JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Russian Jewish genealogical research #general

Jules Levin

Nick Landau wrote:
JewishGen Frequently Asked Questions points out that there
were very few Jews living in what is Russia today, but rather they
lived in the Pale of Settlement which areas are now in Poland,
Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova.
Very few is immaterial for those who have ancestors who were living
beyond the Pale, in Russia. My gm's family werein St Petersburg area
(Kronshtadt) >from Lithuania by the 1870's. In 1891 20,000 Jews without
proper permits were expelled >from St. Petersburg, presumably leaving behind
plenty with permits. There were synagogues and schools in St. Pete by then.
By 1914 many professions in the city had large numbers of Jews--there were many
Jewish women pharmacists.
Jews who were Cantonists who successfully completed their military
service were allowed to remain where they were mustered out, and by
the end of the 19th Century were found all over Russia, including
Siberia. Cantonists were the start of the Finnish Jewish
community. By the start of WW I the Pale system was breaking down.
Finally, there were always Jewish communities elsewhere in Russia,
just not Ashkenazi Jews--e.g., in Kazakhstan, Georgia, etc.,
etc. Let's not forget them.
Jules Levin
Los Angeles

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