I have been studying the Raseiniai 1816 Revision List, extracted >from the
Kaunas archive by the Raseiniai Uyezd Group. The classification of those
recorded into three classes does not come through in the translation. It has some significance for me.
The first entry is for "Kupetz 2nd Gildoi" (Merchant of the 2nd Guild) for
which there is only one entry, Shmuel Berov Bendet (well known in Raseiniai
lore as Rabbi Shmuel Hekhassid).
Then follows the largest group in size >from family #1-140 who are classifiedas "Meshchani" (Burghers, or city citizens).
The third group starts >from #141 under the title "Rukidelniki" which my
Russian aquaintences claim is an old word for "craftsmen".
My gggg-grandfather Berel Davidov Komisaruk appears under this group
together with his brother Leiba and son Zelman. Yet Berel's other brother
Velvel appears earlier under "meshchani".
This gives me an additional aspect of my family's activities even if
non-specific. Tradition tells of the family's activities as tax farmers and
rabbis, and this shows they had some source of income >from a craft. I hoped
to get some idea of the trades engaged in at the time, but Yad Vashem's
"Lita" article on Raseiniai does not have the details for 1816.
Interesting - shows the importance of studying the original and not relying
just on the English translation.
Petah Tikvah, Israel