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“Fearless Females” – March 2

Today’s prompt:Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?

I’m cheating, and posting two. While looking through my photos, I realized that I have very few of female ancestors by themselves. There were a couple, but not many. As such, it seemed more appropriate to post photos where they are not by themselves, but rather, with family.

These two photos are of my grandfathers’ families, c. 1925-1930. My grandfathers are the young boys in the pictures, but I am going to talk about their mothers – my great-grandmothers.

This is my maternal grandfather’s family. His mother’s name was Mērija Eglīte. She was born in Lāde parish to Ansis Eglītis and Līze Graumane on September 10, 1892. She was born on the family farm, which belonged to her mother’s family (and belongs to my half-uncle today). Mērija lived there until the farm was expropriated by the Soviets, at which point she and her daughter moved to Rīga. Mērija died on March 11, 1973. Her husband had been executed by the Soviets in 1941, and her son fled west during the war, settling here in Canada. They never saw each other again.

This is my paternal grandfather’s family. His mother’s name was Anna Liepa. She was born in Rīga to Fricis Liepa and Mīle Buše on September 23, 1895. She worked as a bookkeeper, while her husband was a civil servant who was responsible for helping set up the postal savings bank, which still exists today. Anna, her husband and their two children moved around a lot during the 1920s, living at many different addresses in Rīga and Jūrmala. I do not know why they moved so much. Her husband died in 1943 due to causes unrelated to the war. Her son left for the west during the war, while her daughter remained in Latvia. Anna died in Rīga on June 20, 1987. As such, she holds the distinction of being the only one of my great-grandparents who was still living when I was born in 1984. However, I never had the opportunity to meet her, since I was born in Canada and she lived in Latvia, which was at that time still under Soviet control.

I find the similarities between the life events of these two women quite interesting, and the photos reflect those similarities. They both had two children, one boy and one girl, the boy being the elder child. They both outlived their husbands, who died during wartime, by several decades. Both of their sons left for the west, while their daughters stayed in Latvia.

Tomorrow’s prompt- Names! One of my favourite subjects.

3 comments to “Fearless Females” – March 2

  • So glad you cheated and posted two photos. I enjoyed seeing them and reading about both women. You are so lucky to have these photos.

  • marcis

    on a completely different subject with the fall of the soviet union how was land redistributed? did it altamatically return to the family that had owned it before ww2? If I was looking for my families land how would I do it?

  • Antra

    Marcis,

    After the fall of the Soviet Union, famlies could apply to get the land that had been taken from them during WW2. It often involves lots of paperwork (this is where land records come in handy! I’ll be talking about them soon), and most of it has already been done. I’m not sure if it is something that had a time limit on it, but I’m pretty sure it can still be done. The best thing to do would be to contact a Latvian lawyer that specializes in property law to see what options are available to you.

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