Document: Janis Sedols and Madde Strohmann

I took a stab at guessing that Ieva Sedols’ parents were married within 5 years of her birth and found a marriage record for Janis Sedols and Madde Strohmann (remember one of Ieva’s godparents is a Strohmann) in 1865 in Valtaiki. It looks like Janis was from Strebuki farm, Berghof (Kalnmuiza estate) and Madde was from Gobzemji farm, Oldenburg (Vecpils estate). Just to recap… Janis Sedols and Madde Strohmann are the parents of Ieva Sedols, who married Jekabs Grinbergs alias Akerfelds. Jekabs and Ieva are the parents of Janis Akerfelds who married Anna Ziverts and had 14 children, one of whom was Arvids Akerfelds. So Janis Sedols and Madde Strohmann are my great, great, great-grandparents.

Place of Interest: Valtaiki Lutheran Parish

Figuring out all the different estates and places in Embute parish really helped me out, so I figured I’d do the same for Valtaiki. I consulted the same old book (Das Curländische Privatrecht by Friedrich Georg von Bunge) as I did for Embute, as well as the church books and a map obviously. Some of the residents of these places may have attended Skrunda or Aizpute churches at some point in time or other, I’m sure. Valtaiki is a very small place today, while Skrunda and Aizpute are much larger.

Berghof (Kalnmuiza)
Oldenburg (Vecpils)
Kazdangen (Kazdanga)
Kalwen (Kalvene)
Perbohten (Perbone)
Laiden (Laidi)
Zilden (Cildi)
Gross Blenbienen (Blendiena)
Sergemiten (Sermite)
Wangen (Vanga)
Rudden (Rude)
Appussen (Kokapuze)
Ehnau (Enava)
Puhnen(Puni)
Neuhausen (Valtaiki)
Alt + Neu Pelzen (Vec + Jaun Pelce)
Alt + Neu Sexaten (Vec + Jaun Sieksate)
Kandeln (Kandeli)
Hemmessen
Bojendorff (Bojas)
Paddern (Padure)
Rudbahren (Rudbarzi)

Document: Ziverts Church Book Conundrum

**update: these findings have led me to take a closer look at Indriks’ baptismal record, and I’ve decided that I have the wrong one! I believe the surname here is “Straute” or something, (there are more of them in Embute) but not “Sivards” like I thought. Ziverts is usually “Sihwerts” or “Siewerts” in German anyway… Back to the drawing board for Indriks’ baptismal record!**

Going through the church books to find my Ziverts ancestors, I’ve come across a little bump in the road. Indriks Ziverts, my great great grandfather, is listed as the son of Karlis and Karline, of Backhusen estate. I have found a birth record (previously posted) for a Karlis Ziverts that fits the time period, a marriage for a Karlis Ziverts, and possible siblings for Indriks. Everything fit together at first glance… Except that the “siblings” and marriage I have found belong to a Karlis and KATRine(Ozolnieks), not KARLine. Also they’re listed at Dinsdorf estate, not Backhusen. No other signs of Karlis and Karline Ziverts. A transcription error by the priest who wrote the entry? Am I reading the name “Karline” wrong? Did the family move briefly to Backhusen, then back to Dinsdorf? Definitely not enough to hang my hat on.
I am going to check through the Gramzdas draudze church book, as some of the residents of some estates in the area seem to have attended this church instead of the further Embute, but I’m not sure what results this will yield as Backhusen is definitely closer to Embute.

**Sometimes making sure you have all the details, and a straight story can really help save you from making a big mistake and wasting a lot of time – good thing I didnt elaborate too far based on the first baptismal record I wanted to believe was Indriks’!**

More on Indriks Ziverts:
http://chelli11.wordpress.com/2011/09/17/indriks-ziverts/

Place of Interest: Embute Lutheran Parish

There are a few books, even on Google (e-books) that detail the Baltic German nobility and their estates and manors in Kurland. They are written in old German for the most part, but can be understood.

“Das curländische Privatrecht, wissenschaftlich dargestellt” By Friedrich Georg Bunge is just one such book. According to which, Ambothen Kirchspiel (Embute Parish) in 1617 consisted ofthese estates/manors/farms (which I will attempt to identify in contemporary Latvian names):

Abelnieki Abelneeken
Alšu Allschof
Nīkrace Klein Nikrazzen
Asīte Assieten
Bakūze Backhusen
Bāta Bathen
Brinki Gross Altdorf
Dāma Gross Dahmen
Dēsele Deseln
Dinzdurbe Diensdorff
Dzelzgale Dselsgaln
Elkuzeme Alt-Elkesem
Elkuzeme Elkesem
Embūte Amboten
Galķinte Galkitten
Grieze Groesen
  Bergbathen
Krōna Krohnen
  Lathen
Lieldzelda Gross Dselden
Mazdāma Klein Dahmen
Mazdzelda Klein Dselden
Meldzere Meldsern
Mugurkaula Muggerkaul
Nīgrande Nigranden
Nīkrace Gross Niekratzen
Nodegi Nodaggen
Pikuļi Pikeln
Priekule Preekuln
Sepene Seppen
Tukummuiza Tuckumshof
Vaiņode Wainoden
Vartāja Wartagen
Vībiņi Wibingen
Vormsāte Gross Wormsahten
Ventinieki Gross Windaushof
Ventinieki Klein Windaushof
  Aswinden
  Gulben
  Schmaisen
  Rauden
Plepju Pleppen
Dziras Dsirgen

Timeline: Indriks Ziverts

**update: I have decided that this is not the birth record of Indriks Ziverts. The surname looks to me more like “Strasds” or something to the like. There’s more of this surname in Embute. The rest of the info about Indriks here is accurate, but I do believe the search for his baptismal record is back on**

Indriks Straute

 

To me, it looks like this record has some Russian cyrillic letters mixed in with the German, but Indriks, as well as everyone else listed on the page has a “someone Von Lundberg” named in their baptism. A landowner/baron? The pastor? Sounds pretty German to me, so that would be my best guess. Along with Von Lundberg, I can make out Lize Berzins, and Indriks and Bille Jankowski (sp?) Jankowski is a guess, but there are other Jankowskis in the area. These 3 are godparents I assume? Not very helpful just yet but they may be good clues later.

Indriks married Jule Dzerve around 1895. From then on, they resided at Skrundenieki (according to the 1941 census).

Their first child, Klavs Schanis (sp?) was born one day in April 1896 at 11pm, at Skrundenieki. (I haven’t made out the exact day yet). He was baptised at Embute. His parents are both listed as Lutheran, and his godparents are Klavs Schanis Ziverts and Karlis Jekabsons.

Their second child Peteris was born November 28, 1897 at 10 am. He was baptised December 26, 1897 at Embute and his godparents were Peteris Ziverts, Karlis Jekabsons and Lawise Dzerve.

Their third child Fricis was born June 9, 1900 at 5am. He was baptised June 24, 1900 at Embute.

Their fourth child Arturs was born November 2, 1901 at 7pm. He was baptisted December 2, 1901 at Embute.

Their fifth child Lucija was born in Agugust of 1904 at 6pm (havent made out the day yet). She was baptised that October at Embute.

There were more children, the youngest, Ida was born in 1919 I believe. Again their birth information does not yield much useful information yet, but the godparents may be helpful later when I know more.

Combing through the Embute church books from 1852 back seems to be my only lead. I may finally have to take a crack at the revision lists on Raduraksti too. It does look positive that I may be able to find the next generation here. All I need to do is find the time to go through the records!

Timeline: Jekabs Grinbergs, alias Akerfelds

Jekabs Grinbergs alias Akerfelds was born around 1870, judging from his death record in 1904 at age 34. He married Ieva Sedols on November 14, 1892 at Embute Lutheran church.

Their first child Ernests was born April 1st, 1893 at 2 in the morning at Muizaraji farm in Lieldzelda (a little north of present-day Nikrace). He was baptised April 17th at Embute. Jekabs is listed as a worker, and both he and Ieva are recorded as Lutheran. His godparents are listed as Ernests Akerfelds (Hakenfeld) and his wife Annlise (was Ernests Jekabs’ brother?)

Their second child, Anna was born September 2nd, 1894 at 5 in the morning, also at Muizaraji farm. Her godparents are listed as Janis Sedols, worker and Katrine Sedols, servant. (Siblings of Ieva?)

Their third child is my ancestor Janis. He was born September 30th, 1898 in Nikrace pagast, according to his DP card. This has to be incorrect, as Nikrace did not exist at the time of his birth, rather it would have been Lieldzelda or Brinki. I cannot find his baptism record anywhere.

Their fourth child Martins was born in 1902 in Tomsk, Siberia. What were they doing in Siberia? Tomsk is a city, but also a region. This is the Martins that would eventually be deported back to Siberia.

Jekabs died back in Latvia in July 1904, leaving behind his four young children and a pregnant Ieva. His cause of death is listed as either lung or kidney disease.

 
 
 

Their fifth and final child Katte, was born November of 1904 at Cepli farm in Lieldzelda, a few months after her fathers passing.

It would be great to find some kind of clue to look for Jekabs’ baptismal record, or what farm/estate he was on prior to living at Muizaraji with Ieva. Anything really, to help point to his father. Likely, his father was a Grinbergs, and decided to call himself and his sons Akerfelds to help differentiate from the multiple other unrelated Grinbergs families. We will see, I guess!

 

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….