Peter Brakman (Brackman, Brachman, Brockman) was born June 28, 1891 (or June 29, 1892), in Ventspils. He married Elsie Grundman in August 1916. In June 1917, according to his draft registration, he lived with his wife and one child at 756 Preston St. in Philadelphia. Brakman worked as a machinist for Bement, Miles & Co. By 1930, the couple and four daughters -- Lily Delphina, Clara Wilhemina, Florence Martha, and Catherine Elenora -- lived and farmed in Springfield Township in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, according to the federal census. (John Freeman, 45 and also from Latvia, was a laborer for the family.) His naturalization petition1 reveals that the family by 1931 had moved to the Bronx, New York. Peter had entered the U.S. on July 15, 1913, through Gulfport, Mississippi, aboard the S.S. Parknot. At the time, he used the alias Artur Bois, but it is not clear why. In the Bronx, the family lived at 1337 Merriam Avenue, where Peter was superintendent of the apartment building, according to the 1940 federal census.
1. National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, DC; ARC Title: Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906; NAI Number: 5700802; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21.