Newly Found Rathfelder Records

I recently joined the Latvia Genealogy Facebook Page which has been a good thing. Right away someone found my grandfather’s birth and baptismal record.

It looks like my grandfather Alexander was a year older than I thought. I had that his birth was on 11 June 1894. This record is from 1893. This record is from St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Riga.

It looks impressive.

When was Alexander born? The months of June and July look similar in German:

Juni—named for the goddess Juno, patroness of marriage and of well being of women
Juli—named after Julius Caesar. Renamed from Quinctilis, which meant ‘fifth’ because July used to be the fifth month

The month would be July. The year would be 1893. That leaves the day.

I’m having trouble figuring out the number of the day. The day on the right must be the baptism (Taufe). So that date must be later than the first.

Here are the German words for the 15th, 16th and 17th:

  • fünfzehnte
  • sechzehnte
  • siebzehnte

Alexander’s sponsors:

They look to be Martin Wilhelm Stahlberg and Ottilie Gagnus. I assume that Ottilie was a relative.

Alexander’s WWI Draft Registration Card

This hint came up at Ancestry:

At this time, Alexander apparently went by Sigfried. Here, his birth is listed as June 11, 1893. I’ll go with that date for his birth. This record was from 1917, so about three years before the 1920 Census. Here is where Alexander aka Siegfried lived in 1917:

Siegfried was a citizen of Russia and worked as a L. Guard (?). He lists his mother as being dependent on him for support. The second page states that his right leg was shorter by three inches:

This record from about a year and a half after Alexander entered the US.

More on Leo Rathfelder

I was able to re-find Leo’s birth and baptism record:

He was baptized in 1896 at St Peter’s Lutheran in Riga:

This Church was closer to the Center compared to St Paul’s where Alexander was baptized. Perhaps this represented a move by the Rathfelder family within Riga. I wonder if there is an address on the birth record above. It could be below the birth date. Here is St Peter’s:

The website says it is a 15th century Church.

Passport Information for Leo

The same helpful person that found Alexander’s birth and baptismal record, found passport information for Leo at FamilySearch:

This document appears to be from 1926, so when Leo was about 30:

Here are the links to Leo’s passport information:

You need to be signed in to FamilySearch to see the results. Here is another photo from a later passport:

One of the files contains 50 pages of images. This must be due to the fact that Leo worked on a ship and traveled a lot. If I understood Latvian, I would know more about what all the files say. As there are three photos in the files, that must represent three passports. Use of these passports began around 1919, so my grandfather would not have had one.

The stamps in one of Leo’s passport records will add some color to my Blog:

These records fill in some details on the lives of brothers Alexander and Leo Rathfelder


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