Which guberniya? #general

David Gordon <dgordon@...>

Arthur Eisenberg asked which guberniya Pinsk is in. I posted an
answer in which I said that I believed that the answer is the Minsk
guberniya. In the same post, two others thoughtfully responded to Mr.
Eisenberg's question as well. Stan Goodman suggested Polesie and Gary
Goldberg suggested the Brest oblast (which he acknowledged might be
distinct >from earlier guberniyas).
This discrepancy troubles me. I don't know for certain which of us
is right. (For those who are interested, however, my answer came from
two sources: Peter Magosci's Historical Atlas of East Central Europe
and the "Map Room" website of the Federation of the East European Family
History Societies: http://feefhs.org/maps/indexmap.html
This site contains, among other things, a set of beautifully scanned
maps of Russia and Eastern Europe dating >from 1882. There are ten maps
of "European" Russia alone.)
However, as our three replies illustrate, we are none of us
certain. Disagreements can arise when people are not precise and use
information >from different periods. I am disinclined to believe that
that is what happened here (at least for the most part). I think we
disagree because, however well-meaning, none of us are experts. Nor are
we expected to be. And yet....
I don't know how much difference our disagreement will matter to Mr.
Eisenberg. I can only hope "not a lot." But I fear that my hope is not
entirely correct. I am also unsure what to do about this. The same
problem arose recently in another context-- offering translations from
Russian to English. One of the greatest strengths of this organization
is its volunteers and their attitude--people go out of their way and
regularly go "above and beyond the call" to help others. And yet I
wonder whether we are doing more good than harm.
Though this is not strictly "genealogy," I hope this is considered
sufficiently related to be worth airing the subject a bit.

David Gordon
Chicago, Illinois
Searching: HORWITZ--Smolevichi, Lapichi, Bobruisk

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