Baptismal Record: Jule Dzērve

Dzerve, Jule - Baptism

 

(Gramzdas draudze, 1878, page 4, baptism #2)

No. 2. Dzenija Jule Ida
Born December 15, 1877 (Julian calendar) / December 27, 1877 (Gregorian calendar)
Daughter of Jukums Dzērve and his wife Lavīze, residents of Purmsāti estate
Baptized by Pastor Stegmanis at Gramzdas parish on January 9, 1878
Godparents: widow Jule Dzērve, maiden Lize Muceniece, bachelor Jānis Hilsen

Place of Interest: Elkuzeme/Elkesem Estate

While I haven’t been able track down a baptismal record for my great-great grandfather Indriks Ziverts, I have scoured the rest of the Embute church records and noted some other Ziverts/Sivert/Sihwert families. Andrejs and Anna Sivert were having children around 1850 at Amboten estate. Fricis and Anna Sihwert around 1900 at Backhusen. Otis and Lise Sihwert around 1875 at Dinsdorf, Karlis and Katrine Sihwert around 1873 at Dinsdorf. Heinrich and Betty Sivert around 1882 at Dsirgen. Klavs and Line Sivert at Brinkenhof around 1885.

The farther back I look though, earlier than 1850, it seems like some the Sivert families of Embute draudze lived at an estate called Elkesem, southwest of Amboten estate, just south of Asitten estate. Elkesem (modern Elkuzeme) is a little interesting, because as an estate it is comprised of only some 15 or so farms, when the average for an estate was around 35. Something about the name Elkesem also intrigues me – it is “Elks” or “idol” and “zeme” – “land”. Land of idols.

The area was severely damaged during WWII, at one time there was a train station there, on a track leading from a Lithuanian city (Mazeikiai) to Liepaja. Now there is a spring located there, called the Elkuzeme Eye spring.

While I cannot attribute my Ziverts ancestors to the Sivert families of Elkesem/Elkuzeme for sure until I find Indriks’ baptismal record, it is still a place worthy of noting!

The red A marker shows where Elkesem estate was. In comparison, you can see Embute, where the Lutheran church was, Dinsdurbe, which is old Dinsdorf estate, Bakuze, which is old Backhusen estate, and Nikrace, old Brinkenhof estate. Note in the southwest, Purmsati and Gramzdas estates. Purmsati is where Indriks

Ancestor Story: Where in the World is Jule Dzerve?

Jule Dzerve, mother of Arturs and Anna Ziverts was born December 29, 1877 in Purmsati pagast in western Latvia. Her parents were Jukums Dzerve and Lawise Bittner (her father’s name, a traditional Latvian one but her mother’s sounds more typically German). She was baptised “Jenny Jule Ida Dzerve” at the Gramzdas German Lutheran parish church. She married Indriks Ziverts June 18, 1895 (or so we can assume, since that is the date she began living at Skrundenieki farm {info gleaned from the 1941 Latvian Census}). She had 9 children that I know of: Karlis, Peteris, Fricis, Arturs, Lucija, Anna, Arnolds, Olga and Ida.
When her husband Indriks passed away (somewhere between 1920 and 1935), her son Arturs inherited the farm and was responsible for her care and upkeep for life, as per his father’s will and testament (also pinched from the 1941 Latvian Census).
Of course, she fled with her family in October of 1944. She turned 67 years old that year, and this must have been a very difficult journey for a senior citizen. She was with the Ziverts clan in Gotenhaufen/Kelsterbach/Friedberg/Bidingen/Dieburg between 1944 and 1946, and the last recording I have of her is a record of her leaving Dieburg for Darmstadt on October 21, 1946.
In most documents from the ITS I received about her, she is listed with Arturs, Katte and their children, but herself, Olga and Ida are usually listed after the main family, and may have had to fill out some of their paperwork separately as single persons.

Arturs and family left Germany in March of 1949, I know that since I have the SS General Langfitt’s Passenger Manifest. But no Jule, Olga, Irma or Ida.
I do also have a form that states that Olga and Irma were successfully resettled, going from Hochfeld DP Camp in Augsburg to Calesburg, North Dakota, USA on December 6, 1949. Why didn’t Irma go with her parents, Arturs and Katte? And what of Ida? (I remember reading somewhere that something was wrong with Ida and she could not work hard labor. I can’t remember where I read this and can’t find it again - can’t stress enough to importance of keeping your records straight!)
My theory is that Jule perished while in Germany. She would have been around 70 years old, in forced labor camps on tight rations. I just don’t know if she ever made it to the USA with her family.
I have written the ITS again regarding Jule… awaiting response..

A snippet from Arturs Ziverts IRO Assistance Application

A snippet from Arturs Ziverts IRO Assistance Application

Roadblock: Dzerve

Jule Dzerve was Arvids Akerfelds’ maternal grandmother. She was born December 29, 1877 in Purmsati pagast, not far from Nikrace and Embute, but was baptised in the Gramzdas parish church. “Jenny” is a German translation of the Latvian “Dzenija”.

Jule Dzerve's baptismal record in the Gramzdas Lutheran church book
Jule Dzerve’s baptismal record in the Gramzdas Lutheran church book

Her parents were Jukums Dzerve and Lawise Bittner, who were married in Gramzdas that same year.

Jukums Dzerve and Lawise Bittner's marriage record in the Gramzdas Lutheran church book

Jukums Dzerve and Lawise Bittner

Being that they were married in 1877, it could be assumed that they were around the age of 20 at the time, as was customary. So they would have been born around 1857. Unfortunately, a lot of church books are missing from this time period on Raduraksti, with only a few years available.
I could begin scouring the 1895 Russian census for Jukums and Lawise, assuming they stayed in Gramzdas. This will be time consuming, and will only give me birthdates of Jukums and Lawise, and maybe locations. Then hopefully those church books are still around, and will list their parents names. Their parents were alive during the naming process of Latvians….