Was one of your ancestors an early Latvian migrant to the United States that settled in Wisconsin in the late 19th and early 20th century (roughly between 1885 and 1910)? More specifically the rural northern county of Lincoln? Were they a member of the Latvian community in Gleason or the surrounding area?

If so, I want to hear from you! I’m doing a research project on the Wisconsin colony of Latvians for the Latvians Abroad Museum and Research Centre this spring, and am looking to make contacts amongst the descendants of these Latvians, collect stories, and so on.

Using the 1910 US Federal Census, I was able to formulate this list of Latvians who were living in the area – specifically the townships of Birch, Russel and Schley – in 1910. I don’t expect that it is exhaustive (nor do I expect that the spellings are all correct, but I’m using what was in the Census documents and have suggested alternatives), so even if your ancestor is not on this list, but lived in the area at that time – please contact me! If you know anyone who has Latvian roots in this area, pass this information along to them!

Wisconsin Latvians, as per 1910 US Federal Census:

APPAS, Matilda
ARDER, Eduard, Dora, William, Lillian
BATE, Theodore, John, Martin, Jacob, Theodore, John, Julia
BAUMAN, John, Amelia, Pauline, Albert, Anna, Roland (Baumann, Baumanis)
BENISH, Martin, Lizzie, Amelia, Erna, Ina, Harry
BERKOSKI, William, William
BOLDAR, George, Dorthea, Richard, Ida, Armine
BREEDIS, Hans, Minnie, Hans (Briedis)
BRIGSMA, John, Corline, Harry, Alvine, George, Lizzie
DAGEN, Martin, Mary, Albert, Adolph, William, Lena
EGLET, Nicholin, Minnie, Charles (Eglit, Eglītis)
ESSALING, Ernest, Lizzie, Ernest (Esaliņš)
FRIEDENFELD, Fred, Amelia, Vera, Anna, Carl
GOTOFF, John, Minnie, Augusta
GUSTIN, Eddie (Gustiņš)
GUTMAN, Jacob, Annie (Gutmann, Gutmanis)
HALLAKIS, William, Mary, Oscar
HOHN, John
HOLSTIN, Charles
INKOS, Janis
JESLAVITZ, George, Minnie, Lizzie, Anna, August, Albert, Amelia, Hans, Ava (Jeslavics, Jeslawitz)
JOHNSON, Charles, Margareta, May (Janson, Jansons)
KANAPKA, William
KAULIN, Eduard (Kaulen, Kauliņš)
KIRSH, Fredie (Kiršs)
KLEINBERG, Sam, Jule, Pauline, Fred, Christ
KRAUKLIN, Julius, Lizzie (Kraukliņš)
KRAUKLIS, George, Louisa, Julie, Lena, George, Minnie, Albert
KRISCHE, David, Wilhelmina, Helen, Anna
KRISH, Martin, Minnie (Krišs)
KURWITZ, Jacob, Anna, Elmer (Kurvics, Kurvitz, Kurvītis))
LUHS, Otto, Louisa, William
LUTZMAN, Hans, Lena, Charles, Mary
MANDICK, John, Kate, Alma, Joe, Mary, Fred, Christ, Emilia (Mondeik, MandeiÄ·is)
MOLLER, Theodore, Anna, Theodor, Minna, Irene, Theodor, Delphan
ORMAN, Fritz, Carrie, Christ, John, Anna, Lena, Anna
OSOLIN, John, Anna, John, Willie, Mildred, Albert (Osoling, Ozolin, Ozoliņš)
PETERSON, John, Mary, Mary, Carrie, Harry (PÄ“tersons)
PETRES, Christ, Katie, Christ, Selma
PETROWSKI, Joe, Anne (Petrovski, Petrovskis)
PIKKE, Bradik, Anna, Fritz, Anna
PUTNESS, Charles, Julia, Olga, Christ
RADONUH, Joseph, John
REINSON, Peter, Alice, Pauline, Alvine, Eduard, Anna (Reinsons)
ROMAN, William
ROMOWSKI, Michael (Romovski, Romovskis)
RONIS, John, Annie, Amelia, Charles, George, Jack, Annie, Johan
SACKMAN, Otto, Katherine, Ava, Sam
SARIN, John, Carathass, Charles, Martin, Bertha (Sarrin, Sarring, Saring, Zarin, Zariņš)
SAYS, Henry, Leba, Mary, Julia, Mike
SCHNARSKY, Joseph, Castince, Joseph, Ferdinand
SCHULTZ, George, Mary, Lena, Anna, John, Elsie (Å ulcs)
SELTMAN, Charlie, Julie (Seltmann, Zeltmanis)
SEYES, Julia
SMEDUL, George, Louisa, William, Pauline (Smedull, Smedulis)
SOMMIE, Albert, Gust, Metleena, Jacob, Albert
SPROGIS, Emilia, August, Emily, Nathalie, Greta
STAHL, Nick, Margarete
STALLIKAS, George, Mary, Mary, Theodore, Anna, George
STEIN, Hans, Amelia, Hans, Fritz, Elsie, William, Lizzie, August, Leona, Pauline, Emma, Fritz, Amelia, Olga, Lillian, Oswald
SUMMER, Anton, Amelia
SUTTE, Martin, Anna, Amelia, George, Jacob, Mary, Mildred, John, Anna (Zute, Zutis)
SWIRBULL, John, Mike (Zvirbulis)
TRIEMAN, Jacob, Anna, Alvina
WELDOM, Charles, Anna, Rudolph, Alfred, Chris, Eva, Amelia, Albert
WENZSLOW, Hans, Amilie, Amilie, John, Olga, Theodore, Nettie
ZAKIS, August
ZEELAW, Woldmar (Cielavs)
ZEMEL, Peter, Anna, Hermine (Ziemelis)
ZEROL, Martin, Leona, Fred, Augusta (Cerulis)

If one of these people is your ancestor, or you have other Latvian ancestors from turn-of-the-century Wisconsin, please comment here, or email at (image to prevent spam, please type it into your email program).

Calling All Descendants of Wisconsin Latvians!
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9 thoughts on “Calling All Descendants of Wisconsin Latvians!

  • January 24, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    I sent you an email.

  • February 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I, Glenn, am a great grandson of PIKKE, Bradi and, Anna.
    Grandson of Fred and Grace Pike
    Son of Dorothy Richardson, nee Pike
    I have seven children:
    Ada Yatzeck (husband of Daniel), offspring: Henry and Abigail

  • February 17, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Are you still collecting data? My family is listed above – they come from Town of Schley in Lincoln County. I just came across this page now.

  • February 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Please contact me via email. I have some information and a contact person who has been researching the Gleason area.

  • April 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    My Great-grandfather was Hans Wenzeslow; born in Latvia in 1866 and came to the U.S. in 1893. Settled at Burlington, Iowa, where he pursued the occupation of carpenter and cabinet maker. Seven years later he moved to Heller where he began operation of a farm. He moved to the town of Birch in 1912. Passed away in Merrill, WI in 1937. Hans was the father of Emelia, Olga, John,Theodore, Jake, Raplh, Alvina (Peggy), and Ethel. I beleive he was married twice (to sisters) with Emelia, Olga, and John being from the first marriage in Latvia. I am the grand-daughter to Olga.
    Hope this is of some value to you. I’m just begining my search at age 72 and unfortunately, there are no family members left for me to ask questions of.

  • May 18, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Hi, My family is related to John Brikowski, his brother William is my great grandfather. I have an article in Latvian that explains their story a little. get back to me and I can email a copy to you.
    Thanks, Barry Brikowski

  • September 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I am a great-granddaughter of William Kanapka. I also have an article with our family in it in Latvian that we can’t read. There are may cousins in the area as William and Elizabeth (Gegner-widowed in Lithuania) Kanapka had 5 children together (6 total with Elizabeth’s first son born with her first husband in Lithuania.

  • October 26, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Hi, I may be a descendant of Otto Luhs. The information I have is his father’s name was David Michael Luhs and his mother’s name was Helena Block. My grandfather, his son’s name is Christian Eugene Luhs.
    I’ve been struggling to find more information about Christian’s father. This might be him. Just don’t know.

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