REVIZSKIE SKAZKI (revision lists)


They were kept between 1719 and 1858 to support a national poll tax and enumerated 95% of the population in household groups. In 1718, Peter I ordered the poll tax to shift the taxation basis from households to individuals. An 80-kopeck annual tax was imposed on all male persons of the lower classes. Nobility, clergy, government officials, military, and the higher strata of the urban population were exempt, about ten percent of 19th century Tzarist Russia. Ninety percent of Russia's population was rural peasants. Separate volumes were kept for the different classes of society: dvorianstvo - nobility; dukhovenstvo - clergy; kupechestvo - merchant; meshchane - urban dweller; krest'iane - peasant; inorodtsy - native peoples; and kazaki - Cossacks. Each class had its own representative body, among these the Noble Assembly, the Merchants and Tradesmen Councils, and corresponding government institutions for peasant affairs. In accordance with these classes, various state and class institution records groups also were created. Jewish records are found mainly in merchants and urban dwellers. The merchant class was limited only to the most affluent. Urban dwellers included townsmen, petty bourgeois merchants, craftsmen, and workers in villages, small towns and urban areas. Each census required several years for processing.


Most Jewish records will be found in these Revision lists that form the main source for genealogical information about urban and rural inhabitants, particularly towns, settlements, and villages. The majority population recorded on these revision lists was unprivileged townsmen, petty bourgeois merchants, craftsmen, workers, and rural peasant farmers, the majority. These taxpayers’ population lists were compiled between 1719 and 1858, generally every ten to twenty years, in every town and district or surrounding rural area. Between censuses and after 1858, additional revisions were done in which persons skipped during the previous census were recorded. Additional lists were made from 1860-1900. These revision lists, arranged by guberniya, uezd, and smaller administrative units, are found in 500-1000 page volumes. Names of small cities, towns, and villages usually are not indicated in the volume title.

·        1st Revision - 1719 (Vitebsk and Mogilev only)

·        2ndRevision - 1743

·        3rd Revision - 1761-1767, first to include females

·        4th Revision - 1778-1787, first conducted by the region fiscal chamber (kazionnaia palata), established 1775 to handle income and expenses of governmental institutions, collect taxes, and conduct revisions.

·        5th revision - 1794-1808

·        6th revision - 1811-1812 recording by separate "estate" (social class) began

·        7th revision - 1815-1825 nobility and clergy no longer enumerated

·        8th revision - 1833-1835, noted changes in families during the interim between revisions

·        9th revision - 1850-1852, noted changes in families during the interim between revisions

·        10th revision - 1857-1859, noted changes in families during the interim between revisions


Local population censuses in the Russian Empire after 1858 were local censuses of households in provincial towns, villages, and rural areas conducted on a random basis. Local taxpayer lists and bank client books, including petty bourgeois townsmen, also may be of use in Jewish research of Belarus.


PEREPIS 1897 (1897 All-Russia Universal Census)


This was Tzarist Russia's only universal census and detailed information about the householder and his family members for the first time. Conducted on January 28, mid-winter saw the least population mobility. The census tabulated the following: name, age, sex, family relationship, social class, occupation, religion, native tongue.


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