1795–1808: Is it the same person? #ukraine

Jonathan Sherman

The wife of my 5x great-grandfather Shimon MARKOV (or MIRKO) is listed in the 1795 Russian census as "Khana Leibova," but in 1808 simply as "Khinya" with no patronymic or age. I'm not sure if it's the same person. Shimon and his wife had one son born in 1791, who seemingly did not survive, and for the rest of the decade they don't have any surviving children. Then suddenly they have children born in 1801, 1804, 1806, 1808 and 1813, and they all survived into adulthood and had children of their own. This made me doubt that Khana and Khinya are the same person. In the 1818 supplemental census, the children of Shimon are living with their "uncle" (дядя) Yudko Duvidovich and his brother Avrumko Duvidovich. Since the father of Shimon is Meyer Shimonovich, they cannot be paternal uncles. I thought they must be maternal uncles, which means that Khinya's father is Duvid and therefore she is not the same person as Khana Leibova (Leib's daughter). Also for a while I thought that Khana and Khinya must be different people because usually those are treated as different names -- in birth records the names correspond to different Hebrew names (חנה vs חיניא).

On the other hand, while Khana and Khinya are treated as different names in the late 19th century, I've recently come across a case from the early 19th century where the same person is called by both names in different documents (it's clearly the same person from their age, patronymic and family members). Furthermore, when Yudko Duvidovich is called the "uncle" of Shimon's children, could it be that they actually meant "great-uncle"? Yudko had a nephew named Avrum Leibovich, which suggests that he had a brother named Leib. Could it be that this Leib is the father of Khana / Khinya? It seems likely by the ages of Shimon's children compared to their much older "uncles" Yudko and Avrumko. The kids are about 5, 10, 13, 14 and 17 years old in 1818, while Yudko and Avrumko are 70 and 50. Another interesting thing to consider is the fact that Avrum Leibovich and his children had the same last name as Shimon's family -- MARKOV. He couldn't have inherited it as they have different paternal lines. Here's a possible explanation: I heard of an old tradition that if a child became orphaned, they would go live with their older sister. Khana Leibova was born around 1775 according to the 1795 census, and Avrum Leibovich was born in 1788. I can't find Avrum or his father Leib in the 1795 census, but if Khana is Avrum's older sister, then he would have lived with her and her family, the MARKOV family. And when the time came for Jews in the Russian Empire to take on permanent last names (around 1805–1810), he would have adopted the last name of his sister's family. Is this plausible? I should note that I don't see Avrum living with Shimon's family in 1795 or 1808. Oddly enough, the earliest I see him is in 1818, and he's listed as the "relative" of Shimon's brother Yos Meyerovich MARKOV.

I think I've laid out all the reasons for and against them being the same person. Even if no one has an answer to my question, hopefully this was an interesting case study.

Here's a list of the documents if anyone wants to see for themselves:
DAKO 280-174-382 pages 148–149. Shimon's family in 1795.
DAKO 1-336-833 page 24. Shimon's family in 1808.
DAKO 280-2-307 page 208. Some of Shimon's children in 1816. Shimon and his wife are not listed.
DAKO 280-2-375 page 285. Avrum Leibovich listed as the "relative" of Shimon's brother Yos in 1818.
DAKO 280-2-375 page 338. Some of Shimon's children and their "uncle" Yudko Duvidovich in 1818.
DAKO 280-2-470 pages 127–128. Avrum Leibovich and his late "uncles" Yudko and Avrumko in 1834.

Jonathan Sherman

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