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Memorial Hall Library

Jewish Life Under the Tsars: Registration, Residence, Exit Routes

Alan Shuchat, Ph.D. Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston

Records from the Russian Empire show that people were often registered as citizens of one town but lived in another. What was the system of registration and residence permits under the tsars and later in the Soviet Union?  How were people divided into social estates?  How did our ancestors obtain steamship tickets and travel from their shtetls to the steamship ports?  How can these records and historical knowledge help us trace our families before they emigrated?

Dr. Shuchat will address what registration meant for Jews in the Russian empire, where Jews could and could not live, what is meant by The Pale of Settlement.
Alan Shuchat is a retired professor of mathematics at Wellesley College. He has researched his family’s history for several decades and traced branches back to around 1800.  Shuchat lectured on Jewish agricultural colonies in the Russian Empire at the 2013 IAJGS conference in Boston. He is the coordinator of JGSGB’s Ukraine Special Interest Group and teaches in JGSGB’s genealogy course.