This week’s ancestor is Kārlis Graumanis, born August 23, 1755 and died November 29, 1838. He is my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather by way of my maternal grandfather’s maternal grandmother Līze Graumane.
Considering the lack of recordkeeping prior to the early 19th century in Latvian territory, insofar as it concerned peasants, it is remarkable that I have these precise dates. Now, they are both from secondary sources – a parish register from 1834 – but it is the best that I have available. Most revision lists give ages five to seven years younger, so it is possible that the dates are somewhat off.
I am not certain where Kārlis was born, but I know that one of his sons, Tenis, was born on Morēni farm on Dikļi estate in northern Latvia on January 10, 1793. Unfortunately, I don’t have a source that mentions his eldest son’s birthplace or birthdate, and this son – Jānis – is the one I am descended from. He was five years older than Tenis, and may or may not have been born on Morēni farm as well. Morēni could well be the birthplace of Kārlis as well.
Regardless of Kārlis’ birthplace, I do know that he spent much of his life on Grotūzis farm, also a part of Dikļi estate, about 2 kilometres west of Morēni south of the main estate lands. There are three men of the right age group – that is, a father Kārlis with sons Jānis and Tenis born five years apart – as the managing family on Grotūzis farm in 1811, and since there is no mention of them having arrived there from another farm, it is likely that they were there in 1795 as well. However, since there are no surnames in 1811, nor female family members mentioned, I cannot say with 100 percent certainty that this is the right family. I’ve had it happen before where families were replaced with a group with all of the same first names and age spacings before.
At the time of the 1826 revision list, Kārlis is living on Grotūzis farm, with both of his sons and their families. No wife is mentioned. However, by 1834, they have all left Grotūzis – eldest son Jānis and his family have moved to Spurītis farm, while Kārlis, younger son Tenis and his family have moved to Skrīvelis farm, and now Kārlis has a wife, Ilze. Did he remarry when he was well into his 60s, or was his wife somehow left out of the 1826 revision list? There is a widow named Ilze Devika living on Skrīvelis farm in 1826, and while her age is a few years off to be the Ilze married to Kārlis in 1834, ages have been off before. And she is not listed in the 1834 revision list (though revision lists do not usually mention if a woman has died or moved elsewhere, so these are also possibilities as to what happened to her). Did Kārlis marry Ilze Devika? There are no records to definitively prove it, but it is a possibility.
Both Kārlis and Ilze were deceased by the time of the 1850 revision list, and it specifically states that Kārlis died in 1838, as does the parish register I mentioned above – though I have not yet found said death record. They would have died on Skrīvelis farm, which was located just one or two farms north of Morēni farm.
Considering the time period, I am amazed that I have as much on Kārlis’ life as I do – but I have even more on his son and grandson. But that is for a different day!