Tuesday, December 24, 2019

1840s Russian Empire Record Book - In Baltimore!

This past Sunday, the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland had its annual Show & Tell program.  This is always a fun programs, where members bring in family heirlooms, documents, and photos, and they can tell the members the stories behind them.  There were some great presentations this year.  But one of them had me nearly jumping out of my chair (and people said my eyes got very wide).  One member, Joanne, brought in an old record book.  She was hoping that people could help to tell her what it is and why her husband would have had it.  And when I say it was old, I mean old.
Joanne's Record Book

The book seems to be from the 1840s, in/around Kamenets-Podolsk, Russian Empire (now Ukraine).  I snapped a few random photos of pages and sent them to Dmitry Pruss who identified some of them as applications for internal business passports (to travel within the Russian Empire), some as taking fees and issuing certificates for applicants for third guild merchants.
One of the pages in this book

It looks like this book has bound together multiple different sorts of records into one book.  Some pages are bound in upside down.  Some are written within specific forms, and others are written longhand.  There are both Jews and non-Jews listed here (I saw several references to "the Jew," followed by the individual's name).
Another page in this book

Joanne let me borrow the book so that I could scan it and get it online.  There's probably a lot of information here that would interest descendants of those mentioned here, and if nothing else, there's a lot of history here that should go beyond her closet!

You can see the whole book here and here (two separate scans with different settings).  Can anyone see what other sorts of records are in here?  Does anyone want to index the names out of this so it's searchable?

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  1. Kreschishin Vladimir just commented on Facebook, translating some of one of the above images:

    At a page Scribe wrote: “three applications of residents, social status petty bourgeois, Jews in the town of Kamenets, Naftula Moyshe, son of Aron BLOKH, Srul Yos, son of Yoyna KLAPIR, Yos Itsko, son of Ruvin GELSHTEYN, dated December 12; they showed us Kahal Certifications, on ground of which, they got passports; Naftula BLOKH and Srul KLAPIR got passports valid for 6 months and Yos Itsko GELSHTEYN got a passport valid for one month”

  2. After reviewing the whole book, Vladimir says:

    These are report sheets and exchange of letters (the years 1840 – 1849) between official people about how they operated with stamped paper and passport forms. For example, how many stamped paper and passport forms they got, how many of the documents they used, to whom they gave.

  3. Vladimir also says (thank you!):

    I browsed the book and read a text on one of the last pages. This is what that page says (after my translation, I found it necessary to make a comment about the word “Duma”):
    Petition of residents-Jews Itsko, son of Lipa SEKEL, Zeylik, son of Mordko FELER and Tsudik, son of Srul KOYN from the town of Smotrich, Kamenets Uezd (district), date December 9, that says that they lodged their petition on November 28 in Duma and complained about the Smotrich Jewish community because it requested big taxes from them. They say that soon they should be excluded from the community and they will go to Besarabiya region, where they will reside. The Duma did not satisfy their petition because tax obligations had been already confirmed and moreover the petitioners had to pay tax in accordance with their community agreement on ground of regulations about Jews that were confirmed.

  4. Amazing. I’m terrible at the written Russian alphabet but I’m going to go through it as best I can because this part of my mom’s family has the fewest available records.

    1. Jeanne, let me know when you do, I have relatives from that area.

  5. through pg 20 - blank forms and fees accounting. non-Jewish travel documents
    from pg 21 to 45 - names of payees and types of forms and fees are listed from this page on, lots of Jewish names, records of issuance of Jewish travel docs (by far te predominant type of record), merchant guild certificates, court decisions including fines for hiding Jews from military recruitment, decisions on the order of recruitment, searches for no-shows, Jewish box tax receipts with collectors names...More detailed administrative decision protocols from then on.pg. 46 - list of Jewish proprietorspg. 47 - on striking a deceased son of a Jew from the recruitment rosterpg. 52 - checking with a Kagal-issued Revision record before approving a travel docmentpg. 55 - title restriction on a Jewish home for a non-paymentpg. 60 - issuance a fee receipt to a Jewish shopkeeperpg. 66 -   applications of 4 Jews opening coffee shops and restaurants in 1840pages 72, 73 - again - names of payees and types of forms. Then again admin protocols

  6. Is there anything from the town of Nemirov?

    1. Since it's densely written untranslated Russian, I have no idea.

  7. Was this ever translated? Or a list of family names? My grandmother Gussie Wasserman is from there as are her siblings, parents and aunts and uncles with known Surnames Silverman, Weissman, Furman, Glaser and Freuhling

    1. I don’t believe it was, but I link to scans so you can peruse yourself.