Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Professions of David Orel Kruvand (1805-?)

Below are some index records I found on Ancestry pertaining to my third great grandfather, David Orel Kruvand. I do not believe the original records are accessible anywhere online, yet. 

The first record is from 1840, and the second 1852. In those 12 years he went from being a Miller to being a Butcher. What caused this change of occupation? What happened to the mill? Nothing certain, but one can certainly imagine several hypotheses.  In the first record - a census - he was 35 years old, and the second 47. It seems rather late in life, in that era, for a career change. But it is possible the mill belonged to his father, and he was not successful in keeping it up.  Or one of a multitude of other possibilities.

I recently found both records in a search, but it is interesting to speculate what I, or another genealogist, might conclude if only one record had turned up. If one only knew about his job as a Miller, one might conclude the family was, if not wealthy, successful. The physical requirements of a mill probably limited the number of millers in a town, and limited competition. This is not necessarily the case for butchers. So his success as a butcher might have depended upon the amount of competition he had as well as his skills. 

Butcher is a slightly humorous occupation for him to have gone into. Why? I learned a few years ago that the Lithuanian word, "Kruvinas," means 'bloody," and the town Kruvandai was named after a particularly bloody war. Kruvandai is near Cekiske, and everyone in town would have known from where the family got their surname. But there would likely have been a slight chuckle among residents that someone with that surname was a butcher. Under Kosher dietary laws blood has to be drained from meat, so "Kruvand meat" might have had negative connotations, even if everyone understood the origin of the surname.

I don't know yet when David Orel Kruvand passed away. The next generation started immigrating to America in the 1870s and 1880s.

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