Rathfelders and Latvian Revision LIsts

I just saw on Facebook that Ancestry has the Latvian Census and Resident Registers, 1854-1897. Let’s take a look. I did a search for Johann Rathfelder and came up with this entry:

This should be under the category of audit or revision lists and gives names of residents. The headings are in Russian, but the entries are in German. I’m not sure I had this before. Unfortunately, I am not sure how to read it. This appears to be a snapshot of some of my ancestors in 1850. We see Johann Rathfelder who was 31 in 1850. That makes sense as I have that he was born in 1819. This is what I have in my Ancestry Tree:

The audit list also has Heinrich Rathfelder who was my great-grandfather. The question is: where are the rest of the children? The answer would be that they were not born yet. Ancestry further has this information in part:

Here is the information to the right of what I had above:

Here we see Rosine Schwechheimer who was 27 in 1850. She was the wife of Johann and my 2nd great-grandmother. My interpretation is that Johann and Rosine had two daughters at the time: Wilhemine and Charlotte. I see that I had mentioned Wilhemine in a 2016 Blog. I found her birth record in 1844:

I think she was born in July?

How to Read Revision Lists

I have found many online sources on how to read these lists. Here is some information from Luse Genealogical Research:

It appears that I have the 9th Revision from Ancestry. Here is an 1858 example from the same site:

It is interesting that there were so many of these Revision Lists. Also I take note that it is important to follow the family and household numbers. As I zoom in, I see some fascinatiing information which can be applied to my ancestors:

As I suspected, the large roman numerals refer to the number of the farm. Here is the previous page to the Johann/Heinrich Rathfelder page:

My Rathfelder family was living on Farm #3 in 1850. I don’t know if the Farm numbers translate to this map or not:

I only see one family number for this family which is #4. Would it be safe to say that all these Rathfelders were siblings?

Here is my interpretation of the 1850 Revision List for Farm #3:

Some parts were difficult to understand. I did notice numbers 2-5 for Peter, Ludwig, Johann and Gustav. I don’t know if that means that these were four brothers with the possible addition of Georg Rathfelder. Here is what I have at Ancestry:

It does not seem likely that Johann Georg Rathfelder and Anna Charlotte Mertz would only have had one child.

Hirschenhof in 1858

While searching around in Ancestry, I came upon the 1858 Revision Lists for Farm #3:


Ludwig and Johann are still part of Family 4. This still suggests to me that Johann could be siblings with Ludwig and the others. Here is the previous page:

Raduraksti Website

I would like to back in time from 1850 as suggested by many ‘how to’ web sites:

It appears that 1834 woule be the next logical step. However, I could not find anything that looked like Rathfelder in those records. Either that, or I was in the wrong section of the site.

Find the Estate

One tip I read said these records are listed by estate name.

That appears to be Helsreischof. Who knew?


Here we are in 1834. This is page 89 of 620 at the Raduraksti Site. The writing is quite scrolly. This Revision refers back to one that was 18 years earlier (1816).

Rathfelders in 1816

I can go back further. This is page 44 of 620:

It seems that the Rathfelders are now family #3. Notice there are fewer Rathfelders in 1816. However, the picture seems to clear up:

I have what I believe to be my ancestors highlighted in green. If I am reading the 1816 Revision List correctly, it appears to say that George Rathfelder had Johann who then had three sons. Comparing that to the 1834 Revision List implies taht after Ludwig, Johann had Johann (my 2nd great-grandfather) and then Gustav.

Here is what I have on my Ancestry Tree:

Where the Revision list has George, I have Hans Jerg. Where the Revision List has Johann born about 1779, I have Johann Georg born 1778. This appears to be the birth record for Gustav:

My guess is that Gustav was born on 23 December 1821 and baptized on the 26th of December.

Thanks to the Revision Lists, I have added six siblings to my 2nd great-grandfather’s family:

Rathfelders in Hirschenhof 1811

This Revision did not include women. The transcription is in the next section.


The 1782 Audit of Souls

This Audit is more difficult to read. However, I suspect that I should find many of my ancestors in this audit. Here are some:

They are either family 65 or at Farm 65.

Here is my transcription:



Green is meant to indicate one of my ancestors. I am impressed with how good these revision lists are. The Census for the US up to 1850 was not as good as these. A few notes:

  • I added birth year to make it easier to track people between Lists
  • For 1782, I added a Gagnus family as they were ancestors of mine also.

400 Years of Rathfelders

Years ago, a German Rathfelder researcher sent me an article about Rathfelders. Here is Blasius:

Something seems off. If Blasius was 46 in 1782, then he would have been born in 1736. That means he would have been 11 when his first son was born. I’m guessing that he was born closer to 1726. The above article gives his third wife as Maria Ursula Sannwald. I was having trouble reading her surname in the 1782 Audit of Souls.

Confusingly, Hans Herg is also Johann Georg (my ancestor):

Hans Jerg (or Johann Georg) Rathfelder had two Johann Georgs and one Gerog Adam. I guess he liked the name Georg. My ancestor Johann Georg was the first, born in 1778 and listed as Johann (as underlined above) in the Revision Lists.

Adding DNA to the Mix

Here are two matches to my mother:

These are large DNA matches for 4th cousins. There may be other points of connection. However, the thing that is interesting to note is that these two lines are from two brothers bother named Johann Georg Rathfelder. However, my ancestor went by Johann and the ancestor of the two sisters above went by Georg.

Finishing the Picture – Adding 1858

I did not include three Bittenbinders who moved to Farm #3:

This shows the connection between Revisions:


Summary and Conclusions

  • It was helpful for Ancestry to get me started on the 1850 and 1858 Revision Lists for Hirschenhof
  • From there, a web page unlocked the Russian headings for the 1858 Revision Lists.
  • Next, I used the Radaraksti Web Site to get the earlier revision lists. I needed to know the Estate name which was different than the Colony name. I found this a bit confusing.
  • These revision lists give a good picture of who was living near each other – or on the same farm in each period.
  • These revisions also gave me names for the six siblings of my second great-grandfather Johann Rathfelder born in 1819
  • It may be interesting to trace some of my other Hirschenhof surnames in these Revision Lists.


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