understanding Russian language passport #belarus #russia #translation

Alan Shuchat

This appears to be an internal passport rather than one for crossing an international border. Every subject in the Russian Empire was registered at a particular location (not necessarily the place of residence) and in a social class or estate. Someone who traveled beyond the place of registration was required to have an internal passport. In this passport, Mikhel' Shimelevich Kaplan is described as a meshchanin (townsperson, petit bourgeois) of the Svir Jewish community. The passport is valid for one year. It contains the date April 25, 1894, which I think is when it was issued but it might be when it expires.
Alan Shuchat
Newton, MA

SHUKHAT (Talnoe, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Odessa, Balta (Abazovka), Pogrebishche)
VINOKUR (Talnoe), KURIS (Mogilev-Podolskiy, Ataki, Berdichev)
ZILBERMAN (Soroki, Kremenets), BIRNBAUM (Kamenets-Podolskiy)
KITAIGORODSKI (Zvenigorodka)


I had my grandfather's 1911 Russian passport translated by the Russian manicurists at a local shop. (They were so excited to help!) Turns out it was in "old Russian" but they had no trouble.
Barbara Cohen


The registration location, referenced in the document is Svir in Sventsyany uezd Vilno governorate.
Svir doesn't have an English language Wikipedia page, but you can get automatic translation for this page from Russian with Chrome or similar browser or through Google Translate: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Свирь_(Минская_область)
Svir is about 50 miles East of Vilnius, just across the border in Belarus, in the Minsk oblast

Sventsyany is now known as Švenčionys in Lithuania (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Švenčionys)
Vilno (modern name is Vilnius) is the capital of Lithuania.

Technically, the name of the person is actually Mihel, not Michael.  "Shmilevich" part is a patronymic, meaning Mihel's father's name was Shmil Kaplan.

Mike Vayser

Jeremy Lefkowitz

Recently got an image of my great-grandfather's brother's 1893 Russian passport (included as an attachment here) from a distant cousin.  The Russian appears to refer to the following:

the "borough" of “Swinziansky” 
“county of Vilna”
the “Swir” "jewish community"
“Michael Shimelevitch Kaplan”

But I would very much appreciate assistance with translating and/or with identifying any of the places, aside from Vilna, which is not difficult :) 

Jeremy Lefkowitz