JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen corpse burners or distillers? #general

Eric M. Bloch

In translating the 1771-1774 Hungarian Jewish Censuses, one occupation
is listed in Latin as "Cremati Ustores." The only thing close to this
that I find in translation websites is "corpse burner." The two words
appear to be somewhat redundant and mean the same thing. It has been
suggested this occupation refers to alcohol distillers. Certainly the
distillation process requires burning. However, I cannot find any
definitive source that links this Latin occupation with distillation.

Based on the fact that some towns in the Censuses identified numerous
Jews with this occupation, and considering that Jews do not cremate
their dead (i.e. "burn corpses"), it seems plausible the term does refer
to alcohol distillation. Although, there are certainly other words in
the Latin language that could have been used to refer to alcohol

Can anyone cite a reliable source that has linked the terms Cremati
Ustores, or similar words, to the occupation of distilling alcohol?

Eric M. Bloch
Milwaukee, WI

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