Supplemental Revision Lists

by Vitaly Charny
Birmingham, AL

When reading records from Minsk Gubernia Revision List 1816, 1817-1819  available on microfilms from LDS, I have always wondered why so many people and entire families are missing from Revision of 1816 and appear later on.

Additional Revisions 1817-1819.

Recently I had the chance to read copies of documents sent to the Bobruisk Uyezd administration from the Minsk Governor. Similar documents have been sent to other uyezds as well. They are based on several Russian Government decrees issued after unsatisfactory results of the 1816 Revision.
The documents point out the cause for so many missing Jews and tell why an additional Revision was required.  The situation was that a lot of Jews at that time lived in many small villages, keeping shops, taverns, working as local craftsmen, etc.  Responsible elected members from the local Jewish
communities didn't include those people in their Revision Lists hoping to have less state tax applied on the communities.  At the same time, Jewish community leaders included everyone in their tax collection lists for taxes that would be paid for local and communal needs.

The documents required that Jewish communal elected leaders provide full data on all of the Jews who had not been registered, even those living in neighboring villages among gentiles.  If the new data was satisfactory, the administration promised not to punish them for their previous omission. 
However, it was the beginning of many moves of the Russian administration toward resettling Jews from villages by gathering them in small towns - shtetls where they had fewer job opportunities and sources of living. Those measures placed tighter restrictions on life in the Pale and left the
Jews with fewer places to live and fewer opportunities to move.  Our ancestors were locked in ghettos again.

For genealogical interest, I make the following conclusion: If records for a family don't appear in the Revision List of 1816, but do appear in the Revision List of 1818 or 1819, it is possible that the family lived not in the shtetl but nearby in villages among gentiles.

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