Tavern Keepers #general


Ann Rabinowitz
 

One can find that there were recorded tavern keepers as far back
as the 1700's in the Grand Dutchy of Lithuania Census data. Not
only that, many families carried on the tradition of this occupation
amongst all the sons of a generation such as was found in Kupiskis,
Lithuania, where one family had five sons, all of whom were set up
in taverns in different surrounding villages.

In addition, when daughters married, if the father were able to, he
might provide the leasehold for a tavern as a dowery for the couple.
One such couple in Kupiskis were the lucky recipients of such a gift
which was a tavern at a major crossroads outside Vilna. It provided
a good living for the family until they later migrated to America.
There were also those families who handled the wholesale distribution
of liquor or beer which they obtained >from larger towns nearby such
as Rokiskis. They then delivered these supplies by horse-drawn
wagon or cart to taverns and other businesses in their district.

Tavern-keeping was not only a way of life in the Russian Empire, but
there were many Jews who carried on this occupation in America, the UK
and other places and one can find them listed as such in the Census
data of the time. They formed the commercial backbone of many
existing and emerging communities. One such tavern-keeper in Colonial
America was Abram Simon of Georgia who used to flood the post road
outside his tavern in order to encourage travellers to stop there
. . . and, there were many others, both male and female alike.

Ann Rabinowitz
annrab@bellsouth.net


Ava Cohn <avatom@...>
 

"I would appreciate any comments about the fact there there were so many
tavern keepers..."

My SHENKMAN family were tavern keepers in Volyntsy, Vitebsk gubernia, now
Belarus, near the border of Dvinsk, Lithuania. My grandmother talked about
how non-Jews would frequent the tavern, get drunk and dance all night in
the tavern. Whether it was a bed and breakfast as Howard Margol has
suggested of taverns in Lithuania, I do not know. I can, however, attest to
antisemitism against the tavern keepers. A few years ago, Yuri Dorn sent me
a famous Byelorussian "fairytale" about Jewish tavern keepers, "Lantuch v
shenke" (Ghost in the Tavern). This antisemitic tale, by coincidence just
happens to be about the tavern keeper in Volyntsy, Vitebsk guberniya, my
SHENKMAN family. The tale centers around a ghost that inhabits a tavern
and causes such havoc that the tavern keeper is forced to turn over his
business to a Byelorussian. Lo and behold, once the Jewish entrepreneur
is gone, the ghost departs. As with every endeavor our ancestors were
involved in, antisemitism was never far >from the door. By the way, the
surname SHENKMAN is Yiddish for tavern owner.

Ava Cohn
Long Grove, IL


Ava Cohn <avatom@...>
 

"I would appreciate any comments about the fact there there were so
many tavern keepers..."

My SHENKMAN family were tavern keepers in Volyntsy, Vitebsk gubernia,
now Belarus, near the border of Dvinsk, Lithuania. My grandmother
talked about how non-Jews would frequent the tavern, get drunk and
dance all night in the tavern. Whether it was a bed and breakfast as
Howard Margol has suggested of taverns in Lithuania, I do not know. I
can, however, attest to antisemitism against the tavern keepers. A few
years ago, Yuri Dorn sent me a famous Byelorussian "fairytale" about
Jewish tavern keepers, "Lantuch v shenke" (Ghost in the Tavern). This
antisemitic tale, by coincidence just happens to be about the tavern
keeper in Volyntsy, Vitebsk guberniya, my SHENKMAN family. The tale
centers around a ghost that inhabits a tavern and causes such havoc
that the tavern keeper is forced to turn over his business to a
Byelorussian. Lo and behold, once the Jewish entrepreneur is gone, the
ghost departs. As with every endeavor our ancestors were involved in,
antisemitism was never far >from the door. By the way, the surname
SHENKMAN is Yiddish for tavern owner.

Ava Cohn
Long Grove, IL