the helpful items for studying the Jewish population of Kupiskis,
Lithuania is the Heads of Household Index for the 1816 Revision
List. There are approximately 144 distinct Heads who make up the
family structure of the shtetl. Among them are eight Heads who do
not have surnames yet, only first and father’s names.
The prior 1811
Revision List was replete with people in hospital and deaths due
to the inclement weather, the Napoleonic incursions with their
health issues such as diphtheria, dysentery, trench fever,
epidemic typhus, as well as the fact that Kupiskis was the site
of an army depot. Unfortunately, we don’t have a full extant
copy of this document.
Although we have two prior Revision Lists in the 1700’s, they do not
contain surnames of the Heads of Household, so it is difficult to
try and match these to the later 1800’s Lists. We are left with the
1816 List to create a “founder” generation of Kupishokers.
generation is emblematic of a dynamic Jewish population which
originated in such Ashkenazic places as Metz and Cologne as well as
Sephardic ones like Portugal and Spain. They, many times, were asked
to come to Kupiskis at the behest of the Polish magnates or they
were the victims of expulsions such as in Spain.
This “founder” generation is encompassed by the following sixty