place of registration as place of birth #general

Herbert Lazerow

It is with hesitation that I disagree with Howard Margol, who knows much
more about Lithuanian practice than I do. But his answer, that a person
listed in an 1887 census as registered in Vizdy was probably born there,
makes assumptions counter to my understanding of the registration system.
Here is how registration was supposed to work.

Probably around 1800, a person was registered to a class (merchant, townsperson,
peasant, noble, soldier) and to a place.

A person's children had the same registration as their father. When she
married, a woman took the registration of her husband.

Registration could be changed, but that took money (unless you served a full
term in the military), which was in short supply in the Jewish community.

So what the place of registration tells you is where the person's
paternal male ancestor lived around 1800. If the person was 90 in 1887,
I agree that it was likely that he was born in Vizdy. If the person was 40
in 1887, it does not tell that he was born in Vizdy (though Vizdy and the place
he was residing in 1887 would be my two leading candidates).

Herbert Lazerow
San Diego CA 92110-2492 U.S.A.

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