So today was my second day, and first full day, at the Latvian State Historical Archives.
I was able to view the passports I mentioned in my previous post, belonging to Pēteris Celmiņš and Anna Celmiņa (born Liepa), and confirmed that they are the correct individuals, and thus able to add their information to my family tree!
I learned that Pēteris was a clerk/civil servant (Latvian “ierednis”, the dictionary translates it as “clerk, official, employee, civil servant”, not completely sure which one applies in this situation, but I seem to recall a family member mentioning either clerk or civil servant), and Anna was a bookkeeper. In the war (it doesn’t specify which war, but since the passport was issued in 1919, I’d assume World War I and/or the Latvian War for Independence), Pēteris served as a “second line land guard”.
I also discovered that the family didn’t live exclusively in Rīga, as I had originally thought. Anna was born in Rīga, as were her children Juris (my grandfather) and Skaidrīte, but Pēteris was born in Vijciems parish, in the Valka region of northern Latvia. Additionally, the family moved quite a bit between 1919 and 1927 – their passports show them registered at at least ten different addresses during this period (and possibly more, there were some more stamps that looked like address changes, but they were covered in registration seals and therefore unreadable).
By a stroke of luck, most of these places of residence were in the seaside town of Jūrmala, which just happens to be where I’m staying at the moment. Therefore, tomorrow’s activities are clear – it being Saturday, and the archives being closed as a result, means that I’m going to go around town and find these old residences!
I must wonder though – why did a family with two young children, and seemingly stable employment, move so many times in such a short time period? Most of the moves occurred during summer (June-August), but not all – sometimes they would even move twice in one year. They lived on the same street three times, at what were probably neighbouring addresses (3-5-7), but the times of residence on this street were always interspersed with other residences as well. Only the first addresses and last addresses are outside of Jūrmala.
Hopefully, this is a mystery that can be solved!