Christopher A. Roos (born Kristaps Adamoff Rusinskis) would become a notable Latvian-American civic leader. Roos was born Jan. 13, 1887, in Kuldīga (Goldingen), Latvia, according to his Declaration of Intention.1. He was the son of Adam and Elizabeth (Bohling) Roos. He immigrated to the United States in March 1906, arriving in New York from Hamburg, Germany, aboard the S.S. Patricia.
By the time of the 1910 federal census, Roos was working as an assistant in a medical laboratory and was a boarder in the home of Jacob and Katherine Palsir, 3336 Haverford Ave. in Philadelphia. (The census enumerator for some reason listed Roos and the Palsirs as Yiddish speaking, rather than Lettish, or Latvian. Also in the home was Jacob and Katherine's 9-month-old son Waldemar and Jacob's 23-year-old brother, Peter).
Roos married Clara Augusta Treymann (Treimanis) in August 1913 in Windsor, Ontario2. Clara Treymann, the daughter of William and Amelia (Hanson) Treymann, was born in Michigan. Roos became a naturalized U.S. citizen in December 1918. In 1920, he and Clara, along with their 1-year-old daughter, Marie, lived at 1528 S. 55th St. in Philadelphia, according to the federal census. Christopher worked as a bacteriologist in a physician's office.
In 1920, Roos became editor of Amerikas Atbalss, a weekly nationalist newspaper that replaced the long-running Amerikas Vēstnesis. The paper, which lasted until 1922, was published in New York. As Latvian immigrants worked to gain U.S. recognition after their homeland's independence, Roos was part of a delegation that at the end of May 1921 met with officials in Washington, D.C., including President Warren G. Harding.3 The U.S. government formally recognized Latvia in 1922.
By 1930, the Roos family was living in Nether Providence Township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and included two more children, John and Elizabeth, according the federal census.4 Christopher Roos died Sept. 13, 19625.
1. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Federal Naturalization Records, 1795-1931 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. See also his military draft registration from 1917: "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6KD-SG2 : 12 December 2014), Christopher Roos, 1917-1918; citing Philadelphia City no 41, Pennsylvania, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,907,765.
2. Ancestry.com and Genealogical Research Library (Brampton, Ontario, Canada). Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1785-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
3. Osvalds Akmentiņš, Amerikas latvieši, 1888-1948 (Lincoln: Vaidava, 1958), pp. 185-192.
4. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.
5. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.