Tavern Keepers #general

Ann Rabinowitz

One can find that there were recorded tavern keepers as far back
as the 1700's in the Grand Dutchy of Lithuania Census data. Not
only that, many families carried on the tradition of this occupation
amongst all the sons of a generation such as was found in Kupiskis,
Lithuania, where one family had five sons, all of whom were set up
in taverns in different surrounding villages.

In addition, when daughters married, if the father were able to, he
might provide the leasehold for a tavern as a dowery for the couple.
One such couple in Kupiskis were the lucky recipients of such a gift
which was a tavern at a major crossroads outside Vilna. It provided
a good living for the family until they later migrated to America.
There were also those families who handled the wholesale distribution
of liquor or beer which they obtained >from larger towns nearby such
as Rokiskis. They then delivered these supplies by horse-drawn
wagon or cart to taverns and other businesses in their district.

Tavern-keeping was not only a way of life in the Russian Empire, but
there were many Jews who carried on this occupation in America, the UK
and other places and one can find them listed as such in the Census
data of the time. They formed the commercial backbone of many
existing and emerging communities. One such tavern-keeper in Colonial
America was Abram Simon of Georgia who used to flood the post road
outside his tavern in order to encourage travellers to stop there
. . . and, there were many others, both male and female alike.

Ann Rabinowitz

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