The 1724 Rural Census of Bohemian Jewry
The 1724 census of rural Bohemian Jewry is a remarkable endeavour both for its fledgling use of modern statistical techniques and its geographic comprehensiveness. The enumeration of more than 3,300 household heads lists district and place of residence, house number, number of family members, and trade. The lecture provides a brief overview of the long and short-term motives, as well as the circumstances, preceding the census, examines its content, and evaluates its relevance for research into family genealogy. Analysis of the data provides insight into the social and economic structure of Bohemian Jewry allowing for comparison with a later 18th c. cadastre (1783) and census (1793). The lecture concludes with an non-conventional assessment of the impact of the pharaonic Family Decree of 1726 which, following on the heels of the 1724 census, imposed a numerus clausus on Jewish family size in the Bohemian Crowned Lands.
||Ella Fitzgerald B|