This is part of my series of interesting newspaper articles that I find in the old Latvian newspapers available through Periodika. Most of the articles I post are in some way related to migration, wars or other events that are of particular genealogical note.
Source: Latvijas Sargs (Latvian Guard), February 15, 1922
Looking for Heirs
The Latvian delegation from the United States has announced that a Francis Pipins, son of Donats, belonging to the Izabelinska parish [NB: later known as Skaista parish], Daugavpils county, has died and left an inheritance. As heirs they are looking for Antons Pipiņš and Rosols Pipiņš. More information is available from the Foreign Ministry’s Western section.
The Latvian delegation in the United States is also looking for the relatives of deceased sailor Jose Rozentāls, so that they can be paid a $1500 insurance settlement. Rozentāls was serving on the ship SS Florence. Relatives of J. Rozentāls can turn to the Foreign Ministry’s Western section.
The Latvian consular agent in Vancouver has announced that they are looking for the heirs of a Jānis Pasts (who died in Canada), and who are eligible to receive several hundred dollars by submitting notarized documents proving a relationship and a power of attorney to the Foreign Ministry, who will send the documents to the consular agent. The aforementioned Jānis Pasts was in Siberia in about 1910, from there travelled to San Francisco, and in about 1915 moved to Canada. He was injured in a mine and died in the Prince Rupert city hospital on October 14, 1918. The deceased belonged to Laicene parish in Valka county.
The Foreign Ministry’s Western section is asking for the parents or close relatives of G. Bērziņš to contact them to receive an inheritance. G. Bērziņš died serving in the Australian army.
Heir hunting can be a big business in the modern era, but it was also important in years past. Here we have four separate cases – two of Latvians in the United States, one of a Latvian in Canada, and one of a Latvian in Australia, with varying amounts of information about the deceased. The information on the last one – a “G. Bērziņš” – is particularly thin, especially when you consider that Bērziņš is one of the most popular Latvian surnames. However, the website Russian Anzacs by Elena Govor provides some more information on someone who is quite likely this individual. The website tells us that his first name is George (in Latvian would be Juris or Georgs), he was born on January 31, 1892 in Valmiera. He arrived in Australia in 1911 on the ship Socotra and was a labourer in Broken Hill. He was killed in action on August 4, 1916, presumably in France, based on his place of burial (Serre Road Cemetery No. 2). I wonder if George’s parents knew that he had made it all the way to Australia, only to return to Europe and be killed in the First World War?