Sunday, March 21, 2021

My 4th Great Grandfather's Russian Army Draft Date

Last week, I showed how to potentially find reference to your own family's cases within the Russian Empire that could be stored in the Russian State Historical Archive in Saint Petersburg.  I just got the actual documents from some cases relating to my family (yes, I yelped with joy when I saw the first batch had arrived).  I'll have to get everything translated, but my skimming the Russian showed many references to my 5th great grandmother Chava Lefand (who never took no for answer) and many other Lefand family members.  One item included in the file was a copy of the family's revision list as of 1851.  I already have one from 1850 from another similar file; there are no additional names here, but there are some comments added after 1851 that directly relate to my 4th great grandfather and one of his brothers.

Lefand Family as of 1851--with great comments on the right side

Just like the 1850 list, the head of this extended household is my 6th great grandfather Efrayim Lefand.  Included in the household are his three children and their sons.  (The 1850 version listed wives and daughters as well; given that this case is directly related to who was to be conscripted into the Russian military, only males are listed on this copy.)

Closeup of comments on the Lefand Family 1851 Revision

The comments relate to the two children of Meir and Chava Lefand who were conscripted.  I already knew from a previous case that a son Shmerko had been conscripted in 1836 at the age of 14.  And that is what is mentioned in the first comment:

"The family of Afroim Lefand received the first recruit, {his, Afroim} grandson Shmerko, son of Meer, Lefand, at 1836 in general, receipt No. 88."

The second comment tells me something new.  I did know from the case that Chava brought at the federal level that her son Ber/Berko, my 4th great grandfather had been conscripted at some point, since she was trying to get him out of the military.  But I didn't know when he was taken.  The second comment tells me that.

"Berko Meerov (son of Meer) Lefand entered recruitment for the 11th set at 1854."

So there it is.  In 1854, Ber was about 25 years old, married, and had at least two children.  And he was involuntarily conscripted.  The case that I got lasted from 1857-1859, so Ber seems to have served for at least 5 years, possibly more.  Hopefully the case that I'm getting translated (and another I should get from Saint Petersburg later this week!) will shed more light on the overall situation.  I need to work on being patient, but it's so hard with things like this!

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  1. My husband's grandfather b. 1874 in Russian occupied Poland is shown in a photograph in a military uniform. Later around 1900 he is in Verney/Alma Ata. My husband has done YDNA and seems to connect to the Diamond family. Rebecca Bromley

    1. Diamond is actually a pretty common surname, unfortunately (in the genealogical sense)