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52 Ancestors #28: Doroteja Matilde Plūme

Time for Week 28 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 ancestor is Doroteja Matilde Plūme, born August 19, 1865 and died October 18, 1918. She is my great-great-grandmother, my maternal grandfather’s paternal grandmother.

The early part of Matilde’s life – yes, her first name might be Doroteja, but most documents I’ve seen that mention her go by her middle name instead, so I will do the same – was detailed in the posts about her parents, Mārtiņš Plūme and Dārta Andersone. She was born on Kroņi farm on Nabe estate in northern Latvia. As mentioned in her mother’s post, Matilde was probably the youngest of at least four siblings. She may have gone by the name Matilde to distinguish herself from her mother, whose name is a more Latvian form of Doroteja, and the names are often found interchangeably in old records.

Matilde married Roberts Jūlijs Francis from Milīte estate – several parishes over – in August of 1884. I haven’t the faintest idea how they met, considering how far away he lived. Perhaps they met through his mother’s family, since she was originally from Limbaži, which is just north of Nabe estate. Roberts moved to Kroņi, and it was here that most of their children were born, with the exception of Vera Emīlija (1890) and Bruno Maximillian (1891), who were born at the Stāle tavern on Remberģe estate while Roberts was the tavernkeeper there. The children born on Kroņi farm were: Alīse Vilhelmīne (1885), Milda Veronika (1886, died in infancy), Hugo (1888, died in infancy), Arvīds Vilhelms (1894, my grandfather), Jānis Jūlijs (1898), Velta Leonija (1903) and Anna Margrieta (1906).

Matilde inherited the family farms – Kroņi and Putniņi – from her parents after they passed away, which was sometime after her marriage in 1884, but before her own death in 1918. I have not had the opportunity to find their death records yet. Matilde died on October 18, 1918 of the Spanish flu, and based on the research I did in this post last year, she would have been one of its earlier victims in Latvia, since the newspapers did not start reporting in alarmist tones about widespread deaths until the day before her death. I’m not sure if other family members caught the flu during this time, but if they did, they all recovered, at least sparing the family further grief (until Roberts would die four years later).

That’s it for this week’s 52 Ancestors. Come back next week for a new ancestor, but come back later this week for some new content that is not 52 Ancestors posts!

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