Descendants of Jacob Rathvelder



Introduction

I would like to thank the following for their help in researching the Rathfelder family in Latvia:


Most importantly, I have used the excellent and most highly recommended research of Gustav Gangnus. Without his work I would not have had any of first 300 years of the Rathfelder history and much of the information in the last 100 years. Gustav's indispensable publications (in German) are:

The Rathfelders in Europe were originally from Germany and lived for over 150 years in Latvia.

Germany

Rathfelders in Germany 1500's to 1700's
Rathfelders in Germany

The Rathfelders in Germany lived to the East of Strasburg and Southwest of Stuttgart. The star on the map to the right is Bondorf where the Rathfelders lived prior to moving to the Hirschenhof colony in Latvia. Before living in Bondorf, they lived in Sulz or Sulz Am Eck. This is not to be confused with Sulz Am Neckar to the South. This area is in historical Wurttemburg and present day Baden-Wurtemburg.

Generation One




1. JACOB1 RATHVELDER was born circa 1561. He married Anna (--?--) circa 1585. He died between 31 Jan 1622 and 20 Oct 1625.
He lived at Sulz, Würtemberg.
Children of Jacob1 Rathvelder and Anna (--?--) were:

Generation Two




2. MICHAEL2 ROTHFELDER (Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 23 Nov 1603 at Sulz. He married Catharina (--?--) circa 1621. He died on 14 Jul 1670 at Sulz at age 66.
Children of Michael2 Rothfelder and Catharina (--?--) were as follows:

Generation Three




3. JACOB3 ROTHFELDER (Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 29 Jan 1647 at Sulz, Eck. He married Maria Hägele, Hägelin on 30 Apr 1672 at Bondorf. He died on 1 Oct 1705 at Bondorf, Herrenberg, at age 58.
He was a linen weaver.
Children of Jacob3 Rothfelder and Maria Hägele, Hägelin all born at Bondorf were as follows:

Generation Four




4. HANß JACOB4 RATHFELDER (Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 25 Apr 1673 at Bondorf. He married Catharina Föhr, daughter of Paulus Föhr, on 23 Aug 1701 at Haslach. He died on 9 May 1725 at Haslach at age 52.
He was a linen weaver and court official.
Children of Hanß Jacob4 Rathfelder and Catharina Föhr were as follows:

Generation Five




5. BLASIUS5 RATHFELDER (Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 9 Jan 1726 at Haslach, Herrenberg, Würtenberg, Germany. He married Margaretha Hämmerle on 20 Jun 1747 at Haslach, Herrenberg, Wurtenberg. He married Anna Maria Nonnenmacher on 10 Feb 1756 at Bondorf. He married Maria Ursula Sannwald on 24 Jun 1779 at Linden. He died after 1782 at Livland.
He was also known as Rothfelder.
Children of Blasius5 Rathfelder and Margaretha Hämmerle were as follows:
Children of Blasius5 Rathfelder and Anna Maria Nonnenmacher were as follows:
Children of Blasius5 Rathfelder and Maria Ursula Sannwald were:
blasius.jpg (5K)
Plot #3 Hirschenhof
map of Ergli

The text above is from a book on Hirschenhof written by Werner Conze in 1930. Blasius was the first settler of Plot #3.

Inge Taschke-Pfeiff from Bochum, Germany has researched some of the Latvian Rathfelders. She says that Blasius Rathfelder his wife and 7 children were from Bondorf near Nagold in Württemberg. They all emigrated to Hirschenhof, Latvia in 1766. Blasius was originally a weaver and had 5 more children in Hirschenhof. At that time, Katharina II of Russia, who was a German, was encouraging Germans to live in the Wolga area of Russia by offering land.

Life in Hirschenhof, Latvia

Since the 13th century, Latvia has had a history of being occupied by Germany, Poland and Russia. During the time the Rathfelders were in Latvia, the Country was ruled by Russia. According to www.geographic.org, " Besides the Baltic barons and other Germans, the greatest impact on the formation of the Latvian nation came from Russia, the giant neighbor that began the conquest of Latvia in 1710 under Peter I (the Great) (r. 1682-1725) and completed the process eighty-five years later. For more than 200 years, Latvians had a unique mixture of elites. The German nobility was dominant in economic, cultural, social, and local political life, and the Russian bureaucracy was in charge of higher politics and administration."

According to information at the Roots-saknes.lv web site, "The Tzarin Catharine II (she was also a German by ethnicity) organized some migrations of Germans to Russia in the 18th century and one of her projects was directly related to the region of Latvia. The Germans were invited to Vidzeme [Livland] province and settled in Hirschenhof manor. This was a State (Crown) owned manor. Hirschenhof in Latvian language was changed to Irši and the colony is usually mentioned in Latvian as Iršu kolonija. The first 321 person arrived in spring 1767, and in 1902 the number of their descendants was estimated at about 10,000 /KV, vol.2/, though many of them then lived in Riga and in other cities and towns of the Empire. Irši [Hirschenhof] as a German settlement disappeared after the German mass emigration in 1939."

Hirschenhof (Irsi) and Liepkalne
map of Ergli

Irsi is South of ErgLi on a recent internet map. Liepkalne, where the Linden Church was is directly to the Northwest of present day Irsi. It is in the Modona District. Districts are referred to as Aprinki, while Hirschenhof was a Pagasts (the plural is Pagasti). Irsi or Ergli is the area closest to what was formerly Hirchenhof. It appears to be about 200 Km East of Riga.

The Religion of the Germans in Latvia was Evangelical Lutheran. The Linden Church was located to the North of Hirschen in Ohselhof. Click on the map titled Erbe 29 to see the location. A reproduction of the Church is shown below from the Gangnus Family book. Catherine Watts has translated a section from a book on the Gangnus Family from German.

The Protestant parish of Linden in Latvia.

The parish of Linden lay between Kokenhusen (Koknese near Riga) on the Daugava River in the south and the River Oger in the north. It consisted of estates owned by German landowners and two estates that had been the property of the Russian Crown since 1720. The two provinces of Hirschenhof and Helfreichshof were populated in 1766 with German colonists after the removal of the original Latvian resident farmers to other provinces. The church itself lay in the area of Ohselhof.

The Linden Lutheran Church
Linden Church

The Protestant vicar of Linden served an ethnically mixed parish, a Latvian and a German community, and preached in both languages. The Latvian community consisted of serf farmers, whose emancipation began in 1819 in Latvia (in Russia the emancipation of the serfs took place in 1861). The German community consisted of families of noble landowners, vicars, administrators, as well as non-professional craftsmen and the newly arrived colonists. The German section of the community was the highest in this part of the country thanks to the arrival of the colonists – although the Germans still only made up under 50% of the whole parish.

One differentiated oneself based upon one’s social status. The most important differentiating characteristic was perhaps language.Attempts to Germanify the Latvians were not made. If a Latvian were to achieve freedom, and adopted the German language, this was considered to be an increase in social status, and he/she would often take on a German name, if not already suggested by the German landowner.

In the eyes of the Baltic Germans, marriage to a Latvian was frowned upon. The colonists also took on this biased snobbery. Marriages to Poles were slightly better regarded, as from the beginning the Poles were considered as free people that could be employed upon the farms as opposed to mere serfs.

These colourful relations between the Germans and the Latvians are reflected in the church records of Linden. There were special books for the baptisms, weddings and burials of the Germans, and separate records for the “Un-Germans”, the Latvians.

In the family trees,births and deaths are recorded as Hirschenhof – even if the plot was in the smaller Helfreichshof – whereas the weddings are registered as Linden, as they took place in the church at Linden, which was outside of the areas of both colonies.



Generation Six




6. HANS JERG6 RATHFELDER (Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 17 Jan 1752 at Bondorf, Germany. He married Juliane Bittenbinder on 27 Jan 1775 at Linden. He died on 5 Jul 1828 at Hirschenhof at age 76.
He was a farmer. He lived at #3, Hirschenhof. He was also known as Johann Georg.
Children of Hans Jerg6 Rathfelder and Juliane Bittenbinder were as follows:

Generation Seven




7. JOHANN ADAM7 RATHFELDER (Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 2 Nov 1775 at Hirschenhof. He married Anna Catharina Elisabeth Rothweiler. He died on 1 Mar 1814 at age 38.
Children of Johann Adam7 Rathfelder and Anna Catharina Elisabeth Rothweiler all born at Hirschenhof were as follows:

8. JOHANN GEORG7 RATHFELDER (Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 1 Jun 1778. He married Anna Charlotte Mertz, daughter of Johann Peter Merz Mertz and Anna Margarethe Muth. He died on 21 Jan 1856 at age 77. He was buried either 25 Jan 1856 or 26 Jan 1856 at Linden (Lipkalne).
He lived at Erbe 3, Hirschenhof. He was a farmer.
Children of Johann Georg7 Rathfelder and Anna Charlotte Mertz were:

Generation Eight




9. JOHANNES8 RATHFELDER (Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 14 Mar 1819 at Hirschenhof, Latvia. He was baptized on 30 Mar 1819 at Evangelical Lutheran Church, Linden, Latvia. He married Rosine Schwechheimer, daughter of Johann Gottfried Schwechheimer and Anna Charlotte Maria Gangnus, on 7 Feb 1843 at Linden. He died after 1899.
He was a joiner.
Children of Johannes8 Rathfelder and Rosine Schwechheimer were as follows:

Johannes lived in Parcel #29 in Hirschenhof. This is Erbe 29 in German and means "heritage". The farms were passed from father to eldest son. It appears that Johannes may have married a relative. The map to the right shows the area. The unshaded areas are the farm areas. The shaded areas are where the craftsment lived. It appears that the family all lived here. A Gustav Rathfelder, son of Johann also lived on the farm with his children and grandchildren. He may have been a younger brother of my ancestor Johann (father of Johann Heinrich). Further, there were other Rathfelders in the shaded are of Erbe 29. Their connection to the family is more unclear. Altogether, there could have been as many as 40-50 Rathfelders living on Erbe 29 at one time.


Generation Nine



Marie Gangnus
marie gangnus

10. JOHANN HEINRICH9 RATHFELDER (Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 26 Mar 1846 at Hirschenhof, Latvia. He was baptized on 21 Apr 1846 at Linden. He married Maria Elisabeth Laura Gangnus, daughter of Johann Philipp Gangnus and Jacobine Lütke. He died before 24 Mar 1921.
He was a joiner or cabinet maker (tischler). He was also known as Henry.
Children of Johann Heinrich9 Rathfelder and Maria Elisabeth Laura Gangnus were as follows:

11. ANNA CHARLOTTE9 RATHFELDER (Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 26 Nov 1848 at Hirschenhof, Latvia. She was baptized on 29 Nov 1848 at Linden.
She Anna Charlotte may have married into the family as I have no husband for her presently. She may have been a Hauk as this family appeared to occupy the land previously.
Children of Anna Charlotte9 Rathfelder both born Hirschenhof, Latvia include:

12. GEORG GUSTAV9 RATHFELDER (Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 30 Jan 1851 at Hirschenhof, Latvia. He was baptized on 4 Mar 1851 at Linden. He married Charlotte Kroeger.
Children of Georg Gustav9 Rathfelder and Charlotte Kroeger were as follows:

13. JOHANN GOTTLIEB9 RATHFELDER (Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 9 Aug 1853 at Hirschenhof, Latvia. He married Catharina Schmidt.
Children of Johann Gottlieb9 Rathfelder and Catharina Schmidt are:

Generation Ten




Alexander in London circa 1915
Alexander in London circa 1915
14. ALEXANDER SIEGFRIED OSCAR10 RATHFELDER (Johann9, Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 11 Jun 1894 at Riga, Latvia. He married Emma Nicholson Lentz, daughter of Jacob George Lentz and Ann Eliza Nicholson, on 24 Mar 1921. He died on 18 Jan 1948 at 1140 Roosevelt Drive, Upper Darby, PA, at age 53. He was buried on 21 Jan 1948 at Arlington, Drexel Hill, PA.
He was a Hairdresser at Strawbridge & Clothier's Store. He Social Security # 183-01-0977 Worked at Strawbridge & Clothier's Store Lived at 1140 Roosevelt Drive for 8 years at time of death. Died of heart attack @ 8:30 a.m. from shoveling snow at age 53. His wife was 47. He was confirmed on 3 Apr 1911 at St. Petri Lutheran, Riga, Latvia. He emigrated on 15 Dec 1915 from Archangel, Russia. He immigrated on 15 Jan 1916 on the S.S. Czaritza, New York, NY. He was a chaffeur on 13 Jan 1920 at New York. As of 13 Jan 1920, he was also known as Alexadra Rathfellow. He appeared on the census of 13 Jan 1920 as a roomer with Charles Grosh at 609 West 135th Street, Manhatten, New York, NY. He was a Student in 1921. He lived in 1921 at 153 E. 8620, New York, NY. He lived in 1924 at 1114 East Earl Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylsvania. He was naturalized on 9 Mar 1925.
Children of Alexander Siegfried Oscar10 Rathfelder and Emma Nicholson Lentz were as follows:
rathfelder fammily (29K)
SS Czaritza
SS Czaritza

In 1905, Latvians held a general strike. Later that year the Russians killed 2,000 Latvians. In 1915, during WWI, the Germans occupied half of Latvia. Riga was taken by the Germans on 3 September 1917. The Germans surrendered a little over a month later. The Latvians declared their independence late in 1918 and fought for 2 years to keep Germany and Russia out of their country. With all the turmoil of the time, it is not surprising that many would want to leave.

According to Alexander’s naturalization papers, he emigrated from Archangel which is in Northeast Russia. His Certificate of arrival for Naturalization purposes says that he arrived in New York, N.Y on Jan. 15, 1916 on the S.S. Czaritza. "No record of his arrival could be found for the reason that Deserting seaman."

Archangel or Arkangel’sk, Russia
map of arkangel

I have recently checked the NY Times and found that the Czaritza did arrive in New York, but at slightly different dates than stated above. The ship picture to the right was recently advertised and sold on EBay. This ship is noted in the Times 4 times in January of 1916:

1/2/1916 Due Tomorrow (Monday) Sailed out of Archangel Dec. 19
1/4/1916 Arrived Monday, Jan. 3 Due to sail out Saturday to Archangel ship czaritza
1/9/1916 Due to sail Wednesday
1/12/1916 Due to sail tomorrow to Kola Bay Mail close 10:00 A.M. Vessel sails 2:00 P.M.

It appears that the ship left later than originally. Planned. Did this give Alexander extra time to jump ship? Or was there extra time recruiting ship workers or looking for Alexander? Kola Bay is at Murmansk (see map). Also note that another ship out of Archangel arrived the same day and that the destination of the Czaritza apparently changed also from Archangel to Kola Bay.

Thanks to some picture postcards which Alexander kept, we can locate where he lived. On April 24, 1916 his brother Leo addressed a postcard to him at the German Hospital 77th E. Apparently Alexander was working and living there. Postcards from his mother probably sent in 1917 are addressed to 324 E. 87th Street. An undated postcard from Brother Leo was sent from Englan to the same address. Leo gave his address as Glasgow.

When Alexander was enumerated in the 1920 Census, he was living in a New York City apartment. He and others in the apartment first listed their birthplace as Latvia and then crossed it out and put down the U.S. In 1920, he was 26 years old and living in Manhattan on West 135th Street and working as a chauffeur. His three house mates were also from Latvia and employed as waiters. Soon after, he met Emma Lentz from Philadelphia at Atlantic City. They married and had 5 children. The first three children were born at the home of Jacob and Annie Nicholson Lentz at 1114 East Earl Street, Philadelphia.


Leo Rathfelder
Leo Rathfelder

15. LEONHARD FLORENTIN10 RATHFELDER (Johann9, Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 17 Oct 1896 at Latvia. He was baptized on 8 Dec 1896 at St Peter’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Riga, Latvia. He married Lidia Vasiljeva, daughter of Mikhail Vasiljeva, on 14 Jul 1917 at Rozhdestwensky Orthodox Church, Arkhangelsk, Russia. He and Lidia Vasiljeva were divorced on 25 Oct 1928 at Riga, Latvia. He married Clara Zvirbulis on 11 Jul 1931. He and Clara Zvirbulis were divorced on 29 May 1935. He married Iraida Pantelajeva on 29 Dec 1935 at St. Peter's Ev. Lutheran Church, Riga.
He was also known as Leo. He lived in 1920 at Artilerijas Str. 66, Riga, Latvia. He was a hospital attendant in 1922 on the S/S Latvia. He lived in 1923 at Gimnastikas Str. 22, Riga, Latvia. He lived in 1927 at Vasaras Str. 11, Riga, Latvia. He and Iraida Pantelajeva immigrated on 10 Nov 1939 to Germany.
Children of Leonhard Florentin10 Rathfelder and Lidia Vasiljeva were as follows:
There were no children of Leonhard Florentin10 Rathfelder and Clara Zvirbulis.
There were no children of Leonhard Florentin10 Rathfelder and Iraida Pantelajeva.

Generation Eleven




16. GLADYS MARIE11 RATHFELDER (Alexander10, Johann9, Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 23 Dec 1921 at Philadelphia. She was baptized on 19 Mar 1922 at 1st Presbyterian Church of Kensington, Philadelpia. She married James Frazer Hartley, son of James Hartley and Marion Margaret Frazer, on 2 Aug 1947 at Llanarch Hills, Upper Darby, PA.
She was a Housewife.
Children of Gladys Marie11 Rathfelder and James Frazer Hartley all born at Wareham, MA, are as follows:

17. MURIEL ANTONIA11 RATHFELDER (Alexander10, Johann9, Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 18 Sep 1924 at Philadelphia. She married Frank Breen.
Children of Muriel Antonia11 Rathfelder and Frank Breen are as follows:

18. RUSSELL CONWELL11 RATHFELDER (Alexander10, Johann9, Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 8 Dec 1925 at Philadelphia. He married Yolande Kelley. He married Jesse Stevens.
He was a Salesman.
There were no children of Russell Conwell11 Rathfelder and Yolande Kelley.
Children of Russell Conwell11 Rathfelder and Jesse Stevens are as follows:

19. ROBERT HENRY11 RATHFELDER (Alexander10, Johann9, Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 7 Apr 1933 at Drexel Hill, PA. He married Vera (--?--). He died on 5 Jun 1990 at Florida at age 57.
Children of Robert Henry11 Rathfelder and Vera (--?--) are as follows:

20. HERMAN11 RATHFELDERS (Leonhard10 Rathfelder, Johann9, Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 14 May 1918 at Arkhangelsk, Russia. He married Veneranda Martinson. He died in Sep 1977 at Manchester, Lancashire, UK, at age 59.
He was also known as Hermanis.
hermsml.jpg (6K)
Children of Herman11 Rathfelders and Veneranda Martinson are as follows:
Children of Herman11 Rathfelders and Mary Worswick are:

21. NINA11 RATHFELDER (Leonhard10, Johann9, Johannes8, Johann7, Hans6, Blasius5, Hanß4, Jacob3 Rothfelder, Michael2, Jacob1 Rathvelder) was born on 27 Jul 1922 at Riga, Latvia. She married Voldemars Ciemgals on 24 Dec 1939 at Jesus Evangelical Lutheran Church, Riga.
Children of Nina11 Rathfelder and Voldemars Ciemgals are:



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