Russia Population

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Honorary Citizen

Sometimes, when you are viewing records, you will see that there is a column which denotes that someone belongs to a particular guild or level of guild. In addition, you may find the designation of an Honorary or Hereditary Honorary Citizen which was a special class between the nobility and the merchant or other lower classes.

The title Honorary Citizen or freeman (Pochetnyi grazhdanin in Russian) was given to individuals who reached a peak of performance in government service or did something of merit for the government or its citizens. This class could not be inherited as could the Hereditary Honorary Citizen. Further, the website ROOTS = SAKNES explains who was eligible for this type of urban status.

Not only commercial giants were given the designation, but also artists, musicians, teachers and scientists. A unique thing researchers can try is to search the LitvakSIG All Lithuania Database (Jewish) and use the search parameter of "Any Field" then either "honorary" or "hereditary". You will then get all of the names of individuals who were given the status of Honorary or Hereditary Honorary Citizen in the records. You will also note that sometimes the wives and children are mentioned as being related to an Honorary Citizen too.

Resident Books (obyvalet'skiye/domovye knigi)

The population was registered at their place of residence. Each person was then issued an internal passport that served as the major form of individual identification. During the imperial period they were called inhabitant books - obyvatel'skiye knigi and after the Revolution they were called home books - domovye knigi. They identify head of household, family members, ages, religion, occupation, address and former address.