Philadelphia Latvian Baptist Youth Society

John Timberg

John Timberg

John Timberg was born about 1863-1864 in Liepāja. He was among the early Latvian Baptist immigrants to Philadelphia, having arrived by at least early 1892, according to his Declaration of Intention1. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1901. He married Margaret (Margaretha) Klaische. Timberg in 1910 was a boarder in the home of the Peter and Lydia Gertz family, 716 Budd St. in Philadelphia, according to the federal census. He worked as a cabinet maker.

Timberg was among initiators of the Baptist congregation in Philadelphia and was known as an active singer.

His wife, Margaret, died December 28, 1921, at the age of 53.2

Their daugher, Erna, was born in 1896 in Philadelphia and died February 24, 1926.3

Timberg died December 21, 1927, at the age of 63 in Philadelphia.4 "His work, his words, his clothes and how he behaved showed that he had a bright, attractive, and committed character," the Rev. Pēteris Bušmanis wrote in an obituary.5

A year and a half after Timberg's death, Baptist leader J.A. Freijs reported that Timberg's son had transferred $1,140 (more than $16,400 in 2018 dollars) from the estate to support various Baptist causes in the homeland.6


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. "United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 16 April 2018), 100415131 > image 3208 of 9000; American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln.

3. P. Buschmans, "Erna Timberg," Kristīga Balss April 15, 1926, 189-190.

4. Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 111001-114000.

5. P. Buschmans, "Jānis, musu draugs, ir aizmidzis," Kristīga Balss, February 15, 1928, p. 80.

6. J.A. Freijs, "Brāļa Timberga mīlestība uz mūsu Savienības darbu," Kristīga Balss, April 1 and 15, 1929, p. 154.