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52 Ancestors #3: Ieva Līcīte

Time for Week 3 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge! As noted in my first post of this challenge, I am starting with my most ancient known ancestors. However, this week’s ancestor is a bit more recent than the others!

This week’s ancestor is Ieva Līcīte. I do not know her precise birth or death dates. My best evidence shows that she may have been born on May 15, 1843, but this may or may not be correct. This is the only listing for an Ieva Līcīte in the parish that her son was born in in 1866, and the father’s name listed, Brencis, is the name of my Ieva’s son (my great-grandfather Brencis). So there’s a good chance that it is the same woman. If this is the case, her mother’s name is Maija, and she was born on Sece estate, Šlūke farm. Sece estate is in southern Latvia, south of the Daugava river, between Jaunjelgava and Jēkabpils.

I do not know very much about Ieva’s life, but I do know that she gave birth to a son, my great-grandfather Brencis, out of wedlock on August 12, 1866. Who she had this child with is a mystery, but family lore has it that when Brencis grew up and moved to Krustpils, he had a pile of money. Short of robbing a bank, there are not many ways how a young illegitimate peasant could have such a pile of money. I do know that if a local baron (or his sons) accidentally got some local peasant girl pregnant, it would not be unusual for them to quietly marry her off to some “reliable” young man and pay them off. So this is one possibility that exists, for the money and for his true parentage, and I hope that when I am eventually able to do genetic testing, this could be answered – it would have to be autosomal DNA testing though, since Brencis has no male descendants – just two daughters, one granddaughter and one great-granddaughter (me) – can anyone comment on the efficacy of this testing method on what I want to find out?

My great-grandfather’s paternity aside, I do know that he had a brother Krišjānis – whether they were full siblings or half siblings, I do not know. It is most likely that Ieva was Krišjānis’ mother as well, but I have not found a marriage record for Ieva (if she did in fact marry), or a birth record for Krišjānis – I do not even know if Brencis and Krišjānis share a surname, so looking for him is difficult. Krišjānis died as a result of drowning in a river sometime at the outset of the First World War. I’m hoping that this might eventually prove more fruitful in locating him, since I can skim cause of death columns for nearby parishes – I can’t imagine that it would be a particularly common cause of death amongst young men.

I do not know Ieva’s precise death date, but I do know she died before her son Brencis’ marriage to my great-grandmother Jūle in 1909. I suspect that it might have even been prior to 1897, since Brencis was already living in Krustpils at that time.

So right now Ieva is a real question mark and mystery for me – I know that if she married, it was not in the local parish of her birth and her son’s birth. Where might she have gone? That is a question I have yet to answer.

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