Guidelines for Commenting

1. Please do not post the same item on multiple posts. You only need to post once for it to be seen.

2. Please include a working email address - if your comment is related to your own personal family history, rather than Latvian genealogy in a more general sense, I prefer to respond by email to maintain your privacy.

3. I don't sell email addresses or send anything to them besides responses to your comments. I am the only person who has access to them.

I’ll Be Back

I know I’ve been quiet on here lately, but I will hopefully be getting some of these posts that I’ve been brainstorming up in the next week. Between starting my new job, finishing up assignments and exams for a number of courses from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies and getting started on ProGen assignments, [...]

Myths About Latvian Research

[This post was written for the 26th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, hosted by Jessica's Genejournal.]

There are thousands of people in the West with Latvian ancestry. Many are searching for their Latvian ancestors, but often encounter a variety of misconceptions about Latvian genealogical research, or don’t know where to start.

I [...]

Project Update - February 15, 2010

The Latvian Surname Project has been updated!

The Surname Project has 153 new names, including BĒRZLAPA and MIEŽUVĀRPA. That brings the total number of surnames in the project so far to 521!

I’m afraid I don’t have a Record Project update this time – life has gotten in the way. I’ve also had a bit of trouble [...]

Old Newspapers Online at the Latvian National Library

Through the website Periodika, the Latvian National Library offers digital scans of newspapers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most newspaper editions available are from the 1920s and 1930s.

The user interface is available in Latvian and in English, though, obviously, the newspapers themselves are in Latvian (with the exception of one German-language and [...]

Surname Saturday – Time for Dinner!

When Latvian peasants were choosing surnames after emancipation from serfdom, they were strongly encouraged by the German and Russian rulers to choose names in their own language, and were forbidden to choose names of local nobles or famous people.

While not all obeyed this directive and chose German names (or had German names assigned to them [...]

Forename Friday – Fire and Light

Today’s Forename Friday is dedicated to given names that relate to fire and light.

This is an interesting category, because so many Latvian names come from it. But as I’ve mentioned before, even though there are many names in this category, the PMLP personal name database shows that for the most part, they are not frequently [...]

Britons in 1870s Latvia?

I’ve been looking through the church records for the Sece Lutheran congregation, in southern Latvia. South of the Daugava river, between the towns of Jaunjelgava and Jēkabpils. My great-grandfather Brencis Līcītis is allegedly from around this area, born in the neighbouring Sērene parish. Many Sērene baptisms took place in Sece, so hence my reason for [...]