Latvian Genealogy Forum

Farm names
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Author:  Robert [ Sun May 19, 2013 1:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Farm names

Ok - anyone looking at this forum, sign up. I need your help. Here's my first problem. In one of my relatives memoirs he writes that the 200 acre family farm was named Zanderi and it was six kilometers from Saldus. On the birth record of his father it states he was from Sanderi farm. So far so good. But when I look at some old maps of the area from the map section of the “ Periodika “ web site, all I can find is a farm called Sander or Zandari depending on the date of the map, both on the same spot. Does anyone have an opinion if they think this could be a match or does the spelling have to be exact?

Author:  chelli11 [ Sun May 19, 2013 7:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Farm names

That's the farm! The spelling doesn't have to match. Sanderi is probably the more Germanic spelling while Zandari is Latvian. The "I" on the end of the word just tells the grammatical context - I'm sure Antra could elaborate on Latvian language more than me!
The farm my grandfather was born on for example was called Skrundenieki is Latvian - Schrundeneek or Skrundeneek in German!

Author:  Antra [ Sun May 19, 2013 11:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Farm names

Chelli is right. The first rule of Latvian genealogy is that when it comes to names of people or places, spelling - particularly the ending of the name - doesn't matter (as long as when you sound it out it sounds the same), because grammatical case will have an effect. For example, my surname, Celmiņa, is the feminine form of the masculine "Celmiņš". The plural would be "Celmiņi", which is also a common farm name, but I have also seen farms that are just "Celmiņš" (singular).

I'd recommend looking at this blog post of mine for more information on how spellings can change over time: ... thography/

Author:  Robert [ Sun May 19, 2013 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Farm names

Hey everybody. Thanks for the reply. It's nice to have it confirmed. It really is exciting to figure out where people you have descended from have lived their life's.

Author:  Robert [ Wed May 22, 2013 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Farm names

Just a side note. I couldn't figure out why there was no Saldus for the 1897 Census section on the Raduraksti site to further my research. I emailed Radduraksti and got an answer today. The 1897 Census records for Saldus did not survive. I guess we have to be happy on what did survive.

Author:  Antra [ Wed May 22, 2013 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Farm names

Yeah, unfortunately the 1897 Census is hit and miss in terms of survival. Generally speaking, the best document survival rates are for northern Latvia (Vidzeme/Livland). The 1897 Census has good survival rates in eastern Latvia (Latgale), which is good since survival rates on other documents can be really hit and miss. Southern and western Latvia (Kurzeme-Zemgale/Kurland) is a bit of a crapshoot, my experience has been that cities generally have good survival rates on documents, but the rural parishes can also be a bit hit and miss, though this is something you only really notice when you go to the archives themselves, since the documents available online (church records and revision lists) are relatively complete, but other document types that are abundant in northern Latvia don't survive much for the south/west (things like parish registers and other documents from the late 1800s that aren't digitized - these documents can be a godsend if trying to link up ancestors between 20th century documents and the revision lists, last one of which was 1858, so that makes a pretty big gap otherwise).

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