Courland Was It Within the Russian Empire but not in the Pale of Settlement #russia


Marilyn Levinson
 

Dear Researchers
I recently discovered ancestors from Courland.  I found an article that said Courland was part of the Russian Empire, but not part of the Pale of Settlement.  However, the article goes on to state that there were Jews living in Courland but Jews in the Pale could not move to Courland.  If this is correct were the lives of Jews in Courland
diffferent from the lives of the Jews of the Pale? Would Alexander I's statute of 1804 include the Jews of Courland, would the May Laws apply to the Jews of Courland?  Thank you for your help.
Marilyn Levinson
Spring Lake NC


Arlene Beare
 

Marilyn asks about the life of Jews living in Courland at the time of the Pale of Settlement.

The Pale of Settlement was from 1794-1804. Even though Courland was not in the Pale they were still part of the Russian Empire and subject to all the laws and regulations pertaining to Jews. However they escaped the worst oppression suffered by the Jews of the Pale. Courland was made up of Kurzeme in the North west and Zemgale in the South West. Kurzeme Jews according to the Book -History  of Latvian Jews by Steimanis - made gains during the reign of Paul 1(1796-1801)A decree of the Senate of Russia legalised the State of Jews in Kurzeme. The decree of 1799 entitled all Jews who lived permanently in Kurzeme to register legally in towns provided they joined the merchants or crafts Guilds for twice the normal fee. They obtained civil rights.These right were later curtailed and from 1829 only those Jews who already had been permanent residents of Kurzeme at the end of the 18th C could live there.
Courland was a German speaking Province(Gubernia)with its Capital Mitau now Jelgava.
Arlene Beare
Co-Director of Latvian Research Group.