​​The Jewish Families of Ostropol
 Researching  Jewish Families in the territories of the Russian Empire and in the small Ukrainian town of Ostropol

Guild Merchants of Ostropol, Page 2

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Finding Your Ostropol Ancestor's Tax Status in 1906
(Guild Merchant or Meshanin)

by Deborah G. Glassman copyright 2018
When I was creating the table of   Russian Records of Your Ostropol Family  I noticed something odd. Some of the  most prominent  families were missing from source material after 1834. Then I realized that the 1875 document with 125 people, was only including people with the tax status of “meshanin” also known as “townsman”, or  “kleinburger or petit bourgoise.” It was excluding at least three tax levels of Jews, including those at the bottom on relief, and two of the tax statuses that are most often reported in English,  as First and Second Guild Merchants.
Guilds in Russia, had nothing to do with crafts, artisans, or the other usages of the rest of  Europe. The term had been acquired in the time of Peter the Great when he created new taxable categories of residents in cities, and volosts (towns with dependent villages). Like “guilds” of other parts of Europe, the category was specific to groups of people in commerce and providing merchant service. Unlike the usage in any other country, this was a tax status applied from central government.
The original division of Peter the Great in the eighteenth century, divided the merchant groups into:
          - a top tier of wealthy merchants, those in international trade, doctors, University professors    and  similar positions. (First Guild Merchants)
           - a second tier of  retail merchants, mill owners, factory owners, people who owned or leased commercial property of a certain value, et al. (Second Guild Merchants)
            - a third tier, abolished administratively before 1850.
Buying a First Guild Merchants license entitled a merchant with assets of not less than 15,000 rubles, to trade in Russia and abroad, participate in banking, insurance, and corporate endeavors, and to own factories, railroads, and merchant ships. This was a ranking that passed to your heirs. You paid 600 rubles for that license annually. An important perk of this soslovie/ tax ranking was that you were exempt from Conscription. But Guild Members still appear in conscription records. Since a Guild Member bought the status for his sons and for one son-in-law, it may be that the members were checked off with special attention to sons-in-law who did not carry the same surname.
Buying a Second Guild Merchants license required around half the price of the First Guild’s certificate, and you only were required to have assets valued at  6,000 rubles. Again the payment was due annually and with each renewal, you had to swear to the value of your assets. Pharmacists and other groups of professionals,  were moved from first to second guild at different time periods. This ranking also passed to your heirs. Second Guild Merchants were also levied into unpaid service for volosts (towns with dependent villages), grods (cities over a certain size), and uyezds (districts into which a guberniya was divided). That might include  tax collection, conscription boards, school boards, administrative courts, and more. Jews often did a comparable service for the Jewish administrative functions of their local  Kahal, using that service to preempt the time that would otherwise have been claimed by the mayors, governors, and district officials. It is not clear to me, the level of conscription exemption this level of Guild Merchant status provided. Again the ranking was purchased for the member, his sons, and one son-in-law.
If I had seen the tax lists with the word that was the most applicable, the Russian word “gildy”, it would have been evident. It turns out that I had been seeing the relevant terms in tax lists and birth registers. Kuptsy (plural, singular - kupetz)  which meant simply merchants, was used only for guild merchants in metrika (the vital registers off birth, marriage, divorce and death) and tax documents and communications with government officials.  Where some registers would describe the father or groom  as a meshane of Ostropol (or Lyubar, or whatever town in which the father was legally registered), some were described as a kupetz  of  his town.  When I created the Voters Lists for Ostropol and Lyubar from the published notices in 1906, I had seen several categories of Jews. Some were just listed as residents of Ostropol or Lyubar; some were listed with the tax statuses of “by trade,” “by property,” “by having an apartment,” “by trade, hereditary.”  A person listed “by property” might be a guild member but the last, “by trade, hereditary” was exclusively used for Guild Merchants. Just in testing this for the 1906 Ostropol Voter list, I find that we had 28 meshanin, 11 taxed for property, nine as Guild Merchants, and 1 taxed for an apartment. I also found that 1907 only does the tax divisions for the largest towns, and the  Ostropolers are all lumped together and so are the folks from Lyubar.  But we will see this in the 1906 Voters list and also in all of the individual tax lists of towns posted annually in the Volhynian gazette. So the 1906 Voters Lists for every part of the Russian Empire with that kind of data still available, has this ability to search for this valuable information. And so does the Volhynian Gazette material I am already searching. See our page on Researching in the Volhynian Gazette and Metrikas.
These are eight of the Guild Merchants among Ostropol’s Jews in 1906.
AGRIS, Leyzer (father's name included)
AINGORN, Zeidel (father's name included)
BRAVERMAN, Srul [father's name not included but known from other records]
FRIDMAN, Yankel (father's name included)
GILIK, Shaya (father's name included) 
KRIMER, Moshko  [father's name not included but presumed from other records]
PODZHAR, Moshko [father's name not included but presumed from other records]
RAKHMAN, Leyb (father's name included)

This list specifies thirteen people, the men and some of their fathers. The position was hereditary, so might have been bought for  them by an ancestor. If it was bought by just one generation previous, then it was bought for one particular person, his sons, and one son-in-law.
Owners of large Ostropol  properties and mills  including  Koteliansky, Pakman, and Grinfeld, were noted on this 1906 list, with the term of  property owners, which was reserved for commercial real estate of large size, not for every building in which a trade was conducted.  There were ten Jews on that second level list in 1906. Zeidel Aingorn is on the Guild Merchant list because he was  a pharmacist. Family report on Yankel Fridman says that he had a “colonial store” which sold upscale merchandise he picked out when traveling to Vienna and other European capitals. I am looking for information on how others in this list exercised their Guild Merchant status.

December 2018 - I have just written a new article with 95 Families who are Newly Listed with Kupetz / Guild Merchant Status in the 1850 Recruiting Documents. But this page is too full, so click here to see Page Two of Jewish Guild Merchants of Ostropol. 

Ordering Information on someone on this list. This is from the 1906 Voters List. You can get the extracted record by from ordering with this payment link for  Newspaper Lists of Conscription, Tax, and Voters   for 14.00 USD per individual's record. You can click on the same link in the big menu box on the side of this page. Or you can order the Voters list bundled free with my whole book on the Revision List of 1834 and its analysis,  by clicking Ostropol Revision List of 1834 AND Voters Lists of Ostropol and Lyubar 50.00 USD

Finding Your Ostropol Ancestor's  Guild Merchant Tax Status in 1836,
an extract from 
Ostropol’s Revision List of 1834:
Using the Entire List for New Info on Your Family 

by Deborah Glassman copyright 2018

There were fifty Jewish heads of family in 1834  who were Guild Merchants of the First through Third Ranks. The 1834 Revision List groups them all together. Several of them are noted with adult brothers who would have had the same status of "kupetz." Some of the people listed below were noted in the Revision List of 1834 as not present. and were  listed with the last date they were known to have been in Ostropol. Many of such absentees of April 1834, appear in the Supplements of October or December of 1834 or of 1837. When Guild Merchants are reported in the Supplement, there does not appear to be an indication of Guild Status, you just learn it from the original listing.

The list below has been alphabetized, that is it is not preserved in the  original sequence in this list. Sequence is a very important part of the Revision and Tax Lists, and by ordering your person's information from this list, you will get the full set of data on him and the members of his household in 1834 and what can be learned from sequence.

Other information included when you order - Full Name, Father's Full Name; Age in 1834; Age in Previous Revision List (1816 or a specific Supplement 1817-1827); other members of household and how they are related; male deaths in the household since 1816.

In the list that follows, multiple people with the same surname means that they headed separate households.  I have not yet added adult brothers in the same Guild Merchant households, and you will get the data on the brothers when you order the head of household, below.

Akselrood, Khaim;  Akselrood, Yankel;  
Beker, Moshko; Belduver, Berko; Bergman, Volf; Blumberg, Meer; Kirzner-Blumberg, Borukh;
Bresman, Shmul-Gersh; Bresman, Shaya-Volf; Brodski, Yos; 

Dzus, Borukh;Fuks, Sakhna;

Geis-Sheinfeld, Ruvin;Goldman, Eli-Movsha; Grunberg, Daniel;Gubernik, Srul Leyzer; Guler, Moshko;  Guler, Avrum; Guler, Meer;

Kaytan, Moshko; Kedeshovich, Yankel; Kibrun, Gdel;Kirzner-Blumberg, Borukh;

Ledin, Ovsheia; Nudelman, Ziler Volf;  Nudelman, Duvid-Itzka;

Okhetz, Mordko;  Oks, Mordko-Menasha; Ostri, Duvid;

Pedinker, Zelik; Polonski, Leyba; Rudstein, Moshko; Rutberg, Berko; 

Shain, Nakhman;Sherbarg, Shimen; Shlain, Shlioma Meer;Shpitz, Meer; Shuster, Nukhim; Shvartzer, Volf;  Shvartzman, Gershko; Sirota, Avrum;  Streiknik, Aizik;

Vayner, Aron;  Vayner, Yos; Vaysburd, Nusin Nuta;

Yebednik, Yos; Zaguki (Zaluki), Vol; Zigelbeim, Moshka;  Zigelbeim, Shaya; Zilberberg, Movsha-Ber; Zilberberg, Leyb; 

Ordering Information on someone on this list. This is from the 1834 Revision List. You can get the extracted record by from ordering with this payment link from Birth Registers and Revision Lists for 18.00 USD per individual's record. You can click on the same link in the big menu box on the side of this page. Or you can order my whole book on the Revision List of 1834 and its analysis by clicking  Ostropol Revision List of 1834 AND Voters Lists of Ostropol and Lyubar 50.00 USD

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