Another Genner brought my attention to a birth record for my great
grandfather (Pinchas, born around 1867 in Starokonstantinov, Ukraine)
which indicated that his father (Moshe) was a "retired soldier."
What does that term mean? Did such an individual have a special
status? Was he entitled to certain privileges by virtue of his
service in the Russian army?
Years ago I learned about cantonists, Jewish children who were
conscripted into and endured many years of service in the Russian
army and forced to abandon their Jewish religious ties. Apparently,
my great grandfather's father escaped this fate.
I'd appreciate some clarifications. Thanks.