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Vsia Rossiia

1895, 1903, 1911

for the District of Bobruisk

Compiled by Michael Steinore

This is a table representing a list of business owners from the uezd (district) of Bobruisk in Minsk Guberniya for the years 1895, 1903, and 1911-12. The original source for the material is "Vsia Rossiia" (All Russia), a combination business directory and almanac covering all 60 provinces of the Russian Empire. An 1899 edition of Vsia Rossiia is also available, but is organized by occupation rather than Guberniya, making a district-wide compilation too work-intensive.

For additional background, see the article "Russian Business Directories", by Harry Boonin, in Avotaynu VI:4 (Winter 1990), pages 23-32.

A quick look at the features of each edition of Vsia Rossiia:

Edition Includes Surname index? Generally includes Given/Patronymic? Organized by Gubernia? Organized by Occupation?

1895

no

no

yes

no

1899

yes

yes

no

yes

1903

yes

yes

yes

no

1911

no

yes

yes

no


Table Notes:

Completeness: It is not known how complete the original listing is, though clearly not all business owners are included. The definition of a business owner and how one became listed are unresolved questions. Business owners were divided into two categories: owners of factories and plants, and owners of trading/retail firms. All entries I found, both Jewish and otherwise, were included; the great majority are Jewish. For 1911, the list of factory and plant owners was unavailable.

Accuracy: Like any compilation of this magnitude, the original source material contains errors in the form of slight misspellings of names, and slight variations in names. Since this Vsia Rossiia database focuses on a single district over three editions, those variations and errors are easier to spot. In the case of variants, it may be that the style of spelling Yiddish names changed over time. For example, Katzenelson is spelled with an extra 'e' in the 1895 edition, while the other two editions consistently employ Katznelson.

As an example of an error, consider Khaim Yudov. Rabinski, who owned a dishware business according to the 1903 edition. In the 1911 edition, Khaim Yudk. Rabinoki owns the business. Though this must be the same person, clearly one of the spellings is incorrect. Errors in the original source material were left intact.

Presentation: There are a number of useful ways to sort this list: by surname, by occupation, by town, and so forth. I chose to leave the information sorted the way it was presented in the original text: by year, then by Russian-alphabetical occupation (factories/plants before trade/industrial firms), then by Russian-alphabetical surname within each occupation. Listings for the city of Bobruisk come before listings for the uezd of Bobruisk.

Occupations: My thanks to Vladimir I. Golynskiy who provided additions and corrections to my translations of occupations. Occupations must be applied in the context of a century-old culture, and one can contemplate an industry from various angles. For example, "lumber" may indicate lumberjack, barge transportation of lumber, lumber mill, chopping firewood.

Towns: I verified most towns in Jewishgen's Shtetlseeker. Not every town in the district of Bobruisk is mentioned, but those that are clearly belonged to the district. That is important because it is known that some documents in the Minsk archives are arranged by district.

Given Names/Patronymics: Though the 1895 edition generally does not provide these, it is possible to fill some in, if you conclude it is the same person as listed in the 1903 edition. A few selections from the list of abbreviations in Vsia Rossiia: Ab.-Abel; Abr.-Abram; Aiz.-Aizik; Ben.-Benyamin; Dav.-David; Faiv.-Faivel; Gersh.-Gershon; Is.-Isaak; Izr.-Izrael; Leiz.-Leizer; Mend.-Mendel; Nokh.-Nokhim; Raph.-Raphael; Rokh.-Rokhl; Sam.-Samuel; Shl.-Shlema; Shm.-Shmul; Step.-Stepan; Yak.-Yakov; Yank.-Yankel; Yos.-Yosef; Zal.-Zalman;

Transliteration: My approach was to be faithful to the Russian letters. My goal was to be within Daitch-Mokotoff range of the "correct" spelling. Occasionally I changed vowels to clarify a name (e.g. Leya -> Leah). I think you will recognize most of the names even if they're not spelled in Americanized form. Some conversions you may want to make: z=s, o=a, ts=z, ks=x, sht=st. Note the following:

bulletThe Russian letter 'bI' was transliterated as 'y'.
bullet'kh' and 'ch' are transliterations of two distinct Russian letters with two distinct sounds. 'kh' as in khanukkah, 'ch' as in chess.
bullet?? indicates something was illegible.
bullet( ) are clarifications found in the original text. Usually they provide occupation specifics, or indicate that the owner had a second business in a different industry, or indicate whether the town referred to the home or office of the owner.




Updated 9/2/99

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