Does anyone know what details are contained in house ownership records for
the city of Kaunas in the 1840s / 1850s?
My great grandfather changed his name >from Shuval to Schuman when he
migrated >from Kaunas to London in the 1880s. I can trace his ancestry back
to his grandfather Itsko Shuval who was born in about 1800. Itsko's
father's name was Movsha but I don't know whether Movsha ever used the
There were a large number of Shuvals in Kaunas in the 19th century. Thanks
to the many surviving Kaunas Revision Lists, I have managed to construct a
family tree linking together all of these Shuvals EXCEPT for my ancestor
Itsko Shuval. There is no obvious way that he can be fitted into the tree
on his paternal side.
The only connection I can find between Itsko Shuval and the other Shuvals
(other than their common surname) is in the 1855 Real Estate Owners records.
In that year, Itsko is described as the owner of house no 130 in Kaunas,
and so is Yankel Shuval (b c 1824), son of Shachne. If these two Shuvals
were both owners of the same house, then I assume there must have been
some family connection, but the only possible connection I can imagine
is through marriage.
Records indicate that Itsko's wife was called Rochel, and I can see that
Yankel had a sister called Rochel (bc 1804) at the time of the 1816
Revision List. My current theory is that Itsko, born before surnames
were formally adopted by the Jewish population, may have assumed the
surname Shuval when he married Rochel Shuval. Was it common for a man
to assume his wife's surname on marriage if he didn't have one himself?
And are there any other home ownership records (or perhaps inheritance
papers) which might shed any light on this? One possibility is that
Shachne Shuval may have left his house to his son Yankel and to his
(I assume) son-in-law Itsko when he died in about 1849, but how do I
Any ideas would be much appreciated.