Philadelphia Latvian Baptist Youth Society

James Frederick Juhnags


James Yunag's military draft registration card from 1917. Yunag claimed exemption from military service on the grounds of his Baptist religion.

James Juhnags

James Frederick Juhnags (Yunag) was born March 10, 1892, in Novgorod, Russia, according to his June 1917 draft registration. He was a son of Fred Yunag and Anna Paul. Juhnags immigrated to the U.S. in May 1905, arriving in New York from Hamburg aboard the S.S. Armenia.1

He worked as a locomotive fireman for the Pennsylvania and Reading Railway Co. and lived, in 1917, at 880 N. 42nd St. in Philadelphia. On the registration, he claimed exemption from the military draft due to being a Baptist. When the postcard showing the youth society was printed in 1916, Juhnags was head of the organization. His brother, Andrew Yunag, farmed in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Juhnags married Alida Demberg in 1917. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1918. In 1920, according to the federal census, the couple lived with their newborn daughter, Gertrude, at 4336 Parrish St. in Philadelphia. Juhnags had become a carpenter. Also in the home were Alida's sisters Alma Demberg and Erna Demberg, as well as a Latvian boarder, Johnny Halbl. By 1930, the family — parents James and Alida, daughter Gertrude, and son Robert — had moved to rural Marple Township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.2

Juhnags died June 29, 1961, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.3 He was 69. Juhnags is buried in Arlington Cemetery in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.


1. Pennsylvania, Federal Naturalization Records, 1795-1931 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.

2. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

3. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.