Calling All Descendants of Wisconsin Latvians!

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, Mandeiķis)

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 (Pētersons)

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 (Šulcs)


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).

8 comments on this post.
  1. Christine:

    I sent you an email.


    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

  3. Jeff Krauklis:

    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.

  4. Holly:

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

  5. Barbara Mondeik:

    Here is another link referencing George Mondeik.

  6. Mildred (Rusty) David Piekarski:

    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.

  7. Barry Brikowski:

    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

  8. Michelle:

    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.

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