My 3x Great Grandmother: Ilze Grinberga

The newest test results in my emerging Akerfelds Surname Study are in! Lata Grinberga was indeed a full sister of my 2x great grandfather Jekabs Akerfelds and his recently confirmed brother Ernests, confirming a theory I’ve had for almost a decade!

GrinbergsChart

Lata was born in July 1872 to unwed “madchen” or maiden Ilze Grinberga at Gruzenieki farm, Lieldzelda estate. Godparents were Lata Kristhold, Margrieta Ehrlich and her son Ernests Ehrlich.

Lata Grinberga

Because it specifies that Ilze was never married, it’s safe to say she was unmarried as well for the earlier births of the 4 Akerfelds men who’s baptismal records are lost in the church book gap at Embute.

Ilze went on to have one last daughter, a sixth child. Liba Grinbergs, born March 1878 at Padambji farm at Lieldzelda. Her godparents were Lata Ehrlich, Ilze Veidemane and Karline Ehrlich.

Liba Grinbergs

Ilze herself was born in 1842 with a twin sister Karline at Klavi farm, Dinsdurbe estate, not far from Lieldzelda. Her parents were Jekabs Grinbergs and his wife Jule (though her nam might also be Ilze, this might be a typo), godparents Karl Jankowsky, his daughter Ilze, and Lize Linke.

IlzeKarline

Lata’s great grandson’s DNA results also yielded a surprising amount of Jewish cousin matches. Ernests Akerfelds’ great grandson’s DNA test also had significant matches to Ashkenazim, but I had written it off as another family line, since there are only a handful of Jewish ties amongst mine, my mother’s and her second cousin’s results. But as I was poking around possible Jewish links, I noticed something… Some of the earliest surnames that appear in Lutheran churchbooks from Embute from Lieldzelda estate are Treiguts, Ehrlichs, Gutmans, Rozentals. Latvian names of German background, at first glance, but… I realized that in the nearby town of Aizpute, with a large Jewish community since the 1500’s, had Jewish families recorded with surnames Erlich, Guthmann, Traugott, Rosenthal. Greenberg…

Is the Grinbergs family descended from Jews who converted to Lutheranism? Or was the mystery father, Ilze’s long time partner, perhaps Jewish, and this is why they never married?? One commonality between the two baptisms of Ilze’s children is their Ehrlich godparents… this could be because they were the heads of the farms Ilze lived on. Or… maybe they were related to the father?

The direct Akerfelds male line being I-P37 points in a different direction than Ashkenazim, and could still point the finger at the family who owned Lieldzelda estate, but you never know what women married in to the line along the way…

More questions, as usual! A 150 year old paternity mystery to solve… and I am determined to do so!

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