Time for Week 15 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.

This week’s ancestors is LÄ«berts LÅ«kins, born 1819 (allegedly on September 3), died sometime after 1892. He is my great-great-great-grandfather by way of my paternal grandmother’s paternal grandfather JÄ“kabs LÅ«kins.

I say he was “allegedly” born on September 3, 1819, because I have not been able to independently confirm this fact. It is listed and sourced in a family document from 1942, but the source mentioned – birth records for Latvian members of the Mazsalaca Lutheran congregation – does not appear to survive to present day. At the age of seven, when the 1826 revision list was compiled, he was living at the Jauntauži farm on Jaunate estate in northern Latvia, south of Mazsalaca, near Lake Burtnieki. He was the eldest son of JÄ“kabs and MārÄ«te, with known younger siblings Jānis (c. 1822), Meļķis (c. 1825), Ä€dams (c. 1828), Anna (c. 1831) and LaÅ¡e (c. 1834).

By the time of the 1834 revision list, the family has relocated to Žagari farm, also on Jaunate estate, about two kilometres away from Jauntauži. It is while living here that LÄ«berts married LÄ«ze Mildere on October 29, 1844 at the MatÄ«Å¡i Lutheran Church. LÄ«berts and LÄ«ze had a number of children, including my great-great-grandfather JÄ“kabs in 1862. LÄ«berts was still living at the time of JÄ“kabs’ marriage to KarolÄ«ne Matilde Baburs in 1892, but that’s all that I have for him thus far. It was very lucky for me that the 1844 marriage records for MatÄ«Å¡i were the long-form variety that listed the bride and groom’s birth years and parents’ names, otherwise I couldn’t have been sure which of the many LÄ«berts LÅ«kins’ under the age of 15 could have been him in the 1826 revision list. There were even three of them – including mine – that were seven years old at the time. I never thought “LÄ«berts LÅ«kins” would be a common name, but here it certainly was!

There are a LOT of LÅ«kins family members in the Jaunate/Vecate/Mazsalaca area in the 19th century. It is easily one of the most common surnames on Jaunate estate in 1826, competing only with Straubergs. This means, according to the laws of the time, that they should all be related, since surnames would have been granted only a few short years earlier, and surname duplication was not permitted (that is, if one family had already selected a surname, no one else could have it). I haven’t sorted them all out yet to show the precise relationships, but my suspicion is a number of brothers who had a number of sons, many of whom were about to be or already married at the time of the surname granting, and the patriarch of that whole clan was still living at the time, but died shortly thereafter.

Apparently there is also a LÅ«kins family reunion every so often, taking place at Jauntauži, which I have yet to have the opportunity to attend. I’m not sure if this reunion is just for descendants of LÄ«berts and his siblings, or if it extends to all LÅ«kins lines in the area that are descended from this mysterious progenitor (whose name could be Tenis, based on the name of the father of the oldest LÅ«kins I can find in the 1826 revision list). I hope I can go someday!

Have you attended a family reunion? How far back was the common relation? Did you meet people you hadn’t known before? Share your stories in comments!

52 Ancestors #15: LÄ«berts LÅ«kins
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