What was the purpose of this document issued in Czarist Russia? #russia


hmb02446@...
 

Thanks to translation by a  very helpful member of this forum (thanks Michael!), I understand that the attached document issued to my great-uncle, Elya Schwets, allowed him to travel within Russia for one year. It was issued by the local government in Kozhan Gorodok (near Pinsk) where he was registered, although he was born in Makarov, near Kiev, hundreds of miles away. 

So it would seem to be an internal Russian passport. The date it was issued is December 28, 1911, and Elya left Russia shortly afterwards, arriving in New York in February 1912. 

Can anyone explain why it was necessary or helpful  to obtain such a document? Was it a document needed in order to leave the country, i.e. to travel internally in Russia prior to emigrating? Did it need to be renewed each year? Was this only issued to Jews, or to all Russians?

Thanks in advance!

Howard Brown
Stowe VT


Bob Silverstein
 

I have two such documents from the 1890's along with the same chronology.  The holders emigrated shortly after these "internal passports" were issued.  Thanks for posting.
--
Bob Silverstein
bobsilverstein@...
Elk Grove Village, IL

Researching Kaplan (Krynki, Poland) Tzipershteyn (Logishin, Pinsk, Belarus), Friedson/Fridzon (Motol, Cuba, Massachusetts), Israel and Goodman (Mishnitz, Warsaw, Manchester).


Elise Cundiff
 

I was about to post a question about such a "passport" -- my grandmother had told me that her grandfather Schmuel Zieve d. ~ 1890-1893 (Moletai, LT) had one which allowed him to travel within the region (she didn't know any details about where or how far, or even why), but I have never found any information about this other than those issued decades later.  His would have been from before 1890 at the latest, I think.  

Elise Cundiff
Columbus, OH

Researching Zieve, Glickman, Gordon (Moletai, LT);  Markus, Snitz (Siauliai LT);  Rosenberg, Hillelsohn, Mendelsohn (Erzhvilki, LT)


David Harrison
 

Just a guess.  Maybe these documents were needed to prove that the person was neither a serf who should have been returned to their owner or a soldier who was AWOL (Absent without leave) and the person was of good repute to have such a document, but was in fact saying goodbye to relations and making their way to leave Russia by hopping over the border.  I suspect that some sort of document was needed for a Russian to visit (or go to live with a spouse) on Internal exile in Eastern Siberia.  I would have thought that people, such as my grandfather, would have ditched such a document in case it was used to return him to Russia from Germany. He was very suspicious of Police for most of the rest of his life in Germany, France and England and none of his addresses before he setup in London has so far proved to be correct.
David Harrison
London, England


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Laurence Broun
 

I have the same passport document for my grandmother dated 1910. She emigrated to the USA later the same year. Translation of my grandmother's passport provided her father and husband's names, a physical description (taller than average), and information that she was illiterate. It included the same official stamps as the passport image you shared. We had also found a document from her village verifying her identify that we believe was required for her to receive the passport. 
--
Larry (Itzik Leib) Broun
Washington, DC | USA
e-mail: Laurencebroun@...


Phil Goldfarb
 

Actually the Russian Internal Passports began in the early 18th Century by Peter the Great issued to control migration in the country. It was abandoned after the October 1917 Russian Revolution. There are also the Lithuania Internal Passports issued between 1919-1940 and the Latvia Internal Passports issued between 1919-1941. If you are attending the 2021 IAJGS Conference virtually, I am presenting a program titled: Passports: The History of Passports, Passport Applications, Russian/Lithuania/Latvia Internal Passports and the Nansen Passports for Refugees which you might find of interest. I also discuss passports and passport applications in the U.S. and show a few funny & unusual ones! Finally, the very first "passport" was issued to a Jewish official-Nehemiah back in 450 B.C.E by King Artaxerxes I of Persia for travel to Judea!
Phil Goldfarb
President JGS of Tulsa
phil.goldfarb@... 


Elise Cundiff
 

Perhaps my gr-gr-grandfather had intended to emigrate, but he never did.  His eldest son did, in 1889, followed his two eldest daughters (including my gr-grandmother) in about 1891, and all the other siblings and his widow by 1900.  There was never any mention of any of them holding such a passport - my grandmother seemed to think that having had one was a point of pride.

Elise Cundiff
Columbus, OH

Researching Zieve, Glickman, Gordon (Moletai, LT);  Markus, Snitz (Siauliai LT);  Rosenberg, Hillelsohn, Mendelsohn (Erzhvilki, LT)


Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz
 

Domestic passports were necessary in the tsarist empire if one left one's place of residence for longer than six months or to travel outside the home region. Numerous Jews left the tsardom only with a domestic passport. They crossed the border into Prussia illegally and then traveled on.  

Ruth Leiserowitz
Berlin / Warsaw


jbonline1111@...
 

I have a copy of a Russian passport from the 1890s, when my paternal great grandfather traveled to the USA with some of his minor children.  The children's names are included on it.  Because it is written in Russian, French and English, I always assumed it was an international passport. Now I wonder. 
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


Alan Shuchat
 

Barbara,

Since it's in those three languages it's an international passport. Internal passports were only written in Russian.
--
Alan Shuchat
Newton, MA

SHUKHAT (Talnoe, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Odessa, Balta (Abazovka), Pogrebishche)
VINOKUR (Talnoe), KURIS (Mogilev-Podolskiy, Ataki, Berdichev)
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