Robert Kurmin, born July 4, 1897, was the brother of Adolph Kurmin and came to America with the rest of the family in 1905. The family previously had lived in Lubin, Russia, site of a Latvian Baptist colony that had been founded in the 1870s.1 According to the 1910 U.S. census, the Kurmin family lived in the Peter and Lilly Robinson household at 869 Holly St. The Kurmin family included the father and mother, David and Lydia (Lotte), as well as children Bertha, Tillie, Adolph, and Robert.2 When he registered for the draft in 1918, he lived at 918 Rockland St. in Philadelphia and was employed by the American Telephone & Telegraph Co.3
During the First World War, according to his veteran's compensation application.4 Kurmin served as a private in the medical corps, first in Georgia and then in Michigan. In 1923, Robert married Dorothy Rudolph, an ethnic Latvian woman born in Pennsylvania.5 According to the 1940 U.S. census, the couple lived at 116 Vance Ave. in Lavallette, New Jersey, along with their children, Robert A. (born in New Jersey), Florence E. (born in New Jersey), and Arnold B. (born in Pennsylvania).6 Living with them was Emily Rudolph, Dorothy's mother. Lavallette in the 1930s and 1940s became a favorite vacation spot and eventual home for a number of ethnic Latvian families. Robert Kurmin died in 1978.7
Robert Kurmin's mother, Lydia, died May 28, 1929, in Lavallette, New Jersey, according to an obituary appearing in the Rīga-based periodical Kristīga Balss. She was buried June 2, 1929, in the White Lawn Cemetery in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Lydia Kurmin was born in 1864 or 1865 in the Latvian emigrant colony at Novgorod, Russia. She became involved at an early age with the Latvian Baptist congregation at Lubin, where she met David Kurmin. While the family immigrated to the United States in 1905 and first settled in Philadelphia, by 1913 Lote and David were living in Lavallette. She was known as someone who loved growing flowers, so on the day of her funeral the Kurmin home, the church, and the cemetery were decorated with blossoms.8
1. J. Kronlins, "Latviešu baptistu draudzes aiz Latvijas robežām," in Uz augšu! Latvijas baptistu draudžu 75 gadu darbības apskats, comp. J. Kronlins (Rīga: Latvijas baptistu draudžu savienība, 1935), 41-46.
2. "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MGC6-T3J : accessed 19 January 2017), Adolph Korman in household of Peter Robinson, Philadelphia Ward 24, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 522, sheet 5A, family 93, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1398; FHL microfilm 1,375,411.
3. "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6KD-2BC : 12 December 2014), Robert Kurmin, 1917-1918; citing Philadelphia City no 43, Pennsylvania, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,907,767.
4. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
5. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
6. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
7. "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JRW2-WZK : 20 May 2014), Robert Kurmin, Nov 1978; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing). See also Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
8. J. Kvietiņš, "Late Kurmin," Kristīga Balss, August 15, 1929, p. 320.