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Urban Voters for the State Duma Elections 1905-1912

An Analysis of the Voting Qualification Restrictions and Terminology Focusing on the Jews of the Shtetl of Zheymeli (Zeimelis)
By Anatolij Chayesh, April 2002

Translated by Eugenia Sheinman esheinman@yahoo.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it The formation of the elective legislative assembly, the State Duma, was the result of the well-known events of the 1904 - 1905 period in monarchic Russia.1 In view of our theme, we have included a summary of these events in Appendix 1.

The lists of the voters, who participated in the State Duma elections were published four times during the Imperial rule: 1905, 1906, 1907 and 1912. Considering the number of persons included, these lists are the most extensive printed data source on the Jewish population in the majority of Russian cities and towns. Data on each voter has been limited to a surname, a name, a patronymic (not always), creed (since 1907), a place of residence, and voting qualification.

Genealogists have widely used these lists for researching Jewish surnames as well as areas of their distribution.2 It is known that the names of the men who were younger than 25 were not put on the lists of voters. Women were authorized to transfer their voting qualifications to their husbands or sons. Such cases are noted in the lists, although they are rather rare ones. But genealogists have not analyzed the rest of the restrictions imposed on the composition of the voters, as well as the qualification terminology. This additional information, which can be elicited from the lists of voters, allows for extending the personal data taken from them.

The List of Urban Voters for 1905

In accordance with the first set of "Regulations on the State Duma elections"" of August 6,1905,3 the voting was indirect. In each uezd there were formed three electoral colleges of voters composed respectively of: a) district landowners, b) urban voters, and c) representatives of volosts or the small rural districts that were subdivisions within theuezd. The Duma deputies were to be chosen by electors named by the voters in their assemblies. Jews might be included into in an electoral college of the urban voters,4 and thus participate in the assembly with other urban voters. Women and young men (under 25) did not vote nor participate in these Duma elections. Neither did: "Students of educational institutions; Military service men (of the Army and the Navy)"5; Other categories that were excluded were (especially groups of concern to Jews): "a) Persons who had been prosecuted for criminal actions followed by deprivation or restriction of possession rights, or expulsion from service, as well as for theft, swindling, assignment of entrusted property, concealment of stolen property, purchase and acceptance of obviously stolen or received through deceit property as a pledge, and for usury, in case the prosecuted persons had not been discharged ... ; c) Persons under preliminary investigation or on trial because of an accusation of criminal actions, noted in item "a"; d) Persons who had been classified as bankrupt pending definition of their bankruptcy; e) Bankrupts whose bankruptcy had been already declared, except those whose bankruptcy had been recognized as a result of accident; g) Persons convicted of avoiding military service."6 These basic restrictions were maintained in all subsequent changes of "The Regulations on ... elections." Hence, any Jew whose name was entered on the list of voters was a man not younger than 25, neither a student nor a military man, as well as a reliable (decent) person in light of stipulations a), c), d), e), and g).

It is also important to analyze the voting qualifications as well as the qualification restrictions. According to the first "Regulations on ... elections," the right of suffrage was given to urban residents in the following categories: "a) Owners of real estate (within the boundaries of the urban settlements of a district) which were estimated for Zemstvo or local self-government taxes7 to have a valuation of not less than 1500 rubles; owners of commercial - industrial enterprises which needed to be licensed with trade certificates: for commercial trade - with a certificate of one of the first two categories, for industrial enterprise - with a certificate of one of the first five categories; b) Persons who paid (within the boundaries of the urban settlements of a district) the state residential taxes of the 10th category and higher; c) Persons who paid (within the boundaries of a town and its district) the basic license taxes of the first category on personal licensed occupations; d) Owners of commercial-industrial enterprises indicated in category "a" which were located in the district."8 According to the electoral law, municipal administrative boards were ordered to make lists of voters who had possessed real estate or trade enterprises for at least a year or had paid residential taxes for at least three years. They were also ordered to publish these lists in local gazettes at least six weeks prior to elections.

We will, however, limit our consideration of these voter lists by studying the composition of the Jewish voters of one particular shtetl, namely the shtetl of Zheymeli (now Zeimelis), in the uezd of Ponevezh (now Panevezys), in the gubernia of Kovno (now Kaunas).9

The first list of the eligible voters for the town of Ponevezh (Panevezys)and its uezd was published on October 12, 1905. It contained the names of 253 people. The voting qualifications filtered the list of voters so that only four persons out of the several hundred adult Jews of Zheymeli (Zeimelis) could actually vote.10 These four Jewish voters apparently qualified as owners of 2nd category trade enterprises.11

"The Register of trade enterprise categories for the basic trade tax payments" has specified those enterprises, which corresponded to the 2nd category, and we have included a detailed excerpt from it in Appendix 3. "The Register of trade enterprise categories..." adds up our data on the enterprises and their owners.

Even prior to the first elections, the electoral law was revised, and the decree "On changing the Regulations on the State Duma elections"12 was issued on December 11, 1905. It greatly expanded the electorate. People who were now admitted to participate in elections, in accordance with the decree included: a) Owners of urban real estate who paid taxes for it (the earlier existing restriction on its estimated cost - 1500 rubles - was removed); b) Owners of commercial-industrial enterprises which needed to be licensed with trade certificates (the restriction on the enterprise category was removed); c) Persons who had paid the state residential taxes for a year (the restriction on the sum of the taxes was removed, and the term of payment was reduced); d) Persons who had paid the basic license taxes on personal licensed occupations for at least a year (the restriction, demanding the first tax category, was removed); e) Persons who had occupied separate apartments "in their own names" for at least a year (a new group). From the date when the decree on changing the first electoral law was issued there was less than six weeks remaining until the date for the First Duma election. Even though the decree ordered the additional lists of voters to be "displayed" in the municipal administrative boards where they had been made, these lists were not published in gubernia gazettes; thus, we have no information on them.

The First State Duma operated from April 27, 1906, until July 9, 1906. {However, its work is beyond the framework of our essay.} The Convening of the Second State Duma was set for February 20, 1907.

The List of Urban Voters for 1906

The next list of Ponevezh (Panevezys)and its uezd urban voters was made, in accordance with the corrected "Regulations on ... elections," for the Second State Duma elections. This list was published on November 20, 1906. It was the most extensive list of all the ones ever published, and it contains the names of 3583 persons, including eighty-six Jews in Zheymeli (Zeimelis). Their qualifications are noted in the list with the word "Torgovets" (Russian for "Dealer") or the contractions "Kvartir." and "Obyvat."; which are interpreted below.

It turned out that there were ten licensed dealers among the Jews of Zheymeli (Zeimelis). The categories of their enterprises are not specified in the list.

The designation "Kvartir." (Kvartira is Russian for apartment) may be interpreted as either meaning "a residential taxpayer" (qualification "c" of the corrected electoral law) as well as meaning "a person occupying an apartment" (qualification "e"). However, according to "The Classification Register of towns and settlements due to categories for collecting the state residential taxes"13 in Kovno gubernia residential taxes were paid only by residents of Kovno (Kaunas), the main uezd towns, and the shtetl of Keidany(now Kedainiai). Residents of the other shtetls were not taxed with them. Hence, thecontraction "Kvartir." specified residents of the shtetl who occupied separate apartments "in their own names" for at least a year (qualification "e"). There were twenty such persons among the Jews of Zheymeli (Zeimelis).14

The contraction "Obyvat."should unequivocally be interpreted as "Obyvatel." (Obyvatel’ can be translated as citizen or urban resident.) This word is not listed in the corrected "Regulations on ... elections." According to the laws of the time, the term "Urban Obyvatel" was used for: "1) all those, who either were old residents of a town, or had been born there, or had settled there; 2) persons owning either houses or other buildings, or a place, or a piece of ground in a town; 3) persons, who had been registered as members of guilds or corporations; 4) those who had been registered as part of the petty bourgeoisie."15

We examined each of these groups to find out which of them the compilers of the voter list meant by the designation " Obyvat.": 1) Birth or residence in a shtetl for a long period (related to the term "old residents") without having rented an apartment16 does not correspond to any listed qualification; 2) As for real estate ("houses or other structures, or a place, or a piece of ground"), "invaluable properties, which should be estimated for taxes in sum as worth less than 25 kopecks"17 were not subject to taxes. Owners of such properties, by not paying taxes, do not correspond to qualification "a" of the corrected electoral law; 3) Persons, who were registered as members of guilds, i.e. merchants, were noted in the list as "Dealers," and there were no craft corporations in Zheymeli (Zeimelis). 4) The last possible group is the "petty bourgeoisie." A petty bourgeois (meshchanin in Russian) was a member of the unprivileged urban estate. In a shtetl such persons might own real estate or small industrial (craft) enterprises and pay taxes (qualifications "a" and "b"), or they could manage personal crafts (qualification "d"). Thus, in the list of 1906 the contraction "Obyvat." delineates the petty bourgeoisie (except dealers), who owned real estate (except invaluable ones) or small craft enterprises, or who were occupied in the personal crafts (such as salesmen, insurance agents, brokers, traveling salesmen). There were fifty-six such obyvatels among the Jews of Zheymeli (Zeimelis).

The Second State Duma operated from February 20, 1907 until June 3, 1907. Its dissolution was accompanied by a new electoral law - the new "Regulations on the State Duma elections."18

The List of Urban Voters for 1907

Due to the new "Regulations on... elections" of June 3, 1907, the eligible urban voters were divided into two groups, which chose electors respectively in the two assemblies of urban voters. The owners of more expensive real estate and trade-industrial enterprises participated in the first assembly; and individuals who possessed less expensive property or occupied an apartment participated in the second assembly.

According to "The Regulations," shtetl residents in the following categories were admitted to participation in the first assembly of urban voters: a) Owners of real estate with an estimated cost of not less than 300 rubles; b) Owners of commercial-industrial enterprises, which needed to be licensed with trade certificates: for commercial trades if they met one of the first two categories, or for industrial enterprises if they met one of the first five categories The following were admitted to participation in the second assembly of urban voters: a) Persons who had owned real estate with an estimated cost of less than 300 rubles for at least a year; b) Persons who had owned commercial-industrial enterprises which needed to be licensed via trade certificates for at least a year (except those participating in the first assembly); c) Persons who had paid basic license taxes for personal licensed occupations for at least a year; d) Persons who had occupied separate apartments "in their own name" also for at least a year. In accordance with the new electoral law, persons who qualified for category "d" and wanted to take advantage of the right to vote were to declare their intention in writing to the institutions which made the voting lists. In addition, they were to present appropriate certificates. Persons who qualified under other categories to participate and vote in the elections were put on the lists irrespective of their application.

Two lists of urban voters in Ponevezh (Panevezys) and its uezd, which were made for the Third State Duma elections in accordance with the new law, were published on July 25, 1907. The first assembly list contained the names of 649 persons, and the second assembly list contained the names of 1950. In all there were 2599 voters, with thirty-two Jews from Zheymeli (Zeimelis) among them (seven on the first list, twenty-five on the second one), or fifty-four persons less than in 1906. The second assembly list, in particular, does not list any of the twenty Jews who occupied apartments "in their own names" in 1906. Probably, they did not declare in written form that they wished to participate in the elections, as had been recommended for persons eligible for category "d" under the new electoral law. We may also assume that there were many other Jews who were included with societies in other places although they lived in Zheymeli (Zeimelis),19 or some had left or died, and that was why their names were not included in the lists.

The data in the column "Voting Qualification" in the lists of 1907 depicted the Jewish voters of Zheymeli (Zeimelis) more clearly than in the lists of 1906: twenty-five persons were marked with the qualification "Domovladelets" (House Ownerin English),three with the contractions "Torg. 2 razr." (Torg. is the contraction of torgovets which in English means "dealer." Razr. is the abbreviated form of razriad which is the Russian word for category), two - with "Torg. 3 razr."; one - with "Torg. 4 razr."; and one - with "Promyshl." (Promyshl. is the abbreviation for Promyshlennyi which means industrial in English.) The contraction "Obyvat." was not present at all. Based on "The Regulations on ...elections, " we can see that persons, who were designated as a "House Owner" in the first assembly list, possessed houses estimated in value at not less than 300 rubles, whereas in the second assembly list the "House Owners" possessed houses estimated as having a value of less than 300 rubles, but not invaluable ones.

The contraction "Torg. 2 razr." should unequivocally be interpreted as "The owner of a trade enterprise of the 2nd category." The contractions "Torg. 3 razr." and "Torg . 4razr." should be interpreted similarly.

The contraction "Promyshl." should be interpreted as "The owner of an industrial enterprise."

"The Regulations on direct taxes... " delineate eight categories in the industrial enterprise classification.20 As the category of industrial enterprise has not been specified in our case, probably, it was the lowest, i.e. the eighth, one, and it involved: "1. Industrial enterprises of any sorts... with two to four workers, using both manual production and mechanical engines, as well as horse-transportation (cabmen’ trade) and fishing trades with the same number of constant workers. 2. Flour-grinding mills, with a total length of all individual diameters of not more than fifty inches on all pairs of millstones."21 The Third State Duma operated from November 1, 1907, until June 9, 1912.

The List of Urban Voters for 1912

Elections to the Fourth State Duma were held in accordance with the same electoral law as those in 1907. Two lists of the urban voters of Ponevezh (Panevezys) and its uezd were published on August 1, 1912. The list of the first assembly of urban voters contained 948 persons, and the second assembly had 1415 persons. In all, there were 2363 urban voters. Among them there were thirty-four Jews from Zheymeli (Zeimelis) ( twenty-five on the first list and nine on the second one22 ) two persons more than in 1907.

On both lists for 1912 the column "Voting Qualification" for the Jewish voters of Zheymeli (Zeimelis) contained primarily two qualification categories: "Nedvizhimost’" (Russian for "real estate")and "Torg."

Based on "The Regulations on... elections " of 1907, it should be confirmed:

Persons, who fit the qualification category "Nedvizhimost" in the list for the first assembly, were the owners of real estate estimated at being worth not less than 300 rubles; persons, marked with the same voting qualification in the list of the second assembly were the owners of real estate estimated at less than 300 rubles, but not invaluable ones;

Persons, who were marked with the qualification "Torg." in the first assembly list of urban voters were the owners of trade enterprises of the first or second category, while the same qualification entry in the list of the second assembly marked owners of trade enterprises of the third, fourth, or fifth category.

The Fourth State Duma operated from November 12, 1912, until October 6, 1917.

Appendix 1:

Prehistory of the State Duma

The failures of the Russian Army in the Russo-Japanese War (1904 - 1905) sharply aggravated the political situation in Imperial Russia. On July 15, 1904, the Minister of Internal Affairs, V. K. Plehve, was assassinated by a bomb. The famous Jewish historian, S. M. Dubnov, recollected: "People transferred this information to each other as a joyful piece of news: Haman, the malicious genius of Russia, fell. One could feel that this act of terrorism, in connection with defeats in the Far East, was going to cause a great change in the internal policy ..."23 Indeed, the new Minister of Internal Affairs, Prince P. D. Sviatopolk-Mirskiy, who started his duties on September 16, 1904, declared: "Fruitfulness of the government affairs is based on sincerely benevolent and sincerely trustful attitude toward social and estate institutions and toward the population, in general. Only with this condition shall we get the mutual trust; otherwise, it is impossible to expect stable success in the affairs of state."24

Inspired by this declaration, the Zemstvo congress, which was authorized by the Minister and held in St. Petersburg during November 6 - 9, supported, for the first time openly, the idea of "the national representation, as the special elective assembly, realizing the legislative power."25 At the end of November twenty three gubernia marshals of the nobility submitted to the Minister a memorandum on "participation by representatives of the social estates ("sosloviya" in Russian), theZemstvo (a local organ which provided limited self-government) and municipal administrations in elaborating and working out new bills."26

Acting upon their wishes, Sviatopolk-Mirskiy presented the draft of the Imperial decree namely, that elected deputies of Zemstvo institutions and municipal Dumas for the largest cities would enter the supreme consultative body, the State Council. This draft was considered at the conferences of December 7 and 8 under the Emperor’s chairmanship. At the second of them, in which the Grand Dukes participated, the Minister’s initiative was rejected.27 S. M. Dubnov recollected: "Nicholas II’s rude outcry against hints of the constitution in the Zemstvo liberal resolutions, and the manifesto from December 12 which planned bureaucratic instead of social reforms, poured cold water over the society. Revolution stood at the threshold."28

In the beginning of January, 1905, in St. Petersburg alone more than one hundred thousand workers were on strike. In the petition for the people’s vital needs, which the striking workers intended to submit to the Emperor, the requirement for a "convocation of the Constituent Assembly on the basis of universal, equal, direct and secret suffrage and the transfer of power to representatives elected by the whole nation" was already contained. On January 9, the unarmed petitioners, who marched toward the Emperor’s Palace to submit their petition to him, were victims of a mass shooting. This event marked the beginning of the barricade struggle by the workers and the peasants against the troops and the police.29 On January 15 Sviatopolk-Mirskiy was dismissed from his post as Minister of Internal Affairs and replaced by A. G. Bulygin.

Many factors (including the January rise of the working-class movement, the continuation of the Russo-Japanese war with its failures and tragic events, the need for new loans coinciding with a growing lack of trust by foreign creditors in the imperial autocracy, and the assassination of Grand Duke Sergey Aleksandrovich in Moscow on February 4) spurred the trend of the ruling circles to modernize some aspects of the autocratic regime.30

The Emperor in his directive of February 18, 1905, to Minister Bulygin announced his intention "henceforth, ... to involve the most worthy persons, who are trusted and elected by the whole population, to participate in the process of the preliminary development and discussion on legislative draft bills" 31 - i.e. to create a national representative assembly with consultative rights.

The conference on the elaboration of the appropriate constituent acts was held under Bulygin’s chairmanship; that is why the draft was named "The Bulygin Duma." However, the chairman brought none of his own ideas to this project; "during Bulygin’s conference the most vital issue, namely, the election system of national representatives, was not, as a matter of fact, thoroughly and fully discussed, and the version of the system, offered by Kryzhanovskiy, was accepted; it was, in general, constructed on the same basis that had been in effect for elections of Zemstvo delegates."32

The draft was being worked out under the most aggravating revolutionary situations: peasants were destroying their landowners’ manor-houses; more than two hundred thousand workers participated in May Day strikes; the Lodz June strike was accompanied with barricade fights, and the sailors aboard the battleship "Potemkin" mutinied in the Black Sea.

The original draft regulating elections was meant to deprive the Jews of the right to vote. But after receiving numerous protest resolutions against the proposed unequal and discriminatory election procedures from the Jewish communities of many cities, including Vilna, Riga, and St. Petersburg, the Council of Ministers "excluded the section denying the Jews the right to participate in elections from Bulygin’s draft. The motivation given for this decision was that it was undesirable to irritate the Jews to an even greater degree."33

During the July Peterhof conferences on the State Duma draft under the Emperor’s chairmanship "... Naryshkin demanded that "the harmful Jewish nation" should not be admitted to vote in the Duma elections, but a number of other dignitaries (Minister of Finance Kokovtsev, Comrade of Minister of Internal Affairs Trepov, members of the State Council Obolenskiy and Chikhachev) stood up for the Jews’ admittance, and the Emperor finished the debates with a short remark: "to leave the draft (with the amendment in the Jews’ favor) without change."34

"The Bulygin Duma" draft was published in the unofficial press at the end of July and caused wide criticism within the democratic public, which demanded a true legislature made up of elected national representatives.35

The official documents entitled "The Convention of the State Duma" and "The Regulations on the State Duma Elections" were published on August 6, 1905. In accordance with them, the State Duma would be a modest, merely consultative body, without any budgetary initiative right. Elections were set for the first half of January 1906.

The revolutionary wave, which reached an unprecedented height in October 1905, swept away the Bulygin Duma. In the Manifesto of October 17, 1905, the Emperor promised to grant basic freedoms to the people and to allot legislative rights to the State Duma.

Appendix 2

The Jewish Voters from the shtetl of Zheymeli (Zeimelis)

included in the lists of urban voters for the State Duma elections
in 1905, 1906, 1907 and 191236

The Summary Table

Surname

Name and Patronymic

Year

Voting Qualification (original)

Voting Qualification

(translated and interpreted)

Abramovich

Girsh Movshevich

1905

Torgovoe predpriyatie 2 razr.

owner of a trade enterprise of the 2nd category

Abramovich

Girsh Movshevich

1906

Torgovets

dealer

Abramovich

Girsh Movshev

1907

(1 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(1st assembly) house owner

Abramovich

Shaya

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Balene

Yankel’

1906

 

apartment renter

Beder

Girsh Shmuelev

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Ber

Ger Abelev (perhaps misprint - instead of Ger Ber Abelev)

1907

 

(1 s’ezd) Domovladelets

 

(1st assembly) house owner

 

Berman

Izrael’-Iosif Aronov

1906

 

apartment renter

Berg

Abel’

1906

 

apartment renter

Berg

Vul’f

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Berg

Don

1906

 

apartment renter

Berger

Leyb

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Bukants

Girs

1906

 

apartment renter

Vaynkes

Sapsel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Vaserman

Zelik

1906

 

apartment renter

Veytsman

Ben’yamin Berelev

1906

 

apartment renter

Vilenchik

Abram

1906

 

apartment renter

Galun

Iosel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Zhirne-Galun

Iosel’ Menov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Gamon

Iosel’

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Ganz

Danel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Geler

Morthel’ Shimelev

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Gel’

Girsh

1906

 

apartment renter

Gel’

Idel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Gel’

Idel’ Movshev

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Gel’

Idel’

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Gel’

Movsha

1906

 

apartment renter

Gel’

Ovsey

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Ger

Ariy Abelevich

1905

Torgovoe predpriyatie 2 razr.

owner of a trade enterprise of the 2nd category

Ger

Ariya Abelev

1906

Torgovets

dealer

Ger

Ariya Abelev

1907

(1 s’ezd) Torg. 2 razr.

(1st assembly) owner of a trade enterprise of the 2nd category

Ger

Ariy Abelev

1912

(1 s’ezd) Torg.

(1st assembly) dealer

Ger

Ber

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Ger

Berel’ Abelev

1906

Torgovets

dealer

Ger

Berel’ Abelev

1907

(2 s’ezd) Torg. 3 razr.

(2nd assembly) owner of a trade enterprise of the 3rd category

Ger

Ber Abelev

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Ger

Pinhas Hatskelev

1906

Torgovets

dealer

Ger

Pinhas

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Ger

Tanhel’ Abelevich

1905

Torgovoe predpriyatie 2 razr.

owner of a trade enterprise of the 2nd category

Ger

Tanhel’ Abelev

1906

Torgovets

dealer

Ger

Tanhel’ Abelev

1907

(1 s’ezd) Torg. 2 razr.

(1st assembly) owner of a trade enterprise of the 2nd category

Ger

Hatskel’-Pinhas

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Ger

Hatskel’ Pinhasov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Grin

Izrael’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Grin

Izrael’ Hilov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Grin

Izrail’

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Gurvich

Girsh

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Gurvich

Izrael’ Nohumov

1912

(2 s’ezd) Torg.

(2nd assembly) dealer

Gurvich

Nohum

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Gurvich

Nohum Itsykov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Gurvich

Nohum

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Dreyspul’

Yankel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Zhagorskiy

Leyzer Orlov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Zhagorskiy

Leyzer

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Zhagorskiy

Haim Ioselev

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Zhagorskiy

Haim

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Zhirne-Galun ( ® Galun)

-

-

Zagorskiy

Izrail’ Ioselev

1906

Torgovets

dealer

Zagorskiy

Izrael’ Ioselev

1907

(2 s’ezd) Torg. 3 razr.

(1st assembly) owner of a trade enterprise of the 3rdcategory

Zagorskiy

Leyzer

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Zak

Gershon

1906

 

apartment renter

Zarif

Movsha

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Zinger

Yankel’

1906

 

apartment renter

Zinger

Yankel’

1912

(1 s’ezd) Torg.

(1st assembly) dealer

Zon

Morthel’ Haimov

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Zun

Morduh Haimov

1907

(1 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(1st assembly) house owner

Zun

Mote

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Izrael’son

Ber Slomov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Iserov

Lipe

1906

 

apartment renter

Isrov

Girs

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Isrov

Motel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Isrov

Sariy

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Isrov

Srol’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Isser

Izrail’ Davidov

1906

Torgovets

dealer

Isser

Izrail’ Davidov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Promyshl.

(2nd assembly) owner of an industrial enterprise

Itkin

Iosel’

1906

Torgovets

dealer

Itkin

Iosif

1912

(1 s’ezd) Torg.

(1st assembly) dealer

Kan

Aron Kosrov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Kan

Aron

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Kan

Movsha and Leyb

1912

(2 s’ezd)Torg.

(2nd assembly) dealer

Kanter

Shaya

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Karmozin

Itsyk

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Kasman

Yankel’

1906

 

apartment renter

Kats

Itsyk

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Kats

El’ya Simhov

1912

(2 s’ezd) Torg.

(2nd assembly) dealer

Kleyman

Iosel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Kleyman

Iosif Davidov

1912

(2 s’ezd)Torg.

(2nd assembly) dealer

Kleyman

Shlioma-Iosel’ Davidovich

1905

Torgovoe predpriyatie 2 razr.

owner of a trade enterprise of the 2nd category

Kleyman

Shlioma Iosel’ Davidov

1906

Torgovets

dealer

Kremer

Shmuel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Kumes

Iokel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Kumes

Iakov Davidov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) House owner

Kumesh

Iokem

1912

(2 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(2nd assembly) Real estate owner

Levit

Vul’f

1906

 

Petty bourgeois

Leyzerovich

Leyb Abramov

1907

(1 s’ezd) Torg. 2 razr.

(1st assembly) owner of a trade enterprise of the 2ndcategory

Lekunisok

Leyzer

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Lekunisok

Ovsha

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Lepar

Haim

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Man

Iosel’ Leyzerov

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Man

Iosel’ Leyzerov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Man

Iosel’

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Man

Leyzer Ioselev

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Man

Leyzer

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Mer

Gesel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Milunskiy

Lopman [8]

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Milyunskiy

Bentsel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Milyunskiy

Bentsel’ Zel’manov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Milyunskiy

Bentsel’

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Milyunskiy

Bentsel’

1912

(2 s’ezd) Torg.

(2nd assembly) dealer

Milyunskiy

Leyzer

1912

(2 s’ezd) Torg.

(2nd assembly) dealer

Milyunskiy

El’yash Bentselev

1912

(2 s’ezd) Torg.

(2nd assembly) dealer

Mirvis

Movsha

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Narun

Meyer

1906

Torgovets

dealer

Nor

Girs

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Pizlev

Vul’f

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Pruhno

Movsha

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Rapoport

Aron

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Rapoport

Yankel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Reyson

Iovel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Reyson

Iovel’ Itsykov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Raysen

Iovel’

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Samul’

Yankel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Segalin

Abram

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Sokhen

Khaim

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Suster ( ® Shuster)

-

-

-

Taruts

Haim-Iosel’

1907

(2 s’ezd) Torg. 4 razr.

(2nd assembly) owner of a trade enterprise of the 4th category

Taruts

Haim-Iosel’

1912

(1 s’ezd) Torg.

(1st assembly) dealer

Tosh

Rahmel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Tosho

Rahmel’ Movshov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Toshe

Rahmil’

1912

(2 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(2nd assembly) real estate owner

Trumpako

Movsha Gershonov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Trumpakoe

Movsha Gershonov

1912

(1 s’ezd) Torg.

(1st assembly) dealer

Fridman

Ovsey

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Haesh

Abe Srolov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Haesh

Leyzer

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Haesh

Leyzer Matisov

1907

(1 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(1st assembly) house owner

Haesh

Leyzer

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Haesh

Movsha

1906

 

apartment renter

Haesh

Movsha

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Haesh

Yankel’ Srolov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2 assembly) house owner

Haesh

Yankel’ Izraelev

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Hropun

Vul’f

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Hropun

Movsha

1906

 

apartment renter

Tsemahovich

Leyb

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Tsibeygen

Abrash Itsyk

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Shvarts

Leyb Lozerov

1906

 

apartment renter

Shnayder

Zelik

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Shneyder

Zelik Ovsov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Shnayder

Zelik

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Shnayder

Tsodek

1906

 

apartment renter

Shuster

Itsyk

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Shuster

Itsko Leybov

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Suster

Itsyk

1912

(1 s’ezd) Nedvizhimost’

(1st assembly) real estate owner

Erlich

Vul’f Ayzikov

1912

(2 s’ezd)Torg.

(2nd assembly) dealer

Erlich

Orel’

1906

 

apartment renter

Yakubson

Iosel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Yanushok

Orel’

1906

 

petty bourgeois

Yakusok

Orko Mendelev

1907

(2 s’ezd) Domovladelets

(2nd assembly) house owner

Yankelovich

El’ya-David Ioselev

1906

 

apartment renter

Appendix 3

Types of Trade Enterprises in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Categories

"The Register of the trade enterprise categories for payments of the basic trade taxes"37 enumerates the types of trade enterprises for each category. This excerpt from "The Register" lists the types characteristic for a small shtetl:

The Second Category

1. Retail trade, that is, mainly the scattered sale of goods of any sort both to petty dealers and to consumers. 2. Buying up (as a craft)... domestic raw materials, agriculture and woods products, or domestic animals and poultry for resale inside the Russian Empire or for export abroad for the sum over fifty thousand up to three hundred thousand rubles per year without establishing, any where, the trading institutions for this aim. 4. Loan-offices and institutions for accepting movable private property as collateral for loans, as well as moneychanger shops, whose operations are limited exclusively to exchanging money. 9. Warehouse premises, as separate enterprises, for the storage of other traders’ cargoes and goods for a special payment.

The Third Category

1. Petty trade, that is, the scattered sale of goods... only to consumers in one-room shops where only one hired adult salesman may work, in addition to the owner or other adult member of his family who might replace him. 2. Buying up (as a craft)... goods of any sort - domestic raw materials, agriculture and woods products, and also domestic animals and poultry for resale inside empire... for the sum over ten thousand up to fifty thousand rubles per year without establishing, no matter where, trading institutions for this aim. 7. Keeping of taverns as a craft... 10.Teahouses... of more than one room for the immediate consumption of products sold in them. 13. Drugstores...

The Fourth Category

1. Petty sale of goods from small stable premises, which are not rooms, without special storage premises, and without hiring salesmen. 2. Buying up (as a craft)... goods of any sort - domestic raw materials, agriculture and woods products, and also domestic animals and poultry for resale inside the Empire... for the sum up to ten thousand rubles per year, without special trading premises 5. Inns outside of urban settlements without the sale of hard liquor, tobacco, and tobacco products. 6. Teahouses... of not more than one room for the immediate consumption of products sold in them 7. Bath-houses. 10. Contracts with the sum over five hundred rubles up to ten thousand rubles

Notes

1 Smirnov, A. F. Gosudarstvennaya Duma Rossiyskoy Imperii 1906 - 1917: Istoriko-pravovoy ocherk (The State Duma of the Russian Empire of 1906 - 1917: Essay of History and Legality. Moscow, 1998; Potyakin, A. A. Provoloneregulirovanie vyborov v Rossii (The Legal Regulation on Elections in Russia). Saint Petersburg, 2001. In the latter book a large bibliography can be found.
2 Alexander Beider. "Jewish Patronymic and Matronymic Surnames in Russia."Avotaynu, Winter 1991, p. 3.
3 "Polozhenie o vyborah v Gosudarstvennuyu Dumu (utverzhdeno Vysochaishim ukazom ot 6 avgusta 1905 goda)" ("The Regulations on the State Duma Elections/ Confirmed by the Imperial Decree of August 6, 1905"), Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiyskoy Imperii. Sobranie tret’ie (The Complete Code of the Russian Empire Laws. The third Code of the Laws), v. XXV, No. 26662, point 3.
4 We did not consider the marginal amount of Jewish farmers and landowners in our work.
5 "Polozhenie o vyborah..." ("The Regulations on... Elections"), point 6.
6 Ibid,point 7.
7 Zemstvo taxes, as a main source of its revenue, were used for local needs. The procedure of real estate estimation for Zemstvo taxation has been described in "Ustav o zemskih povinnostyah" ("The Regulations on the Zemstvo Duties") in Svod zakonov Rossiyskoy Imperii. Izdanie 1899 goda. Tom chetvertiy. (The Code of the Russian Empire Laws, 1899 Edition, Volume 4). Saint Petersburg, [1899], pp. 18 - 25.
8 "Polozhenie o vyborah..." ("The Regulations on ... Elections"), point 16.
9 In Zheymeli (now the settlement of Zeimelis in the district of Pakruojis, Lithuania) the author’s Father, Elia-Mates Leyzerovich Chayesh (1901 - 1987), was born.
10 In accordance with the results of the census of 1897, 753 Jews of both sexes lived in Zheymeli (Zeimelis).
11 We have extracted personal data of the Zheymeli (Zeimelis) Jewish electorate from six voter lists, which were published in different years, and presented them as a summary table in Appendix 2. The fifth (right) column of the table includes voting qualification data as the author of this article has interpreted them.
12 Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiyskoy Imperii. Sobranie tret’ie (The Complete Code of the Russian Empire Laws. The third Code of the Laws), v. XXV, No. 27029.
13 "Ustav o pryamyh nalogah" ("The Regulations on the Direct Taxes"), Svod Zakonov Rossiyskoy Imperii. Izdanie 1903 goda. Tom pyatiy (The Code of the Russian Empire Laws. 1903 Edition, Volume 5), p.144.
14 In accordance with the Senate interpretation that, "for an Apartment may be acknowledged only those premises with a separate entrance, which necessarily have a special kitchen or at least a stove for preparing food." Look: Kalinychev, F. I. Gosudarstvennaya Duma v Rossii. Sbornik dokumentov i materialov (The State Duma in Russia. Collected Documents and Materials). Moscow, 1957, p. 241.
15 "Zakony o sostoyaniyah" ("The Laws on the Status"), Svod zakonov Rossiyskoy Imperii. Izdanie 1895 goda. Tom devyatiy. (The Code of the Russian Empire Laws. 1895 Edition, Volume 9). Saint Petersburg, [1895]), p. 98.
16 Persons who hired apartments were considered earlier.
17 "Ustav o pryamyh nalogah" ("The Regulations on the Direct Taxes"), p. 22. The laws have not defined what properties were invaluable.
18 Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiyskoy Imperii. Sobranie tret’ie (The Complete Code of the Russian Empire Laws. The third Code of the Laws), v. XXVII, No. 29242.
19 Verification of this supposition needs additional research.
20 "Ustav o pryamyh nalogah" ("The Regulations on the Direct Taxes"), pp.168 - 174.
21 Ibid., p. 174.
22 In fact, there were ten persons in the second assembly, because Bentsel’ Miliunsky, who had been included already in the first assembly, was put into the second by mistake.
23 Dubnov, S. M. Kniga zhizni. Vospominania i razmyshlenia. Materialy dlya istorii nashego vremeni (The Book of Life. Memoirs and Reflections. Materials for the History of our Time). Saint Petersburg, 1998, p. 258.
24 Istoria SSSR s drevneyshih vremen do nashih dney. V 12 tomah. Tom VI. Rossia v period imperializma 1900 - 1917 (The History of the USSR from the Ancient Period to our Days. In 12 volumes. Volume VI. Russia in the Period of Imperialism of 1900 - 1917). Moscow, 1968, p. 79.
25 Ibid., p. 70
26 Gurko, V. I. Cherty i siluety proshlogo. Pravitel’stvo i obshchestvennost’ v tsarstvovanie Nikolaya II v izobrazhenii sovremennika(Features and Silhouettes of the Past. The Government and Public in the Nicholas II’s Reign in the Contemporary’s Presentation). Moscow, 2000, p. 373.
27 Ibid., pp.361 - 363.
28 Dubnov, S. M.Op. cit., p. 259.
29 Istoria SSSR... (The History of the USSR...), pp. 120 - 121.
30 Ibid.,p. 123.
31 Ibid., p.125; Dubnov, S. M. Evrei v Rossii i Zapadnoy Evrope v epohu antisemitskoy reaktsii. Kniga vtoraya. Izdatel’stvo L. D. Frenkel’ (The Jews in Russia and in West Europe in the Epoch of the Anti-Semitic Reaction. The second book. The Publishing house of L. D. Frenkel). Moscow - Petrograd, 1923, p. 65.
32 Gurko, V. I. Op. cit.,p. 422. Kryzhanovskiy S. E., the participant at the conference, was the assistant manager of the Main Administration on local economy affairs, who, in Gurko’s words, "in fact, made all work... ".
33 Dubnov, S. M. Evrei v Rossii... (The Jews in Russia...), p. 72.
34 Ibid., pp. 71 - 72.
35 Istoria SSSR... (The History of the USSR...), p. 155; Gurko, V. I. Op. cit., p. 455.
36 Supplement to Kovenskie gubernskie vedomosti (The Kovno Gubernia Gazette), 1905, October 12 (No. 76); 1906, November 20 (No. 85); 1907, July 25 (No. 54); 1912, August 1 (No. 55).
37 "Ustav o pryamyh nalogah" ("The Regulations on the Direct Taxes"), pp. 164 - 168.

Translator’s Notes

All dates in the text are given in the Old Style of the Julian calendar. In the 20th century the Julian calendar was thirteen days behind the Gregorian calendar used in the West.

We have translated the excerpts from the documents, which were written in specific bureaucratic Russian, into modern English.

Glossary

"Domovladelets" is the Russian for "house owner."

"Gubernia" is the Russian for "province."

"Kvartir." is the contraction of the Russian "Kvartira," which means "Apartment." A petty bourgeois (meshchanin in Russian) was a member of the unprivileged urban estate.

"Nedvizhimost" is Russian for "real estate."

"Obyvatel" is translated as "citizen" or "urban resident."

"Promyshl." is the contraction of "promyshlennyi" which means "industrial" in English.

"Razr." is the contraction of "razriad" which is the Russian for "category."

A shtetl was a small market town in the Pale of Settlement. The social estate (soslovie in Russian) is the juridical structure, its composition, privileges, and obligations being legally defined.

"Torg." is the contraction of "torgovets" which in English means "dealer" or "trader"

A uezd ("district" in English) is a subdivision of a gubernia.

A volost’ was a small rural district, a subdivision of a uezd.

The Zemstvo was a local organ, which provided limited self-government.

 

To read additional articles by Anatolij Chayesh, please see:
Articles that are part of the LitvakSIG Online Journal:

"Jewish Craftsmen in Kaunas Gubernia, from the Standpoint of Genealogy and Local History (According to Materials in the Saint Petersburg Archives)"

"The Expulsion of the Jews from Lithuania in the Spring of 1915: The Case of Zeimelis"
(for a Russian version of the above, see the Jewish Heritage Society website)

"On the Front Line in Lithuania, 1915: Stories of Jewish Eyewitnesses"

Articles that are part of the Zeimelis (Lithuania) Web Site:

"Some Historical Facts and Stories about the Jewish Community of Zeimelis"

Zeimelis, Panevezys District. Merchants List 1895-1911 (In English)

öÅÊÍÅÌÉ, ðÏÎÅ×ÅÖÓËÉÊ ÕÅÚÄ: ËÕÐÃÙ 1895-1911 (Same as above, but in Russian)

 

about the author
Anatolij Chayesh

ARTICLES BY ANATOLIJ CHAYESH IN THE LITVAKSIG  ONLINE JOURNAL

Anatolij Chayesh has been a scientific researcher since 1991 at the St. Petersburg Jewish University, where his area of interest is searching for materials and documents on the Jews of Imperial Russia in the libraries and archives in St. Petersburg. 

JEWISH CRAFTSMEN IN KAUNAS GUBERNIA, FROM THE STANDPOINT OF GENEALOGY AND LOCAL HISTORY (ACCORDING TO MATERIALS IN THE SAINT PETERSBURG ARCHIVES).    Translated by Gordon McDaniel.  

BOX-TAX PAPERWORK RECORDS AS A SOURCE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE LIFE OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES AND THEIR PERSONAL STRUCTURE.    Translated by Leonard Bogatin.

WHAT CENSUS RECORDS TELL US ABOUT JEWISH FAMILIES OF 19TH CENTURY LITHUANIA, A CASE STUDY: THE SHTETL ZEIMELIS 1816-1853.    Translated by Sonia Kovitz.

LISTS OF URBAN VOTERS FOR THE STATE DUMA ELECTIONS 1905-1912: AN ANALYSIS OF THE VOTING QUALIFICATION RESTRICTIONS AND TERMINOLOGY FOCUSING ON THE JEWS OF THE SHTETL OF ZHEYMELI (ZEIMELIS).    Translated by Eugenia Sheinman.

THE EXPULSION OF THE JEWS FROM LITHUANIA IN THE SPRING OF 1915. THE CASE OF ZEIMELIS.  Translated by Gordon McDaniel.

ON THE FRONT LINE IN LITHUANIA, 1915: STORIES OF JEWISH EYEWITNESSES. [Part 1.].  Translated by Gordon McDaniel. 

ON THE FRONT LINE IN LITHUANIA IN 1915: NARRATIVES OF JEWISH EYEWITNESSES. Part 2. Translated by Gordon McDaniel.