The following is a family history written by Alfreds Polis around 1985…
This material was sent to me (Andrejs Bunkis) by Eric Polis in June 2016.
Katija (Omite) is my maternal grandmother.
My Mother's side
My grandfather was killed while Krišis was but a baby. Taking out from forest with a horse team a full load of timber, the load overturned and the timber rolled on him.
My grandmother died 26.2.1940 approx. 77 yrs. Old
My brother, Edward Žanis, married his first wife approx. A week before leaving for Brasil. Shortly after Irajema was born, she left with another man, leaving baby to my brother. He died from pleurisy (with some complications) in 1949. His second wife was still alive 1983 and she and all the children live in Brasil, Sao Paulo. Their last Christmas card to me (1983) was written in good English. So, either Dina or her children must speak English quite good. I answered in Latvian, but as yet no news from them. Dina is divorced and Valija lives with her. Dina's son is 19 years old now and daughter is nearly 18.
My aunt Lisa lives in U.S. A. With her daughter Velta. Her daughter Austra, lives in Ventspils, Latvia.
My brother died 1 1/2 years old at the beginning of W.W.1 and was buried in Baptist Cemetery, Kuldiga, Latvia.
Aivars Lukasevics and his 2nd wife are still in Philippines.
My grandfather Andrejs Enģelis had 1 brother, who was a farmer at Sakas, Latvia.
My grandmother Jūle Ošnieks had 3 sisters and 1 brother.
All children still alive in Latvia. Knew them well, but did not know how they were related to me.
Both still alive in Latvia. Janis works as a store-
My Father's Side
My grandfather's name was Wilhelm (German). I have no knowledge of my grandmother's name. She had died before WWI. Grandfather died some years after WWI. Grandfather had 4 sons. My father was the youngest. The 3 oldest sons had always been interested in farming, but my father since early days in commerce. (shops etc.)
(when I was a young boy, Janis (Dad's brother) was still alive somewhere on the other side of Latvia, but no contact. He was in Liepaja and for a while boarded with my parents.)
(Katija's brother was attending German High School at Petersburg, Russia, when in 1918 communists killed all students and all teachers of that school, also Katija's brother.)
Katija's father Kristaps died when Katija was 3 years old. My father had found her trying to wake up her dead father. My mother had taken care of her until her own mother returned some years later. She had fled to escape a plague that later killed her husband and a day before him, his brother Karlis. Katija calls it “black pox”.
Katija lives now in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. She was 85 yeafs old in January 1984. Her oldest daughter, Biruta, married Vitold Bunkis in Germany where he was schoolteacher, at the D.P. camp. In Canada he finished university and worked as a mining engineer in a nickel mine. Now retired and at present both on a world tour. Their son, Andrejs, married a Scottish lass Bonnie Elizabeth Marnoch, a year younger than Andrejs and a schoolteacher (now at home). Andrejs got his university degree in Toronto. At present he is Vice President at Toronto's International Trust Co. Their oldest girl Melanie is 8, Stephanie is 6 and Kyle 3 1/2. Eriks was 21 at the end of 1983 and is studying at Carleton University, where he hopes to gain this year his bachelor’s degree.
Mara’s husband Janis Zarins still works in a nickel mine in Sudbury They got married in Canada. He is just a worker. Their oldest girl Linda is married to a Scotsman, working as a mechanic in a garage. No children. Laila got married in July 1983. She has university degree for high school teaching, but did not like it. Works in taxation department, Toronto, where her husband Paul Dabous, is a mortgage salesman.
(by the way, a daughter of Janis', my father's bother, wife's sister (Emily) is living next door Velta and arnold Lukasevics in U.S A.)
Linda apparently is quite musical. Was organist in Toronto Lutheran Church. Plays also clarinet and violin.
It seems that in the years gone by my father had always taken care of all the other relations. Lisa had worked before WWI on his farm and brother Janis had managed it while Karlis and Kristaps had worked for dad's shop and my mother's brother Krisis had supplied goods for it by going, with horse and cart, to buy them in Riga and other places.
When in WWI the Germans had come too close to Kuldiga, where my father's farm and shop were, they had left the shop fully supplied and the house to dad's father and taking Lisa and Katija and my grandmother, mum's mother with them had fled to Moscow and then to Petersburg (or Petrograd) At the beginning of the Russian revolution they had fled to Revel (Tallin) in Estonia, where they had been until the end of WWI, and father have had his own bakery with mum in charge of the bread and cake making. When they had returned to Kuldiga they had found that my father's dad had soon sold all the goods left in the shop, also all the furniture of the house and spent it all on alcohol and women and was himself put in an old people's home. (He must have been quite a lively old man, still running after women at his age. Well, they say there is a skeleton in every family's wardrobe.) So, instead of staying in Kuldiga, they had come to Liepaja, where I was born in 1921. Well, Eric, that is about all that I have learned about those who have gone before us from my aunt Lisa and from my cousin (is it?) Katija.