Birzai -1818 Additional Revision List #general

William Yoffee

Birzai-1818 Additional Revision List

The Panevezys District Research Group is posting the 1818 Additional
Revision List for the town of Birzai consisting of 1337 lines of data. The
1816 Revision List for Birzai was posted previously with 370 lines of data.
These Revision Lists were essentially the product of censuses that were
conducted by the Russian Empire beginning in 1795, when the Empire was
extended westward to include the Pale of Settlement where a large proportion
of the population included Jews. These censuses not only counted Jewish
families and family members but were also used for taxation purposes and
military conscription. Altogether, Russia conducted 10 censuses.

The Jewish Family History Foundation categorizes the early Revision Lists,
including 1816 and 1818 among what are called "Bridge Records"; that is
records which bridge the transition >from other 18th Century records of
families using patronymics instead of surnames to the early 19th Century
when most if not all families adopted surnames. These records make it
possible for genealogical purposes to trace some families with surnames to
the earlier periods when they used patronymics.

The 1818 List contained 271 different surnames representing 525 households,
although 33 households still had not yet recorded surnames. This is compared
to the 1816 List which recorded 85 families of which only 7 had not recorded
a surname. The families on the two Lists were almost entirely different with
very rare overlap. This does not account for the possibility that some
families may have changed their surnames in the two intervening years. The
1818 List described a Jewish population in Birzai with a wide range of ages:
192 under age 13; 103 were age 60 or older and 12 were age 70 or older. The
oldest was age 88. The 1816 List described a population in a narrower range
of ages: 35 under the age of 13, and the remainder under the age of 62; only
4 at ages 60 and 61. A small number of heads of households and family
members who were counted in 1816 were reported as not present for 4 main
reasons: 12 had moved away, 7 had run away,16 had died and 8 had simply

As you are no doubt aware, access to the Panevezys District Research
Group's (PDRG) Shutterfly website is available only to its members. For
more information about membership in the Group please contact me.

Alphabetical lists of the surnames on both the 1816 and 1818 Revision Lists
are available on request >from me at the email address below.

Bill Yoffee
Panevezys District Research Coordinator .

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