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Latvian Surname Project

Squeaking in for Surname Saturday (in somebody else’s timezone…)…

Today, I bring you the launch of the Latvian Surname Project!

The most common search term that brings people to my blog is “Latvian surnames”. Therefore, I thought starting a resource on Latvian surnames and their meanings could be helpful to a lot of people.

So far, there are only 207 names, but this is a work in progress, and new names will be uploaded regularly. If you have any submissions, do share them! Guidelines are on the main page.

Any questions or comments, do let me know! If you have any other ideas for answers I should add to the FAQs on the main page, please mention them too. I’m not an expert (yet), but since there is a lack of information out there on Latvian surnames, especially information accessible to people who don’t speak Latvian, I thought this could be a good way for me to help people looking to get a start on learning about their Latvian ancestors.

Have fun! More project launches and updates to come – stay tuned!

97 comments to Latvian Surname Project

  • Warren Hellwig

    I am trying to trace the HELLWIG family from the 1871 era in what is now called Ventspills

  • Brigita

    Hi I’m trying to find out more information on my family from Latvia. On my fathers side.
    His name was Miervaldis Kargans who was born 3rd Janruary 1924 He had a brother Rollands who was killed in the second world war. His father was called Alfred and mother called Leontine. My father was put into a DP camp too and came accross to England docking at Hull. Sadly he died in 1981 but want to find out more about him:D He used to play for Venta basket ball team too. Many thanks Brigita:D

  • Saulius

    Hello,
    Is it Latvian surname Stakutis, or Стыкутов?

    BR
    Saulius

  • Antra

    Warren,

    Please read my blog post Getting Started with Latvian Research if you are looking for tips on finding your ancestors.

    Hellwig sounds like a German name. Were your ancestors ethnic Latvians or Baltic Germans?

    Brigita,

    I would also recommend reading my guide to getting started in Latvian research (link above in comment to Warren). By contacing the ITS you should be able to get his DP paperwork so that you can get started on your research. Let me know if you have any further questions.

    Saulius,

    I have not heard of the name Stakutis, but it could be a Latvian name. The grammatical endings are correct, though it could also be Lithuanian. Latvian does not use the Cyrillic alphabet, so Стыкутов would not be how that name would be written if it belonged to a Latvian, it might be written Stikutov. This sounds like a Russian name, though it could be held by a Latvian since a number of Latvians took Slavic-sounding surnames when it was time to choose surnames.

  • Saulius

    In 19 century in Lithuania and Latvia was used Cirillic in church books.
    Стыкутовы were near from Asune (its from lvva-raduraksti.lv) also in books from Debeikiai (near Anykščiai, LT) it was written the same.

    Also thank you for Latvian suggestion

    BR
    Saulius

  • Antra

    Ah, okay, I thought you meant that was how it was written now. In church books, writing in Russian (and therefore Cyrillic alphabet) for Lutheran parishes only really started in the 1890s in Latvia (and some parishes never made the switch, sticking to German instead), but Orthodox parishes already used Russian. I am not sure about other religious denominations, or how it was done in Lithuania.

  • kathrie

    Hi, I am pulling my hair out researching Gudziunaite from Libau, Latvia. She had a daughter Valle born in 1920. I would appreciate any direction or help.

  • Alison

    Hi, I have added my fathers name on here before (Aloizs Vizulis). His Parents were called Meikuls and Veronika. I am now trying to trace any family members and would appreciate any help at all? Thanks, Alison

  • carol

    I am married to a Latvian…I am trying to find the marriage information of Mikelis Jansons b 19 Oct 1877 [possibly in Liepajas] his father was Stephan Jansons[no info on him or his wife Anna Rehrich}. Mikelis married Anna Karklins b.18Nov 1893.she d. 03 may 1960 Maywood, IL, USA. he d.9Nov1964 Maywood, IL,USA. Anna’s parents were Jukum Karklins and Ilse Niedrite.No info on these folk either.
    Am also trying to find info on Peteris Dolfijs and Kristina Upite/upit these folks remained in Latvia and died there…I have no info other than Peteris was a sexton of a church…thank you for any information you might have.

  • Benny

    My last name is krastins and i just found my last name on your database. It says ‘by the coast’. I have been told my grandfather that it originates from ‘blacksmith’. Could this be possible or similar in any way?

  • Anna

    Hi, my boyfriend’s grandfather was from Latvia. His surname was Vingra or Wingra. Do you know anything about that name? What it means, etc?

  • andrew branson

    After any information on lativan surnames assmanis , jozovskis, and brancis.

    after any information on marriage of elfrida assmanis to august jozovskis, about 1943-1944 , august later died in the war xmas eve 1944 . any information on teodors brancis too pllz

  • Alisha

    Hi there,

    My grandfather is Latvian. He was forced to fight for German army during WWII and never returned home to Latvia. Therefore he never saw his family again, so this is why I am searching to try and discover where his family may have ended up.

    His surname is Ruks, I am told a very popular Latvian name. My mother heard through someone that there are lots of “Ruks’” in USA.

    I would appreciate any help on this….

    Thanks.

  • Mackenzie

    I have one surname to suggest. This is the name of my boyfriend’s great-grandmother who emmigrated to the United States in the 1950′s after living in a refugee camp in German and being sponsored by another Latvian family living here.

    The surname is: Pernics (Not sure if this is the correct Latvian spelling).

    Thanks! This is an amazing site!

  • Ernests Vizulis

    Cien. Antra! Apskatījos Jūsu sarakstu ar latviešu uzvārdiem, un konstatēju, ka tajā nav mana :) VIZULIS (tas ir cēlies no Baltinavas, Zelču/Zeļču ciema). Iepriekš pateicos, Ernests

    P.S. Pavisam nesen, es palīdzēju kādai sievietei, kurai tēvs (Aloizs Vizulis) 2. pasaules kara laikā bija devies bēgļu gaitās, un nokļuva UK. Pēc tēva nāves šī sieviete (kura starpcitu 16-Jun-2010 ir ierakstījusi komentāru Jusu mājas lapā), nesen mani uzrunāja “facebook”, ar lūgumu noskaidrot kaut ko par viņas tēva izcelsmi. Un nedaudz vēlāk arī tika atrasti Latvijā dzīvojošie radi (māsīcas/brālēni).

  • Karl Zaldats

    I saw your listing of Latvian names and even more interested that you have our surname, “ZALDATS” listed!!!!

    My father and his family Lived in Jaunlutrini, Saldus … and we are struggling to find anyone else with our surname

  • Hello,
    I am from India, I do some Wellness Activity for under developed countries, resent a fund allotted for a person from Latvia who’s surname mentioned as Dee Vee which may be short form of his surname. Due to incomplete surname it’s difficult to disburse the allotted fund to the person.
    If anybody can say the actual surname against Dee Vee then it’ll be helpful for the person to get the fund.
    Please note the person may be migrated from neighboring Country.

  • judy gray

    hello im looking for my mothers maiden name which is MUNCIS and grandmothers which is DANIELIS…they were displaced latvians sent to germany to many dp camps….came to uk england in 1950..
    EDITE MUNCIS….RUDOLFS MUNCIS……ILZE DANIELIS……MARTINS DANIELIS…..ELVIRA MUNCIS NEE DANIELIS………many thanks

  • Antons

    hi i need help with deadend of my research do you have a contact email i can contact u privatly on ?

  • My oldest known ancestor Pēteris Ulmkalns was born after the turn of the 18th century. The only data that we have about him is that he had two sons. The elder was named Mačs (roughly pronounced: Match) who in 1795 lived at the Ulms’ farmstead with his three daughters: Laža (born 1781), Greta (1791) and Līze (1790).

    Ulms farmstead still exist, now called Ulmi – http://www.celotajs.lv/a/ulmi/index_en.html

  • Ele

    Hi all!
    I am interested in names Burkewitz, Freyman, Zivert, Dzebra/Žebra, Kampe.

  • rosalie

    My grandmother was kapust and my great grandfather hinz…both born in the 19th century in riga

  • Hej, hittar inte mitt efternamn i registret o undrar om någon vet något om detta, är född 1938 kom till Sverige okt. 1944

    MVH

    Heter även Imants

  • Frank Grombir

    Hi, I am doing some research on the post-war Baltic European Volunteer Workers into Britain (West Yorkshire) and would like you to ask you if you could confirm the national origin of some surnames. Some of them might be Lithuanian or Estonian.

    These are definitely Latvian surnames:
    Hamanis, Legzdainis, Stulmanis, Nabrovskis, Purrins, Sumanis

    I am not sure about these:
    Kuskali, Koidu, Masnig, Madej, Messond, Daniloczkin, Ejlersen, Kugenieks, Madej, Nugis, Nurk, Ounpuu, Raitare, Penter, Rypp, Sormus, Saame, Salmins, Nagel

    Could you help me, please?

    Frank

  • Linda Kargane

    Labdien Antra,
    Meklējot informāciju par saviem radiem uzgāju šo rakstu:

    Brigita
    March 15th, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Hi I’m trying to find out more information on my family from Latvia. On my fathers side.
    His name was Miervaldis Kargans who was born 3rd Janruary 1924 He had a brother Rollands who was killed in the second world war. His father was called Alfred and mother called Leontine. My father was put into a DP camp too and came accross to England docking at Hull. Sadly he died in 1981 but want to find out more about him:D He used to play for Venta basket ball team too. Many thanks Brigita:D

    vēlētos uzzināt šīs sievietes e-pasta adresi, ja tas ir iespējams, jo esmu viņas tēva puses radiniece…

  • Svetlana

    Буркевиц из Митавы и Риги. Имена Женни, Вольфганг,Карин. Жили после 1920 года в Литве.

  • David Hemmings

    Seeking any information on Israel Georgii Illis who married Leise Ruth Itzigsohn. They had at least two children:
    Edouard Illis, born (when?) in Goldringen, Kurliga and died in France.
    Samuel (Sacha) Illis, born 4 Jun 1881 in Goldringen, Kurliga and died 22 Jan 1934 in Stepney, London, England. He married on 7 Jun 1913 in Antwerpen, Belgium to Betsey Mager, born 8 Sep 1886 in Stepney, London, England and died abt 1976 in London, England, daughter of Mayer Magyar and Rebekka Yettra.
    Thanks, David
    hemmingsdd@gmail.com

  • Hi my name is diana luters Iam trying to find ky fathers side of the family. My fathers mother and father were otilija nee,luters and andrejs luters. My great grang parents were davis luters and katrina strazdins luters. and my other great grand parents were karlis zarins and anna nee,ganins zarins. Please Help me find my family. youcan reach me at dianabill77@veriaon.net

  • antra iam looking for family members that are still living. that live in latvia. And I also want to no about my great grands that are gone. I hope you can help me. I have a uncle that I never met who was left behind when my grandparents were trying to get to the boats to come to the usa.He got lost on the way. dianabill77@verizon.net

  • Margret McPharlin

    i AM SEARCHING FOR MY lATVIAN FAMILY….GRASIS…..MY GRAND FATHER WAS JANIS GRASIS BUT I UNDERSTAND THAT HE WAS BORN IN RUSSIA POSSIBLY. HAVE YOU ANY LISTINGS FOR THE GRASIS FAMILY BORN IN LATVIA?
    MY FATHER JULIUS WAS BORN IN BAUSKE IN 1925.
    OTHER FAMILY NAMES INCLUDE BRUVERIS AND GRINBERCA.
    THANKS YOU

  • George

    zrk,

    I just ran across this website and noticed that zrk SINDLIN is looking for similar names. My father Boris Sidlin(e) was born in Kreutzburg (Kruspils) in 1885 when Latvia was occupied by Russia. The family is Jewish. There seem to be two main branches of the family with roots in Dvinsk (Daugavpils). I have a theory about the origin of the name suspecting it has roots in Alsace-Lorraine where many names ended in inger, e.g. Kissinger, Basinger, Sidlinger, etc., who moved eastward to the Baltic states sometime in the 18th century, dropping along the way the ger ending giving the resulting names, Kissin, Basin, Sidlin, a Russian flavor.

    I would be interested in comparing notes.

  • My father[Paulis Ziberts] left Latvia during the war[early1940's?]never to return.
    Arrived in Australia late 1940′s. I don’t know the full name of any living [or dead relative] from his family.Both parents died over thirty years ago. I am desperate to find my roots! Can you help? My brother,recently told me that he thought our father
    was born in Kalvins 1912? March20th. He also found on the net recently a name which he thinks could be our grandfather. Arturis Ziberts [or Siebert] born 4th Sept.1869.
    Thanks again.

  • Rebekah MARKHAM

    Hi, my great grandfather was Aleksander Krilovs, a naval captain from Latvia who emigrated to Sweden and died at sea in 1928. Nothing else is known about his ancestry.

    Surname: KRILOVS

  • my family spells their name as FRANCER. any info regarding the family. grandfather is arthur francer.

  • Eve

    My Father was Latvian – our name is Disleris – I have been told more than once that this is not a Latvian name! Please could someone help me?
    Please add Disleris (should have a “v” above the first s – but i have no idea how to do that on my laptop) to your list – many thanks!

  • Steve

    Hi – I am a High School teacher who regularly does a lesson with new pupils about the history of the surnames. This year we have a Latvian boy whose surname is Kokarevics – can anyone help with its meanings/origins?

    Cheers

  • Teri

    My dad is from Latvia, Im thinking he was born near Riga in 1937. I dont know much about his past as he doesnt talk about it but he came to the US with his parents Roberts Kruminliepa and Vilma approximately in 1945? his name is Verners E Kruminliepa. Any information would be helpful!! thank you

  • Laura

    Hello,

    I am beginning to trace my family tree. My granddad left Latvia when he was 17, and arrived in England after the 2nd world war. His surname was Putka. Please could you confirm if this is a Latvian surname as it is not listed on your website.

    Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

  • Kurt

    I am currently in the middle of doing my Latvian research. All of my grandparents came from Kurland between 1905 and 1911 emigrating to Boston, Massachusetts. I am surounded by Latvian surnames in my reserch. My grandparents on my father’s side were Riekstin and Frank from Piltane and Windau respectively. My grandparents on my mother’s side were Eida and Resewski from Kerchos and Talsi respectively. Then there is a group of great aunts and great uncles; Weinberg from Windau, Fitler from Kowno, Gross and Jeksevic from Bukoshi, and Osol from Tals. It is a difficult and long search with many twists and turns.

    Best Regards

  • Chris Akenfelds

    My surname is Latvian. However, the original spelling was “Akerfelds” and the name probably comes from the Skrunda area.

  • Allison Kazakevics

    I would be interested to know whether you have any idea, where Kazakevics surname is from.
    Both relatives from Latvia.
    Or surname Kaufmanis please.

  • Zanda

    Hi! I didn’t find my surname in the database: Gailums. It’s an old surname from Latgale region, originated in Nautrēni parish (~30 km from Rēzekne town), where is also Gailumi lake and Gailumi parish. The first records with this surname I’ve found when researching my family tree date to 1860s, but I suppose this surname is older.

  • Sheryl Krahn

    Hi – I have three Latvian surnames I could use all the help I can get in determining their meanings, and I would appreciate any help you can provide. Those surnames are as follows …

    “Louisa Veldums” (americanized to “Louise Weldum” through her brothers): According to her husband’s naturalization documents, she was born in “Priekule, Asilt, Latvia” in 1874.

    “Jānis Mandeiķis” (americanized to “John Mondeik”): I have not yet figured out where in Latvia this branch of the family was born but she married a fella who was born in Jelgava, Latvia so perhaps she is from the same region(?).

    “Zanders Kleinbergs” (americanized to “Samuel Kleinberg”): He was born in Jelgava, Latvia in 1858.

    “Jānis Klajums” (americanized to “John Klayum”): It is my understanding this surnames means “a clearing in the woods, such as a meadow or glen.” Could you confirm?

    Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

  • john berzins

    I am trying to contact relatives of my father yanis berzins he came from Limbazi AND WAS ABOUT 15 When he was taken to serve in the war so I think he was born 1927-8-9 or 1930 he was son of a farmer he had sisters one a teacher one a doctor I think, maybe Erna after the war he came to England and never returned I would love to visit old generation and new generation.if possible.

  • Brian Brownfield

    Our family name appears to be Braunfeld, changed to Brownfield upon coming into canada from the US. They came from Talsen area. Just looking through your surnames and only found Braun which translates to Brown, and read about your farm related names. Very interesting. Wondered if you could help.

  • Susan Hiles

    Hello,
    Just found this possible connection to my husband’s great grandfather Weinberg. His great grandmother’s maiden name was Susman. I noticed Kurt’s message above mentions Weinbergs from Windau. This is so exciting because I have been trying to find a connection to the “old world” for years for the Weinbergs/Susmans. They settled in Bay City, Michigan in 1891. Please let me know if you have any recommedations to find where they immigrated from. Thanks!

  • karl s

    My mother’s side of the family maiden surname is Seisums. My mother Velta Leontine had a brother Alfred who died in Canada around 1963. I’d like to find out more about her ancestry.

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