Sunday, October 24, 2021

Russian Empire Rules Mean Research Opportunities Today - An 1852 Explanation

Jews were very regulated in the Russian Empire.  They could only live in particular places, it was difficult to move to other towns, even towns nearby, and there was mandatory long-term military service for many men and young boys.  While this made life difficult at the time, it means that often there are documents asking for permissions of the government and others asking for forgiveness that can inform today's researchers.  In the document you'll see below, a relative of mine is giving an explanation for why he isn't living where the government thought he should be living.  (Spoiler alert:  Because the government made all the Jews leave that place!)

Duvid Zubkis testimony about his situation (page 1); 1852

Duvid Ber Zubkis participated in the drafting of the 1852 revision list of Jews who were evicted from the town of Granov in the Haysyn uyezd of the Podolsk province and settled in the town of Terlitsa in the Lipovetsky uyezd of the Kyiv province.  He needed to give testimony because Jews from other Jewish societies were assigned to the members of the Jewish society in Terlitsa, except for those who transferred from the Granov Jewish society.

Duvid Ber gives a long explanation about why he felt his actions were lawful.  And he also gives us a bit of information about his family (which helps me fit in how he is related to me!).

I, Duvid Ber Zubkis, was born in Podolia province, Haisyn uyezd, in the town Granov, my parents Simcha Zubkis and Reisa, already deceased.  I'm forty years old, had my own house, I know Russian and Hebrew languages.  I am married and have children, assigned with my family to the Jewish society of Granov in "Revizskaya skazka(census)"of 1834 .

 By decree of the government from 1847 all Jews from Granov  were evicted/moved/ to the Kyiv province, Lipovets uyezd,town Terlytsya.

Duvid's petition takes up two full pages and a bit of a third--which includes his signature.

Duvid Zubkis testimony about his situation (page 3, including signature); 1852

So where did I find this?  Well, Alex Krakovsky digitized it, but I probably wouldn't have looked through this particular record book since it's just outside where I normally do my Zubkis hunting.  But someone indexed the names on j-roots, and I found it via my Googling J-Roots method!  (You can read about how to do this for your own research here.)  So now I get to research Terlitsa and Granov!  Research never ends.

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