Re: The meaning of "private person" #general


MBernet@...
 

In a message dated 5/6/2007 3:03:54 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
a.sharon@shaw.ca writes:

<< Janette Levey Frisch wrote
Yesterday I was looking at the death record of my great great grandmother
Rywke Milmud Eisenberg >from Jezierzany (now Ozeryany) on October 11, 1888.
With the help of some online programs and indices I was able to see that her
parents were named in the record and that her father's occupation translated
as "private person".
<<< Perhaps you can share the original description ( I presume it was
in Polish) of this unique profession. I am just curious since I have never
seen before such profession.

Alexander Sharon >>>

==In German (and perhaps in French) there is a vaguely similar 19th century
expression that denotes a pensioner. My German dictionary defines Privatier
as a person with an independent income.

==The British had an expression "gentleman," still in use in 1952 to denote
the occupations of the (deceased) fathers of bride and groom at my wedding in
London. Her father had been a trader in Mandalay; mine had been a
manufacturer in Germany and England.

==My dictionary offers nine definitions of the label "gentleman." They
include:
* a man of good family, breeding, or social position.
* a man of good social standing, as a noble, or a commoner bearing or
entitled to use a coat of arms.
* a man with an independent income who does not work for a living.

==In general, the "occupation" label in 19th century records was intended to
suggest social standing at a time when people were classified as churchmen,
officers, soldiers, landowners, farmers, peasants, laborers, or independently
wealthy."Gentleman" was a catchall for those who didn't fit any of the other
categories, and was neither an aristocrat nor a pauper.

==Russia, after Czar Alexander I, sought modernization by importing
social patterns, technology and experts >from Germany France and England.
The terminology for these was imported at the same time.

Michael Bernet

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