The Marriage of Ans Ozolins and Margrieta Olm

In 1837 at Arlavas draudze…

  1. Ans Ohsolin (Ozolins), knechtjungen (bachelor farmhand) from Essern (Lubezere) Wilke, Gottarda (Gotthard) and his wife Anna’s son in Neuwacken (Jaunpagasta)estate, Namsche (Namsi) farm geborene (born) married with Greete (Grieta) Olm, knechtmadchen (unmarried female farmhand) at Nogallen (Nogales) estate, Brante (Branti) farm, Ottis and Juhle’s (Jule’s) T. (tochter =  daughter) in Laure (Lauris farm?) geborene (born). Both unmarried, he was 26 and she was 22.Untitled.jpg

The Marriage of Kristaps Ozolins and Grieta Nikodemus


Kristaps Ohsolin (Ozolins), jungen (bachelor) at Purrin (Purini) Farm, Essern (Lubezere) estate, son of Ans and his wife Margrieta, born at Smilkte (Smilkti) farm, marries Grieta Nikodemus, madchen (unmarried girl) at Purrin (Purini) farm, Essern (Lubezere) estate, daughter of labourer Tohms(Toms) and his wife Madlehne (Madlena), born at Maisit (Maizite) farm, Nogallen (Nogales) estate.

These lovely marriage records at Arlava draudze are nicely detailed, giving parents’ names, birthplace, ages, and even notations on where to find the bride and groom’s baptismal records. If you look after the vertical lines on the record above, it notes for Kristaps: ledig (not married), 20 jahr alt, 1841, then a bunch of numbers – the first is the record number of his baptism in the 1841 record book.

For Grieta though, it states: ledig, 22 jahr alt, 1839, 8 April, 54, 4 April in Nurmhusen. If she was born at Nogales estate, it makes sense that she would have been baptized at Nurmuiza (Nurmhusen) parish. But after searching through Nurmuiza’s books… Her baptism is nowhere to be found.

Curious, given the amount of detail provided in the marriage!!

Y3118 Positive

Results are in for the latest SNP test on Akerfelds DNA. We tested positive for the SNP Y3118. This places us in a nice little subclade filled with men from Southwestern Russia and Ukraine. Every SNP we test narrows down the options for “terminal SNP” and gives us a more and more specific group to relate to.
I haven’t posted too much about this concept, so I think a picture might suffice… Here’s a snippet from FamilyTreeDNA’s website – called a haplotree.
The term “MRCA” that is tossed around when talking about these clades refers to “Most Recent Common Ancestor” – and in this case, for the men of the Y3118 group, it’s about 2200 years ago. Which, unfortunately… is pretty far back. Like, Ancient Egypt, Rome, etc. Definitely too far back to ever trace. But still, it is amazing to believe that one man living at that point in history, probably somewhere in South Eastern Europe, lent his DNA to so many different lines, across Europe.
Next steps? Well, I can either keep picking away at individual SNP’s to see what known groupings we belong to. Another option is the oh-so-pricey Big Y – a complete sequencing of the Akerfelds Y chromosome. Individual SNP’s are definitely more my style. In the snippet below, you can see our next options, in blue. Some of these groups have a closer MRCA – 1300 years ago is the closest I’ve noted. That’s still too far to trace genealogically, however… Being that we seem to be the most northern member of this grouping of mostly Ukrainian/Southwestern Russian men, I think our opportunities for pinpointing a time in the past; an event, that brought this ancestor to serfdom in rural Latvia could be optimistic. A cossack soldier? A foreign noble, given land? A prisoner of war? A trader along the amber road?
As I’ve said before, this is still a new area of study. We are learning more and more every day about DNA, and each individual SNP and subclade and clade and how they correspond with different human migrations through history. Because research in this area is forever ongoing, for me DNA is a great investment, a gift that just keeps on giving!Untitled

My brain is taking a little break from Latvian genealogy at the moment. I’ve been off on a tangent into my father’s DNA after receiving his results. It’s probably for the better, I find I always uncover something new after taking a little break.

Research is not at a stand still however. Currently I am waiting on another set of results from Akerfelds Y DNA. So far, we are I-P37.2, then based on the results of other I-P37.2’s and where our results fit in, tested  S17250- and Y4460+. Now we are testing for Y3118, a SNP that defines one of three known subgroups of Y4460, categorizing us further into an even smaller subgroup. There are not many people in these groups – two or three at most, to date. One of the men in this category has Latvian/Germanic roots – it will be interesting to see where our results line up against his. The others seem to be from around the Balkans.

This is all relatively new information, new territory. It’s being researched and followed by a few online personalities and DNA haplogroup project administrators who are very helpful and enthusiastically knowledgeable. As more and more people test, more and more information is available and this is an area that will continuously change and grow – it’s part of what makes genetic genealogy so exciting to me.

I am guessing we will come out as Y3118-, leaving two other possible SNP definted subgroups for us to fit into: A-6105 and S-8201. A-6105 defines the other Latvian in the group.

Results due in 2-4 weeks from today…

The Kurši

I’ve spent a few weeks digging and digging in old church records from the Priekule – Liepaja – Durbe area looking for records of my Dzerve/Bitners/Ziverts family. More specifically, a baptism for my 2x great grandfather Indrikis Ziverts, a marriage for his parents – Klavs and an unknown mother, or baptisms for either a Jukums Dzerve or a Lavize Bitnere. I’ve been searching revision lists for them too, but to no avail. The search continues!

I did however, make a few small discoveries, thanks to some new fuel put on my fire by a new DNA match with family from the Grazmda area – who, almost amazingly to me, does not match at all with my other DNA match with ancestry in this tiny, rural area. I already knew that the majority of people in this region received surnames based on the farms they lived on – almost exclusively so, aside from a few families with Slavic and Germanic surnames. Bitners, Dzerve and Ziverts are no different, though I had previously theorized that Ziverts and Bitners could be my link to some Baltic German background. Bitneri farm exists to this day in Grobinas aprinki, there are plenty of Dzerve farms in the area, and as for Ziverts – there is a Ziverti farm near the coast, closer to Liepaja, and there is Kalnaziverti farm in Paplaka village.

The fact that I have two DNA matches from the same tiny group of villages who both match me but not each other tells me something – I likely have at least two separate family lines deeply rooted in the area. This excited me, because so far, I had no “family farm” to visit, should I ever make my way to Latvia one day. All my families seem to have moved around a good deal, and I wasn’t really sure if I could associate my roots with any one clear historical group of people from any part of Latvia just yet. But… I think it’s safe to say… some of my ancestors were ancient Curonians.

You can read all about the ancient Curonians with an easy Google search. They are a pretty exciting bunch to be related to!

Naming Illegitimate Children

I’ve been reading a little bit about illegitimate children, cross-religion marriages and the rules that came along regarding them. A great resource – IN ENGLISH! – to read is Bruno Martuzan’s site Roots-Saknes.

There’s lots of interesting facts there – including child support issues! But the one rule that struck me as being relevant for my research was the rules about surnames for illegitimate children. Illegitimate children took the surname of their mother, OR could invent a new one for themselves, so long as it didn’t coincide with a known noble family name. An interesting example given on Roots-Saknes is Baron von Osten-Sacken, who coincidentally owned some estate near Lieldzelda, and who’s family married in to the von Simolins baronial family of Lieldzelda. He took responsibility for one of his illegitimate children and gave him the surname Ostenek – not quite his own name, but definitely a nod to his biological roots.

Interesting, right? it’s definitely possible that the Akerfelds children of Ilze Grinberga were born and baptized with their mother’s surname – Grinbergs – and as they grew older, decided on the surname Akerfelds, which is why they are “alias Akerfelds”. This could explain the loose spelling habits of pastors recording the Akerfelds part of the name, since it would have been phonetic, and invented…

There are just two problems with this theory – 1. There’s an “Eichenfeld” family at Lieldzelda, as early as 1845, basically at the beginning of surnames in the area. And 2. Åkerfelt is a Swedish noble family that was living in Estonia, and likely would have been known to Latvians.

Some other less likely theories on the origins of the name right now:

-Ackerfeld/Akerfeld is the name of a Polish Jewish family. It seems the Polish Akerfeld family is concentrated in southern Poland – relatively far from Latvia, but could lend some weight to the I-P37 haplogroup case and our “sticky” southern matches.

-Akerfeldts are in Finland, as famously seen in Mikael Akerfeldt. The von Simolins family also branched out to Turku, Finland. But this is a stretch, in my opinion…