Baptismal Record: Klavs Žanis Zīverts

Ziverts, Klavs Jeannot - Baptism (Embūtes draudze, 1892-1896, page 181, baptism #72)

72. Klavs Žanis
Son of Indriķis Zīverts and his wife Jule
Born at Skrundenieki farm, Brinkenhof estate
Born April 20, 1896 (Julian Calendar) / May 2, 1896 (Gregorian Calendar)
Baptized on June 2, 1896
Baptized at Embūtes parish
Baptized by Pastor K. Lundberg
Godparents: Klavs Žanis Zīverts, father of the master of farmstead and Kārlis Jekabsons

Baptismal Record: Pēteris Zīverts

Ziverts, Peteris - Baptism

(Embūtes draudze, 1897-1900, page 27, baptism #176

176. Pēteris
Son of Indriķis Zīverts and his wife Jule
Born at Skrundenieki farm, Brinkenhof estate
Born November 28, 1897 (Julian Calendar) / December 10, 1897 (Gregorian Calendar)
Baptized on December 26, 1897
Baptized at Embūtes parish
Baptized by Pastor K. Lundberg
Godparents: Pēteris Zīverts, Kārlis Jekabsons and Lavīze Dzerve

Baptismal Record: Fricis Zīverts

Ziverts, Fricis - Baptism

(Embūtes draudze, 1897-1900, page 116, record #4)

4. Fricis
Son of Indriķis Zīverts and his wife Jule
Born at Skrundenieki farm, Brinkenhof estate
Born June 9, 1900 (Julian Calendar) / June 22, 1900 (Gregorian Calendar)
Baptized on June 24, 1900
Baptized at Embūtes parish
Baptized by Pastor K. Lundberg
Godparents: Matiss Radzins, his wife Anette and Jānis Zarins

Baptismal Record: Arturs Zīverts

Ziverts, Arturs - Baptism

(Embūtes draudze, 1901, page 22, record #152)

152. Arturs
Son of Indriķis Zīverts and his wife Jule
Born at Skrundenieki farm, Brinkenhof estate
Born November 2, 1901 (Julian Calendar) / November 15, 1901 (Gregorian Calendar)
Baptized on December 22, 1901
Baptized at Embūtes parish
Baptized by Pastor K. Lundberg
Godparents: Parents of the child

Baptismal Record: Lucija Zīverte

Luzija Ziverts, Baptism(Embūtes draudze, 1904, page 21, baptism #143)

143. Lucija
Daughter of Indriķis Zīverts and his wife Jule
Born at Skrundenieki farm, Brinkenhof estate
Born August 27, 1904, 1904 (Julian Calendar) / September 9, 1904 (Gregorian Calendar)
Baptized on October 9, 1904
Baptized at Embūtes parish
Baptized by Pastor K. Lundberg
Godparents: Parents of the child

Baptismal Record: Jānis Alberts Zīverts

Ziverts, Janis Alberts - Baptism(Embūtes draudze, 1908, page 19, baptism #128)

128. Jānis Alberts
Son of Indriķis Zīverts and his wife Jule
Born at Skrundenieki farm, Brinkenhof estate
Born November 19, 1908 (Julian Calendar) / December 2, 1908 (Gregorian Calendar)
Baptized on December 20, 1908
Baptized at Embūtes parish
Baptized by Pastor K. Lundberg
Godparents: Jānis Zvejs, his wife Jule and Evalds Vīlerts

 

Baptismal Record: Anna Zīverte

Ziverts, Anna - Baptism

(Embūtes draudze, 1906, page 21, baptism #143)

143. Anna
Daughter of Indriķis Zīverts and his wife Jule
Born at Skrundenieki farm, Brinkenhof estate
Born December 1, 1906 (Julian Calendar) / December 14, 1906 (Gregorian Calendar)
Baptized December 20, 1906
Baptized at Embūtes Parish
Baptized by Pastor K. Lundberg
Godparents: Pēteris Zīverts, Jānis Zvejs and his wife Jule

The Origin of the Surname “Ziverts”

Forgive me, this is going to be somewhat of a rambling post – hope it’s not too hard to follow my train of thought!!

My great-great grandfather Indrikis Ziverts was born around 1875 (judging from his wife Jule Dzerve’s birth year – 1877). As to where is still a mystery. I have not found a record of his baptism yet. He purchased Skrundenieki farm on Brinkenhof estate in 1895. At this time he was already married to 17-year-old Jule Dzerve. Where did they marry? I’m not sure, but Jule was from Purmsati estate, Gramzdas draudze – south and west of Brinkenhof. In 1896, Indrikis and Jule had their first child – a son – at Skrundenieki. His name was Klavs Jeannot, and he was baptized at Embutes draudze, named for one of his godparents: Klavs Jeannot Ziverts, who is listed on the baptism as “father of the master of the farm”. So Indrikis’ father’s name is Klavs..?

There was only one other Klavs Ziverts besides Indrikis’ son at Brinkenhof estate. The revision list for Brinkenhof tells me that he came to Kalna farm at Brinkenhof from Nodegi estate (west) in 1883 with his wife, Line (who he had married at Embute draudze in 1881) and his daughter Matilde (born at Nodegi and baptised at Embute in 1882). Klavs and Line had 2 more children before 1890 who were baptized at Embute, whilst the family was living at Vanagi farm in Brinkenhof. The revision list also tells me that his father’s name was Lauris and mother was Margreete.

Searching back further for Klavs, in the Brinkenhof revision list again, he appears with his father Lauris, mother Margreete and 4 siblings, arriving at Brinkenhof, Mucenieki farm from Paplaka estate around 1858. While Lauris and family remained at Brinkenhof, Klavs, aged 17, left almost immediately for Dizdroga, or Lieldroga estate. The residents of Lieldroga seem to have attended north Durbe draudze, but there is no record of Klavs to be found there. There are no revision lists on Raduraksti for Lieldroga, or Nodegi, or Paplaka for that matter. When Klavs married Line at Embute, he was 40 years old. Line was 19. Was Klavs married before? It seems likely. My theory is that Klavs had another wife who passed away, and some children sometime between 1858 and 1881. My Indrikis could have been one of these children.

If I can find them, and prove this, I will know my Ziverts family line back further than the year 1800. I have found Klavs’ older brother Adams’ baptism at Virgas draudze. The residents of Virgas draudze did not take surnames until midway through the year 1837. However, luckily for me, “Lauris” is a fairly uncommon name – he’s actually the only one I’ve found so far – so finding Adams, son of Lauris and Margreete, was relatively easy even without surnames. Adams was born, the first son of Lauris, wirt (landowner or master of the farm) of Čakšes farm, and his wife Margreete in 1836.

Knowing that Adams was their oldest son, (from the Brinkenhof revision lists) I guessed that Lauris and Margreete were likely married a few years prior to his birth. I found their marriage in 1834 at Virgas draudze. In another stroke of luck, Virgas kept detailed marriage records. Lauris was the son of Janis, wirt of the farm Kalna Ziverti in Paplaka estate and his wife Lise. Margreete was the daughter of Evalds, son of wirt of Pleiku farm in Purmsati estate (I can find what Margreete’s surname would have been , if I can locate a sibling’s baptism based on the knowledge that they probably lived at Pleiku farm and the parent’s names) and Marija.

So Lauris was married in 1834. My guess at his year of birth is 1811-ish. Based on his year of birth, his father Janis was probably born somewhere within the years 1770 and 1790. Now, to find Janis’ baptism would be especially difficult, since I don’t know his parent’s names ahead of time. I could try to find a Janis born at Kalna Ziverti within that time period, but Janis is just so common of a name, and I don’t know if he purchased Kalna Ziverti or was born there, that I just wouldn’t be able to say for sure if I had the right baptism..

What’s interesting is that I traced these Ziverts back to a farm names Kalna Ziverti. Which name came first? The farm or the family? I have a few theories:

  1. The family took their name from the farm. Janis was the first to adopt the name, and all of his sons inherited it as well. Perhaps the farm was first named for some German landowner with the name Sieberts/Siewerts, years earlier.
  2. The family IS the old German Baltic landowner family, originally named Sieberts/Siewerts and they named their farm after themselves.

Given that Janis Ziverts owned Kalna Ziverti BEFORE laws were passed making it easier for peasants to purchase land, I am almost inclined to believe theory number 2. Also, the fact that Janis Ziverts, his son Lauris, and great-grandson Indrikis all were able to purchase land indicate that the family might have had some money. Klavs doesn’t seem to have actually owned a farm, but is listed as “Hofesleute” or “manor-dweller” on his 1883 Brinkenhof Revision list record. But without further research, I won’t count my chickens before they hatch! I must find Indrikis’ baptism. That is priority #1 for the research of the Ziverts line!

Place of Interest: North Durbe Parish

Hunting for records of my Indriks and Klavs Ziverts during their time at “Dizdroga” estate, I began combing through the Durbe church books.

It seems like there were a couple different “Drogas” – Lieldroga/Gross Drogen, Mazdroga/Klein Drogen, Vecdroga/Alt Drogen, Krusat-Droga/Krusat Drogen, and apparently Dizdroga/Disch Drogen (although I have yet to find Dizdroga on a map)

To my suprise, not only did I find residents of Droga at Durbe, but also surnames Sihwarts, Strohmann and Sedols.

In 1872, I found the marriage of Heinrich/Indrikis Siverts and Betty Ozolins. These two eventually moved to Dsirgen estate and baptised a few children there in the German congregation. Heinrich/Indrikis and Betty are named godparents in one of Klavs’ (father of my Indriks) and his second wife Lina’s children, also baptised in the German congregation. A hint I’m on the right track?

Perhaps I should have been looking in Durbe a long time ago!

Other interesting surnames of North Durbe parish: “Nimrod”, “Makbeth”. Someone was a Shakespeare buff! Haha.

Also of interest: Durbe is home to the first set of triplets I’ve come across – in 1877 born to a Jaunzemis family!

Document: Skrundenieki’s Land File – Sneak Peek

I was able to get a glimpse of the highlights of Skrundenieki’s official land record from the Latvian State Historical Archives.

I know this is repetition, but laws passed in the 1860’s allowing people to purchase farms, rather than having all land owned by German nobility. Skrundenieki was first purchased in 1882 by a “Perkons” family, and was probably sold by Alexander von Simolins – Wettberg. I know of Alexander already, since he baptised a daughter at Embute while living at Lieldzelda in 1842. Going along with the Lieldzelda connection – a “Kristaps Akkerfeld” is mentioned in this sale, possibly as a witness to the exchange of money.

In 1895, Skrundenieki was sold for 5019 roubles to the Ziverts family, from Perkons. This is the same year I suspect my great, great grandfather Indriks Ziverts married his wife Jule Dzerve (she would have been 18). The very next year in April 1896, Indriks and Jule baptised their first son Klavs Jeannot at Skrundenieki, and named Klavs Jeannot Ziverts, “wirt” or “landowner” as his godfather. I long suspected this Klavs was my Indriks’ father. Now there is more evidence in this land file. When Indriks, son of Klavs passed away, ownership of Skrundenieki passed to my great, great uncle Arturs Ziverts, in 1930. So it is likely Indriks died in 1929 or 1930.

The good news is: I have already done my research on this Klavs, suspecting he could be my great, great, great grandfather: He was born in Paplakas estate December 12, 1941. His father, Lauris and mother Margreete moved to “Mucenieki” farm in Brinkenhof estate in 1858. The same year, 17 year old Klavs left for “Dizdroga” estate. From Dizdroga he went to Nodega. In 1881, 40 year old Klavs married 19 year old Lina Grinbergs. They welcomed a daughter in 1882 while at Nodega estate. July 16, 1883 they moved back to Brinkenhof, “Vanagi” farm. And I suppose after that, to Skrundenieki!

The bad news: Indriks must be from an unknown first marriage of Klavs, maybe at Dizdroga estate, maybe Nodega, maybe even an unknown place. No revision lists exist for these two. Nodega residents are usually recorded at Embute church, but there is no sign of Klavs there. Indriks could have been born anywhere. My next step is scan the Durbe churchbooks for such a marriage, or Indriks baptism, and hope that Klavs didn’t move around too much more than I know!