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Surname Saturday – Radziņš

Today I’m featuring one of the new surnames I’ve discovered in my family tree – Radziņš (feminine form Radziņa, the surname of one of my great-great-grandmothers.

Marija Radziņa was born on November 16, 1856. I am not sure yet where she was born, but she married Pēteris Celmiņš sometime before 1878, when their first child was born. They lived in Stampvēveri, a farm in Vijciems parish in Valka region, in the northeast of Vidzeme province. They had six children that I’m aware of: Voldemārs, Jānis, Emma, Anna, Pēteris (my great-grandfather) and Elza.

This is not a surname I have seen anywhere else in my reading of church books, census records, revision lists or parish family registers, so it is probably a somewhat unusual name. It did not appear in the family register of 1875 for Vijciems parish, so she is probably from a neighbouring parish such as Trikāta.

As to the meaning of the name? “Radziņš” is the diminutive of “Rags”, which means “horn” or “cape”. So it is possible that her ancestors lived on a piece of land jutting out into a body of water, or that they worked with animals such as goats or deer.

Soon I’ll be able to get to work on going through the church records for the area to find out more about her family. However, first I have to arrange all the information I found out while I was in the archives – there is a lot of it!

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