Evdokiya passed every day, by the factory in Durvenitsa, riding a horse without anybody guarding her, always smiling and greeting all people around.
During the Second World War, while evacuated, Amalia studied at “Neofit Rilski” school in Chepino (Velingrad).
Amalia was energetic, animated, courageous, joyful and always with a song in her mouth; she loved flowers very much. Grandmother Magda from Chepino taught her to knit and grandfather Sandre taught her to walk on stilts and with sandals.
The English lessons continued – she was trained by her father’s cousin Danka Lich. She was also taking German lessons from the evacuated at the same place Frau Martini. She played the piano and the accordion.
She was helping her grandmother Magda in taking potatoes out, picking beans, and apples, watering the meadow and tossing hay. She relished the fragrance of blossomed apples, mowed hey, she relished the splendid nature and beautiful pine forests of the Rhodopes. She liked to whittle wood very skillfully; she also liked its smell.
After the return of her family in Sofia, she attended the 23rd School. It happened so that Amalia attended different schools every year, which was not in her favor. She was fond of drawing and after graduation from high school, she applied for the Artistic Academy – specializing in carving. She was not admitted, because she was the daughter of a man, who was a subject of the nationalization. She made an attempt to join the Theatrical School, but alas. Later she succeeded in following English philology and became an English teacher. She was praised with a diploma for her good work. The teacher profession is a family tradition – her great grandmother Milana was the first teacher in Bansko during the Turkish domination.
In 1957, she married Georgi Arsov. The wedding took place in the First evangelist church – the same church, where the wedding of her grandmother Amalia and grandfather Lazar took place. After the marriage she preserved her maiden name – Kolchagova, because she believed that everybody should retain until death the name with which they were born.
She gave birth to two children – Kostadin and Elena. Amalia was devoted mother and wife. She liked to receive guest and to surprise them with various delicacies. She was generous. She could not bear to be in bad relations with anybody, being very sensitive; she had her spiritual equilibrium disordered whenever that happened.
She liked literature very much. Should she visit a bookshop, she would never leave without buying a book.
She liked to travel – she visited France, but she liked the nice places in Bulgaria better – Bansko, Koprivshtitsa, Nesebur, and Varna.
She was not stingy – her popular name was “spend every penny”.
She loved Bulgaria and she was proud to be a part of the famous revolutionary Kolchagov family.
Georgi Arsov Andonov
He is Amalia’s husband. He was born on the 17th of April, 1926 in Sofia. He originated from an Orthodox Christian family, but he loved Amalia very much and agreed their wedding to take place in the First evangelist church in Sofia, on the 11th of August, 1957. That was the time when all believers of God were persecuted and one could easily lose his or her job. Georgi Arsov graduated from the Third Exemplary High School for men. Later, he completed his higher education at the University of Economics.
His parents – mother Lyuba, a housewife, who could serve as an example for others and father Arso Andonov Bojinov both originate from good families. His father was a grocer; he was honest, religious, hard working and energetic. They had a house on “Osogovo Street” No. 75, where they initially sheltered the young family of their son Georgi. There the first child Kostadin was born.
Georgi Arsov was a sportsman and played in the “Slavia” team since its foundation. He liked to play basketball, to swim and to ride a bicycle with his wife. He liked tourism and playing the guitar. His hobby was cooking; he was a big expert in preparing the “Bansko kapama”, the recipe of which he learned from his mother in law Elena Kolchagova.
He was a hard worker, disciplined, self demanding and demanding towards the people surrounding him. He was curious, he liked to read literature and had 181 000 pages read. He was honest, provident, and a good financer. He worked in the national insurance department as an expert. He developed the computer system for pension allowance and payment.
In 1963 he passed computer training and specialization in France. He was a good father, devoted husband and a loving grandfather.
Konstantin Georgiev Arsov (Tino)
He is the son of Amalia Kolchagova. He was born on the 10th of June, 1960 in Sofia. He was nursed until the age of three. He started walking and talking correctly at an early age. A healthy and charismatic young boy, he was always a winner in the games. His friends used to say “Tino will be our commander.” He liked his friends, but mostly he liked Momchil Karamitev. He was hard working, studious and very eager to learn. He was the flag bearer at “Maxim Gorki” school in Sofia. After graduation from 142nd High School he went to an admission exam in the Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski”. He passed the exam and was enrolled in the Faculty of Law, specialty – lawyer; however he was simultaneously admitted in the sociology department. After serving his time in Kyustendil as a soldier – wireless operator, he started his higher education. He graduated from the Faculty of Law with excellent grades. After graduation Tino started his working career.
After the democratization of Bulgaria Tino took the career of his grandfather Dinko and started his own woodworking workshop. He also had his own company for law consultations and a modern lawyer’s office.
Tino was very responsive, eager to learn, hard working, fit for work, ethical and kind. He liked to drive a car; he was a careful and an attentive to women gentleman. He had an innate sense of humor and liked to go to the cinema.
Elena Georgieva Arsova
Her husband is Valentine Kostov Pavlov. They have a child named Emanuil. She is Amalia Kolchagova’s daughter.
She was born on the 31st of May, 1965 in Sofia. Since early childhood she was very charismatic – a white skinned beauty with dark hair and greenish eyes. As a baby she suffered from staphylococcus pneumonia, which detained his mother Amalia at home for a long time. She troubled her parents with a knocked out tooth, rifted chin, broken arm and appendix surgery.
She graduated from the elite high school “Georgi S. Rakovski”. Her dream was to become an actress.
Initially she started work in the theatre as a cleaner. She applied at the Institute of Dramatic Arts and after two unsuccessful attempts was finally admitted with specialty “puppet theatre”. After completion of the first year, Elena took the admission exam again and was admitted for the second time in the Institute, now in the stage craft specialty. She completed the higher education with excellent grades and thus her dream to become an actress became reality. She met the student from the Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering Valentine Kostov Pavlov. In 1987 she married him and in 1988, the boy Emanuil was born.
Elena took part in Rangel Vulchanov’s film “Which way now”, in some shorts movies and others. She performed in the “Sirius” Theatre, where included puppets in the performances – she already had the qualifications, imagination and dexterity. She participated in the movie “Asparukh” together with her mother.
In 1991, she left for Germany with her son to join Valentine. She gave birth to two more children – Samuel and Joseph.
Further particulars of her aptitude were yoga exercising, karate practicing, climbing and being a speleologist. She took lessons in dancing and ballet played the guitar and wanted to know and experience everything herself.
Valentine Kostov Pavlov
He is Elena Arsova’s husband.
He was born in Sofia. He graduated from a high school in Ruse. He served one year in the Bulgarian army. He studied in the Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering (IACE). He applied for the Institute of Dramatic Arts “Krustyu Sarafov” but did not succeed in admitting. He left the IACE and continued with Bulgarian philology in the Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski”.
Valentine liked to travel, to read, to paint, to play the guitar and to write short novels with an unexpected end. He left for Germany in 1991.
Elena’s son Emanuil was born on the 21st of April, 1988 in Sofia. He is a joyful and loving child.
Magdalena Kostadinova Kolchagova – Veleva (Maya)
Her husband is Stefan Blagoev Velev.
They have a son called Stefan Alexandrov Velev.
Magdalena was born on the 24th of November, 1940 in Sofia and bears the name of her grandmother (the mother of her father). She was the favorite child in the family of Dinko Kolchagov, since she was the youngest one. Since early age she demonstrated willful character. She attended the French language kindergarten “Kuzmina”. She was very persevering and eager to learn as a pupil. She was taking piano lessons and playing at home for hours. After completion of high school, she applied for the Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski” and was admitted in the department of French philology. She had wonderful French pronunciation after graduation from the university.
She started working at the Bulgarian Airlines “Balkan” as a stewardess.
She married Antony Trayanov, a young and handsome artist animator who was working in the cinematography. Magdalena traveled a lot on internal and international flights and the family with this man did not last for long. After separation with him, she lived in her father’s house. Magdalena bought a car and her mother used to say that now she would worry about her both in the air and on earth. She accumulated the necessary for retirement mileage, but being still very young she continued to work.
In April 1983, she traveled with a free ticket on a holiday abroad and never returned to Bulgaria.
She arranged her personal life by marrying Stefan Bl. Velev on the 24th of May, 1983 in Rome. From Rome the couple departed to the USA and settled in Chicago, where they live until now.
On the 5th of March, 1985 a boy was born and Maya’s dream of becoming a mother came true.
Dinko Kolchagov was very happy to have an American grandchild. However, he died and was never able to see him.
The young family was without any support in Chicago and had to overcome many difficulties. Both of them worked hard.
Magdalena’s husband Stefan Bl. Velev was born in Sofia. In America, he worked as a car designer. He was also practicing graphics in his spare time.
Stefan Alexandrov Velev was their son. He attended a prestigious school for which his parents paid high tuition.
Rayna Alexandrova Kolchagova – Vladkova
Her husband is Ivan Belchev Vladkov.
They have two daughters – Julia and Yordanka.
Rayna Al. Kolchagova was born on the 26th of September, 1907 in Lujene. She completed middle school there and then continued the education in the American College in Samokov supported by her aunt – Rayna Kolchagova – Belcheva, who lived in America.
Later, she graduated from the Institute for Teachers in Plovdiv and became a teacher in Bulgarian language and literature.
In 1934 she married Engineer Ivan Belchev Vladkov, whom she met in Bansko. At that time he was a young engineer – forester, recently completed his higher education in Nancy – France.
Rayna worked as a teacher everywhere her husband had been appointed – Bansko, Belitsa, Gorna Djumaya, Tsaribrod, Velingrad, Varna and Sofia. After 1944, she settled in Sofia, where they bought a flat. Rayna was a teacher in the high school “Lambi Kandev” until retirement. She was awarded the prestigious medal “Cyril and Methodius” 1st degree.
She had many friends and everybody liked and looked up her for help or advice.
She liked to knit. Rayna used to read English literature and gave English lessons to children. She was a devoted and caring wife, loving mother and grandmother. She liked tourism and nature.
On the 6th of November, 1989 at the age of 82, she died suddenly, while watching the séance of Kashpirovski on the TV. Thus, Rayna could not live to see the great reforms in Bulgaria, which she cared to happen so much. She despised communism, from which she and the Kolchagov family suffered.
Engineer Ivan Belchev Vladkov
He is the husband of Rayna Kolchagova.
He was born in January, 1904 in Veliko Turnovo. His father was a customs clerk and his mother was SaMariyan. They lived in Varna. Ivan finished forestry in Nancy – France.
He loved his children very much and gave them good upbringing and education; he was very caring and a kind husband. He loved the mountains and picnics; he took regularly his family and friends out on mountain trekking. He played chess and cards very well in the company of Georgi Kolchagov.
He worked in “Agrolesproekt” until retirement. He died in 1977 in Hisar, while being on treatment for sore kidneys.
Rayna and Ivan have two daughters – Julia and Yordanka.
Julia Ivanova Vladkova – Bornan
Her husband is Jean Pierre Bornan.
She was born on the 4th of October, 1936 in Chepino.
In 1958 she completed Russian philology at the Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski”. She was a teacher in Samokov and Koprivshtitsa. During the students’ vacations she worked as a guide. In 1963 she married Jean Pierre Bornan from Switzerland, who was a pharmacist. Since then she lives and works in Switzerland as an associate professor in Russian language and literature at the University of Lausanne.
Julia visits Bulgaria every year.
She has two daughters:
1) Valerie – 29 years old, married to Antonio. They have a daughter Sarah.
2) Milena – 25 years old.
Her daughters live and work in Switzerland.
Yordanka Ivanova Vladkova – Georgieva
Her husband is Dimitur Slavkov Georgiev.
They have two children – Svetoslav and Miroslava.
Yordanka is Rayna Kolchagova’s daughter.
She was born on the 8th of April, 1940 in Varna. She graduated from the Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski” in 1964. She was a teacher in Pleven. She worked also as a translator at “Neftochim” and at the Sofia Radio Station and after that got a permanent job as an instructor speaking three languages – French, English and Russian in the festival division at the International Department of the Bulgarian Red Cross.
She married Dimitur Slavkov Georgiev, an engineer chemist, working in a chemistry research institute.
They live in Sofia and have their own flat.
They have two children: Svetoslav and Miroslava.
Svetoslav was born in 1969 in Sofia. He was a student in the Technical University of Sofia.
Miroslava was born in 1974. She graduated from a technical school and specialized in chemistry and biotechnology. She was performing in a professional ensemble for folk music and dances at the Student’s House in Sofia.
Toshe Kolchagov 1780
Wife Elena Hajivulcheva
Georgi Kolchagov, 1854
Alexander Kolchagov 1879
______________|__ ____________|___________ __|________________
Dinko Kolchagov Ivan Kolchagov Rayna Kolchagova
Elena Dimitrova Yanka Boyadjieva Ivan Vladkov
__________|_______ | _________|_________ | __________|__________ |
Amalia Kolchagova | Georgi Kolchagov | Julia Vladkova |
Georgi Andonov | Linka Yovcheva | Jean Pierre Bornan |
__________________|_ | | __________|__________ |
Magdalina Kolchagova | | Sashka Kolchagova |
Stefan Velev | | Ivan Katsarov |
_________________|__ | ________________|__
Ivan Kolchagov | Yordanka Vladkova
| Dimitur Georgiev
Georgi Alexandrov Kolchagov
His wife is Alexandra (Shanka) Kostadinova Rabajieva.
They have twins (two sons) – Alexander and Kostadin.
Georgi Al. Kolchagov was born on the 4th of September, 1915 in Chepino – Velingrad. He completed the middle school in Chepino. He dealt with woodworking, inheriting the craft from his father. He produced toys, chairs and wrapping material.
On the 29th of September, 1944 he was outrageously killed by the partisans – his grave is unknown.
His wife Alexandra (Shanka) was born on the 15th of May, 1915 in Bansko. She comes from the Rabajiev family.
She completed middle school in Bansko and high school in Gorna Djumaya, now Blagoevgrad. She was a good wife and mother.
She used to gather herbs for a living because nobody was willing to employ her after the murder of her husband as an enemy of communism. She struggled alone and raised with great difficulty her two small children. She fell ill and was pensioned off on a medical certificate.
She died on the 26th of July, 1993 in the Chepino area of Velingrad, where she was buried.
Alexander Georgiev Kolchagov
His wife is Dimitrinka Petrova Kuzeva.
They have two children – Alexandra and Krasimir.
Alexander Georgiev Kolchagov was born on the 23rd of August, 1938 in Chepino – Velingrad.
He completed high school in Velingrad. He was jobless for one year and served his time as a soldier in the labor detachments of the Bulgarian army. After returning to Velingrad he started working at the “Georgi Dimitrov” factory.
During a period of seven years he was not allowed to continue his education. He married Dimitrinka Kuzeva. Being married, he was admitted in the specialized school for civil engineering in Bratsigovo. After completing it successfully, he started working at Water Supply and Sewerage – Velingrad. His hobby was cutting wood and woodworking. He was good at mathematics also.
Dimitrinka Petrova Kuzeva
The wife of Alexander was born in the village Yunatsite – Pazardjik Region. She completed the medical school in Plovdiv and started working at the Velingrad Hospital.
Alexandra Alexandrova Kolchagova was born on the 3rd of April, 1965 in the Chepino area of Velingrad, where she completed middle and high school.
Later she completed higher education in the Institute for Nutritive Industry in Plovdiv. She started working at the “Hranmash Proekt” in Stara Zagora. At present she works in Velingrad.
Engineer Krasimir Alexandrov Kolchagov was born on the 2nd of October, 1969 in Chepino – Velingrad.
He completed middle and high school in Velingrad and served his time as a soldier in the labor brigades of the army.
After passing the full course of education, he graduated from the Technical University in 1994. He worked in Sofia and married Mariya Filipova Filipova from Velingrad – a student at the Technical University.
Kostadin Georgiev Kolchagov
His wife is Yordanka Georgieva Kukedova.
They have a son – Georgi Kostadinov Kolchagov.
Kostadin Georgiev Kolchagov is Alexander’s twin brother. He was born on the 23rd of August, 1938 in Chepino – Velingrad.
He completed middle and high school in Velingrad and then attended the “Filaretova” School in Sofia to become a dental mechanic. He started working in his specialty in Velingrad.
He married Yordanka Georgieva Kukedova from Peshtera. She was a certified pharmacist and worked as a pharmacy manager in Peshtera. The family lives in Peshtera.
Engineer Georgi Kostadinov Kolchagov was born on the 8th of December, 1968 in Velingrad. He completed high school in Peshtera. He graduated from the branch of the Technical University in Sliven in 1993. He married Gergana from Peshtera.
Yordanka Alexandrova Kolchagova
Her husband is Dimitur Ishtev.
They have two sons – Ivan and Boyan.
Yordanka Al. Kolchagova was born in 1910 in the village of Chepino, now an area of Velingrad.
She completed the economic school in Chepino. When she was very young, she married Dimitur Ishtev, who came from a very rich family. He had a big house on the central square in Chepino.
Yordanka was a very good housewife and mother. With her joyful spirit inherited from her father, she created a pleasant atmosphere in her house.
Milosh Alexandrov Kolchagov
His wife Mara Petrova was a teacher.
Milosh worked with his father but fell ill from tuberculosis and died very young.
Marushka Alexandrova Kolchagova also died very young.
Toshe Kolchagov 1780
Wife Elena Hajivulcheva
Georgi Kolchagov, 1854
Alexander Kolchagov 1879
_______________|__ _________|_________ | __|__________
Georgi Kolchagov Yordanka Kolchagova | Marushka
Shanka Rabajieva Dimitur Ishtev | Kolchagova
___________|_________ | ____|________ | __|______________
Alexander Kolchagov | Ivan Ishtev | Milosh Kolchagov
Dimitrinka Kuzeva | | Mara Petrova
| ____|______ | ___|_____
| Krasimir | Boyan
| Kolchagov | Ishtev
Alexandra Kostadin Kolchagov
Kolchagova Yordanka Kukedova
Elena Georgieva Kolchagova
Her husband is Father Gerasim N. Popov.
They have four children:
1) Milosh; 2) Tsvetko; 3) Yordanka; 4) Nikolay
Elena Georgieva Kolchagova was born in Bansko. She attended the summer school held by the American missionary Miss Helena Stone. Later she attended the American College in Samokov.
She married Father Gerasim Popov and they lived in Lujene, Velingrad.
Elena dedicated all her energy for the wellbeing of others. She held a humble life filled with motherly kindness and great human virtues.
Deeply religious, she managed the Sunday school at the protestant church in Lujene and played the organ during the festive service on Sundays.
She was quiet, humble and always ready to help. She sang very well and loved flowers.
In the church backyard, she maintained a pavilion, overgrown with ivy and surrounded by splendid flowers.
She died on the 9th of September, 1969 at the age of 87. She was buried in Lujene, Velingrad.
Father Gerasim Popov
He is the husband of Elena Kolchagova.
He was born in 1880 in Bansko.
A full period of 65 years he was an evangelist pastor and served devotedly as a teacher and conspirator in the struggle for liberation of Macedonia from Turkish domination.
Gerasim Popov was a community center activist, a functionary of the abstainer movement, researcher and collector of valuable historical documents; he was one of the creators of a church museum. He had been imprisoned during communism.
He had a mild character; he was quiet, humble and virtuous.
He died after a short illness on the 14th of January, 1968 at the age of 88.
Tsvetko Gerasimov Popov was born in Velingrad. He had poetic gifts but died very young.
Dr. Milosh Gerasimov Popov
His wife is Minka Garvanova.
They have two children – Elenka and Nedelcho.
Dr. Milosh G. Popov was born in Velingrad. He obtained his diploma as for a dentist in France.
Initially he worked in a private medical cabinet, but later as a dentist in the Velingrad Hospital, where he managed the dental department.
Several times he had been elected a chairman of the trade union committee. He was a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) and president of the community centre.
He was awarded a golden medal of labor and a medal “Cyril and Methodius” 2nd degree.
Milosh Popov was quiet, calm, hard working, honorable and a dentist, who had a high conscience. He would always do his best for his patients.
He died in Velingrad, where he was buried.
Minka Garvanova Popova is his wife.
She was born in the Lujene area of Velingrad, where she completed elementary school. She completed high school in other towns.
She started working as a teacher and became a school director.
She had artistic gifts and performed magnificently in the local amateur theatre. She was very hospitable, honest and sincere.
She died in Velingrad, where she was buried.
Elenka Miloshova Popova
She was born in Velingrad, where she completed middle school. After graduation from high school, she attended and graduated from the Institute of Dramatic Arts. She worked long years in the Television as a dubbing director. She married and has a daughter called Draga.
Engineer Nedelcho Miloshov Popov
He was born in Velingrad, where he completed middle school – in the Lujene area of Velingrad. After graduation from the high school he attended and completed the Technical University in Sofia.
He worked at the State Council.
He has two children.
Nikolay Gerasimov Popov
His wife was Leda Geo Mileva.
They have a son – Boyan.
Nikolay Gerasimov Popov was born in Lujene – Velingrad. He completed high school in Velingrad and after that attended and completed the American College in Simeonovo.
He worked as a cinema director in the Cinematography. He was a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
Nikolay was quiet, not very social, but he was very kind. He died in Sofia, where he lived most of his life and was buried in the Central Sofia Cemetery.
Leda Geo Mileva is his wife. She is the daughter of the poet Geo Milev and inherited the talent from her father. She was a poet as well.
She worked long years at the Television as a director.
Boyan Nikolaev Popov is Leda Mileva’s son. He was a teacher.
Yordanka Gerasimova Popova – Litch
She was born in 1903 in Velingrad. She completed the American College and married an American. She had a second marriage with a Bulgarian living in the US. She lived in her own house until the end of her life in America. She visited Bulgaria three times but the second time she broke her leg and fell ill for long. She returned in America with a companion – Dr. Ana Kolchagova, she was operated and she started walking again.
She died at the age of 92, on the 17th of February, 1995 in America where she was buried.
Ivan Georgiev Kolchagov
His wife is Yordanka Ivanova Usheva.
They have three children: Nikola, Kostadin and Tsvetko.
Ivan Georgiev Kolchagov is the fourth child of Georgi and Milana Kolchagov after Lazar, Alexander and Elena. He was born in Bansko in 1886, where he grew up and began to deal with commerce. He fell ill from tuberculosis and died in 1912, still very young, at the age of only 24.
Yordanka Iv. Usheva – Kolchagova is his wife and was also born in Bansko. She had to raise alone her three sons. Yordanka worked as a nurse at the American College in Samokov and later in Simeonovo. She worked there until its closure in 1945.
Her children attended the college but only Kostadin graduated.
Yordanka was a good and hard working mother.
She died in Velingrad.
Nikola Ivanov Kolchagov
His wife is Valentina Mladenova.
Nikola Kolchagov was born in 1906 in Lujene Village, now an area of Velingrad.
He attended the American College but being the oldest, he did not complete it for he had to work and help his mother. He dealt with wood cutting and joinery production and worked for a long time in the factory of his cousin Dinko. He was honest, joyful and direct. He used to state his opinion in a direct manner and that was the reason for him to be deported to the province by the communists after the 9th of September, 1944.
He did not inherit anything from his father and was a poor worker, but he was very hospitable. He died in December, 1975.
Valentina Mladenova – his wife was born in Sofia in 1916. In 1937 their son Svetoslav was born, but died 3 months later and the family remained without children. Valentina had completed a specialized school for crafts and worked as a seamstress. They built a house in Velingrad.
Valentina died in 1982.
Kostadin Ivanov Kolchagov
His wife is Mariya Alexandrova Ignatova.
They have two children: Ivan and Yordanka.
Kostadin Ivanov Kolchagov was born in 1908 in Lujene – Velingrad, where he completed middle school. Then he attended the American College and in 1927 he graduated. Later he was admitted in the University and graduated with a specialty of financial expert.
He worked as accountant in Surnitsa village and later in the factory “Georgi Dimitrov” in Velingrad, where he retired.
Together with his brother Nikola, he built a house in the Lujene area.
Kostadin was modest, quiet, hard working, kind and very honest.
He died on the 13th of November, 1983 in Velingrad.
Mariya Alexandrova Ignatova is his wife. She was born in Kuklen village – Plovdiv region. Kostadin married her in April 1941. Mariya completed the economical school in Plovdiv and became a teacher in dressmaking.
She died on the 29th of August, 1978.
Engineer Ivan Kostadinov Kolchagov
His wife is Nevena I. Dimitrova.
They have two children: Mariya and Kostadin.
Ivan Kostadinov Kolchagov was born on the 8th of November, 1942 in Velingrad.
He completed middle and high school in his hometown. Later he completed higher education in Sofia and became an electric engineer.
His wife – Engineer Nevena I. Dimitrova was born in Velingrad. Her father was a medical doctor, while her mother was a bank clerk. Nevena graduated from the Institute of Chemistry and Technology – specialty lumber technology. She works as a chemical engineer. The family lives in Plovdiv.
Engineer Mariya Ivanova Kolchagova
Her husband is Georgi Kostadinov Kordev.
They have two daughters: Spasimira and Elena.
Mariya Ivanova Kolchagova is an engineer in electronics.
In 1988 she married Georgi K. Kordev.
I have no other information about their family.
Kostadin Ivanov Kolchagov
His wife is Pavlina Borisova Avramova.
They have a daughter called Nevena.
Kostadin Ivanov Kolchagov is a graduate student – specialty international business relations.
Pavlina B. Avramova – Kolchagova – his wife is a pharmacist.
Yordanka Kostadinova Kolchagova
Her husband is Georgi Petrov Chechev.
They have two daughters – Nedyalka, born on the 6th of April, 1971 and Gergana – born on the 13th of March, 1975.
Yordanka Kostadinova Kolchagova was born on the 7th of July, 1946 in Velingrad.
She completed middle and high school in her hometown. After obtaining a diploma for higher education, she became an agronomist. She works in the greenhouses of Velingrad.
Her husband Georgi Chechev is from Chepino. The family lives in Chepino area, in their own house.
Their daughters – Nedyalka is a biotechnologist, while Gergana has completed high school.
Hristo Georgiev Kolchagov
His wife is Evgeniya.
From this marriage he has two children: Georgi and Dimitur.
He has a second wife Anna, from whom he has a daughter – Nataliya.
Hristo Georgiev Kolchagov was born on the 23rd of December, 1896 in Bansko. At the age of 8, he moved with his family to free Bulgaria in Lujene Village, now Velingrad. In Bansko he attended kindergarten, but after settling in Bulgaria, he completed middle school in Velingrad. Then he was sent to Plovdiv where completed the First high school for men.
He became a teacher in history, music and gymnastics in Lujene.
He had musical talent; he sang very well, played the violin and organ.
He organized musical and literature evening meetings where Sasho Popov and Lyubomir Pipkov were invited.
He performed in an amateur theatre in Velingrad.
He was well respected by his students and by society.
He was a church activist, a member of the church council at the evangelist church in Lujene.
Family of Hristo G. Kolchagov
He had a shop in his own house and dealt with commerce before the shop was liquidated by the communists.
This information was gathered when he was 85.
He died in 1985 in Velingrad where he was buried.
His wife Evgeniya fell ill from tuberculosis and died very young. His second wife Anna was born in Pazardjik. She was a good mother and housewife and took care of Georgi and Dimitur, who remained orphans (without mother) while very young. Anna died on the 22nd of August, 1990 in Velingrad at the age of 82.
Dr. Georgi Hristov Kolchagov
He has a wife Lilyana, who bore him a daughter – Evgeniya.
From his second wife Snejana, he had a son called Dimitur.
Georgi Hristov Kolchagov was born in 1927 in Lujene, now Velingrad.
He completed elementary school in Lujene and then graduated from the high school in Velingrad. Later he completed the medical school in Sofia.
He had a great musical talent; he played the accordion, flute and piccolo. He created the publishing house “Lira” for popular music.
He worked in Sofia and Ahtopol as a doctor. He practiced also abroad – in Tunisia.
During the communist regime he had been imprisoned.
He owned a flat in Sofia. After returning from Tunisia he fell heavily ill and died on the 24th of October, 1984. He was buried in Sofia.
His wife Lilyana owns a flat in Sofia, where she lives with her daughter Evgeniya.
Evgeniya graduated from a high school, specialized in shop-front arrangement and became a shop window organizer.
Evgeniya Georgieva Kolchagova married and is known under the name Angelova.
The second wife of George Hristov Kolchagov is Snejana. She is a nurse. Their son Dimitur Georgiev Kolchagov is a student.
Dimitur Hristov Kolchagov’s wife is Evgeniya.
They have two children – Alexander and Catherina.
Dimitur Hristov Kolchagov was born in 1929 in Lujene – Velingrad. He completed middle and high school in his hometown. Later, he continued his education and obtained a diploma for an agricultural specialist. He lives and works in Plovdiv.
He has musical giftedness, he plays the concertina. Dimitur is a very good volleyball player.
His wife Evgeniya worked as an accountant. She is a very good housewife; she graduated from a French College.
Their son Alexander Dimitrov Kolchagov graduated from a technical high school in automatics in Haskovo.
His wife Elena is a teacher.
They have two children – Dimitur and Christine.
Catherina D. Kolchagova is the daughter of Dimitur Hristov Kolchagov. She completed the Musical Academy in Plovdiv. Her husband Rumen is a dental mechanic. They have a son Boris and a daughter Evgeniya.
Nataliya Hristova Kolchagova’s husband is Georgi Velev; she has a daughter Anna.
Nataliya was born on the 11th of October, 1936 in Velingrad. She completed high school in the hometown and then pursued her studies in Sofia to become an occupational therapist. She worked at the balneology sanatorium in Velingrad for 30 years. She had a good musical sense – she sang in the town and the ritual choir. She was a good volleyball player, a good housewife and mother, she was very hospitable.
Her husband Georgi Velev was born in 1927, in Chepino – Velingrad. He worked for many years at the Colophony Factory. He also had a good sense for music – he was a good singer and an accordion and trumpet player. He died on the 4th of May, 1997. He was buried in Velingrad.
Their daughter Anna Georgieva Veleva – Dermenjieva is a nurse, she works at “DAU”, Chepino. She is a very good mother.
Her husband Victor Dermenjiev was born in 1953. He works as a driving instructor.
They have two children:
1) Stoyka Victorova Dermenjieva was born in 1980. She completed high school in Velingrad. Now pursues her further studies in Varna – specialty Management and tourism.
2) Georgi Victorov Dermenjiev was born in Velingrad. He studies in the Kamenitsa area of town.
Toshe Kolchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
Georgi Kolchagov, 1854
________________________|__ ____________|___________ __|______________________
Elena Kolchagova Ivan Kolchagov Hristo Kolchagov
Gerasim Popov Yordana Usheva Evgeniya Ana
___________|_____ | | | ___________|______ | | | | ______________|____
Milosh Popov | | | Tsvetko Kolchagov | | | | Nataliya Kolchagova
Minka Garvanova | | | | | | | Georgi Velev
___________|_____ | | | ___________________|_ | | |___________________
Elenka Popova | | | Nikolay Kolchagov | | Dimitur Kolchagov
Nedelcho Popov | | | Valentina Mladenova | | Evgeniya
___________________| | | _____________________| | ___________|_________
Nikolay Popov | | Kostadin Kolchagov | Alexander and
Leda Mileva | | Mariya Ignatova | Catherina
_____________________| | ______________|____ | |_____________________
Yordanka Popova | Yordanka Kolchagova | Georgi Kolchagov
Litch | Georgi Chechev | Lilyana and Snejana
_______________________| ____________________|__ ___________|_________
Tsvetko Popov Ivan Kolchagov Evgeniya Kolchagova
Nevenka Dimitrova Dimitur Kolchagov
Mariya and Kostadin
Dimitur Georgiev Kolchagov
(ne Demeter George Colchagoff)
Dimitur G. Kolchagov (with white shirt) with relatives
His wife is Ivanka Bagrenova Ivanova.
They have four children:
1) George; 2) Mary Ellen; 3) Robert; 4) Nancy
Dimitur Kolchagov was born in 1892 in Bansko. He completed the primary education in the hometown and after that he continued in the American College in Samokov.
He married Ivanka Ivanova from Samokov. In 1912 he departed for the USA with a Turkish passport. He completed high school in Toledo and attended the Toledo University after. He worked as an accountant in the banks of Toledo. He was a member of the trusteeship of the Bulgarian Cultural Society in Toledo.
Since early age he demonstrated musical aptitude. On the picture taken at the meeting of the Kolchagov family in 1897 in Bansko he holds an accordion. He plays the piano and the violin. He did not have the Kolchagov’s commercial aptitude and the technical abilities.
People in Toledo called him the Bulgarian Council. He helped the immigrants with advice, letters and etc.
He was the founder of the International Institute in Toledo.
He loved Bulgaria and visited it 4-5 times. During the Second World War he was asked to work in favor of America but he refused. He was known in Ohio as a specialist in choreography. He studied choreography for thirteen years and during that time he founded Bulgarian and American groups and trained them to perform dances of various nationalities – Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, French, German, Mexican and Hebrew.
He owns a personal estate with meadows and forests.
He personally knew and adored the American journalist McGahan, who first visited the Batak massacre of 1876, performed by the Turks over the Bulgarian population in Batak. McGahan kicked up a row in the press in all of Europe. Dimitur Kolchagov visited the grave of McGahan in America every year and presents flowers with a bow to the ground.
Somebody gave him a Turkish yatagan as a present, which he donated to the museum in Batak.
He died in America and was sent away with great honors. He was buried in Toledo.
Ivanka Bagrenova Ivanova is the wife of Dimitur Kolchagov.
She was born on the 19th of July, 1896 in Samokov. She was a housewife in America taking care of the four children they had. She also managed the individual farm they owned.
She was a good mother and wife. She died in Toledo, where she was buried.
Georgi Dimitrov Kolchagov
His wife is Lucille (with a maiden name Aires).
They have two children: 1) Maya; 2) Barry.
Georgi D. Kolchagov was born on the 8th of June, 1919 in Toledo, USA.
He was a pilot. During the Second World War he was forced to fly in the Bulgarian sky, but never dropped a bomb over his father’s motherland. His father Dimitur was proud of that. He reached the rank of colonel in the US Army.
Lucille is the wife of Georgi D. Kolchagov. She has English origins.
Their children are:
Maya Georgieva Kolchagova – she lives in the USA and is married to Robert Smeely. They have two children.
Barry Georgiev Kolchagov – he lives in the USA.
Robert Dimitrov Colchagov
He had two marriages.
His first wife is Patricia, with whom he raised three children:
1) Kristina, 2) John – a medical auxiliary; 3) Mark
His second wife Beth is of Irish descent. They also have three children:
1) Cassandra; 2) Hick; 3) Buff
Robert Dimitrov Colchagov was born on the 4th of April, 1924 in Toledo, USA.
He was an engineer in the glass industry of Toledo.
On the way back from a business trip to Syria, he visited Bulgaria in order to meet relatives and see his father’s homeland. He was 61 at that time.
The children from his first wife Patricia are:
1) Hristina married to Keck James.
They have three children:
1) Dana (married);
2) John – divorced with one son.
3) Mark – married to Annette, without children.
The children from his second wife Beth are:
1) Cassandra – married and living in Toledo.
2) Hick – married.
3) Buff – no information.
Nancy Dimitrova Colchagova – Branson
Her husband is Ted Branson.
Nancy D. Colchagova was born on the 8th of April, 1926 in Toledo, Ohio, USA.
Her parents are Dimitur G. Colchagov and Ivanka Ivanova.
She completed middle school in Garfield. She followed up at the high school in Wyatt and attended a private school for painting.
As a student she studied and attended courses in: ballet, piano, drama, acrobatics, fine arts and swimming.
She won the first prize in a national competition for fashion sketches and a scholarship in the school for arts and models in New York.
In 1947 at the age of 21 she married Ted Branson, who was working in a radio station. Nancy Branson moved to Shreveport – Louisiana, Laredo – Texas, Sterling – Illinois, and Gary – Indiana.
Five years later she divorced her husband and moved to Indianapolis – Indiana in order to continue the activity in her career as a fashion designer at H.R. Wasson – Superstore.
In 1955 she returned to New York and settled permanently in order to continue the work in her field – fashion designer. She was also interested in ballet, theatre, music and swimming.
During her visit to Bulgaria, she stayed at Hotel Sofia. She met relatives and made a tour of Bulgaria.
Mary Ellen Dimitrova Colchagova – Sussex
Her husband is Clyde Sussex.
Mary Ellen D. Colchagova was born in Toledo, Ohio, USA.
She was educated in arts: music, dances, drama, fine arts and commerce.
She dealt with commerce for several years. Later she established her own TV show “Mary Ellen Show”, which lasted for a whole period of 12 years.
Later she sold a small property and moved to Kauai Island in the state of Hawaii. In 1979 her activities there were aquarelle painting, and golf playing. Together with her husband Clyde she began performing in a small local theatre.
Rayna Georgieva Kolchagova – Boycheva
Her husband is Kooman Boychev.
They have three children:
1) Florence, 2) Helen; 3) Kooman
Rayna Kolchagova – Boycheva was born on the 14th of June, 1888 in Bansko. She was a granddaughter of an orthodox priest and spent her early childhood in Bansko, Pirin Macedonia. She described the life in Bansko with the following words: “Our houses were bare; we slept with the livestock under the same roof. When the harvest was good, we had enough. When the harvest was bad, we managed to live as we could. We worked in the field 10 hours a day.”
Rayna attended the summer school in Bansko when she was young. This school was held by the American missionary Helena Stone. From her Rayna got the inspiration to continue her education in the American College in Samokov.
Her teachers were American missionaries, true-hearted to democracy. A strong desire to see USA sometime arose in her.
After completion of the American College, Rayna became a primary school teacher in Plovdiv.
Later she departed for the USA, where she met and married in 1907 her husband.
In 1908 the family settled permanently in Toledo, Ohio, USA.
Her husband Boychev started work as an insurance agent, while Rayna was a housewife. In the spare time they delivered English lessons to the newcomers from overseas.
Rayna Colchagova used to say: “Our house was like a reception-hall and a school at the same time, everything tumbled over in one during those days.”
Initially they lived above a public laundry and later – in a flat above a bakery. Her comment about this period was: “We changed the odors.”
She made friends with a neighbor, who taught her how to preserve foods and how to conduct the household in the American way. Rayna said: “I knew so little about the American style of life, that when initially I was using a laundry machine, I pierced holes in the clothes.”
Having come from a foreign country, Rayna Colchagova – Boycheva endured slanderous prejudice from some neighbors. For many years Rayna taught in the Sunday school at the Second cathedral in Toledo.
Being asked what the secret of world brotherhood was, she replied: “Jesus’ words: “Love your enemies, love leads to understanding no matter in your motherland or abroad.”
Rayna Colchagova died in the home for elderly people in Fairhaven on the 16th of April, 1984, at the age of 96.
Cuman Boychev – he is a professor, living in the USA.
One of Rayna’s daughters died in Germany as a child on the way to Bulgaria.
Florence Boycheva – the other daughter of Rayna was a very talented contralto – she became a singer. When she was at the top of her career, she died at the age of 23.
Mara Georgieva Colchagova was Rayna’s sister. She died very young.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
__________________|________________ ______|_______ _______|________
Dimitur Colchagov Rayna Mara
Ivanka Ivanova Colchagova Colchagova
__________________|___ | | | ______|________
Nancy Colchagova | | | Cuman
Ted Branson | | | Boychev
________________________| | |_________________________
Mary Ellen Colchagova | Robert Colchagov
Clyde Sussex | I Patricia II Beth______
__________________________| | |
Georgi Colchagov ______|_____________ ___|_____________________
Lucille 1) Hristina Colchagova 1) Cassandra Colchagova
____________|________ | Keck James 2) Hick Colchagov
Maya Colchagova | 2) John Colchagov 3) Buff Colchagov
Robert Smeely | 3) Mark Colchagov
II TODOR MIKHAILOV COLCHAGOV
His wife is Catherina Mladenova.
They have nine children: 1) Milosh, 2) Georgi; 3) Ivan; 4) Kostadin; 5) Krum; 6) Elena; 7) Yordanka; 8) Magdalina; 9) Sandra.
Todor M. Colchagov was born in 1856, in Bansko. Primary education he obtained at the Evangelist school, so that he was able to read and write.
At young age, like all his brothers, Todor used to cast rings and distribute them in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Turkey.
He married Catherina Mladenova.
He opened a shop in Bansko and began trading with groceries, seeds, corn and wheat. He had properties and livestock – cows, goats, and horses. He owned a big house made of stone, which is preserved until present. It was located in the inner part of the courtyard with an outlet towards the Haji-Popov Street, so that it was easy to go out to the field. Apart from the commercial abilities, he had a revolutionary spirit. He welcomed many rebels and leaders in his house. Once the Turks caught a rebel, who disclosed that he had been in the house of Todor Colchagov.
The Turks arrested Todor and his wife Catherina and interrogated them in Mekhomia (now Razlog). This was during the time the affair Stone took place.
After being interrogated by the Turkish authorities, Catherina was dismissed, however in 1903 Todor was sent to the Edi-Kule prison in Solun. Fortunately, besides the case of a revolutionary there was another civil case submitted against Todor by somebody from Bansko. This saved his life. His eldest daughter Elena was a teacher in the American College in Bitolya. She collected gold and bribed the Turkish judge to set the date for the civil case first. Todor was found not guilty on this case and was set free. He went to his daughter Elena, who supplied him with clothes, money and food. Todor started by foot from Solun to Bansko to avoid being recognized and handed over to the Turkish authority in case he used transportation.
He returned to Bansko during the night, stayed at home only one day to take farewell with his wife and children and immigrated to free Bulgaria to settle in Lujene Village, now Velingrad. His return to Bansko was impossible because he was found guilty in Solun as a revolutionary on the second case for robbing the gold of Miss Stone. The insurgents set on fire the inn in Bansko in order to distract the attention of the Turks, meanwhile transferring the gold for the ransom of Miss Stone to Todor’s house. Later, this gold was handled to the revolutionary organization to buy weapons for the Ilinden (St. Elijah’s Day) Uprising.
Miss Helena Stone was set free. The sultan in Istanbul asked to meet her and said: “What should I do now with your kidnappers?” She answered: “If somebody is under detention on my case, please set them free.”
Later, Todor’s wife and children were transferred to free Bulgaria. They settled in Lujene with their father.
Todor Colchagov was very mild-tempered, honest, hard working, an abstainer and a very good father and husband. He educated all his children; Lena and Yordanka graduated from the American College, while the others completed high school.
Todor Colchagov died on the 28th of February, 1942 in Velingrad at the age of 86. He was buried in Velingrad. This information was taken from his grandson – Professor Mikhail Colchagov.
Catherina Mladenova – Colchagova
She is the wife of Todor G. Colchagov.
Catherina was born in 1846 in Bansko; she was a sister of Marko, Peter and Dimitur Mladenov – intelligent people and smart traders. Grown up in this environment, she taught herself to read and write. Receptive and educated housewife, she differed from the other women with her gift and ability of being a popular healer. She knew how to heal limb traumas, burns and cuts. When she was passing along the street, people were standing up to demonstrate their respect towards her.
She was very religious, devoted and a sincere Christian. For more than 50 years she was a member of the evangelist churches in Bansko and Lujene. The Bible was all the time on the dining table and together with her husband Todor she drew energy from the sermon of God regularly. She respected the holidays and did not allow her children to work in order to avoid annoying the neighbors.
An exemplary and nimble housewife, she maintained the order and cleanliness of the house as a pattern to imitate. Life experience taught her to help others in need and pain. With heroism and resolute faith, she met life ordeals, especially when one of her children became a victim of the river Glazne’s currents.
Catherina was a patriotic Bulgarian. Like many other evangelists she showed her love towards her nation and motherland in action. In the period 1895-1905, when the Macedonian revolutionary movement was growing she and her husband opened their home for the national activists. Gotse Delchev and Peyo Yavorov had found shelter in her house many times. As mentioned before this was the reason she was interrogated in Mekhomia and her husband imprisoned in Solun, in the Edi Kule prison.
Catherina prayed to God every day for her husband to return to Bansko.
At a meeting between Magdalina (the grandmother of the author of this book) and Catherina, the latter said:
“Magdalina, please pray to God for your uncle Toshko to come back. I shall give you a turkey with babies in case he returns.” The same evening Todor Colchagov returned from the prison to his home in Bansko. On the next morning, Catherina brought the promised turkey to Magdalena and informed her that uncle Todor had come back. However, the next day her husband escaped to seek salvation in free Bulgaria and settled in Lujene.
Catherina was very young when she lost three of her children; she escaped with the rest to seek salvation from the Turks by joining her husband in free Bulgaria. The mild-tempered character of her husband was a great support during her life.
Todor donated 10 napoleons to the evangelist church in Lujene and Catherina donated 10 000 leva in addition.
Catherina Colchagova fulfilled her duty with dignity and the evangelic phrase “what she could, she did” hold true for her entire life.
She died in 1939 and was buried in the village of Lujene.
Milosh Toshkov Colchagov
His wife is Zorka Ivanova Bogdanova.
They have five children:
1) Ekaterina; 2) Todor; 3) Boris; 4) Ana; 5) Milka
Milosh Toshkov Colchagov was born in Bansko in 1886. He obtained his primary education in the Evangelist school; in second grade he had Vela Kondeva from Razlog as a teacher. After that, he took operation of his father’s store and took care of the family since his father Todor was imprisoned in Edi – Kule prison in Solun.
He became a member of the organization VMRO. He was one of the most active revolutionaries in its ranks in Bansko, during the Ilinden Rebellion and before it. With his restless spirit and decisiveness he was always ready for action, for which he gave his time, effort, peace, health and even risked his life. That was an honor and pride for him, to be one of the fighters for Macedonian freedom.
He was always the first to act during the transfer of weapons and in guiding companies from and to Bulgaria. He scouted for D. Lazarov and Simeon Molerov, as delegates at the congress in Belemeto at the beginning of September, 1903. He made a hideout near the Glazne River at Kyarandjiitsa, but it was later reported by a caught rebel. He accompanied the division of Sandanski. Milosh himself was part of Yonko Vaptsarov’s company.
In 1903 he was in the large Razlog Company, part of which was the poet Yavorov. The same year, in which the rebellion started in the Razlog area, Milosh was appointed leader of IV Company from the group of the revolutionaries from Bansko. He took part in all the battles in the Belitsa area, Bachevo area and the Godlevska Mountain. He was always in the first rows and he served as a good example for the fighters. His entire revolutionary activity showed a series of brave actions, for which he got appreciation and gratitude from the leaders of the organization. His revolutionary activity does not draw its line there. Milosh became such a devoted fighter for people’s freedom also by being part of the resistance in the Macedonia and Odrin area, where he was enlisted as part of II Division, 13th Battalion. During World War I he fought as a soldier in the machine gun division of the 61st Infantry Battalion. He has several medals for bravery.
After the Rebellion of Ilinden – Preobrajenie he moved to and settled in the village of Lujene and he often said “Our great cause is lost.”
He dealt with trade and glasswork after he started living a peaceful life.
He married Zorka Bogdanova. He built two houses downtown in the square of the village of Lujene, now Velingrad. He bought an apartment in Sofia, where his children lived and studied in the university, getting high degrees. They are: Ekaterina, Todor, Boris, Anna and Milka.
He died on 01.11.1957 in the town of Velingrad, at the age of 72.
Zorka Ivanova Bogdanova – Colchagova
Zorka is the wife of Milosh Colchagov. She was born in 1894 in the town of Panagyurishte. Her father Ivan Bogdanov was born in Karlovo and her mother Ana was born in Peshtera.
Zorka finished her primary education in the village of Kamenitsa. Later she studied in the economic school in the village of Lujene. She sew very well and had a great ability to cook. She was a good wife, a wonderful mother and an excellent housewife.
Later, Zorka got a national pension for the active role her husband Milosh took in liberating Macedonia and Odrin area. She died in the town of Velingrad on 04.11.1967, where she was buried.
Dr. Ekaterina Miloshova Colchagova – Chorbova
Her husband’s name is Peter Chorbov
They have two children:
1) Rumyana; 2) Ivan
D-r Ekaterina M. Colchagova was born in the village of Lujene in 1915. She finished her primary education in the village of Lujene and she graduated from high school in Sofia with excellence. She followed medicine, specializing in genecology. After finishing her secondary education, she went to work in Yakoruda for around two years. Later she was appointed director of the Department of Genecology at the Velingrad Hospital. In the end of her career she went to work at the Sanatorium and resort management, after which she got a pension.
She had mathematical skills and affinity in learning foreign languages. She was a good with sports, loved tourism and skiing.
Her character was very calm, well balanced, kind, very hard working, hospitable, a good housewife and a gifted specialist.
She married Peter Chorbov from Velingrad and they have two children – Rumyana and Ivan.
At the age of 65 she died in Velingrad, where she was buried.
Peter Chorbov – the husband of Ekaterina Colchagova was born in Velingrad. He was good in skiing and sports. He was a very good husband and a loving father. He died in Velingrad after his wife.
Rumyana Petrova Chorbova was born in 1942 in Velingrad. She finished her primary education in her hometown. Rumyana studied physics in the University of Sofia; she became a scientific associate 1st degree and a candidate of technical science. Later, she specialized in Canada.
She married Lyubomir Burkov, also a physicist. They have one son – Veselin. After his military service ended, he was accepted in the Physical Faculty in Sofia.
Ivan Petrov Chorbov was born in Velingrad. He got his primary education from his hometown. He graduated from the Karl Marx Institute and he worked as an economical director in “Vincho Goranov” factory in Velingrad.
His wife is Nevenka Choleeva – a medical worker in the laboratory and the Hygiene and Control Institute, Velingrad.
They have one son.
Todor Miloshov Colchagov
His wife is Lilyana Vucheva
They don’t have any children.
Todor M. Colchagov was born in Velingrad on 07.14.1919. He finished middle school in Velingrad and 5th Male Gymnasium in Sofia. He had giftedness in mathematics and worked as an accountant.
He continued his father’s business – glasswork.
He loved reading literature. He was a wonderful friend. He married Lilyana Vucheva.
He died in Velingrad, where he was buried on 12.30.1987.
Boris Miloshov Colchagov
His wife is called Dora Mincheva.
They have two daughters – twins.
1) Gergana; 2) Veselina
Boris M. Colchagov was born in Velingrad on 02.01.1922, where he finished his primary education. He graduated from 5th Male Gymnasium in Sofia, after which he studied in the economics institute. He worked as an accountant in Velingrad.
He had musical giftedness, played all brass instruments and has artistic traits as well. He continued his father’s business – glasswork and frames, where he showed skillfulness.
He died in 2001 in Velingrad, where he was buried.
Dora Todorova Mincheva – Colchagova is the wife of Boris Colchagov. She was born in Sofia on 06.22.1923. She finished her middle school education in Velingrad and high school and university – economics institute – in Sofia. She worked as an accountant in Velingrad. She was a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party. She died at the age of 71 on 11.09.1994 in Velingrad, where she was buried.
Gergana Borisova Colchagova – Nikolova was born in Velingrad on 05.07.1948.
She got her high degree from the Technical University of Sofia – specializing in machinery.
She worked as a teacher in High Polytechnic School “Vasil Levski” in Velingrad. She has outstanding mathematical skills. She is very well tempered, smart, a good wife and a mother.
Her husband is Vladimir Borisov Nikolov – a veterinarian.
They have two sons: Boris and Nikolay. The whole family immigrated to Canada, where she still lives.
Veselina Borisova Colchagova – Peeva
She is Gergana’s twin sister. She was born in Velingrad on 05.07.1948.
She got her high degree in Sofia, from the Agricultural Academy, specializing in agricultural economics. She worked in Velingrad. She has the same traits her sister Gergana has – smart, a good wife and a mother.
Veselina’s husband is Georgi Vasilev Peev – university graduate – agricultural specialist.
They have two children: Dory and Vasil.
Dr. Ana Miloshova Colchagova
Her husband is Dr. Nikola Shumarov.
She was born on 01.26.1929 in Velingrad. She finished her primary education in her hometown. She got her high degree – in medicine – in Plovdiv, specializing in microbiology. She became a laboratory director in Velingrad. As a doctor, bacteriologist, she worked four years in Tunis and four years in Algiers – Africa, where she furnished laboratories. Her contribution in the two African countries was the fight against cholera epidemics and so on.
Ana was good in sports; she was in the national volleyball team. As a student she was captain of the volleyball team “Academic” in Plovdiv.
She is a good housewife – she can sow, knit and cook. She lives in Velingrad.
She married, but her marriage was unsuccessful and she remained living alone. She has a daughter called Milena from that marriage. She married Mariyan Marinov Kunchev. Milena worked and lived in Sofia. She worked as a translator in the national television. Her son Mariyan Mariyanov Kunchev was brought up and taken care of by Dr. Ana Colchagova. He taught in Velingrad, in a foreign language class, studying English. He plays the piano perfectly.
Milka Miloshova Colchagova – Horozova
Her husband is Nikola Horozov.
They have two children: 1) Zorka; 2) Kostadin
Milka M. Colchagova was born in Velingrad on 06.06.1936. She finished her primary education in her hometown. She studied in the Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski”, specializing in chemistry. She worked as a chemistry teacher in the Velingrad Gymnasium “Vasil Levski”. She is a good pedagogic – senior teacher, having giftedness in mathematics.
She is very joyful, social, a good mother and an excellent housewife. She lives in Velingrad with her husband in the town square of Lujene area, in the house inherited from her father Milosh.
Nikola Horozov is Milka’s husband. He was born in the village of Kovachevitsa. He is a teacher and he works in the “Vasil Levski” Gymnasium in Velingrad. He has technical abilities. He is a good husband and father. Along with his wife Milka, they make an extensive trip to Germany, where their daughter lives. They have two children – Zorka and Kostadin.
1) Engineer Zorka N. Horozova was born in Velingrad. She finished middle and high school in Velingrad. She obtained a high degree, having mathematical skills. She finished the Economic and Technical University of Vienna – specializing in engineering physics.
Zorka married an Austrian – Hubert Malle – dr. of economical sciences. She lives with her husband in Germany.
2) Engineer Kostadin N. Horozov has a wife called Stanimira Jeleva.
They have one daughter – Milka, born in 1993 in Velingrad.
Kostadin has mathematical abilities. He deals with trade. He has a store in the central part of Lujene area. He finished the Technical University of Sliven.
His wife Stanimira is a mathematician.
Kostadin Todorov Colchagov
He died young. While Kostadin carried a sheep over the Glazne River, he fell off the bridge and drowned. He was 13.
Ivan Todorov Colchagov
He was born in Bansko. He died young. He finished high school in Plovdiv and went to the military school in Sofia. He got ill of tuberculosis and died there.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
___________|__________ ____________|____________ ____________|____________
Kostadin Colchagov Milosh Colchagov Ivan Colchagov
_________________________| | | | |______________________________
Ekaterina Colchagova | | | Ana Colchagova
Peter Chorbov | | | Nikola Shumarov
| | |
________________________| _______|_______ |_______________________________
Todor Colchagov Boris Colchagov Milka Colchagova
Lilyana Vucheva Dora Mincheva Nikola Horozov
Gergana Colchagova Veselina Colchagova
Vladimir Borisov Georgi Peev
Georgi Todorov Colchagov
His wife is called Ekaterina Hajivakanova.
They have two sons:
1) Mikhail; 2) Cyril
Georgi T. Colchagov was born in Bansko in 1891. He finished his primary education in Velingrad and later studied in the American College in Samokov. He majored in mathematics in the Sofia University.
He participated as a voluntary in the Balkan War and took a big part in fighting in World War I. He has several medals for bravery. His highest rank in the army was a battalion commander. He traded with foods made out of grain and with wooden material after the war in Sofia. He was very hard working and had an exceptional business capability.
He had a kind character. He loved music and played the mandolin. He painted very well and had mathematical skills. He was very social, he interacted well with people. His business did well until 1953, when he was forced to liquidate his trade business.
His wife is Ekaterina Vakanova from the Hajivulchev family.
Ekaterina D. Vakanova, the wife of Georgi was born in Bansko.
She was very intelligent, studied mathematics and became a teacher. She devoted herself to her family. Everything she did was precise; her goal was to bring up her children well and to ensure them proper education. She cared for her family very much and was ready to make sacrifices. She took care of her ill mother, father and husband. She had high morals.
Her sons and grandchildren felt a lot of respect for her. Her sons Mikhail and Cyril live in Sofia, along with the grandchildren.
Engineer Mikhail Georgiev Colchagov
His wife is Zlatka Gencheva.
They have three children:
1) Ekaterina and 2) Stefana – twin sisters
Mikhail Georgiev Colchagov was born in Velingrad in 1923. When he was one year old, his parents moved to Sofia, where he graduated from 1st male gymnasium. He studied in the national polytechnic, specializing in construction and engineering. He is a candidate of the technical sciences – senior science associate, 1st degree. He had mathematical skills.
He participated in several unique engineering projects – bridges, sports centers and industrial buildings.
He had musical and artistic abilities.
He married Zlatka Gencheva Dimitrova from a famous Lovech family (Dimitrolow). They lived in Sofia.
Zlatka Gencheva Dimitrova, the wife of Mikhail finished a German school and has a high degree – she was a dentist.
She spoke three languages – German, English and French. She was a well educated woman with good manners and interests in literature and music.
She was a good housewife, mother and wife.
She brought up and gave education to all three of her children – Ekaterina, Stefan and Georgi. Both Zlatka and Mikhail died in a year. Zlatka died on 05.20.1985 at the age of 59.
1) Ekaterina Mikhailova Colchagova
She finished construction economics in Dresden. She speaks seven languages: German, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Norwegian. She works in the Privatization Agency.
2) Stefana M. Colchagova studied industrial mechanization. She speaks French, Spanish, English and German. She works for a private company.
She has mathematical skills. Her husband Nikola Yanev comes from a famous Macedonian family. They have a daughter called Yana, while their son Mikhail studied in Vienna.
They live in Sofia.
3) Engineer Georgi Mikhailov Colchagov
His wife is Boryana Boyanova Dimitrova.
They have two children:
1) Boyan; 3) Zlatina
Georgi M. Colchagov was born in Sofia on the 13th of September, 1959. He finished a German gymnasium and construction and engineering.
He has mathematical skills. He has a good sense for music – he plays the piano. His wife – Boryana B. Dimitrova is the great granddaughter of Petko Todorov and granddaughter of Stefan Tsilka, son of Ekaterina Popstefanova – Tsilka. She accompanied Ms. Helena Stone (an American missionary) in the mountains. Both are caught and ransomed by the rebels.
Roza and Stefan Tsilka are the grandparents of Boryana.
Georgi Mikhailov Colchagov works as an engineer, while his wife Boryana works as an architect. They have their own private company in Sofia.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
| They have 4 children
| | | |
Elena Scander Stefan Dita
daughter of Petko Todorov
husband Boyan Dimitrov
Boryana D. Dimitrova Kristina
husband Georgi M. Colchagov
Boyan G. Colchagov Zlatina
Cyril Georgiev Colchagov
His wife is Ivanka Atanasova Kostakieva.
They have two children: 1) Veselin; 2) Milena
Cyril G. Colchagov was born in Sofia on 05.30.1928. He finished 1st male gymnasium in Sofia in 1946. After that, he studied in the national university, specializing in chemistry. He finished his high education with excellence in 1950.
He went to the barracks in the town of Karlovo. After finishing his military service, he became an honorary assistant in the Chemistry and Technology Institute, a branch of the veterinary institute. He became a teacher at the specialized school for medical laboratory assistants. In 1956 he became a regular assistant in biochemistry in Medical Academy until 1981. After that he transferred to the Center of scientific and applicant tasks in sports. He is a candidate of biological science. He is coauthor of three textbooks. Two of them are used in medical schools for conventional chemistry and biology. The third textbook is in biochemistry and clinical chemistry for the students in the pharmaceutical faculty.
He loved music and he often went to expositions with his father.
He married Ivanka Atanasova Kostakieva from Varna. She originates on her mother’s side from an old family from Kotel, while on her father’s side – a family from Gorna Oryahovitsa.
She worked as a laboratory assistant in Medical Academy. They have two children: Milena and Veselin.
Ivanka A. Kostakieva – Colchagova died in 1994 in Sofia.
Milena Cyrilova Colchagova has a husband called Hristo Genov.
They have two children:
1) Kliment; 2) Krasimir
Milena C. Colchagova was born in 1965 in Sofia.
She finished 1st Gymnasium and the college for nurses. She worked in Military Medical Academy.
The husband of Milena is Hristo Genov – born in Haskovo. He finished the institute for telecommunication machinery.
They have two children: Kliment and Krasimir.
Dr. Veselin Cyrilov Colchagov
His wife is Nina Gradinarova.
They have one son – Damyan – 06.17.2001.
Dr. Veselin C. Colchagov was born in 1968 in Sofia. He finished 1st Gymnasium and the Medical University. He worked as a doctor in Medical Academy in the clinic for gastroenterology.
He is married to Nina Gradinarova from Sofia. She has a high degree in economics – international business relations.
She works in the stock exchange. She has visited America, Japan and other countries.
Krum Todorov Colchagov
He died when he was young – at the age of 15.
Sandra Todorova Colchagova has a husband Cyril.
I do not have information.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
| | |
Krum Colchagov Georgi Colchagov Sandra
Ekaterina Hajivakanova Colchagova
Mikhail Colchagov Cyril Colchagov
Zlatka Gencheva Ivanka Kostakieva
| | | | |
Ekaterina | | Milena Veselin Colchagov
Colchagova | | Colchagova Nina Gradinarova
| | |
Stefana Colchagova Damyan Colchagov
Nikola Yanev |
Boyan Colchagov Zlatina Colchagova
Yordana Todorova Colchagova
Her husband is Peter Armyanov.
They have two daughters:
1) Mariya; 2) Anna
Yordana T. Colchagova was born in Bansko. She finished the American College in Samokov and later she took courses to become a nurse, with the help of queen Klementina.
During the Balkan War, she was at the battlefield as a nurse, who spoke English. She had the kind temper of her father and was a good nurse and an exceptional mother.
She married Peter Armyanov – an officer.
They have two daughters: Mariya and Anna.
Mariya Armyanova studied geography and her husband is the best geographer in Bulgaria – Professor Tyanko Yordanov, known to the whole Bulgarian nation as the spokesman of the program “Atlas” on national television. They live in Sofia.
Their daughter Anna Armyanova married Asen Kunev when she was very young, a member of the resistance movement, an active fighter against fascism and capitalism. They have two sons:
Both of them have high degrees. Venko studied Spanish philology in the “Kliment Ohridski” University. Now he’s a teacher in the Sorbonne in Paris, where he lives and owns a house.
Boyko Kunev is a painter.
Magda Todorova Colchagova
Her husband is Nedelcho Ognyanov
Magda T. Colchagova was born on the 24th of August, 1897 in the town of Bansko.
She finished high school in Sofia. She was getting ready to take an entrance exam in the medical faculty, but World War I started, in which Bulgaria also participated and that became the reason for Magda not to continue her education.
She worked as an accountant in the village of Lujene and the surrounding villages.
After the war was over, she left for Germany, where she took courses in sowing. She got her diploma from Plovdiv and as a master craftsman, she opened a sowing workshop.
She married Nedelcho Ognyanov from Plovdiv – a trader and they worked together.
She is a descendent of Haji Vulcho, Father Paisiy’s brother, who made large donations to the Zograf and Hilendar monasteries in Sveta Gora.
Magda made a donation to the “Father Paisiy” Library in Velingrad. She gave the sum of 22 000 leva to be used for gifted children, who would write Bulgarian history.
They bought a house in Plovdiv, which was later confiscated.
Her husband Nedelcho died in Plovdiv. Magda returned to Velingrad to spend her old age, where she died, in 1985.
Elena Todorova Colchagova
Her husband is Dimo Dimitrov
Elena T. Colchagova was born in Bansko. She graduated from the American College in Samokov. She worked as a teacher in Skopie, Bitolya and Solun. She is the daughter, who helped her father Todor to come out of prison by bribing a Turkish judge, who let her father out of Edi Kule prison in Solun.
Her husband is Dimo Dimitrov, who was a protestant priest in Plovdiv.
Elena died while giving birth.
III. PARASHKEVA MIKHAILOVA COLCHAGOVA
Her husband is Dimitur Golumanov. They have four children:
1) Lyuba; 2) Nadejda; 3) Vera; 4) Alexander
Parashkeva M. Colchagova was born in the town of Bansko.
She was a very beautiful woman, she sang very well, she was very religious and became a servant of God. She knitted, cooked and was spendthrift.
She married Dimitur Golumanov from the village of Gyulemanovo, now the village of Roza, Yambol region.
The fate of Dimitur is very interesting. He was left an orphan when he was very young. A Turk took him and made him an orator at the minaret of the mosque. Once, when he was calling out for prayer, two English missionaries passed, who were lead by a Bulgarian and she pointed at him, saying he’s an orphan, who was taken by a Turk. They got interested in him and took him away to England. They educated him there, making him an engineer. After Bulgaria’s liberation from Turkish yoke, he was the first engineer in Sofia region.
He projected the railroad Belgrade, Sofia, Istanbul. He worked in Sofia as a bookkeeper, after which he temporarily moved to England, then America and South Africa (as a mine engineer).
Parashkeva remained in Bulgaria and took care for her three daughters Lyuba, Nadejda and Vera; they all studied to become teachers. Her only son became a pastor in Toronto, Canada, where he died. Parashkeva died in Yambol. Her oldest daughter is:
Lyuba Golumanova – Kozlovska
Her husband is Gurko Kozlovski.
They have two sons:
1) Georgi; 2) Dimitur
Lyuba Golumanova married Gurko Kozlovski, a bank assistant in the town of Yambol. They gave education to both of their sons:
Dr. Georgi G. Kozlovski is a doctor, who specialized in skin and venereal disease.
He is an active fighter against fascism and capitalism. He was awarded a medal “People’s Republic of Bulgaria 3rd degree” when he turned 70.
He has two marriages – wife Desislava and Fana, from which he has two sons:
1) Liuben Georgiev Kozlovski – an economist, dealing with foreign trade
2) Dr. Plamen Georgiev Kozlovski (doctor)
Both of them have families and live in Sofia.
Dimitur Gurkov Kozlovski is an engineer – a long term employee of Sofia Municipality.
He has a family with one daughter:
1) Olga – also an engineer
They live in Sofia.
Parashkeva’s second daughter is:
Nadejda D. Golumanova – Petrova
She has a husband, whose name is Simeon Petrov. They have two children:
1) Slavka; 2) Peter
Nadejda Golumanova married Simeon Petrov, who’s the chief accountant at Sofia Municipality. Nadejda is a teacher in Sofia. Her daughter Slavka is a teacher in high school, having received the silver award “Cyril and Methodius”.
Slavka has two children:
1) Alexander – chemical engineer
2) Sonya – economical journalist.
Nadejda’s son is Peter Simeonov Petrov. He has a degree in law. He works as a journalist for Radio Sofia. He has two sons.
Parashkeva’s third daughter is Vera, also a teacher, who has one daughter.
1) Cyrilka, a pharmacist. She has a daughter Verka, who is an artist and a teacher at the Institute for Theatric and Film Art.
IV. KERAFIMA (KINKA) MIKHAILOVA COLCHAGOVA
Her husband is called Lazar K. Sirleshtov.
They have four children.
1) Boris; 2) Milosh; 3) Alexandra (Shanka); 4) Elena
Kerafima M. Colchagova was born in Bansko.
She was tall, well built and beautiful. That is how she was until the end of her life, always clean and tidy. She taught her children and her grandchildren to be polite, good looking and well behaving at home and in front of other people. Kinka was smart, with a good memory for things and of course, hard working. She was hospitable, generous, loved and respected people, social and mentoring. She never liked speaking behind people and never spoke unnecessary things.
She loved her sons and their wives and they gave their love and respect in return. She always fed her grandchildren with something tasty, being very strict on them concerning their mischievous deeds, giving them examples of good and bad people and cases. She liked staying at home, next to her husband and knitting wool with exceptionally good quality. She loved flowers very much.
Her love for Bansko stayed in her soul and she told tales of hideouts and evil Turks, which had remained in her memories.
Kinka Colchagova loved her brothers and sister Parashkeva, who was her favorite. She also loved her Colchagov family and was proud of her origin.
She married Lazar Sirleshtov in 1913.
Their family was a good example for a mutual life of understanding in the village of Chepino, now Velingrad.
Lazar was kind, smart, hard working and gifted with intelligence. In this atmosphere of good relations and understanding grew up their children: Boris, Milosh, Shanka and Elena. He loved his sons, along with their wives and was also respected by them.
He often played the violin alone in his room, but when he played lively music, his grandchildren danced.
He left the town of Bansko with his family in 1913, but never forgot it. He often remembered relatives and friends and thought of them with love.
His trade business in Bansko spread his trade goods to Tsarigrad, Egypt and Madagascar, which he exported through Solun. After his settlement in Velingrad, he dealt with trade with wooden materials.
He is a descendent of a famous Bansko family – Haji Nikolov – Sirleshtov, from his mother’s side with the Todev family. They are families with plenty of contributions for the Bulgarian Renaissance – their genealogic family tree dates from 1650.
Boris Lazarov Sirleshtov
His wife is Alexandra Kostadinova Rabajieva.
They have four children:
1) Milanka; 2) Tsveta; 3) Vera; 4) Nevenka
Boris L. Sirleshtov was born in Bansko in 1895. He was loved and got spoiled. Following an old custom in Bansko, they put on him a large earring, as large as a crescent.
Handsome and with a presentable physical appearance, he was very intelligent. He loved reading artistic literature and obtained a lot of wisdom from reading books. He had a large library at home, which contained a wonderful selection of books.
He had a merry character, very talkative and social with everybody. He was serious and demanding at home with his children.
He owned a house in the village of Chepino, now Velingrad, as well as a lumber mill.
He had a talent for poetry. He wrote verses, some of which were made in the Pazardjik prison, where he spent 10 years.
There he was imprisoned after 09.09.1944 by the communists because he was a trader and a wooden material producer and he was in a better social condition than the other villagers. Without being guilty and with no reason he was imprisoned, even though he helped poor people in the village of Chepino. He always tried to help people and so they loved him and showed gratitude.
When he worked in the administration of the municipality, Boris put a lot of effort for making Chepino village a decent resort. He helped in building the two public baths in Chepino, the train station, Kleptuza, the water sources on the streets, as well as other projects.
He died in Chepino village in 1961.
Alexandra Kostadinova Sirleshtova is Boris’ wife.
She was born in the town of Bansko in 1895 and came from the Rabajiev family. Her father Kostadin Rabajiev was the youngest man in Yane Sandanski’s company. As a rebel in Pirin Mountain, he got ill and died.
From the age of three, Alexandra grew up without a father, along with her older brother.
Alexandra’s mother, Lenka told her children and her grandchildren how proud she was to be allowed to give Yane Sandanski a shirt when his company came down to Bansko from the mountains.
Alexandra finished middle school and the economic school in Bansko. Pelagiya Colchagova Hajiradonova was her teacher, having finished the professional “Mariya Luiza” school in Sofia. She learned a lot from her and became her best student. In the village of Chepino, she sew for the whole neighborhood, not refusing people who asked her to and of course for her children.
She was very kind, hard working, honest, merry and very merciful to everyone, especially to poor people. She would always give them something, either milk, or something from a plant in her garden.
Everybody loved her. She taught her children to be kind and hard working, telling them “work for a penny, don’t live without a penny”, “never envy someone, nobody has everything, every time there’s something missing”, “don’t feel envy or anger in your heart for people, you will be happier, ‘kiskin otset na sado zarar’ (vinegar dissolves the heart – translated from Turkish)”.
She died in the village of Chepino in 1959.
Milanka Borisova Sirleshtova – Kondova
Her husband is Svetoslav Kondov.
They have one daughter.
Milanka B. Sirleshtova was born on 04.26.1915 in the village of Chepino, now Velingrad.
She finished the tenth grade in 3rd women’s gymnasium in Sofia. She left her father’s home when she was very young and got married. She lived in Sofia.
With her kindness and hospitality, she accepted all of her relatives to spend the night in her home and she fed them with tasty pastries, banitsa and other meals. She was loved by all of her friends.
Svetoslav P. Kondov is Milanka’s husband. His profession is engineer sylviculturist, very intelligent, talkative and merry.
They have one daughter, an optician. Her husband is a professor at the Mine and Geology Institute. They have two children and three grandchildren.
Tsveta Borisova Sirleshtova – Troitska
Her husband is Evgeni Vl. Troitski
They have two daughters:
1) Klavdiya; 2) Temenujka
Tsveta B. Sirleshtova was born on 12.06.1917 in the village of Chepino, now Velingrad. She finished primary school in her native village of Chepino and then she studied in 3rd women’s gymnasium in Sofia, but she later transferred in the semi high school “Realka” in the village of Lujene, with the hope it will become a regular high school.
Her childhood passed very well; her parents took good care of her. A significant merit for the good way she was brought up possess her uncle Milosh and Mara, who had a large influence.
Tsveta loved reading artistic literature, using her father’s books. She also loved sports and was good in skiing; she rode her uncle’s horse and a very slick bicycle. She spent hours in a boat on the lake Kleptuza. She loved tourism and trekked around the Rhodope Mountains and later with her husband Pirin Mountain. She sang very well and participated in some of the plays, performed in the town.
She married when she was young, in the town of Bansko.
She took courses to become a librarian and worked 30 years on that position in the library of the town of Razlog.
She was a regional assistant at “Art and Culture”, Blagoevgrad.
For her excellent work she got the “outstanding work” badge, two “Cyril and Methodius” medals 2nd and 3rd degree. She got many awards from the Regional Committee of Culture and from the National Library “Cyril and Methodius” in Sofia. In the town of Razlog, she participated in almost all organizations. As a secretary of the “Committee in defense of peace”, she was awarded with the “Dove of peace” badge from the national council of the committee. She was chosen as a delegate at the VI Congress of Peace in Sofia.
She took part in “Prohibition Movement” and in “Bulgarian – Soviet Friendship Movement”. She was a chairman of the committee of the “Motherland Movement” and a regional propagandist of “Parent – Teacher committee.”
The many awards and books she received reminded her of the uneasy days under pressure and in work and concentration.
With a warm heart she remembered all the people she worked with and helped by recommending books.
Evgeni Vl. Troitski is the husband of Tsveta Sirleshtova.
In 1921 he came to Bulgaria as a student, along with a group of immigrants in the town of Varna.
His father was an engineer and has four daughters and a single son, who remained in Bulgaria.
He finished the Russian gymnasium in Varna with a golden medal. He received money from his father, until he graduated, when later he was informed that his family was sent far away, their connection was lost and they never wrote or saw each other after that.
Evgeni studied in the agricultural faculty in Sofia, but since he did not have enough funds, he had to work as a miner or as a construction worker during the summer. He was an excellent student and got lucky to receive a small tuition from an American, which was supposed to be given to outstanding foreigners.
After he obtained his high degree, he started work in the town of Bansko, where he met and married Tsveta.
He was very kind, intelligent and good in sports – skiing and tourism. He loved Pirin Mountain and was loved by people in Bansko.
Later, he settled in Razlog, where he lived with his family and his two daughters Klavdiya and Temenujka
Klavdiya Evgenieva Troitska - Drajeva
Her husband in Dr. Drajev
They have two daughters
Klavdiya was born on 09.16.1940 in the town of Bansko.
She finished high school in the town of Razlog with excellence. She got into the Engineering and Construction Institute in Sofia. She specialized in “land plotting” and “public and industrial construction”.
When she was a student in fourth grade, she wrote a wonderful poem and she was invited to be awarded at a large celebration in Sofia for that.
She married Dr. Drajev; they work and live in the town of Haskovo.
They have two daughters, who have high degrees, as well as grandchildren Ekaterina, born in 1964 and Todor, born in 1965.
Temenujka Evgenieva Troitska - Alexandrova
Her husband is colonel Alexandrov.
She is the little daughter of Tsveta and Evgeni.
She was born on 05.01.1943 in the town of Razlog.
She graduated from high school with excellence. She studied in the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, specializing in geography and history. She is merry and talkative, everyone’s favorite.
Her husband is a military engineer colonel.
They have a son and a daughter. Their son is an engineer and the daughter – a law student. They also have a grandchild.
Nevenka Borisova Sirleshtova – Yankova
Her husband is called Georgi L. Yankov.
They have one daughter.
Nevenka B. Sirleshtova was born on 03.10.1926 in the village of Chepino, now Velingrad.
Her profession is a pedagogic, a teacher at the Institute for nurses at Medical Academy. She was awarded with “outstanding worker” badges from the Ministry of Public Health and she got a medal for excellent work for the celebration of 1300 years Bulgaria.
She contributed for the development and improvement of kindergartens in the country.
She married Georgi L. Yanev – chief electrician.
They have one daughter, whose profession is an optician. When she was young, she participated in “Bodra smyana” chorus.
Her husband is an employee of the Movie Studio.
They have two daughters, Nevenka’s granddaughters.
They live in Sofia.
Milosh Lazarov Sirleshtov
His wife is called Mariya Hristova Dicheva.
They have three children:
1) Milka; 2) Lazar; 3) Temenujka
Milosh L. Sirleshtov was born in 1893 in the town of Bansko. His teacher in 1st and 2nd grade was Gotse Delchev himself. He studied in high school in Sofia and Kyustendil.
He studied law and participated in the European War as an artillerist. He graduated from the Reserve Officer’s Academy.
He inherited his father Lazar Kostadinov Sirleshtov’s business. He dealt with trade and production of wooden material. He owned a saw mill in the village of Chepino.
On the 9th of September 1944, he was repressed by the communist authorities. He spent 13 years in prisons and work camps.
His wife Mariya Hr. Dicheva is the daughter of a renowned Bulgarian Renaissance teacher from the town of Pazardjik, a follower of Konstantin Velichkov.
At the age of 16 Mariya participated in the Balkan War at the siege of Odrin, as a nurse in a battlefield hospital. She studied Medicine in Vienna, along with one of her sisters. They made money by painting.
After she married Milosh L. Sirleshtov, they lived in the village of Chepino – Velingrad.
They have three children: Milko, Lazar and Temenujka.
Milka M. Sirleshtova – Parlapanova
She was born in Sofia in 1927.
She has a high degree in economics – specialty finances and credit.
Her husband was a student in her group – an economist. They live in Sofia.
They have a daughter Stilyana, who also has a degree in economics, but does not practice her profession. She is a designer.
She married a doctor – a professor in anatomy and histology at Medical Academy.
Milka has one daughter – Eleonora, who’s a doctor. She studied medicine and graduated with excellence. She lives in Sofia.
Lazar Miloshov Sirleshtov
I do not have information about his wife.
They have three daughters:
1) Scarlet; 2) Mariyana; 3) Alexandrina
Lazar M. Sirleshtov was born in 1928 in the town of Velingrad.
He has a high degree – in agriculture.
He was adopted by his aunt, his mother’s sister, who was a teacher in history and geography at a gymnasium.
Lazar is married, his wife is a medical assistant – radiologist.
Scarlet Lazarova Sirleshtova lives in the United States of America – in the State of Maine.
She finished college in the States with medical orientation – radiology and deep therapy, as well as another pedagogic degree in the same fields. She teaches in the Medical University.
She married a painter. They have a son called Victor.
Mariyana Lazarova Sirleshtova
She is a laboratory assistant at the radiology. She is married. She has a daughter called Victoria.
Alexandrina Lazarova Sirleshtova
She has a high degree in “management and advertising”. She is not married.
Temenujka Miloshova Sirleshtova
I do not have information on her husband. She is the third child of Mara and Milosh Sirleshtov. Temenujka was born in 1934. She is a pharmacist.
Later on, she finished industrial chemistry and worked as a scientific assistant in the Institute of Chemistry. She has a series of inventions and implementations in her field – all of them patented. She was awarded on many international fairs.
Her husband has a high degree in economics.
They have a son called Emil, who also studied economics.
So far I exposed information on daughters, sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Kerafima (Kinka) Mikhailova Colchagova.
V. DIMITUR MIKHAILOV COLCHAGOV
His wife is Verka Sirleshtova.
They have one daughter:
1) Kerafima (Kinka)
Dimitur M. Colchagov was born in the town of Bansko. His wife is from the Sirleshtov family.
Their daughter Kerafima married pastor Popstefanov, who worked in Veliko Turnovo. They have a daughter called Blagodat. The great granddaughter of Dimitur Colchagov is Nadka Mileva, who lives in Varna. This branch of the family is closed.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
| | |
Kerafima Colchagova Parashkeva Colchagova Dimitur Colchagov
Lazar Sirleshtov Dimitur Golumanov Verka Sirleshtova
VI. KOSTADIN MIKHAILOV COLCHAGOV
He has a wife called Yanka Hajivulcheva
They have six children:
4) Yordana (Danka)
This branch of the Colchagov family is known in Bansko as Dinkov family. This is the only remaining Colchagov branch, whose members remain living in Bansko. We can be proud of them because they resisted the uneasy years of Turkish yoke and fought for the liberation of Macedonia. Also, in the newest part of Bulgarian history, they took a big part in the fight against fascism and capitalism.
Kostadin M. Colchagov was born in Bansko. He knew how to read and write.
He traded with groceries. During the summer he dealt with agriculture.
After all his brothers ran away from Bansko to free Bulgaria, he said:
“Even if the Turks cut my head, I will remain in Bansko.”
But the Turks cut his son Tsvetko’s head, when he traveled with his horse between Guliyna Banya and Pripetsite. They put his head, with part of his shoulders on a stick and carried it around in Razlog.
Kostadin traded that Monday and had come to the market in Razlog.
The Turks stopped before him with Tsvetko’s head and asked him: “Is that your son?” He replied: “My sons are home.”
His soul cried for Tsvetko, but in order not to let the Turks know that was his son, he offered them and the people around them coffee.
Kostadin was a calm and peaceful man, but after seeing what happened to his son, he bought weapons for his other sons – Nikola, Hristo and Ivan.
He had three wives; one of them was Yanka Prodanichina. I do not have information on them.
Kostadin and his family stayed to live in Bansko, where his descendents live until today.
Nikola Kostadinov Colchagov
His wife is Kinka Petkanchina.
They have five children:
1) Ivan; 2) Boris; 3) Yanka; 4) Magda; 5) Tsvetko
Nikola K. Colchagov was born in 1878 in the town of Bansko, where he finished middle school. He traded along with his father Kostadin, with groceries.
He participated in the Ilinden Preobrajenie Rebellion. He was in the Edi Kule prison in Solun. He was liberated in 1908 during the Young Turks Revolution (Orieta).
From 1927 to 1946 he had a café in Bansko named “Macedonia”, which café became a center of the progressive youth. He spread the newspapers “Strela” (arrow), “Echo”, “Podled” and Nikola Vaptsarov’s “Motornite Pesni” (engine songs).
He died in 1954.
His wife is Kinka Petkanina. She was born in Bansko in 1880. She finished the American College in Samokov.
She was modest, calm and hard working.
She died in Bansko in 1956.
Kinka and Nikola’s children are Ivan, Boris, Yanka, Magda and Tsvetko.
Ivan (Yonko) Nikolov Colchagov
His wife is Ekaterina Eliseeva from the Rabajiev family.
They have three children:
1) Draga; 2) Mariya; 3) Dimitur
Ivan N. Colchagov was born in the town of Bansko on 10.20.1897. He finished sixth grade in high school and took railroad courses. He became a teacher in Bansko. During the time of the commune he worked as an administrative assistant in the Municipality. He was fired after the September Rebellion in 1923. He was one of the twenty people from Bansko who participated in taking over the barracks of Razlog in 1923. He was also one of the first members of the Bulgarian Communist Party in Bansko from 1919. During the thirties he was a member of the illegal town committee of the Communist Party. During the time of the resistance he participated actively as a partisan from 1941 until 1944. During the summer of 1943 he was exiled in the village of Levinovo, Petrich region.
After the 9th of September, 1944, when the communists took over, Ivan was awarded a medal “9th of September” 1st degree. He was pronounced Active Fighter Number One. Krum Radonov wrote in his book “Partisan Memories” about him, as one of the kindest and most devoted partisans.
Modest, honest and respected by the people from his town, he was subscribed for 7 magazines, which he always read. He loved literature, art and travel. The most important thing is that he brought up his children to be hard working, eager to learn, honest and to be socially useful.
Ivan was interested in politics and had a desire to see the world. He was also interested in new science implementations and therefore he read “Orbit” magazine.
He died at the age of 88 in Bansko.
Ekaterina Eliseeva Rabajieva is the wife of Ivan N. Colchagov.
She was born in Bansko in 1907. She was very hard working and she possessed a natural feeling for what is pretty and good looking.
She wove woolen rugs and other things. She created exceptional works and they were taken for “yurnek” (cast) around all of Bansko.
She was exceptionally kind, responsive and merciful. She was brought up in a family of many children – 7 sisters and a brother, therefore she didn’t know what egoism meant.
She helped her husband and was pronounced an active fighter.
She died in 1973 at the age of 69.
Ivan and Ekaterina’s children are: Draga, Mariya and Dimitur.
Draga Ivanova Colchagova – Lagadinova
Her husband is Kostadin At. Lagadinov
They have one daughter;
Draga Iv. Colchagova was born on the 1st of December, 1925 in the town of Bansko. She finished her primary education in Bansko and she graduated from high school in the 4th women’s gymnasium in Sofia. She got high education after finishing the Agronomical faculty.
As a student, she participated actively in the resistance. She was a secretary in the illegal organization in the 4th women’s gymnasium in Sofia. She hid outcasts in her apartment. She participated in the preparation of the tramway strike before the 9th of September 1944. She was imprisoned in the 4th gendarmerie company in Razlog.
She was pronounced as an active fighter and a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
She was given a golden medal for excellent work “9th of September” 2nd degree.
She worked in the area of agricultural economics, as an experienced scientific assistant. For many years she was a party secretary of the Institute for Agricultural Economics.
Beautiful, tall and with a smile on her face, she always responded to people’s needs, she was very devoted to her family, to society and to science. She loved literature and the arts. She has an analytic mind, prone to making conclusions.
Kostadin Atanasov Lagadinov is Draga’s husband.
He was born in Razlog, where he finished his primary education. After the student strike in Sofia, he was threatened with imprisonment and he immigrated to the Soviet Union.
In 1944, he came to Bulgaria with a submarine and became one of the first partisans of the Razlog Partisan Company.
He studied law after the 9th of September and worked for over 20 years as a director of the Military Court – a division of the Ministry of National Security.
He was awarded the “Georgi Dimitrov” medal and the “Hero of Socialist Work” medal.
He was promoted to the rank of general.
Their daughter is:
Fidanka Kostadinova Lagadinova.
She was born on 06.11.1939 in Sofia. She finished her education in the Bibliographic Institute. She loves literature and plays the piano.
Mariya Ivanova Colchagova
Her husband is Hristo Radonov.
They have two sons:
1) Krum; 2) Ivan (Yonko)
Mariya Iv. Colchagova was born in 1928 in the town of Bansko.
She got her primary education in her hometown and she obtained her high degree from the National University of Sofia “Kliment Ohridski”. She specialized in Russian language and literature and taught for many years. She worked as a senior teacher in the Foreign Languages department in the Machines and Electronic Apparatus Institute “Lenin” in Sofia for a period of 11 years. As a playwright she worked in the Bulgarian television and radio.
She participated in the group of writers at the labor unions.
She wrote the following books:
1) The Artistic Way of Vaptsarov
2) The Artistic Process of Vaptsarov
3) “Songs from Pirin” Pamphlet
She created a novel with the biography of Nikola Vaptsarov called “Thirst for Light”. She is the author of hundreds of articles, published in Bulgarian newspapers. She is a candidate of science.
She participated in the resistance movement, for which she was recognized as an active fighter. She is a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party and of the Artistic Union of the journalists and artists.
Hristo Georgiev Radonov is Mariya Colchagova’s husband.
He was born in the town of Bansko. He finished two military academies with a golden medal and worked in the headquarters of the Warsaw Pact in Moscow. He was a partisan and participated in the largest action “Frog Bite” as an assault man. He was promoted to the rank of general lieutenant.
Their two sons are: Krum and Ivan.
Engineer Krum Hristov Radonov
His wife is Dr. Elena Kamenova.
They have two children:
1) Hristo; 2) Elitsa
Engineer Krum Hr. Radonov was born on 07.04.1949 in the town of Bansko.
He graduated from the Technical Institute, specializing in electronics. He is a candidate of technical science, senior scientific assistant, assistant director of a laboratory at the Bulgarian Academy of Science and a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
His wife Elena Kamenova worked in the Institute “Pirogov”.
Architect Ivan (Yonko) Hristov Radonov
His wife is Aneta Dimitrova
They have two daughters:
1) Mariya; 2) Rositsa
Architect Ivan Hr. Radonov was born in the town of Sliven in 1954.
He followed architecture and worked in Glavproekt. He is a member of the Union of Architects; he was chosen to complete many projects and participated with his own creations at expositions. He created the plans for the Palace of Youth, which is to be built in Sofia. Before he graduated from the institute, he was sent to specialize in the United States of America.
He is a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
His wife Aneta Dimitrova is a historian.
Dimitur Ivanov Colchagov
His wife is Mariya Dimcheva Sekulova
They have two daughters:
1) Catherina; 2) Milena
Dimitur Iv. Colchagov was born in the town of Bansko on 09.20.1928. He finished his primary education in his hometown. He graduated from a High military school and the Military Academy. He reached the rank of colonel in the Ministry of National Defense.
He participated actively in the resistance movement. He is the youngest living partisan from the “Chavdar” division. He is a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
He is exceptionally modest and very honest.
Mariya Sekulova, Dimitur’s wife was born in Skopje. She is from a family of refugees, who settled in Sofia. They educated both of her daughters: Catherina and Milena.
Catherina Dimova Colchagova was born in Sofia on the 23rd of August, 1956. She finished her primary education in the French gymnasium in Sofia. She studied in and obtained a high degree from the Economics Institute “Karl Marx”.
Milena Dimitrova Colchagova was born on 09.28.1963 in Sofia. She finished the National University of Sofia “Kliment Ohridski” and was awarded a medal. She has writing abilities.
Dimitur Ivanov Colchagov’s family lives in Sofia.
Yanka Nikolova Colchagova
Her husband is Konstantin Koyuv.
They have two daughters:
1) Mary; 2) Katya
Yanka Nikolova Colchagova – Koyuva was born in the town of Bansko in 1905. She finished middle school in her hometown. After that, she studied in the town of Stanke Dimitrovo (Dupnitsa) in a pedagogic school to become a teacher. She was appointed to be a teacher for a year or two in the villages of Draglishta and Obidim.
In 1925, she married Konstantin Koyuv and left with her husband for the United States of America, where she presently lives.
Konstantin Koyuv, Yanka’s husband was born in Bansko in 1890. When he was young, he left for the United States. In 1925 he returned to Bulgaria to marry a Bulgarian girl – Yanka. They left to live in America, in New York. He worked as a taxi driver.
He visited Bulgaria in 1961.
They educated both of their daughters:
1) Mary whose husband is called Krinsky
2) Katya (Catherine), whose husband is called Joseph Wolf – he is Jewish.
Both of them are teachers. They love visiting Bulgaria.
Magda Nikolova Colchagova
Her husband is Nikola Kiselinov
They have two children:
1) Naum; 2) Verka
Magda N. Colchagova – Kiselinova was born in Bansko on 02.29.1910. She finished the Pedagogic School in Gotse Delchev (Nevrokop). She taught for thirty years in the village of Gurlen, in Dobrinishte and in other places. In 1945 she settled in her hometown of Bansko, where she still lives.
Nikola Naumov Kiselinov is Magda’s husband. He was born in the town of Ohrid on 11.27.1910. He finished the Pedagogic School in Nevrokop.
He was a teacher in the village of Gurlen and Dobrinishte.
He died in Bansko. They have two children:
1) Naum; 2) Verka
Naum was born in Nevrokop on 06.15.1939. He has a high degree in engineering from the Technical Institute.
Verka was born in Bansko on 01.29.1951. She has a high degree – she studied physics in the National University of Sofia “Kliment Ohridski”. She works and lives in Sofia.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
Yanka Colchagova Ivan Colchagov Magda Colchagova
Konstantin Koyuv Ekaterina Eliseeva Nikola Kiselinov
Dimitur Colchagov Draga Colchagova Mariya Colchagova
Mariya Sekulova Kostadin Lagadinov Hristo Radonov
* Still waiting for translation* Below is my best guess for now!
His wife is Katya and a second marriage to Yordana Molerova. He has two sons Emil and Nikola. Boris N. Kolchagov was born in Bansko in 1901. He died in Bansko in 1997.
Nikola Borisov Colchagov
His wife is Alexandra Matsureva. They have two children:
1) Emilia; 2) Boris
Nikola B. Colchagov was born in Bansko in 1949. He finished high school in Razlog, while his high degree he obtained in Sofia. His first specialty is engineer chemist and his second is an economist. He had his own business. He also worked in a social position.
Alexandra Matsureva – Colchagova is Nikola’s wife. She is also an engineer chemist. She worked as a teacher in the factory for telephones. She is a good housewife, with a calm character.
Their children are: Emilia and Boris.
I. Emilia Nikolova Colchagova
She was born in Sofia in 1973. She finished a foreign language gymnasium in Blagoevgrad, with intensive education in French. After that she finished the Institute for Sanitary Inspectors. She studied in the Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski” – specializing in pedagogy.
II. Boris Nikolov Colchagov
He was born in 1975 in the town of Bansko. He studied in the agrarian school in his hometown. He finished the National Sports Academy – specializing in skiing. He worked as a skiing instructor.
Emil Borisov Colchagov
His wife is Margarita Novakova. They have two children:
Emil B. Colchagov was born in Bansko in 1954. He finished high school in Razlog and the Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski”, specializing in law.
She works as an attorney. She is a good wife and a mother.
Their children are Boris and Ana.
Boris was born in Plovdiv in 1979. She finished high school in Razlog. She committed suicide at the age of 19.
Ana was born in Plovdiv in 1980.
She finished high school.
Tsvetko Nikolov Colchagov
His wife is Mariya Chorapova. They have one daughter:
Tsvetko N. Colchagov was born in Bansko on the 20th of May, 1913.
He finished middle school in Bansko. He studied in high school in Razlog (5th and 6th grade) and 7th and 8th grade (old system) in the Pedagogic School in Gotse Delchev (Nevrokop).
He became a teacher, but in 1932, a group of 26 teachers protested against the programs in school, for which they were tortured. Therefore Tsvetko was forced to teach in the village of Ogradna, Smolyan region, where he worked until 1945. He escaped there, since he found out he was sentenced to be hit 25 times with a large wooden stick so he would not teach in Bansko anymore.
In the village of Ogradna, besides the daily school he opened an evening school to educate Bulgarian Muslims and teach them that their origin is Bulgarian.
He maintained connections with progressive teachers and helped the interned, among which was Dobri Terpeshev.
He had a high sense of patriotism. When a population census was organized in 1947, the Communist Party’s politics were concentrated on making the Bulgarians from the Pirin area say they were Macedonians.
As a member of the Communist Party, Tsvetko did not follow party lines and was expelled from the organization. They called him to a party meeting and exposed him. They voted four times, until a majority was obtained and he was excluded.
In order to be punished, he was sent in Mahala Orseva, a neighborhood of Babyak village, Blagoevgrad region, where he kept teaching Bulgarian Muslims.
Tsvetko was calm, honest and had a clear conscience of what he was doing as a teacher. In 1979 he was accepted to become a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party again. He obtained a pension and settled in Sofia, where he died.
Mariya Chorapova – Colchagova is Tsvetko’s wife. She was born in the village of Leshnitsa – Lovech region on 05.17.1918. She finished her high school education in the town of Lovech, as well as the Pedagogic Institute in the town of Veliko Turnovo. She taught along with her husband and was given administrative duties.
She was awarded many times. She has a medal “Cyril and Methodius” 1st degree.
She obtained a pension.
Their daughter is Borislava.
Engineer Borislava Tsvetkova Colchagova was born in the town of Lovech on 05.30.1938.
She finished middle school in Bansko and high school in the town of Lovech.
In 1956 she became a student in the Machines and Electronic Apparatus Institute of Sofia and finished it in 1962. She was sent to work in the town of Stara Zagora for three years in the “Beroe” factory.
In 1965 Borislava went to a competition and went to work in a scientific institute.
After that she became an assistant lecturer in the institute she graduated from in Sofia. As a candidate of the technical sciences, she got a full title and became an associate professor in the Machines and Electronic Apparatus Institute – Sofia.
She has mathematical skills, but loves literature.
She speaks fluent: Czech, German, English, French and Russian.
She is very modest and calm.
She went on symposia in the following countries: Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Soviet Union and in France, where she specialized.
She is a very good daughter, who takes care of her parents in Sofia, where they all live and own an apartment.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
Boris Colchagov Tsvetko Colchagov
Yurdana Molerova Mariya Chorapova
____________|_____ ____|_______________ ____|_______________
Nikola Colchagov Emil Colchagov Borislava Colchagova
Alexandra Matsureva Margarita Novakova
________|__ _____|_____ _____|_____ ____|________
Boris Emilia Boris Ana
Colchagov Colchagova Colchagov Colchagova
Ivan Kostadinov Colchagov
His wife is Evangelina Kokotanova. They have two sons:
1) Henrich; 2) Victor
Ivan K. Colchagov is the youngest son of Kostadin Mikhailov Colchagov.
Ivan was born in Bansko on 06.29.1886, where he lived until 1905.
He was also a rebel. But after the Turks behead his brother Tsvetko, he sought refuge and escaped to the United States of America. He married Evangelina Kokotanova there, who was born on 06.15.1885 in Radovish. She died on 12.23.1953.
Evangelina was a teacher and worked in the town of Bansko.
They educated both of their sons.
Ivan K. Colchagov died on 11.23.1953 and his wife Evangelina exactly one month later – on 12.23.1953.
Henrich John Coy (Colchagov)
His wife is Ana Jeanne, They have two daughters:
1) Jeanne Aften Coy; 2) Elaine Riggs
Henrich D. Coy (Colchagov) was born in New Haven, Connecticut on 01.17.1914 in the United States of America. He studied in a military school and became a pilot, reaching the rank of colonel. After he got a pension, he worked for NASA.
His wife is called Ana Jeanne.
They have two daughters: Jeanne and Elaine.
Jeanne Aften Coy has a husband called Goden Shipley. They have two daughters and a son:
1) Jennifer – daughter; 2) Catherine – daughter; 3) Matthew – son
Henrich’s second daughter is Elaine Coy (Colchagova), whose husband is Gary Riggs. They have two daughters:
1) Heather – daughter
2) Holly – daughter
Victor John Coy (Colchagov)
He is the second son of Ivan Kostadinov Colchagov.
Victor D. Coy (Colchagov) was born on 12.07.1918 in New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.
He has a high degree and worked in the Senate as a law editor, which were to be printed.
He got a pension there and later moved away from Washington D.C. to settle in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Victor is deeply religious – a Mormon. That made him very merciful and compassionate with poor people. He has an exceptionally kind heart, helping people who are in financial needs. He aided his elderly relatives and friends.
He loves Bulgaria, and his father’s hometown – Bansko.
Almost every year he comes back to Bulgaria. He participated in the family meeting, for which he arrived from America in 1985, on the 31st of August when the large Colchagov family gathered in the town of Velingrad to get to know them and take pictures. Although he was born and lives abroad, Victor is deeply attached to his Colchagov origins. He helped me, Magda T. Colchagova, writing this family history when I was in financial need and I was in a critical condition and to print our book. Victor gave me a hand for help. God bless him.
Yordanka Kostadinova Colchagova
Her husband is Angel Balev
They have four children:
Yordanka K. Colchagova was born in Bansko. She finished the American College in Samokov.
She married Angel Balev – who also finished the American College in Samokov. He became a teacher in Bansko and worked for the better culture and knowledge of people in Bansko.
The theater in Bansko carries the name Angel Balev and on 11.01.1985 was commemorated 20 years of his death. For that occasion, his bas-relief was placed on the wall of the theater. They have four children: Borislav, Vladimir, Lyuben and Tsvetanka.
Engineer Borislav Angelov Balev was born in 1912 in the town of Bansko. He finished the American College in Simeonovo and engineering in Sofia, where he lived.
Vladimir Angelov Balev was born in 1915 in the town of Bansko. He was a teacher, biologist. He lived in Bansko.
Dr. Lyuben Angelov Balev was born in 1918 in Bansko. He finished the American College in Simeonovo. After that he studied medicine, specializing in genecology. He lived in Sofia.
Tsvetanka Angelova Baleva – Margi.
She was born in 1921 in Bansko. She finished the American College and later studied to become a teacher. She lived in England.
Mariya Kostadinova Colchagova
Her husband’s family name is Vasilev
They have one son:
Mariya K. Colchagova was born in Bansko. She studied in the American College.
She married and has one son – Vasil. She divorced her husband and went to the American College to work so she can educate her son.
Vasil finished English Philology and after that he taught for over 10 years in Bansko, where he presently lives.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
________________|__ ___________|__________ __|_________________
Yordana Colchagova Ivan Colchagov Mariya Colchagova
Angel Balev Evangelina Kokotanova Vasilev
Henrich Coy (Colchagov) Victor Coy (Colchagov)
Jeanne Aften Elaine Coy
Goden Shipley Gary Riggs
Tsvetko Kostadinov Colchagov
His wife is Solka Kafedjiiska
They have one son:
Tsvetko K. Colchagov was born in Bansko. He was a rebel. He fought for the liberation of Macedonia from Turkish yoke. One day when Tsvetko traveled with his horse between Guliyna Banya and Pripetsite, the Turks caught him and beheaded him. They put his head on a pike and carried it around in Razlog.
His father Kostadin was in Razlog that same day to sell goods at the market. The Turks stood before him with his son Tsvetko’s head and asked: “Is that your son?” He was able to get a hold of himself and told them his sons are home. He offered them coffee in order to mislead them and save his family, along with his other children.
Tsvetko Colchagov’s beheading happened in 1902.
Tsvetko’s son is:
Metodi Tsvetkov Colchagov was born in Bansko. He was killed as a student during the September Revolt of 1923.
Hristo Kostadinov Colchagov
His wife is Zorka Yordanova
They have five children
Hristo K. Colchagov was born in the town of Bansko in 1872.
He studied in a protestant school. He dealt with trade and had a grocery store. He was a very modest and calm man. He was just, religious, exceptionally honest and he possessed mathematical skills. Because of his qualities, he was chosen to be a member of the jury in the Nevrokop courthouse. He spoke fluent Turkish and often went to Solun and Greece. He died in Bansko in 1959 at the age of 87.
Zorka Yordanova is Hristo’s wife. She was born in the town of Bansko in 1876. She finished 4th grade (old system) of high school and was a very active woman. She maintained close connections with the missionary Elena Stone, who gave her books on medicine. Zorka taught herself in that area and became a healer. She practiced her profession for over seventy years, until her last days people came to her to find a cure for their illnesses.
She hid the archives of the Secret Macedonian Revolutionary Organization in Bansko. Although they often searched her home, the Turks could not find them. They tried 11 times. Someone from the family betrayed her. Zorka gave the papers to someone else. The Turks made a search at his home, found the archives and imprisoned the man.
She transported weapons for the Ilinden Rebellion by hiding it under her clothes and carried the baby on her back. Another way was by placing 3 guns in a stack of hay, which she carried out on the field. She used various tricks to save herself and her husband from Turkish prison. She had political ingenuity.
Bulgarians, who were Turkish spies gathered in a nearby house to celebrate. The Macedonian Organization ordered to kill them. They were killed in that house’s yard. When the Turks came, they surrounded the neighborhood and started searching in every house to catch the assassins, who had escaped successfully. Hristo’s house was the only one nearby, so he could not run away and he came back home. Then his wife Zorka with her exceptional ingenuity told him to lie down, pretend he was sick and start moaning. She placed a lot of medicines next to him and when the Turks came in for a search, they realized Hristo was too ill to take part in the massacre. This way she was able to save him.
Zorka was religious and when she went to church on Sunday, she said “God is with me.” She was very responsive and compassionate. She always found the right words of relief for people.
Asen Hristov Colchagov
His wife is Masha Mikhailovska
They have one daughter:
Asen Hr. Colchagov was born in Bansko in 1900.
He studied law at the university, but since 1920 he lived in America.
I do not have information on his wife.
Viola Asenova Colchagova is their daughter, who is very musical and a very gifted ballet dancer. At the age of 6, she participated in concerts in New York and in Montreal, Canada.
She sent the money she collected from the concerts to children in Bulgaria, who had suffered from the Chirpan earthquake. She became an honorary citizen of Bulgaria in 1936 when she visited the Riviera and came to Bulgaria.
She was called back to the States and on the way back she survived a horrible shipwreck, which made her cancel her travels on ships.
Ivan Hristov Colchagov
He was born in 1903 in Bansko. He completed high school. In 1921 he departed for America with Masha – his brother’s wife.
He spoke nine languages and was a very good orator. He became a leader of the laborer’s movements. Being a very good orator at assemblies he was able to fascinate people for hours. Ivan was very well respected.
He was killed in America, 5000 workers came to his funeral and 250 wreaths were laid on his grave.
Georgi Hristov Colchagov
His wife was Despina Zogova.
They have one son:
Georgi H. Colchagov was born in 1906 in Bansko, where he completed middle school. Later he graduated from the High School of Commerce in Sofia.
He dealt with commercial business, but later worked as an economist in the meatpacking plant in Dobrich until his retirement.
He was quiet and calm, he liked music very much.
Despina Zogova is the wife of Georgi Colchagov.
She was born in Kyustendja, Romania. As a teacher, she was awarded a medal “Cyril and Methodius”.
They have a son Hristo.
Engineer Hristo Georgiev Colchagov
His wife is Radka Popstefanova.
They have two children:
Hristo Colchagov was born on the 25th March, 1944 in Bansko. When he was 6 months old his parents moved to Dobrich. There he completed middle and high school with all excellent grades. He completed higher education at the Technical University in Sofia.
After serving the time as a soldier in the military school in Vratsa, he was allocated as an engineer at the factory for production of telephones in Bansko. His further appointments were as a vice director of the factory for production of telephone apparatus in Blagoevgrad and later as a vice director of a similar enterprise in Bansko.
He had innovation achievements and organized exhibitions with his innovations. Many times he went on business trips abroad – Poland, Germany, Russia, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Cuba.
Very honest, direct and energetic, he liked sports and had also giftedness in music. He played the violin and spoke fluent Russian.
Radka Popstefanova is Hristo’s wife. She was born in 1946 in Bansko.
She completed middle school and the High School of Forestry in Bansko. In addition she pursued electro technical education in Sofia and after completion she started working at the factory for telephones in Bansko.
They have two children:
1) George – born in 1971
2) Desislava – born in 1975
Mirolyubka Hristova Colchagova
Her husband was Boris Georgiev Colchagov (Zuov).
They have two children:
Mirolyubka H. Colchagova was born on the 22nd of March, 1909 in Bansko. She completed elementary school in Bansko and then the American College in Simeonovo. She worked in an insurance agency in Karlovo.
She liked music, artistic and scientific literature.
She was a good housewife and mother. She died on the 7th of March, 1984.
Boris Georgiev Colchagov originated from the Zuov – Colchagov family and was Mirolyubka’s husband. He was born in 1896 in Bansko.
He completed high school in Kyustendil. He worked as a middle school teacher in Bansko. Later until retirement, he worked in the Popular Banks in various towns – Sopot, Karlovo and Vulchedrum as a director.
They have two children – Victoria and Asen.
Victoria Borisova Colchagova was born on the 14th of October, 1942 in Sopot. She completed middle and high school in Karlovo. Later she obtained higher education in chemistry and worked as an inspector in the Ministry of Chemical Industry.
She is fluent in Russian and speaks well English and French.
She has a daughter – Mirolyubka Petkova Razsukanova.
They live in Sofia.
Engineer Asen Borisov Colchagov
His wife is called Lyubka.
They have one son – Asen.
Engineer Asen Borisov Colchagov was born in 1945 in Bansko. He completed middle school and a technical high school in Karlovo. Then he pursued higher education in Sofia and after completion of the Technical University he settled in Sofia.
Asen is very merciful and sympathetic. Should he see feeble women, he would drive them with his car to their destination.
His wife is Lyubka. She obtained higher education in commerce. Their son Asen was born in 1974 in Sofia.
Slavka Hristova Colchagova
She was born on the 15th of June, 1912 in Bansko. She completed elementary and middle school in Bansko and the American College in Simeonovo after that. Slavka graduated from the Faculty of Law of the Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski”.
She likes music and has a very strong sense of affection towards the Colchagov family.
She is retired and lives in Bansko.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
Tsvetko Colchagov Hristo Colchagov
Solka Kafedjiiska Zorka Yordanova
________|____ __________________|__ | _____|_____
Metodi Mirolyubka Colchagova | Slavka
Colchagov Boris Colchagov | Colchagova
______|______ ____|________ |
Victoria Asen |
Colchagova Colchagov |
Asen Colchagov Ivan Georgi Colchagov
Masha Mikhailova Colchagov Despina Zogova
Viola Hristo Colchagov
Colchagova Radka Popstefanova
VII. IVAN (YONKO) MIKHAILOV COLCHAGOV
His wife was Kerafima Petkanchina.
They have 11 children (two of them died at young age):
Ivan M. Colchagov was born in Bansko. He attended the American School, which was founded and directed by the American missionaries during the Turkish domination.
He took considerable part in the activity of the evangelist church in Bansko and later in Lujene. Until the end of his life he was one of its major supporters. His wife Kerafima helped him a lot in the Christian life. Ivan donated ten napoleons to the church in the village of Lujene.
He was one of the leaders of the revolutionary committee in Bansko; he took part in the capture of the American missionary Miss Helena Stone and her companion Tsilka. The Macedonian Revolutionary Organization demanded a ransom of 20 000 golden leva for the two women. The brother of Miss Stone organized a campaign in America for collecting the money. He managed to collect 14 000 golden leva and to send the ransom money to the Turkish authority. The ransom to be handled to the Macedonian organization was left by the Turkish authority in the church of Bansko; however the organization used an artifice to collect the money and to buy weapons for the detachments. This weapon was used to declare the rebellion for liberation of Macedonia and joining it to free Bulgaria. After the money was taken, Miss Stone and Tsilka were set free.
Ivan was a rebel in the company of Gotse Delchev and a part of his life was dedicated to the struggle for liberation of Macedonia.
He dealt with commerce (manufacture) in Bansko and Lujene, now Velingrad, where the entire family moved and settled.
He was very knowledgeable; he used to buy many books and to case them in. He had enormous library, which shows his adherence to all kinds of literature.
His point of view was very progressive for the time; he used to say that there is no difference between a boy and a girl or men and women and all people should be equal in the society.
He died on the 24th of September, 1931 in the town of Velingrad.
Kerafima Petkanchina is the wife of Ivan Colchagov. She was born in Bansko and is a sister of Nikola Vaptsarov’s mother – Mariya Petkanchina (Prodanichina – later this family acquired the name Vaptsarov).
When her husband Yonko became a rebel, she remained at home to take care of the children. However, she assisted the Macedonian organization by supplying the detachments with bread and weapons, which she used to hide under the clothes.
Until the very end she used to read various books.
A characteristic feature of her personality is the active attitude and participation in all positive events and her strife for correction of the negative ones.
Thus, she brought up her children in high ethics.
She raised nine children – six girls and three boys.
Elena Ivanova Colchagova
Her husband was Radoslav Sharenkov. They have two children:
Elena was born in Bansko, where she obtained initial education. Later she graduated from the Robert College in Istanbul.
She became a teacher. She was very young at the age of 31 when remained a widow and had to raise her children alone. She was working very hard and managed to provide higher education for her children.
Irina – has a son who is a pianist.
Nikola – has a son Radoslav.
All of them live in Sofia.
Rayna Ivanova Colchagova – Bratoeva
Her husband is Ivan Bratoev.
They have two children:
Rayna Iv. Colchagova was born in Bansko. She completed high school and became a teacher.
1) Svetla, her daughter has a son, who is a sailor.
2) Ivan – I do not have information about him.
Yordanka Ivanova Colchagova – Mikhailova
Her husband is Georgi Mikhailov.
They have two children:
Yordanka I. Colchagova was born in Bansko. She completed high school and worked as a teacher. She provided higher education to both of her children.
They live in Peshtera.
Mariya Ivanova Colchagova – Maslarova
Her husband is Dimitur Maslarov.
They have three children:
Mariya I. Colchagova was born in Bansko. She was very religious and sang brilliantly. She remained a widow.
All are living in Peshtera:
1) Nevena Maslarova – Pashova’s husband is Ivan Pashov. They have two children.
2) Violeta Maslarova – she has two sons.
3) Stoyan Dimitrov Maslarov
His wife is Fanka.
They have two daughters.
Magdalena Ivanova Colchagova – Krusteva
Her husband is Yordan Krustev.
They have three sons:
2) Krustyo – lives in Velingrad;
Magdalena Iv. Colchagova was born in Bansko. She completed high school and worked as a teacher until retirement.
Her husband vanished without a trace after the 9th of September, 1944. She lived in Ognyanovo – Pazardjik region with her three children Stoyan, Zarko and Krustyo. At present they live in Velingrad.
Lyuba Ivanova Colchagova – Hincheva
Her husband is Georgi Hinchev.
They have two sons:
Lyuba Ivanova Colchagova – Hincheva was born on the 8th of January, 1908 in Lujene, now Velingrad.
She completed middle school in her hometown and then finished high school in Pazardjik. She pursued higher education in Sofia and graduated from the Faculty of Slavic Philology. She was a journalist until 1950. She had musical giftedness; she sang well and played the piano.
She married Georgi Hinchev – an opera singer at the National Opera Theatre in Sofia.
They lived in Sofia.
Their sons are:
1) Boris Hinchev – orchestra conductor of the Sofia Opera.
2) Alexander Hinchev – pianist, living in Italy.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
_____________________________|_______ | ___|_______________
Elena Colchagova Rayna Colchagova | Yordana Colchagova
Radoslav Sharenkov Ivan Bratoev | Georgi Mikhailov
Mariya Colchagova Magdalina Colchagova Lyuba Colchagova
Dimitur Maslarov Yordan Krustev Georgi Hinchev
Boris Ivanov Colchagov
He has two marriages:
I) Katya Peneva;
II) Milka Gerina.
Boris Ivanov Colchagov was born in 1909 in Velingrad, where he completed middle school. Later he graduated from the High School of Commerce in Sofia. His profession was rate fixer.
He was fond of music, nature and sports – skiing, football, bicycling, swimming, tourism, and hunting. He liked to sing.
He died in Velingrad in October 1987.
I have no information about his first wife Katya. From this marriage Boris and Katya had one daughter. She is called Tsvetanka Borisova Colchagova, whose husband is Todor Kerin. They have two children:
The second wife of Boris Iv. Colchagov is Milka Gerina. She was born in Rakitovo village, where she completed high school. She was a good housewife and mother. She sang very well and was an excellent cook and confectioner.
From this marriage Boris Colchagov and Milka Gerina have two children:
Their daughter Vera Borisova Colchagova – Checheva was born in Velingrad, where she completed middle and high school. Later she graduated from the Higher Forestry Institute in Sofia.
She married Kostadin Chechev and they have two children:
The son of Boris and Milka – Ivan Borisov Colchagov was born on the 4th of February, 1949 in Velingrad. He completed high school in his hometown and later attended the Driver’s School and became an international truck driver.
He had an excellent musical sense and sang very well.
His wife was Milka Djurkova.
They have three children:
Milosh Ivanov Colchagov
His wife is Mariya G. Banskalieva. They have four children:
1) Verka; 2) Ivan; 3) George; 4) Boris
Milosh Iv. Colchagov was born in Bansko, where he completed his education.
He took part in the Balkan War and in the First World War. After the war he settled in Lujene, now Velingrad.
He married Mariya Banskalieva.
He dealt with commercial business and had a fabric shop in the center of Lujene.
He was a mayor of Lujene village and a member of the Popular Bank. During his management as a mayor the Civil Center “Father Paisiy” as well as the building of the public laundry were built.
He liked to read literature. On the 9th of September, 1944 he was imprisoned and killed by the communists.
Mariya G. Banskalieva is the wife of Milosh Colchagov. She was born in Velingrad. Mariya was modest, quiet and hard working. She embroidered and sew day and night. She brought up four children.
Milosh Iv. Kolchagov with his family
Verka Miloshova Colchagova – Belichanova
She was born on the 1st of September, 1920 in the village of Lujene, now Velingrad. She completed middle school in Velingrad. Later, she attended the American College in Lovech and completed it. She settled in her hometown and worked as a bank clerk.
She liked to read literature and to listen to the music.
Verka married Ivan Belichanov.
They built their own house in Lujene suburb near Velyova Public Bath. Verka was a good housewife. After retirement she continued to work by giving English lessons.
Her husband, Ivan Belichanov was born in Velingrad, where completed middle school. Later he graduated from the High School in Commerce in Pazardjik. He had a commercial business. Unfortunately, Ivan died very young. Verka passed away in 2001.
They did not have children.
Ivan Miloshov Colchagov
His wife is called Vetka.
He was born in Velingrad. After he married he settled in Sofia.
They have two children:
1) Krasimir; 2) Mariya
The wife of Krasimir Ivanov Colchagov was Jeni.
They have a daughter called Ivanka.
The husband of Mariya Ivanova Colchagova is Plamen.
They have a daughter Vetka.
Both children of Ivan M. Colchagov live in Sofia; however I do not have information about them. Ivan M. Colchagov died when he was young.
Georgi Miloshov Colchagov
His wife is Jivka Panayotova.
They have two daughters, both of them are married:
1) Mariya; 2) Milena
Georgi Miloshov Colchagov and his wife Jivka are deceased.
Boris Miloshov Colchagov
His wife is Catherina Cyrilova Doseva.
They have two children – Cyril and Milosh.
Boris was born on the 18th of May, 1925 in Velingrad. He is Milosh Iv. Colchagov’s grandson. He completed middle school in his hometown and high school in Pazardjik.
He had a very good musical sense and sang very well.
He died at a young age on the 4th of March, 1981.
His wife Catherina Kirilova Colchagova was born on the 19th November 1931 in Velingrad. She completed high school. She was very lively and always smiling. By being a good housekeeper and mother she helped her sons.
Cyril Borisov Colchagov’s wife is Catherina Dimitrova. Cyril obtained his high degree at the Higher Institute for Sports.
They have three children:
1) Catherina Cyrilova Colchagova was born on the 11th of May, 1978. She is a student at the Faculty of Law.
2) Mariya Cyrilova Colchagova was born on the 7th of February, 1981. She is a student in economics.
3) Dimitur Cyrilov Colchagov was born on the 27th of February, 1989. He is a student in high school.
Catherina Dimitrova – Colchagova the wife of Cyril Colchagov was born on the 29th of October, 1961. She completed a pedagogical college.
Milosh Borisov Colchagov
His wife is Vasilka Borisova.
They have two children: Boris and Borislava.
Milosh B. Colchagov was born on the 22nd of April, 1957 in Velingrad. His wife was born on the 24th of April, 1963. Vasilka Borisova Colchagova obtained higher education. Milosh B. Colchagov completed high school.
Their son Boris Miloshov Colchagov was born on the 5th of March, 1978 in Velingrad. He is a student, who specialized in economics of the mass media.
Their daughter Borislava Miloshova Colchagova was born on the 7th of October, 1986 in Velingrad. She is a student in high school.
The two sons of Boris Miloshov Colchagov deal with the woodworking industry. They own a workshop and a nice house in Velingrad.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
Ivan (Yonko) Colchagov
Milosh Colchagov Boris Colchagov
Mariya Banskalieva Milka Gerina
| Tsvetka Colchagova Vera Colchagova Ivan Colchagov
| Todor Kerin Kostadin Chechev Milka Djurkova
| Milka Angelina Boryana
| Colchagova Colchagova Colchagova
Verka Colchagova Ivan Colchagov Georgi Colchagov Boris Colchagov
Ivan Belichanov Vetka Jivka Panayotova Catherina Cyrilova
___________________|_ _______|_______________ | |
Krasimir Colchagov Mariya Colchagova | |
Jeni Plamen | |
| Cyril Colchagov Milosh Colchagov
| Catherina Dimitrova Vasilka Borisova
______|________ _______________________|____________ __________|_________
Ivanka Dimitur Catherina Mariya Boris Borislava
Colchagova Colchagov Colchagova Colchagova Colchagov Colchagova
Dr. Tsvetko Ivanov Yonkov Colchagov
His wife is Anastasia Georgieva Dimitrova.
They have three sons:
The family of Dr. Tsvetko Yonkov Colchagov originated from the branch of Yonko Miloshov Colchagov and his wife Kerafima Petkanchina – Colchagova. Yonko was the sixth child in the family of Mikhail Toshe Colchagov and his wife Mariya Venedikova.
After the suppression of the Ilinden Uprising, the family of Yonko together with other families from the Colchagov branch moved to free Bulgaria and settled in Lujene, now Velingrad in the Chepino Valley.
Dr. Tsvetko Yonkov Colchagov was born on the 27th of February, 1887 in Bansko. He studied in Samokov and later completed the prestigious “Robert College” in Istanbul, where he had a scholarship. He was brought up in the freedom-loving of the Bulgarian national revival spirit of the family, in adherence towards knowledge, in patriotism and in the best Christian virtues. During the Balkan War and the First World War he was a student in medicine in Lausanne, Switzerland. He returned to Bulgaria to participate in the war as a volunteer. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He was wounded and transported for treatment to the Alexandrov Hospital, where he met his future wife – the nurse Anastasia Dimitrova. Later he served and worked as an apprentice doctor in the Alexandrov Hospital. He completed the medical education and received his diploma in Rome – Italy. He spoke six languages – English, French, German, Italian, Turkish, and Gypsy.
In 1920 he married Anastasia Dimitrova. The best man at the wedding was Rayko Daskalov – a minister in the cabinet of Alexander Stamboliyski.
In the period 1920-1921 Tsvetko was an attaché at the Embassy of Kingdom of Bulgaria in Rome – Italy. There was born his first son Ivan.
After returning to Bulgaria, Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov was the first doctor appointed in the Chepino Valley. He serviced the three villages – Chepino, Lujene and Kamenitsa, now united in Velingrad, as well as the villages in the region: Rakitovo, Kostandovo, Dorkovo, St. Petka, Pashovo, Avramovi Kolibi and the smaller parishes. The great anxiousness about his patients was proved by the many cases, where he was not only treating the poor free of charge, but loaned money for medicines to his patients.
In 1923 during and after the failure of the September Uprising Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov was a director of the hospital in Kamenitsa. Many of the wounded rebels sought shelter and medical aid in the hospital. Informed about that, the police besieged the hospital and demanded that Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov should deliver the rebels.
Demonstrating unprecedented boldness and great courage, risking his life Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov came out with a riffle in his hand and declared that as long as those people are in the hospital they should be treated as patients and not as rebels and he is responsible for them. If somebody were to take them out, they should enter the hospital only over his dead body. Being a regional doctor and a director of the hospital he was liked and well respected by all social groups in the town. This action of Dr. Colchagov confused the police commander and while he was wondering what to undertake, couriers were sent to seek help. Several hours later rebels from the surrounding villages came to defend the hospital and to prevent their friends from being shot. They formed a dense cordon behind the police, so that its only option was to retreat. Thus the wounded rebels were treated and moved later to a safe place.
Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov took active part in the social life of the Lujene community. Under his initiative the municipality opened free of charge canteen fro students. In 1940 he was one of the initiators for the laying of water supply pipes from the “Legorinets” area to Lujene, which is still a part of the main water conduit of Velingrad.
During the fight with the typhus epidemics in 1942 in St. Petka and Pashovo Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov was infected and died on the 3rd May 1942. Thus he left orphans his three sons: Ivan, Mikhail and Stefan.
We should be proud for being his relatives, compatriots and fellow citizens and let us bow our heads to demonstrate acknowledgment of his deeds. Let us bow to the ground in memory of the great Bulgarian Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov.
Engineer Ivan Tsvetkov Colchagov
His wife is Nevena Ivanova Samohodova.
They have two sons:
Ivan T. Colchagov was born on the 11th of May, 1921 in Rome – Italy. After the return of the family to Bulgaria, on the 25th of June, 1922 Rayko Daskalov became the Godfather of Ivan in the church “St. Prophet Elijah” in Knyajevo.
Ivan is the eldest son of Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov. He completed middle school in Lujene and later completed high school in Peshtera with very good grades.
He served his time as a soldier in the Second artillery regiment based in Haskovo. In 1944 during the Second World War he took part in battles near Vranya, Nish, Boyanovats, Kraeva Kuka and etc. and was awarded with medals.
After the war he studied medicine in Sofia. To provide his allowance, he had to work as an administrator and as performer on stage at the “Odeon” theatre. Economical hardship forced him to interrupt his higher education and to begin work as a draughtsman in “Forester Construction”, Batak. Ivan was vigilant, intelligent and communicative. He worked as a business planner at the State Industrial Enterprise “Orpheus” and took part in the youngsters’ brigade movement. He was an actor of the amateur theatre at the Civil Centre “Father Paisiy” in Lujene.
He worked also as a dispatcher in the auto transportation, manager of a turner’s brigade, operator of a steam-boiler. He was the author of a number of innovation suggestions. He participated in the formations of civil defense as a unit commander.
He married Nevena Ivanova Samohodova in 1951. Nevena was born on the 29th of September, 1929 in Kostandovo. She completed high school and worked until her retirement as an accountant at the bread factory in Velingrad.
She was mild, humble and very hard working. Together with her husband she raised two sons: Tsvetko Ivanov Colchagov and Pavel Ivanov Colchagov.
Ivan T. Colchagov had always been a pleasant person to speak to; he was liked for his fine sense of humor and curiosity. He was a good father and grandfather, especially proud of his sons (an engineer and a doctor) and his four grandchildren – continuers of the family.
Ivan T. Colchagov died on the 9th of October, 1990 at the age of 69.
The family lives in Velingrad.
Engineer Tsvetko Ivanov Colchagov
His wife is Mariya Vasileva Paparkova.
They have two sons:
Tsvetko Ivanov Colchagov was born on the 3rd of March, 1952 in Velingrad. In 1970 he completed the Velingrad Polytechnic High School with excellent grades and was admitted in the Technical University of Sofia, specialty “industrial automatics”. He served as a soldier in air defense and in 1977 obtained an electric engineer diploma from the Technical University of Sofia.
In 1975 he married Mariya Vasileva Paparkova (Colchagova) who was a student in electronics. She was born on the 1st of January, 1954 in Velingrad.
Tsvetko and Mariya completed higher education in 1977. They started work as constructors at the Factory for Telephones in Bansko. In 1982 they worked at “Robotics” Factory in Velingrad. Tsvetko Ivanov Colchagov was an excellent engineer and specialist and was promoted to the rank of deputy director. At present he works as a computer specialist at Water Supply and Sewerage, Velingrad. He owns a firm and is a well respected specialist.
They have two sons: Ivan and Vasil.
The family lives in Velingrad.
Engineer Ivan Tsvetkov Colchagov
His wife is Irena Evgenieva Ivanova.
Ivan T. Colchagov was born on the 20th of May, 1976 in Sofia. He graduated from the high school in Velingrad with excellent grades. Later he completed higher education at the Technical University in Sofia, specialty “Electronics”. He is an excellent computer specialist and lives and works in a private company in Sofia.
He served as a soldier in the paratroopers.
In May 2000 he married Irena Evgenieva Ivanova (Colchagova). She was born on the 11th of August, 1978 in Sofia. Irena is a student at the New Bulgarian University.
The family lives in Sofia.
Vasil Tsvetkov Colchagov is the younger son of Tsvetko Ivanov Colchagov. He was born on the 31st of May, 1978 in Velingrad. In 1995 he graduated from the high school “Vasil Levski” in Velingrad. He completed the Driver’s School in Vidin. Vasil passed the military service in 1998.
He is a fourth year student at the University for National and International Economy, specialty “Transport Economy”.
He lives and works in Sofia.
Dr. Pavel Ivanov Colchagov
His wife is Damyanka Nikolaeva Atanasova.
They have two sons:
Pavel Iv. Colchagov was the second son of Ivan T. Colchagov; he was born on the 29th of July, 1958 in Velingrad. He completed the high school “Vasil Levski” in his hometown.
He was admitted to study medicine in Plovdiv, where he obtained a doctor’s diploma.
While still a student, he married in 1981 to Damyanka Nikolaeva Atanasova (Colchagova). She was born on the 13th of March, 1959 in Haskovo in a family of doctors. She graduated from the high school with teaching in German in Haskovo and later from the Medical Academy in Plovdiv. Her specialty is pediatrics. At present she is a manager of the Second polyclinic in Haskovo.
Her husband Pavel I. Colchagov specialized in surgery and works as a surgeon in Khaskovo. He is respected and appreciated as a good surgeon.
They have two sons: Nikolay and Venelin.
Nikolay Pavlov Colchagov was born on the 24th of December, 1981 in Plovdiv. He graduated from the high school with teaching in German in Haskovo with excellent grades. At present he studies medicine in Jenna – Germany.
Their younger son – Venelin Pavlov Colchagov was born on the 13th of April, 1988. At present he is a student in school. He plays the piano and studies English and German. He lives in Haskovo.
Dimitur Tsvetkov Colchagov
His wife is Rayna Krusteva Landjova (Colchagova).
They have one daughter – Siyka.
His family lives in Plovdiv.
Dimitur T. Colchagov was the second son of Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov, born on the 5th of September, 1922 in Velingrad. He graduated from the high school for boys in Pazardjik. He took part in the Second World War. In 1952 he graduated from the medical school in Sofia and obtained a specialty of X-ray medical laboratory assistant. He works as such in Plovdiv and lives there with his family.
In 1952 he married Rayna Krusteva Landjova (Colchagova). She was born on the 7th of November, 1927 in Velingrad, where completed high school in 1946-1947. In 1952 she completed the school for nurses in Plovdiv and worked as a nurse until retirement at the Regional Tuberculosis Hospital in Plovdiv.
Dimitur and Rayna have one daughter – Siyka Dimitrova Colchagova. Dimitur T. Colchagov worked for several years in Benghazi – Libya as a medical worker.
Siyka Dimitrova Colchagova
Her husband is Dimitur Peev Deliev. They have two children:
Siyka D. Colchagova was born on the 13th of February, 1955. In 1973 she completed high school in Velingrad; in 1975 she finished a specialized school for nurses in Sofia. At present she lives and works in Plovdiv. She married Dimitur Peev Deliev from Velingrad.
Their children are:
1) Krasimir Dimitrov Deliev, who was born on the 12th of June, 1977 in Plovdiv. He completed the Technical High School “Anton Ivanov” in Plovdiv. He works in an auto garage in Plovdiv.
2) Rayna Dimitrova Delieva, who was born on the 16th of April, 1982 in Velingrad. She completed high school in Plovdiv. At present she is a student in management at the Plovdiv University “Paisiy Hilendarski”.
Stefan Tsvetkov Colchagov
His wife was Tonitsa Georgieva. They have two children:
Stefan Tsvetkov was the youngest son of Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov. Stefan was born on the 7th of April, 1930 in Lujene. He completed the high school in Lujene. As a youngster he loved literature very much, he manifested himself as a good recitalist and performed in the amateur theatre.
During the time he served as a soldier, he completed courses for a medical auxiliary.
He married Tonitsa Georgieva Colchagova. Tonitsa was born on the 10th April 1934.
Later the family moved to settle in Sofia, where Stefan worked as a driver in the construction detachments of the Bulgarian army, while Tonitsa worked as an electrical technician at the catering establishment. Stefan died on the 26th of January, 1992 in Sofia.
Their son Tsvetko Stefanov Colchagov was born on the 6th of December, 1950 in Velingrad. He completed the electro technical high school in Sofia. He lives and works in Sofia.
His daughter Antoinette Tsvetkova Colchagova was born in Sofia and his son Tsvetko Tsvetkov Colchagov was born on the 2nd July 1991 in Sofia also. He studies and lives with his mother in Plovdiv.
Rositsa Stefanova Colchagova is the daughter of Stefan T. Colchagov. She was born on the 26th of October, 1956 in Velingrad. She completed regular high school and later a high school specialized in economics in Sofia. She lives and works in Sofia. Rositsa has two sons:
1) Georgi Ivanov Georgiev, who was born on the 19th of January, 1978 in Sofia. He works in Sofia as a driver.
2) Stefan Ivanov Georgiev, who was born on the 20th December 1979 in Sofia. He completed agricultural high school. The families live in Sofia.
Toshe Colchagov 1780
wife Elena Hajivulcheva
Ivan (Yonko) Colchagov
Dr. Tsvetko Colchagov
Ivan Colchagov Dimitur Colchagov Stefan Colchagov
Nevena Samohodova Rayna Landjova Tonitsa Georgieva
| _________|________ ____________|_________________
| Siyka Colchagova Rositsa Tsvetko Colchagov
| Dimitur Deliev Colchagova
Tsvetko Colchagov Pavel Colchagov Antoaneta Colchagova
Mariya Paparkova Damyanka Atanasova Tsvetko Colchagov – son
______|__________ | ________|_________
Ivan Colchagov | Nikolay Colchagov
Irena Ivanova | Venelin Colchagov
The religion of the family during the 18th and 19th centuries was Christian Orthodox, however under the influence of American missionaries and in particular the one of the American missionary Helena Stone in Bansko, in the beginning of the 20th century the clan adopted the protestant faith. They became sworn in God and Jesus Christ. This deep-seated faith has been described by the poet Peyo Yavorov in the short novel “One Battle” of collection “Haidouk Longings” related to my grandfather Lazar Colchagov as the religious Lazar.
The Colchagov family dealt initially with casting rings which they used to sell in Solun and other towns. After that almost all of them became traders and craftsmen working in the woodworking industry. Later during the latest history of Bulgaria many of the representatives of the family obtained high or college education – engineers, doctors, teachers and other professions. Higher education obtained: 36 teachers, 16 engineers, 6 doctors, 6 lawyers, 6 economists, 3 chemists, 4 agronomists, 3 dentists, 2 foresters, 1 pharmaceutical specialist, 1 journalist, 3 accountants, 1 pharmacist, and 3 actors. Medical college education obtained: 11 nurses and 2 occupational therapists. Liberal professions had: 16 traders and 7 industrialists.
There have been described nearly 570 people, who have been a part of the family history, from which 288 were men and 282 – women.
The Colchagov family had mathematical giftedness; its members loved music and literature and had the most important gift – the ability to work hard. An important feature was the family’s revolutionary spirit; many people from the family dedicated their lives to the liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish domination and in struggles against foreign suppression.
The investigation on the Colchagov family covers mainly its expatriation from Bansko while escaping from the Turks after the Ilinden (St. Elijah’s Day) Uprising and the settlement of many of its members in free Bulgaria and in the United States of America, the clan tree includes the second half of the 18th century, 19th and 20th centuries until the beginning of 2002. This is a period span of nearly three centuries. Information concerning 12 generations was collected, the family of Father Paisiy included, from which 9 generations originate from Toshe Colchagov. It took me years to gather all the information about the family.
To this end there is no scientifically established method for creating a family tree, therefore I worked it out according to my own comprehension. I took the generations in male line, the ones that continue the family and I tracked the women born in the Colchagov family which family they went to.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all relatives who responded to my request for collecting information. I would like to thank all friends in Bulgaria and USA who replied to my request to accomplish my dream for publication of the Colchagov family history. I thank them ever so much.
Dear relatives, the Colchagov family lived harmoniously and helped each other some time ago; let us follow their example now. I wish somebody from the family collected information and published a second volume of this book after 150 years.
The future generations should know and remember that a big part of the past of the Colchagov family was dedicated to the struggle for liberation of Macedonia.
“Macedonian history is the most romantic part of Bulgarian history.”
To all the descendents
Of Toshe and Elena Colchagov
And the families connected to them