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Surname Saturday – Baburs

Participating in my first Geneabloggers daily blogging theme – Surname Saturday!

The surname up this week is Baburs.

The most recent ancestor I have with this name is Karolīne Matilde Baburs, born in Riga and baptized in the Church of Jesus parish in the late 19th century, to Mārtiņš Baburs and his wife Ēde. Mārtiņš’ father, Ādams, […]

Tips, Tricks and Websites

[This post is written for the 24th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, hosted by Al’s Polish-American Genealogy Research.]

The topic for this Carnival is Tips, Tricks and Websites.

I’ve already outlined the websites useful for Latvian research, but I’ll list them here again, with some other potentially useful websites:

LVVA’s “Raduraksti” – the […]

Families Unknown

When doing your research, have you ever come across a family – not your own – that appears to have a story to tell, and you want to find out what that story is?

This has happened to me while looking at the Limbaži parish registers.

While looking at the christening records, the records where no father […]

1895 Census - Live!

I’m currently traveling, so I hadn’t checked in at LVVA’s “Raduraksti” for a week or so. Today I visited the site, and discovered that the records for the Latvian parishes of the 1895 All-Russia Census are live and available for browsing!

I haven’t yet had the opportunity to examine them in detail, since I only spotted […]

Research Priorities

I will be in Latvia in five weeks (currently in London, slowly making my way through northern Europe towards Latvia), and while there, I will be visiting the Latvian State Historical Archives (LVVA; the archives that sponsors “Raduraksti”, which I have mentioned before).

As such, it has come time that I establish my priorities in determining […]

Depth of Records

So you have found the parish in Latvia where your ancestors would have attended church. Now comes the question – what kind of information, and how much, will you be able to glean from it?

I’ve found that the amount of information provided in Latvian parish registers is not consistent, sometimes not even within the same […]


My maternal grandfather was from Limbaži, in northern Latvia. All I know about his family comes from my mother and my grandfather’s sister. I have not yet been able to find any official record of the family.

However, since I know where they lived (and have in fact visited the farm), I have begun combing the […]

Bringing Out the Great-Grandfathers (part 1)

It is time for me to do a bit of an introduction to my own family – the mysterious entity that inspired my interest in genealogy and the pursuit of it as an eventual professional career.

My family history, as I currently know it, only extends as far as my great-grandparents – with two exceptions, this […]

The Big Three

Bērziņš, Kalniņš, Ozoliņš – these are what I call the “big three”. They are the most common Latvian surnames. With these names more than any others it is imperative that you know where your ancestor was from.

But what do these names mean?

All three are in a diminutive form, but for surnames, this can also mean […]

Changes in Orthography

What happens when you apply the orthography of one language to a fairly unrelated language?

A right mess, that’s what.

As mentioned before, up until the 1890s most church books in Latvia were written in German. German is, as its name implies, a Germanic language. The Germanic language family also includes English, Dutch and Danish, and is […]