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52 Ancestors #33: Jānis Graumanis

Time for Week 33 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 Jānis Graumanis, born c. 1789 and died 1851. He is my great-great-great-great-grandfather by way of my maternal grandfather’s maternal grandmother Līze Graumane.

Jānis Graumanis was presumably born c. 1791 on Dikļi estate, quite probably on Morēni farm like his brother Tenis. He was the son of Kārlis Graumanis. His mother is unknown, since a wife of Kārlis does not appear in the revision lists until 1834, when Jānis was already grown and married with children of his own. Unfortunately, due to the peculiarities of the parish register in Dikļi, for some reason Jānis does not appear, though his father and brother do.

Jānis married a woman named Grieta who was 10 years his junior sometime between 1811 and 1820. They had three sons, Pēteris (c. 1820), Marcis (1823, my great-great-great-grandfather) and Juris (c. 1828), and one daughter, Līze (c. 1835). They left Dikļi in 1842, moving to Pociems estate, and then they moved onwards to Sigulda estate in 1849, where they were enumerated on the 1850 revision list.

This 1850 revision list presents us with a possibility as to where Jānis was when he was not included in the parish register – in 1850, Jānis and his family lived at the school on Sigulda estate, and he is listed as the “schoolmaster”. Perhaps when that parish register was created, Jānis was away studying somewhere? I’m not certain what kind of education was required to become a schoolmaster at a parish school at the time, but it is something to consider.

The 1858 Sigulda revision list tells us that Jānis died in 1851, however these records are missing for Sigulda for that time period, so I cannot confirm a date. His widow Grieta was still living there at the time, and his eldest son Pēteris may have taken over the position of schoolmaster, but he no longer lived at the school (I think that is what the scribbled notation is telling me). Marcis and his family had departed for Stalbe estate in 1851, though I do not know if it was before or after Jānis’ death.

Jānis has got to be one of my earliest ancestors that was something besides a farmer. My other ancestors only started diversifying into other occupations in the latter half of the 19th century. I should read more about education in the 19th century – could provide some important tidbits on what Jānis’ life would have been like!

1 comment to 52 Ancestors #33: Jānis Graumanis

  • Karin Mednis Shaw

    Hello,
    I am trying to find out more about my family ancestry. I think my Great Grandfather Peeter Mednis was born in Latvia then he moved to Taheva Vald and possibly worked on the Taheva estate. My mother was separated from her family during World War 11. I live in New Zealand I am desperate to learn morn. I have been on Saaga but I am sure my family originally came from Lativa. Kind Regards Karin Mednis Shaw

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