Tying Up Some Loose Ends: Hirschenhof Revision Lists

I have written several Blogs lates concerning my HIrschenhof Ancestors and the Revision Lists. So far I have covered:

  • Rathfelder
  • Schwechheimer
  • Lutke
  • Fuhrmann and Biedermann

I want to do a future Blog on my Gangnus ancestors in the Revision Lists. However, I have left a few loose ends which I wanted to address in this Blog.

Biedermann Families

One of my goals in looking through these Revision Lists is to add siblings to my ancestors’ families.

Above are some of my ancestors in my Biedermann Line in 1816. The name Biedermann is abbreviated, but it was clear from the 1811 Revision Lists that this was Biedermann. I tried to add Luise to the family, but Ancestry noted that I had that Maria Margaret her mother died in 1802:

This leads me to believe that the death I have for Mother Fuhrmann was wrong. I see two trees on Ancestry. One has a later death date for Anna which seems more realistic:

This means that someone else saw something that I saw.

Maria Eva Buchenroth Born 1772

It should be possible to find this family in the 1782 Audit of Souls for Hirschenhof:

Here is Johan Peter on Farm 43 suspiciously close to some of my other ancestors’ farms. the next page is difficult to decipher:

Eva Maria must be my ancestor at age 10. That means that it appears that Johan Peter was Eva Maria’s father at age 72 and not her grandfather! It is also possible that Maria Anganesia? Schmidt could be a second wife.

This chart shows how close my ancestors’ families lived near each other.

It appeaars that Maria’s second name was more like Agnes. Here is Helmsheim, Germany:


This fills out the Buchenroth family. I found a record of Barbara, but with no date and no mother’s name. I assume that the mother was Maria Agnesia.

Filling in a Schwechheimer Blank

Unfortunately, Anna Schwechheimer was born in 1784. That means that she missed the 1782 Audit of Souls. And by the time that the 1816 Audit came around, she had been married for a while. However, I have a hint from the 1811 Revision Lists.

Only men were listed, but here is Simon Fuhrmann living on Farm 11 with Joahnn Schweigheimer. The note at Ancestry says:

I do not see the word ‘schwester’ in the record, but let’s assume that Ancestry is correct. Simon is obviously not Johann Schwegheimer’s sister. However, I think that Simon married Johann’s sister. The good news is that Johann was born before 1782. I skipped transcribing this family into my spreadsheet previoiusy (not a good idea), but will do that now:

What I gather from this is that Macus Schweigheimer had a large family. Likely he had three sons in law living on his farm in 1811 after he passed away. I further surmise that Anne E Schwechheimr was the daughter of Marcus Schweigheimer born in 1874 when her father was about 55 and her mother Anna Maria Schmidt was about 38.

Here I have added two people as Anna’s parents who were already in my Ancestry Tree. What this all means is that I must descend from this couple twice:

This shows my Rathfelder descent on the top left through Johann G Scwechheimer. The Gangnus descent is on the right through Anna Schwechheimer. Bottom line is that there were only so many Colonists in Hirschenhof to marry. This fills in Maria Gangnus’ Tree:

I am not able to see others who have made this connection at Ancestry. I see that a DNA connection at MyHeritage, Wolf has made this connection in his tree:

Thank you, Wolf, for your research.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Without the connections noted in the Revision Lists, it would be difficult to assemble some of my Hirschenhof ancestral families
  • In a closed society it should be assumed that one will descend from a person or couple more than once.
  • After researching US, English and Irish records, it appears that these Revision Lists are some of the best records for the time that they covered.
  • French Canadian records are also good, but they do not have the family relationships. These relationships have been developed from birith, marriage and death records for French Canadians.
  • There will always be loose ends, but this solves some of the looser ends
  • There are some loose ends on my Rathfelder side which I will look at later.


More Hirschenhof Latvia Revision Lists: Furhmann and Biedermann

I have been working on a series of my Hirschenhof, Latvia ancestors using the Revision Lists. So far, I have looked at Rathfelder, Lutke and Schwechheimer. In this Blog, I will look at my Furhmann and Biedermann ancestors.

Note that Furhmann pops up in two branches. Also, as my last Blog was on the Schwechheimer family, I want to find Anna E Schwechheimer at the bottom of the tree above.

The 1782 Audit of Souls

The Revision LIst is also called the Audit of Souls. I will peruse through that list to see if I can find where the Furhmanns lived then. Here is the listing I want at the Raduraksti web site:

Confusingly, the listings for this Audit were under the Estate name. I see a Furhmann on Farm 40 (or possibly Family 40, but I think it is the Farm number):

Jacob is 45, so he was born about 1737. This could perhaps be the Heinrich Jacob in my Tree:

Ancestry has him as my 5th great-grandfather. If I have it right, I should have places for 128 5th great-grandparents. Here is the next page:

Whoever wrote this had a flair for handwriting. Here I also see that Anna Catharena Muller must be a second wife. That makes sense as I have Anna Magdalena Meng as my ancestor. The death of the first wife apparently happened betwee 12 and 5 years from 1782 based on the gap between children.

Here is my transcription:

Interestingly, Jacob’s new wife was 8 years older that Jacob’s daughter. Also there seems to be a discrepancy from the first daughter in my tree and Elisabeth Margare… in the Audit above. It is possible that the Maria Magdalena in my tree is wrong.

The 1811 Revision List (No Women Allowed)

This List is interesting, though only males are listed:

Now it is 29 years later. The elder Jacob has passed away in 1797. His son Jacob also passed in 1806. Anna Margaretha has married Johann Adam Biedermann and moved from Farm 42 to 43. However, Johann Adam has moved to Farm 33.

One confusing thing is that there is 16 years between the old and new ages. That means that this must refer to a Revision that was performed in 1795 rather than 1782.

Biedermann in 1782

That leads me to look for Biedermann in 1782. Here they are on Farm 41 next to the Furhmanns:

This leads me to believe that the Farm numbering changed a little between 1782 and 1811:

It is unclear why Sannewald took over Farm 41/43 by 1811, but there were still Biedermanns living there.

To fill out the picture, we need to look at Farm 30 in 1811:

Farm 30 is run by Philip Jacob Gangnus another one of my ancestors. Makes sense. Anna Biedermann who is Adam’s daughter will marry Johann Jacob Gangnus, but not until after 1811. I will likely do a Blog on the Gangnus family in the Revision Lists at some point.

Looks like Johann Jacob is about 35 years older than Anna. In 1811, he is listed as moving to Farm 33. The 1816 Listing for Farm 33 has him moving to Farm 43:


This was back where the Biedermann Family was before. The Farm is run by Siemon (Simon?)


Let’s try to figure out what is going on for Adam Biedermann:

Adam is living on the Sannewald Farm again. We can now see his wife as women are listed in the 1816 Revision.

the good news is that this couple had a relatively long marriage for their time. The association between Biedermann and Farm 33 is still not totally clear.

The 1834 Revision Lists

My first inclination is to look at Farm #43:

My question is whether Adam was a subtenant meaning that he lived below the average income level of the Colony or whether there was some other reason for him living under Sannewald.

I need to write this out on my Excel spreadsheet to make sense of it all:

Now, another 18 years have gone by. Johann Adam Biedmann passes away in 1832. There is no mention of his wife who likely also passed away.

We think that Elisabeth Juliana has married old man Gangnus. Hopefully, I will find her when I do my Gangnus Blog.

Eva Fuhrmann

I had found Eva previously on my Blog on the Lutke family. Here she is in 1858 on the Female side of the Revision List:

She was on Farm #2 at the time.

I think that the best strategy would be to look for Eva’s father in the 1811 Revision List. It looks like Friedrich Simon Fuhrmann was born in 1782, so probably missed the 1782 Audit. Friedrich Simon should be 29 at the 1811 Audit. The 1811 Revision List referred to an earlier Revision which was 16 years earlier, so that age should be about 13 years old.

This could possibly be Friedrich Simon in 1811:

The birth seems to be two years off, but this seems to be the right name. He is said to be associated with Farm 11. I was able to find a Simon Fuhrmann on Farm 11 in 1811 with the help of Ancestry:

Simon is listed with son Gustav Woldemar who was 3 in 1811 so born in 1808. Now, I have two issues. One is that I did not have a father for Simon Furhmann and I do not have parents for his wife who is Anna Elisabeth Schwechheimer. My theory is that Anna Elisabeth was perhaps the sister of Johann Schwechheimer and that Simon Furhman who was Anna’s husband was the son of Jacob Fuhrmamm. Here is the hint that got me to the above image:

This is either a typo or poor transcription or perhaps be a hint that Simon was married to the sister of the head of the farm.

I then found more Furhmanns in the 1816 Revision Lists:

Simon Furhmann is at Farm 42. Here is my attempt at a transcription:

I added Jacob as Simon’s father:

However, my conclusion is that Jacob is the same as Heinrich Jacob, the father of Anna Maria M Fuhrmann above. However, when I add in Simon:

I see that Friedrich Simon was born after the death of Anna Magdalena Meng. The answer is in the 1782 Audit of Souls:

Jacob married Catharina Muller and had Anna Charlotta, Eva Christina and Friedrich Simon.

There, I think that is right now.

I added these children in for the family of Simon Furhmann and Anna Elisabeth Schwechheimer:


I think that Woldemar died young as I did not see him in the 1816 Revision List.

I think this shows that Johann Gangnus and Anna Jacobine Lutke were half second cousins to each other.

Summary and Conclusions

  • It was perhaps ambitious to look at the Biedermann and Fuhrmann Families together in the Revision Lists, but it was helpful to do it that way due to the interrelationships between the two families
  • The Revision Lists are a wealth of information when it comes to the structure of family units. It would be extremely difficult to put thes families together without these family lists.
  • I was able to add additional family members to my ancestors families.
  • I was able to see how my two Fuhrmann branches were related to each other and added Anna Catharina Muller as an ancestor.
  • I will likely try to wrap up some loose ends in an upcoming Blog before I delve into my Gangnus ancestors families in the Revision Lists.


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.


More Latvian Theories of Relativity at MyHeritage: Two Levas

MyHeritage is a good place to check for some of my Latvian relatives. Here is what MyHeritage has for Leva:

Leva is a DNA match to me. She shows as a 5th cousin to me also. I think the connection shown is wrong, but that we are connected on the Rathfelder line somewhere. Here is the DNA/Genealogy chart I already have:

It already has a Georg Ludwig Rathfelder in it. Leva must be related to me on that line along with Katja.

Leva’s Theory 2

Theory 2 at MyHeritage appears to be the right one:

Due to the fact that I have already a tree to Gerog Ludwig Rathfelder, this connection looks very likely. Here is the tree I built previously for Katja:

It looks like I had trouble finding a wife for Johannes Rathfelder in the tree.

Here is the birth record for Karoline Adodphine Rathfelder:

Here is the family list with Caroline’s family:

In my tree, Leva shows as 5th cousin once removed:

My tree is different than the MyHeritage Tree:

I have Johann Adam Rathfelder. He isn’t in the MyHeritage Theory of Relativity. I like my tree better.

Leva’s DNA Match

Leva and I share two segments of DNA with each other:

Unfortunately, the segment shared on Chromosome 16 is less than 7 cM. The default cutoff for DNAPainter is 7 cM. I think that the segment on Chromosome 16 is valid, but I will leave it out to be consistant with other matches.

Here is Leva added onto DNAPainter:

Even though the match is small, it changed my Maternal mapped DNA from 47% to 48%. Here is how the match fits in overall with my pateranal and maternal DNA matches:

My match with Leva is there, but gets lost among the many other matches. Overall, 53% of my DNA is mapped by identified matches.

One odd aspect of this match is that my mother does not match Leva. That means that my mother should have had a match and didn’t or I had a match and shouldn’t have.

A Second Leva and My Sister Heidi

My sister has a Theory of Relativity with Leva from Latvia. I mentioned her in a Blog in 2021. Myheritage shows that Heidi has a new Theory with Leva. Perhaps the new one is one of the three Theories. This is the first of three Theories:

Leva’s tree is private, so I will try to build out her tree based on her Theories. I also believe that Leva’s grandfather may be Raimonds who I have written about here. However, he tested at 23andMe, so his results only apply to me. Leva matches my sister and my mother. For some reason, the Theories only appear under my sister Heidi.

I’ll compare Leva’s Theories with what I had on Raimonds


  • Theory 1: Johann Jacob Gangnus 1777/Anna Elisabeth Juliana Biedermann
  • Theory 2: this is the same, but apparently the pathway is different
  • Theory 3: Friedrick Jacob Wilhelm Lutke 1804/Eva Christina Margaretha Fuhrmann


  • Friedrich Lutke 1804/Eva Fuhrmann
  • Johann Jacob Gangnus 1777/Biedermann
  • Johann Georg Gangnus 1704/Anna Margaretha Clausing

The last connection under Raimonds is due to the fact that I have Gangnus on two family branches:

Here I also did not add Raimonds which I should have.

Evaluating Leva’s Lutke Connection

Here is where I have Raimonds:

Leva is two levels below Raimonds.

This agrees with the Third Theory at MyHeritage.

Leva’s Gangnus Connection

I found this record for Emma Eugenie Charlotte Lutke:

She was confirmed in 1928. Her parents are listed as Johann and Antonie Shiller. Here is more information from the Personal Register:

Raimonds are added in at the next to the last column. I have painted this match to my sister Heidi. I will paint the match to my mother.

Painting My Mother’s Match with Leva

Fortunately, I already had a yellowish category for a match where I was unsure whether it was on the Lutke or Gangnus Line. This got my mother’s painted paternal DNA from 44% to 45%.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Leva appears to be a popular name in Latvia as my family has Theories of Relativity with two Levas
  • Both Levas add to the genealogical story from Hirschenhof, Latvia
  • Both Levas fill in missing DNA information for my family.
  • The second Leva is equally related to my family on two lines






A New Rathfelder Side DNA Match at MyHeritage

I check my DNA matches at MyHeritage almost every week, but rarely find a match that I recognize. This week I found  a DNA match there who has Rathfelder ancestry. The match’s name is Alans. Here is how we match genealogically:

This is a view of Alan’s genealogy on MyHeritage. The person listed as Private is Alan’s paternal grandmother. The couple in the box are our common ancestors.

My Rathfelder DNA Testing Chart

I have a genealogical chart for those Rathfelder descendants who have had their DNA tested. This is part of it:

Alans descends from Nina Rathfelder who is a sister to Vera. Here is a photo of Nina:

It seems like Alans’ genealogy matches up with mine, so I won’t check what he has. Here I have added Alans to my chart:

Alans is my second cousin twice removed.

Alans’ DNA

Here is where I match Alans by DNA:

The matches are on Chromosomes 3, 5, 7 and 11. I can ‘paint’ those using DNAPainter. These are my maternal matches so far:

My mother was a Rathfelder, so that is why I am looking on the maternal side. My maternal side is 47% painted and I am 53% painted overall. Alans will add more orange Rathfelder DNA to my profile.

Here is Chromosome 3 where Alans has the biggest match:

The orange matches are on my mother’s father’s Rathfelder side. The gree and purple are on my mother’s mother’s side. Otis matches on the Gangnus side. As Alans match align’s with Otis’ match, it appears that the DNA is coming from Schweccheimer and Gangnus. Here is how I match Otis by genealogy:

Assuming I have the genealogy right, this DNA goes back to the late 1700’s. Because the match I have with Alans on Chromosome 7 is just below 7.0 cM, DNAPainter did not use the match. The default cutoff at DNAPainter is 7.0 cM and I match Alans at 6.5 cM on Chromosome 7

Painting Alans’ Match to My Mom

Alans has a slightly larger match to my mom than to me. Alans matches my mom at 68.8 cM. Here is my mother’s paternal side Chromosome 3:


My intention was to use a lighter color for the more recent matches. That is why I used pale yellow for my mom’s first cousins. My mom is painted at 37% overall and 44% on her paternal side, so a little less than me. Here is my mom’s current paternal side:

I changed the colors of my mom’s profile as the yellow did not show up well:

I highlighted Chromosome 3 above where Alans has the largest match.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Alans adds another piece to the genetic genealogical puzzle
  • Alans is the first DNA match relative who descends from Nina Rathfelder, daugther of Leo Rathfelder.
  • Alans does not add a lot of new DNA to my mother’s or my profile, but fills in areas on the chromosome map.


Three New Latvian Matches at MyHeritage

I was pleasantly surprised recently to get three rather close DNA matches to myself and my family on my mother’s side. The three Latvian matches are Normunds, Elina and Zanda. Normunds is the father and Elina and Zanda are the daughters. These three matches are on my Rathfelder side.

Adding the New Matches to My Rathfelder Tree

I keep a combination genealogy/DNA match tree. This is what I have so far for the Rathfelder tree:

I need to add the three matches under Vera:

this shows that my mother and Vera are first cousins. that means that my siblings and I are 2nd cousins with Normunds and 2nd cousins once removed with Elina and Zanda. I have this photo of Vera from my cousin Anita:

How We Match by DNA

For some reason, I can’t see the detailed DNA results for Normunds or Zanda. I do see results for Elina:

DNA Painter

This information can be added on to my DNA Painter profile. This is how it looks now:

This shows that I am ‘painted’ overal 52%. This means that I have identified 52% of my DNA by known matches. On the representation above, the paterrnal side is the top part of each chromosome and the maternal part is the bottom of each chromosome. Here is just my maternal side:

This shows that I am painted 45% on my maternal side or a little less than half.

When I add Elina, this gets my maternal side up to 47%:

That also raised my overall ‘painted’ level to 53%.

Normunds DNA

At first I couldn’t see the specific matches for Normunds’ DNA but Zanda made the corrections, so I can now see his results. Here they are:

I’m interested to see how this will have an effect on my DNA Painter Profile. A second cousin is usually the best person to have for a match because they represent the DNA of one grandparent  – in this case, my grandfather Alexander Rathfelder. It turns out that there is no overall effect for Normunds. This is perhaps because he overlaps with other Rathfelder matches. There was a difference, but not enough to bring the painted percentage up overall or on the maternal side.

Here is Chromosome 15:

This would indicate that Carolyn’s match is spurious. She matches at 8 cM and a certain percent of small matches are inaccurate or false matches. The other orange matches all have Henry [Heinrich] Rathfelder and Maria Gangnus as common ancestors.

Here is what MyHeritage shows between myself and Normands:

This turns out to be more than average DNA for 2nd cousins to share:

This study shows that 229 cM would be average.

Normunds and Gladys Rathfelder

As Normands has as much or more Rathfelder DNA than his daughters and as my mother has more than her children, I’ll look at the match between Gladys and Normunds:


Normally, I don’t paint my own first cousins’ matches. This is because a first cousin normally just distinguishes between paternal and maternal side. However, for my mother, it looks like I painted hers:

Here the blue color is Rathfelder/Gangnus (1st cousins). This is just my mom’s paternal Rathfelder side. Also I usually have a lighter color for closer relatives, so the more distant, darker color relatives can shine through. My mom is currently at 40% painted on her paternal side and 35% painted overall. Let’s see if Normunds makes a difference.

Here I changed Rathfelder/Gangnus DNA to a more subtle yellow. This got my mom painted up to 44% on her paternal side and 37% painted overall.

Normunds adds some new DNA to my mother’s profile on Chromosome 1:

On Chomosome 2, Normunds overlaps with Angelina. I am not sure of her ancestry, but from her DNA, it is clear that she had ancestors from Latvia::

On Chromosome 7, Normunds has an overlap with Rudi:

Rudi has ancestry going back to 1723.

However, when I check MyHeritage, there are other possible relationships to Rudi. This one is called Theory 1:

This relationship would be on my mother’s paternal grandfather’s side, whereas the previous relationship would be on my mother’s  paternal gramdmother’s side.  Plus, I don’t know if I have checked out these different relationships. Altogether, MyHeritage has 4 Theories. It would be beyond the scope of this Blog to check them all out. The bottom line is that I thought that the match with Rudi on Chromosome 7 would give me more definition as to where the match that my mom had with Nornunds came from. However, in this case, due to intermarriage in the Colony of Hirschenhof, it is not clear.

Perhaps Normunds match with my mom on Chromosome 17 will tell us something:

Normunds has a partial overlap with Astrid and a complete overlap with Otis. This is giving a mixed message perhaps also:

Otis’ ancesetry goes back to Schwechheimer (1772) and Gangnus (1780). Astrid goes back to Rathfelder and Biedenbender. Otis has uploaded his DNA results to Gedmatch. If Normunds uploads his results there, perhaps this will reveal something.

Meanwhile, Astrid shows triangulation with my mom and Normunds at MyHeritage on Chromosomes 17 and 19:

Triangulation means that these people all match each other. That means that I would tend to think that the DNA matches between the three of us represent DNA from Johann Jerg Rathfelder born 1752 and his wife Juliana Biedenbender born 1755. Here is Gladys’ DNA profile on Chromosome 19:

Astrid’s Genealogy

In order to sort this all out, I will need to take a closer look at Astrid’s genealogy. Here is what MyHeritage shows:

Ancestry shows this relationship, which I have assumed was right:

The W Rathfelder is Wilhemina Rathfelder. As I recall in other research, there was more than one Wilhemena Rathfelder. I think that the custom was to name the godchild after the godparent, so that may be the source of the duplicate names. Another confusing thing is that Hans Jerg had two children named Johann Georg:

These two Johann Georg’s were born about 15 years apart. That in formation was from this publication:

Based on the underlining, the first Johann went by Johann and the second went by Georg. The father Hans Jerg was also a Johann Georg.

Checking Astrid’s Tree

The best way to check Astrid’s tree is to build my own tree for her. Astrid has that her mother was baptized here:

At the Raduraksti website, I see this Church:

At this site, I found some information on the Spengle family, but I didn’t see Astrid’s mother or grandmother:

This would take a long time to check, so I’ll just assume the connection is right. My suspicion is that there are other connections than just the obvious ones.

Normunds, Gladys and Eva

I wrote a Blog about Eva here. She is my third cousin. Here is where Normunds, Gladys and Eva triangulate on Chromosome 1:

The theory is that shared amount of DNA comes from either Johann Rathfelder or Rosine Schwechheimer:

In that Blog about Eva, I mentioned this family chart:

Did My Great-Grandmother Have a Second Husband Who Ran Away?

The Gustav Rathfelder family lived in Riga and attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. I wonder if the +1918 means that my great-grandfather Heinrich died in 1918. I have that he died before 1921. I put this image out to the Latvian Genealogy Facebook page and got these two responses:

“Abgang” is essentially departure — e.g. the +1918 means that Heinrich died in 1918 (and therefore “departed from” the church congregation). I’ll try to take another look at the rest later.

The note next to Marie’s name (above the +1918) says, “married to a Kroeger, missing”. Her husband (first husband? second husband?) is presumably the one who’s missing.
The fact that one of Gustav’s sons is also named Heinrich doesn’t necessarily mean that he was named after Heinrich, though it’s possible. It was a pretty common name, and names often appeared multiple times in the same family without being namesakes in the sense that we’d think of it.

It sounds like Maria Gangnus Rathfelder had a second husband which would make sense if the first one died. He apparently deserted her if I understand the record correctly.

Concerning the comment on naming, I have seen that a child often had the same name as the Godparent. Here is the birth record for Robert Nicolai:

I take #1 above to be the godfather, Nicolai Rathfelder. Further, I believe him to be Johann Philip Nicolai Rathfelder born 1874 to my great-grandfather Heinrich Rathfelder.

Here is a photo of Marie. I assume that it is during Christmas and that she is with some of her relatives:

Marie is second from the left. She was born in 1856, so she would be quite old here.

Gladys, Normunds and Peter

These three people also triangulate at MyHeritage. That means that they all have common ancestors:

This triangulation happens on Chromosomes 7 and 18. Here is my mom’s DNA profile for those two areas:

These two areas represent ambiguous genealogies. Remember Rudi had about 4 ways that he could match. Also Silvia and Patrick could match on two different lines.

Peter’s Genealogy

MyHeritage shows this:

I can try to build a tree to see if I can get any further. I’ll start out on the paternal side. This marriage record is helpful:

However, this has Oleg’s mother as Emilie Grassman rather than Berta. Social Security has this information:

It seems like Oleg has a sister Vera. Find a Grave has more on Emilia:

My tree so far:

Here we see that Emelia was born in Riga:

This could be the connection that I was looking for.  This is likely Emilie traveling from Lithuania to New York in 1955:

That’s as far as I can get now. The connection appears to be with Emilie Grossman or Grassman. One tree at Ancestry has her parents:

Normunds, Gladys and Deborah

Perhaps I don’t know when to give up, but I’ll look at Deborah. These three triangualte on Chromosomes 1 and 9:

Deborah has a meager tree at MyHeritage:

It turns out that I already started a tree for Deborah. However, I couldn’t easily find anything new. Aparently Brigitta was born in Riga.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was happy to find out about another branch of Rathfelder relatives in Latvia through DNA matching.
  • Normunds is my mother’s first cousin once removed.
  • I was able to ‘paint’ Normunds on to my DNA profile as well as my mother’s. It would be possible to add him also to my siblings’ profiles
  • In some cases, due to matches with more distant relatives, it is possible to tell where certain portions of DNA matches between my mother and Normunds come from
  • In other cases, it is difficult to tell for certain to intermarriage in the Colony of Hirschenhof where the Rathfelders and their ancestors lived long ago.
  • I looked at some common matches that Normunds and my mother Gladys have at MyHeritage
  • I relooked at the match of Eva. I found the family record kept by the Lutheran Church for Eva’s great-grandparents. He great-grandfather was the younger brother of my great-grandfather. This record gave the death date for my great-grandfather Heinrich Rathfelder. It also suggests that my great-grandmother remarried a Kroeger who went missing.
  • It appears that there could be more research of the DNA and genealogy to pull these families together.





A Schwechheimer Match for My Mom at MyHeritage

There used to be an ad for a jam company that said, “With a name like Smuckers it has to be good”. In this case, with a DNA match with a name like Schwechheimer, it has to be a relative. This Schwechheimer match came up as a DNA match for my mom recently at MyHeritage:

The Scwechheimer Tree

The tree is a bit sketchy:

Dates are only given on the maternal side.

I can try to build out a tree at Ancestry to see if I get anywhere.

My Version of the Schwechheimer Match Tree

I like this suggestion from an Ancestry Tree for Kurt Schwechheimer:

I have written to my mom’s Schwechheimer relative in Germany to see if this is the same Kurt that is in her tree.

Meanwhile, I see that the owner of the tree for Kurt Friedrich Schwechheimer is a match to my mother at ancestry.

My Mom’s DNA Match with Karin at Ancestry

This is a modest match. Here is Karin’s tree:

This tree is unlinked, so Ancestry is not working to see where our common ancestors are. I suppose that I could try and build out the Hirschenhof (maternal) part of Karin’s tree. Hopefully, the vital records are not in Russian for that time. Interesting, I already have a Smits tree going. It must be for a relative of Karin:

This is likely for Karin’s brother.

Delving into a Latvian Genealogical Website

The go-to website is https://www.raduraksti.arhivi.lv/. I’ll give that a shot. Here are the Church records for Linden:

However, I think that this is the wrong set of records. I believe that the first Linden below is correct:

Now I am noticing some discrepancies between the two trees above. One has Friedrich born in 1894 and one in 1896. Here is a Schwechheimer record from 1894:

Unfortunately, the record is in Russian. Does Mar mean March?

Meanwhile, I heard from my mom’s Schwechheimer match and Kurt is the same as Kurt Friedrich as I expected.

Looking for Helma Lutz

Entry #32 in the Linden Church records shows an Olga Helma born in 1902:

This entry goes on to the next page:

I’m going to make a guess that this is the correct Helma. This gives us two more names: Johann Jacob Nicolai Lutz and Emilie Friederike Lutz. Here the record keeper was nice enough to put the parents’ names into more understandable (to me) German.

I think that this Johann Jacob (second entry) fits the bill:

Here is the Ancestry transription:

The father’s middle name is abbreviated. Perhaps for Michael.

Here is Emilie Friederike in 1867:

I assume that the right side of the page are sponsors or godparents. The transcription adds the day and month:

Here are Emilie’s parents:

Here the initials before Johann Gustav Lutz are unclear to me. I suppose it could mean that he had been married before?

Above there is a slight discrepancy of the spelling of Gagnus and Gangnus – which is not unusual. I have a book on the Gangnus family which I take to be the correct spelling. It is by Gustav Gangnus written in 2003.

Friederike AKA Anna Friederike Emilie Gangnus

According to Gustav Gangnus’ useful book on page 71 Friederike was born 16 Mar 1843 and Georg Michael Lutz was born 24 Oct 1841:

Looking for Johann Gustav Lutz and Anna Catherine Gangnus

I have Emilie born in 1867. I like this choice for Anna Catharina:

That would mean that Anna Catharina likely was married 1841 or before.

Here is a possibility for Michael:

However this birth was in 1849 and would have Michael at age 18 at the birth of Anna Catharina Gangnus. It seems like given enough time, I could find at least one common ancestor between my mom and this Schwechheimer match, but I will leave this to another time.

Summary and Conclusions

  • A DNA match with a Schwechheimer name is very likely to be a match to my mother
  • Unfortunately, the match’s great-grandparents were born during a time when the birth records were in Russian
  • For Helma’s Lutz’s birth time-frame, the names of the person and the parents were also given in German in the birth records. This was helpful in going back one more generation
  • At the third great-grandparent level, two Lutz ancestors married two Gangnusses
  • Between the Schwechheimer and Gangnus names there are a lot of opportunities to find common ancestors, but those common ancestors have not yet been found.

My Mom’s DNA and Genealogical Connection to Katja

I’ve noticed lately that Ancestry has some helpfull Latvian records. So I have been looking through some of my mom’s Latvian DNA matches to see if I can find out how we are connected.

Katja at MyHeritage

MyHeritage seems to be a good place to find Latvian DNA matches. Katja also has a Theory of Relativity with my mom, but I don’t think that it is right:

I have a different genealogy for my mother:

Besides, why would have a Pfief have a Biedermann for a daughter?

Here is Katja’s tree at MyHeritage:

Katja is missing a maternal side and has additional Hirschenhof ancestry on her Lutz side.

Building a Tree for Katja

I will check out Katja’s genealogical tree by building a tree at Ancestry:

When  I entered Wilhelm Georg Lutz, Ancestry gave me hints for his parents. The hint for Wilhelm Georg is from this tree:

I checked the records at Raduraksti for 1895, but those records appear to be in Russian. I’m not sure if the Ancestry suggestion is correct at this point.

Pauline Rathfelder

Next, I will check on Pauline. Here is a record – perhaps baptismal?

Pauline and Emilie appear to be twins. I see Pauline’s mother’s maiden name as Mattheus, but I’m not sure. Here is the record transcription of their marriage:

This Goerge Ludwig seems the right age to have Pauline in 1879:

Based on the DNA matches between Katja and my mother, I expect that the match is on more than one line:

Sometimes many small matches mean more than one pair of common ancestors going back. So likely, some of the DNA matches represented above are from Lutke and some from Rathfelder- or perhaps even other surname.

A Common Rathfelder Ancestor for Katja and My Mom?

It turns out that I already have a Georg Adam Rathfelder in my Ancestry Tree:

However, this Georg was born in 1798:

I also see another marriage for a Georg Adam Rathfelder:

This marriage was in 1818. So this Georg Adam could have re-married in 1839 or had a son Georg Adam who married in 1839. Fortunately, I have a paper which seems to help:

According to this paper, Georg Adam was actually the son of Johannes Rathfelder born in 1796 I think I’ll go with this paper.

Here is what I have so far:

The Johannes in Line A above was the son of Johann Adam Rathfelder and Anna Catharina Elisabeth Rothweiler. I have Johannes in my tree already:

That should be enough to add Katjia to my Rathfelder DNA match tree:

Katja is my mother’s 4th cousin twice removed on the Rathfelder side.

Back to the Lutz Connection

Here were the hints for Katja’s ancestors from Ancestry:

It seems like two possibilities here:

I see a Gottlieb Hermann and a Gottlieb Otto. Here is a third more likely candidate:

Here is a Peter Gottlieb Lutz who married Elisabeth Hauk (maiden name Herman).

Katja’s Family Tree

I have this so far on Katja’s paternal side:

It would take a while to build all the other lines out as far as Hans Jerg Rathfelder and his Bittenbinder wife.

Painting Katja’s DNA Matches to My Mom’s Profile

Here is what I have so far for my mom:

The first line for each chromosome represents my mom’s paternal matches. The Rathfelder/Bittenbinder DNA matches are in red. As I intimated earlier, Katja’s matches with my mom are probably not all from Rathfelder and Bittenbinder due to the nature of where this family lived. They were in a German Colony and married among their own which means that intermarriage of families normally took place.

My mom is 35% painted overall and 40% painted on her paternal side.

By default, DNAPainter adds matches of 7 cM and over. Here are my mom’s paternala matches with Katja added:

Katja matches my mom on Chromosome 4 at 6.7 cM, so that match did not get added. Here are Katja’s specific matches with my mom:

There is no overlap with the matches Astrid has. Astrid and my mom also have Rathfelder and Bittenbinder common ancestors.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Katja matches my mom at Ancestry and has a Rathfelder in her tree
  • I was able to find Katja and my mom’s common Rathfelder and Bittendbinder ancestors
  • Katja and my mom probably match on other ancestral lines
  • I painted the DNA matches Katja has with my mom on my mom’s profile. Those matches were painted to Rathfelder and Bittenbinder even though they may represent other common ancestors.
  • Without a published document that explains some of the complicated Rathfelder relationships in Hirschenhof, it would have been very difficult to figure out the Rathfelder/Bittenbinder common ancestors that my Mom and Katja have.

Browsing Latvian Church Records for Ancestors

For a while, Raduraksti was updating its website, and I was not finding the Church records I used to see for my ancestors in Hirschenhof, Latvia. My ancestors attended the Linden Church in the area:

These appear to be the records:

There should be earlier records. Perhaps they will become available later.

Liepkalnes, Not Linden

I see now that I should have been lookiing at Liepkalnes, not Linden:

That would explain why I was having so much trouble finding people.

Here are some of my ancestors who lived in Latvia:

I see that some death dates are missing. It would be nice to fill some in if I could find them. However, that seems difficult. Perhaps filling in marriages would be easier.

Jacobine Lutke

I see that I don’t have a marriage for my second great-grandmother Jacobine Lutke:

Ancestry has this hint:

Here is the record on the page:

I would say that this looks right. Of course, this is just the summary of the marriage record and not the marriage record itself. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this record on the Raduraksti website.

Johann Georg Rathfelder Born 1778

I am missing Johann Georg’s marriage record also:

This is a tricky person to research because my memory tells me I had that Johann Georg had another brother by the same name – improbably as it seems:

The other confusing part is that the second Johann Goerg was supposed to have been born 14 years afther the first one. Aslo the Johannes who was supposed the be the son of the first Johann Georg was born in 1819 which would make him of an age that he could have been the son of the second Johann Georg! I would like to find the birth for Johann, but it appears that the records only go back as far as 1824 currently.

Browsing Ancestry Records

I found this interesting record at Ancestry:

I don’t recall seeing this before. This appears to be a personal register for the Rathfelder Family for Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Riga.

From what I can tell, this is a record for the brother of my great-grandfather Heinrich Rathfelder. I have this brother as Georg Gustav Rathfelder:

The above record can at least fill in some family history. I don’t know if the +1918 attached to Heinrich was to mean his death or just his leaving. It appears that Johann Heinrich was named after my great-grandfather. I couldn’t make out the second name for Jakob. There appears to be much other interesting information on the page, but I don’t know what it all means.

A Record for My Great-Grandfather Johann Heinrich Rathfelder

This appears to be a baptismal record:

Sponsors appear to be Gerhard Schwechheimer and a Rathfelder. I see that I can also add this wedding record to my Ancestry file:

I’m having such fun with these records, I’lll look more into Alexander’s siblings.

Johann Phillip Nicolai Rathfelder

This appears to be Nicolai’s Baptismal record:

Again, I take the additional names to be sponsors. However, there appear to be more names than usual. I found this record listed under Marriage Banns:

I think that this is telling me that Philippe Nicolai’s mother-in-law was Wilhemene Rathfelder.

This is my great-aunt Maria Caroline Rathfelder’s baptismal record:

I recognize the last name as Pfief or similar spelling.

Harry Eduard Rathfelder

Here I think I have a mistake and I think I know how it could have happened. Harry is the son of Phillipe Nicolai:

Harry’s Personal Register is interesting:

I don’t understand all the notations. It appears that although he was born in Riga, he was confirmed in Linden. Looks like he married in 1932 and has a swastika near his name. The above record is from the Jesus Church – I assume in Riga.

Erna Auguste’s Baptismal Record

Erna’s great-grandmother was a Fuhrmann. I believe that Ern died young:

I am glad for transcriptions as I would have had trouble finding this record:

Caroline Antonie

It looks like I missed one of her names. Ancestry had her birth year as 1877, but that bumps into Erna’s birth, so I will keep the 1878 that I had. Caroline’s Confirmation Record shows her born in 1878 also:

Johann Jacob Reinhold Rathfelder

I may have too many names here:

I dropped the Reinhold in my family tree.

Robert Ernst

It appears that Robert also died young:

Marie Otilie Hilda

Otilie must have been for her godmother. Marie also died young at 2 month:

Ludwig Artur Wilmar

If I have him right, he would have been my grandfather’s next oldest sibling. I am having trouble finding this person in the Latvian records that Ancestry has. I also cannot remember where I got the original information. I may have to re-evaluate Ludwig. While searching for Johann Heinrich Rathfelder, I finally found him:

The Ludwig name was probably for his sponsor Ludwig Metz.

Leonhard Florentin

Leo was apparently the baby of the family:

He got his name from Leonhard Goldigowsky(?).

My Grandfather, Alexander Siegfried Oscar

For some reason, Alexander’s baptism was at St Paul’s rather than St Peter’s Church in Riga. It looks like Alexander didn’t pick up a name from his sponsor. I see that Alexander’s godmother was Ottilie who was a sponsor for Alexander’s older sister Marie Ottilie HIlda who died young. It also appears that Alexander was born in July not June as I had it previously. Of course, all other records appear to show that Alexander was born in June. I guess I’ll go back to June.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I started out trying to use the Raduraksti website to find the records of my Rathfelder ancestors, but found the Ancestry records much easier to use
  • The death records were especially easy to use as they are difficult to read and go through without being able to search for records.
  • I found that searching in different ways helped. For example, I could only find one of the sons of Johann Heinrich Rathfelder by seaerching for the father
  • I found that one of the sons I had for Johann Heinrich Rathfelder was actually the son of his oldest son Nicolai. Nicolai’s son Harry appeared to have a swastika by his name which I am sure would have been common for Germans in the 1930’s.
  • Finally, I found out that I was looking at the wrong records at the Radurakski website.

Reinhold’s DNA Match and the Hirschenhof Connection

Reinhold matches my Mom by DNA at AncestryDNA. The match is not huge at 38 cM, but Ancestry shows common ancestors. Here is the first common ancestor tree that Ancestry shows:

I see one problem in the tree in that Reinhold’s grandmother shows as being born in 1970. I’m not sure why. Reinhold’s tree has Veronika born in 1903. Here are other likely common ancestors:

Here are those same names highlighted on my mother’s tree:

The closer three connections are on my mother’s paternal grandfather’s side (Rathfelder). The further connection is on my mother’s paternal grandmother’s side (Gangnus).

Let’s see if I can find all these people on Reinhold’s tree. He is two generations removed from my mother for six of the common ancestors and one generation removed for Niclas/Riedel.

The Rathfelder/Bittenbinder Connection

I have Biedenbender rather than Bittenbinder but I am sure they are the same. Here is Reinhold’s tree:

This couple are the 5th great-grandparents of Reinhold. I could check on Reinhold’s tree, but I have no reason to doubt it. According to Reinhold’s tree, his paternal grandmother Veronika Simon was born in Riga in 1903. My grandfather Alexander Rathfelder was born in Riga, Latvia 10 years earlier in 1893. This was a tumutuous time and place to be born. Veronika’s mother was born in Hirschenhof, Latvia in 1880. This was a German Colony in the heart of Latvia. These Germans tended to intermarry with each other within that Colony.

I name both Rathfelder and Biedender as the DNA shared between Reinhold and my family only came from one or the other of the two. It would be difficult to find out from which side the DNA came from or even if the DNA shared is from either as there are so many other possibilities.

Mertz/Muth Connection

Again, from Reinhold’s tree:

Reinhold’s fourth great-grandparents were Gustav Mertz and Anna Maria Rathfelder, but we are connected throught the parents of these two or at Reinhold’s fifth great-grandparent level.

Gangnus/Muller Connection

I’m glad that Reinhold built such a good tree. This is a bit of a who’s who in my mom’s Hirchenhof genealogy. This is on Reinhold’s Spengel line. Interestingly, my mom’s grandmother was a Gangnus, but this Gangnus is on my mom’s paternal grandfather side.

What’s more, if I have my genealogy right, my mother had two Gangnus 3rd great-grandparents named Gangnus. I have that Philipp Julius Gustav Gangnus and Philipp Jacob Gangnus were brothers.  Philip Jacob was on my mother’s Gangnus side.

One Generation Back to Niclas/Riedel

It is less likely that the DNA match is on either of these two people, but it is still possilble:

On Reinhold’s tree, this couple is on his Simon side. In my mother’s tree, this match is on her Gangnus grandmother’s side.

Adding Reinhold to My Rathfelder DNA Tree

This is a tree that combines DNA matches with genealogical matches. This is what I have now:

Reinhold is a 4th cousin twice removed, so he will be two levels below Astrid and Ingrid:

Reinhold’s name did not get centered for some reason.

A Merz/Muth DNA Family Tree

This is a new tree for me:

Turns out I can copy and paste from the previous tree, but the formatting is a bit odd. Reinhold’s tree has a birth date for Johann Peter Mertz at the top, so I borrowed that from there. As far as I know, Reinhold is the first one who I have found that shares these two ancestors of Merz and Muth.

Gangnus/Muller Tree

Unlike the Merz/Muth Tree, I already have an extensive Gangnus tree:

Rienhold should come in on the left side with Philipp Julius Gustavis Gangnus.  He descends from Sophia Gangnus born in 1783:

This gets a bit complicated the way I have it. I don’t think that Ancestry picked up the fact (if I have it right) that Reinhold is a 4th cousin twice removed and 5th cousin twice removed on the Gangnus Line. This tree is quite robust. There are many branches which in my view is desirable.

Niclas/Riedel Tree

This tree is also a first:

This tree also has the good type of branching in three different generations that I like to see.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Reinhold matches my family by DNA and by many common ancestors.
  • From what I can tell, Reinhold shares at least 10 common ancestors with me and my family.
  • I added Reinhold to my Rathfelder/Bittenbinder and Gangnus/Clausing Tree
  • I created a new Merz/Muth and Niclas/Riedel DNA Tree to show the relationship between Reinhold and my family.
  • It is no surprise that Reinhold has DNA matches with my family considering all the common ancestors we share.