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Getting Started with Latvian Research

I’ll admit, this post is long overdue. It should have been one of the first posts on this blog. But it is here now!

For the purposes of this post, I am assuming several things. The main assumption is that you have utilized all of the records in the place where your Latvian ancestor migrated to – naturalization documents, death certificates, etc. I am also assuming that you are familiar with what different types of records contain – for example, that you know what you can expect to find on a census record versus a passenger ship list. All fonds numbers mentioned for records are from the Central Fonds Register of the Latvian Archives (a “fonds” is a collection of related documents).

So let’s begin!

Step 1: Do you know where in Latvia your ancestor was born? If YES, go to step 6. If NO, go to step 2.

Step 2: When did your ancestor emigrate from Latvia? In the POST-WORLD WAR 2 PERIOD, go to step 3. In the INTER-WAR PERIOD, go to step 4. PRIOR TO 1920, go to step 5.

Step 3: Consult DP camp records – you can write to the International Tracing Service (discussed in this blog post) for more information. When you have found a birthplace, move to step 6.

Step 4: If your ancestor emigrated from Latvia in the inter-war period, they could be found on passenger lists, most often departing from German ports such as Hamburg or Bremerhaven, but some people emigrated via the United Kingdom. You can also consult Latvian passport collections for major cities (fond 2996 for Rīga, other cities fond 2258), to see if your ancestor lived in one of them. Passports will list place of birth. Numerous emigration records and passport applications for the interwar period also exist. When you have found a birthplace, move on to step 6.

Step 5: If your ancestor emigrated from Latvia prior to 1920, you can consult passenger ship lists as above for step 4. If they immigrated to Canada, consult the Li-Ra-Ma collection, which documents immigrants from the Russian Empire between 1898 and 1922, including numerous Latvians. The Li-Ra-Ma website mentions that the National Archives in the USA has a similar collection. The Li-Ra-Ma collection website includes digital images of the immigrant files. When you have found your ancestor’s birthplace, move on to step 6.

Step 6: When was your ancestor born? After 1921, go to step 7. Between 1909 and 1921, go to step 8. Prior to 1909, go to step 9.

Step 7: Contact the registry office of the municipality. When you have learned all you can from these records, go to step 8. [Update October 2013: It looks like the Registry Office Archives of the Ministry of Justice is handling all inquiries after 1910, with the exception of the City of Rīga after 1921, which is still handled by the local office. See Step 8 for the Registry Office Archives.]

Step 8: Contact the Registry Office Archives of the Ministry of Justice in Rīga (in Latvian only), who hold BMD (birth, marriage, death) records from 1909/1910 (some records for 1906-1908 will also be held here, depending on the municipality and how their records are bound, see note on step 9). When you have learned all that you can from the records available there, go to step 9.

Step 9: Consult religious records, available online at Raduraksti. These resources will provide basic birth/marriage/death records. The records are organized by year and type of record. Records could be in Latvian, German, Russian or Hebrew (for Jewish records). [Update July 2010: Most records from 1905 to 1909 have been transferred to the Latvian State Historical Archives, who are responsible for Raduraksti. They have not yet been added to the website, but hopefully will be soon. Until they are, you will need to contact the LSHA directly.] If you get stuck, brick walled or want to consult other sources for more information, go to step 10.

Step 10: Religious records (and later civil registration records) will form the backbone of your research, but sometimes the records don’t exist anymore, or you want to find additional information about your ancestors that doesn’t appear in those kinds of records. In this case, you will want to consult other records that are available – from 1920 to 1945, go to step 11. From 1890 to 1920, go to step 12. Prior to 1890, go to step 13.

Step 11: A wealth of documents from the independence era can be found in the Latvian State Historical Archives. Examples: The 1935 Census (fonds 1308, abstract 12), the 1941 Census (fonds 1308, abstract 15), civil servant employment files (judicial -fonds 1536, police -fonds 5604, I’m sure files for other departments exist as well, but these are the ones I have utilized) and house books (Rīga -fonds 2942, other cities -fonds 2110). For an earlier time period, go to step 12.

Step 12: In this time period, important records available are military records and the All-Russia Census of 1897, however they can be less complete than more recent records. The records for Latvian parishes for the All-Russia Census of 1897 can be found online on Raduraksti. Military records vary in quality and depth of information, I have utilized them only briefly. They appear to be organized in the archives by the specific division of the military. I would recommend searching by the words “pulks” (regiment). Many of these records date from the Latvian wars of independence, but it might be possible to find other types of military records as well. During part of the Russian Empire period, it was mandatory for men to register for military service at the age of 21, and many parishes have their local muster rolls available. For earlier time periods, go to step 13.

Step 13: It is at this point when completeness and variety of records starts to become extremely dependant on individual civil parishes. Some parishes have large numbers of surviving records, while other have few to none. It always pays to consult neighbouring parish records as well, just in case. To find what might be in civil parish records, search for “pagasta valde” (parish council) or “pagasta tiesa” (parish court), and then look for the parish name you want. You can also search by parish name to find what other records could exist. Due to various Latvian noun cases, I would recommend, when searching by parish name, that you leave off the ending (for example, search “Limbaž” instead of “Limbaži”), since the case form can influence what records are found. Another useful source are the “revision lists”, which list members of various communities, and could provide more detailed information, depending on the purpose of the list. Revision lists for Latgale are at fonds 1881, Vidzeme at fonds 199, Kurzeme (which includes modern-day Zemgale province) at fonds 630. Some revision lists are available on Raduraksti – at time of writing, these are lists pertaining to the towns of Bauska, Grobiņa, Jaunjelgava, Jēkabpils and Jelgava. [Update: All revision lists appear to be online. Though unfortunately for Latgale, there are very few surviving lists from this time period.]

Unless mentioned otherwise, these records are only available at the Latvian State Historical Archives (LVVA) in Rīga, Latvia. To access the records in the archives reading room, it is necessary to register for a reading room pass. I would recommend doing this by email in advance of your visit. When you request materials, it may take a few days for the material to be located and made available for you, so plan your visit accordingly. The staff are extremely helpful, so do not be afraid to ask for help. However, not all of the staff speak English, but most do speak German and/or Russian. All speak Latvian. Visiting the archives is free, but copies cost money, and the cost can vary depending on shape and age of the documents. When I visited the LVVA in December, I spent about 80 lati ($150, £100) on copies. It was worth it! The copies are also annotated with the fonds number, abstract number and item number.

I hope this helps you formulate your research plan. As always, if you need any help, or have any questions, just ask!

58 comments to Getting Started with Latvian Research

  • That’s an excellent, clear outline for research planning. Thanks again, Antra, for your great assistance.

  • Meredith

    I’ve really enjoyed reviewing your blog posts – it’s always nice to find another researcher in their 20s. I just found out about Raduraksti even though I have been working on my Jewish Latvian immigrant ancestors for some time now. The records look very daunting but I am going to try to use your translation pointers. I have been told that my Cohn (Kagan) and Price (Preis) relatives originated from Liepaja and Riga…so hopefully I will find what I am looking for!

  • Carol

    Hi Meredith,

    My mother-in-law was born in Leipaja

  • Antra

    Meredith,

    Best of luck! I don’t have much experience with Jewish records, but from what I’ve seen, they do seem to be quite detailed. You will need to learn how to read Russian and/or Hebrew if you don’t already know how – most of the Jewish records I’ve looked at have been written in both. If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend checking out JewishGen’s Latvia databases. They’ve got an amazing collection there.

  • Алекс

    Здравствуй Антра! Огромное тебе спасибо, за твой труд.
    Пытаюсь найти корни. Информации мало. Но твои пошаговые рекомендации вселяют надежду. Отец (Кухальский Николай Константинович) родился в Риге, в 1911 году (май). У тебя шаг 8: “Контакт ЗАГС Архиве Министерства юстиции, в Риге,…” Как сделать этот шаг? Практически. Надо делать запрос? Или есть варианты “On lain”? Адреса, пароли, явки…?!
    С большим уважением, Алекс.

  • Antra

    Здравствуй, Алекс!

    Где ты живёшь? В Латвии? Адрес Архиве Департамента ЗАГСа Министерства юстиции: Рига, ул. Калькю 24. Не думаю, что ты можешь “online”. Я буду идти в Латвии в месяц, и буду узнавать. Я говорю тебе когда я знаю! (Извините, я не хорошо говорю по-русский)

  • I was adopted along with my sister Eva. We have not yet been able to trace our biological history. We are in search of our birth parents and have no luck thus far. I hope someone from celmina.com would help us out. We contacted our adoption agency and they have no files or records for us.

  • Antra

    Saulvedis,

    When where were you adopted? Before the Soviet era? During the Soviet era? After the Soviet era? Is the adoption agency you’re referring to an international agency, or one in Latvia? I don’t know much about modern day adoptions, I’m afraid, but you could always try contacting the Latvian Ministry of Welfare and they may be able to point you in the right direction.

  • Saulvedis

    i do not know how to find my birth parents. would somebody help me?

  • Saulvedis

    thank you, Antra i will contact the latvian ministry of welfare

  • Rebecca

    HI, I found ur information very helpful.. I am trying to get some family history on my husbands family, Who were born in Latvia and were in some kind of camp during World War II, and we think left Hamburg, Germany to come to Australia.. I can not find any information on them at all… How do we get information of passenger lists? Or copies of their passports? We have very little information on them to help so finding it quite difficult! Hope u can help.

    Thanks, Rebecca :)

  • mitzi gibson

    I´m looking fore Darta Dorothea Reinfelds 1871??????
    Born in Mezotne or Riga Latvija Bauska?
    Married to C Degute…. Degutnice
    Lived in st Petersburg,,Petrograd ,,, Vec Millgravis Riga
    Pls help me it´s importend

  • Алекс

    Антра! Ты не представляешь, как я был приятно удивлён, когда обнаружил от тебя ответ на свои вопросы.
    У меня были проблемы со здоровьем (сей час, всё хорошо), поэтому зайти на сайт смог только теперь. Ещё раз огромное спасибо и низкий поклон за твой благодарный труд. Теперь у меня есть хоть, какая то надежда найти корни своих родных людей. Я живу в Подмосковье и на знаю, когда смогу приехать в Ригу. Могу ли я послать письменный запрос на тот адрес, который ты дала. 31 мая ты писала, что будешь в Латвии через месяц и всё узнаешь подробнее. С огромным уважением и надеждой, Алекс.

  • SAM ROBERTS

    FROM MITAU/LATVIA… SOPHIA( NEE BARNETT) JOFEH AND ARTHUR JOFEH ….
    WERE AM I TO START LOOKING IN THE OVERSEAS RECORDS …IVE GOT AS FAR WITH ALL THAT CAN BE OFFRERED HER IN THE UK WITH ALL THE SERCH ENGINES…ETC… CAN SOME ONNE SUGGEST SOMING IN LATVIA?
    THANKS IN ADVANCE…
    SAM
    BRILLIANT SITE…!!

  • Gareth Harrison

    Dear celmina,

    I have family members who came from a place called Padinay in Courland. I have only found Padone as a railway station point. Any advice on how to discover where my jewish ancestors came from or are you aware of the name

  • Antra

    Gareth,

    I’m not familiar with a place called Padinay – the letter “y” is not used in Latvian, so it is likely a German, Yiddish or Russian name for a place. If you think Padone could be the matching Latvian placename, then I’d suggest consulting the Jewish records for Liepāja and Aizpute (the two closest towns with Jewish records available) to see if your family members are mentioned there. The Jewish records for Liepāja and Aizpute are available on Raduraksti.

  • Tranas

    Hi,

    Just wanted to note, that the Raduraksti “resource” you refer to is often useless. The page scans are simply too crude to be readable, particularly the old Russian handwritten parts – even the printed portions are marginal at best. The folks at the archives that respond to English emails are not the most helpful either. Bottom line – if need to do legit research, you apparently have to go to Riga.

    Commend you on your efforts,
    Tranas

  • Antra

    Tranas,

    Are you referring to the quality of the scans or the quality of the handwriting? Sometimes here and there the scanners have messed up and aren’t of good quality, but the vast majority are of top-notch quality, so it’s unfortunate if the ones that you’ve found haven’t been. If you’re referring to the quality of the handwriting, that’s not something that will change by viewing the documents in person, they’ll still be difficult to read.

    I do recommend that everyone visit Rīga to do research at the archives, but it is perfectly possible to get started and retrieve a lot of information from the sources available on Raduraksti.

  • Stef

    Hallo,

    I am doing some genealogical researches about family Wolmar, who lived in Ingria (today Leningrad region) approximately starting from 1650/1700. I have heard a story about this family who had Finnish roots, who was living in the city of Wolmar/Valmiera in 1600 and after the siege and the fire of the city, they escaped from Livonia and settled down in Ingria, choosing as surname Wolmar in memory of their abandoned city.
    Does anybody know any more detailed information about this fact?

    Thanks.

    Stefano (from Italy)

  • Margret McPharlin

    Hello, I am searching for the GRASIS/BRUVERIS FAMILIES… It has been a long road and so many brick walls.
    My grandfather was Janis..he served in the war and was a high ranking officer…my grand mother ALICCIA BRUVERIS ( she remarried) lived in Riga. We assume she passed away at the age of abt 90. Contact was lost then. My grandfather remarried a woman( name unknown) who already had 2 sons from her previous marriage and they had a farm.
    Does anyone know of these names?

    thank you

  • Victoria Gross Chase

    I am looking for my grandmother’s family. She was born around 1888 in Auce (Auze) Latvia. Her father was Charles Greenberg or Greenburg. I’ve seen it spelled both ways. They immigrated to the US through Ellis Island, NY around 1906-7 though the 1910 census in San Francisco states they immigrated in 1898.
    My grandfather, her husband was born in or near Riga and was born around 1882. His name is Robert Gross. He had a brother Frank and they both were in San Francisco in 1910. If anyone has any connections I’d would be thrilled. I am going to Riga and will go to the LVM. My Letish is very minimal so I don’t know how far I will get. Any tips welcome. Thanks, Victoria

  • Warren Hellwig

    My Grandfather ( known as Charles Theodore or Theodore Edward HELLWIG) was born in (what is now known as) Kaldiga or Dundaga Latvia in 1871 to Edward Hellwig and Julia ( nee Saunders). Can you please advise a reliable person who can research his history.Or can you please advise me what records are available on line to enable me to search myself

  • Kaeli

    Hello,

    Thank-you for all your information, i have just sent off some emails hopefully i can get more info back.

    Its all very hard when you dont read, speak or even know anything about Latvia.

    Rebecca, i am in exactly the same position as you. My husbands grandmother was born in latvia and came to Australia with her mother when she was 9 about 1949/50. I found their immigration records here http://www.naa.gov.au/ I hope you find what your looking for if you havent already.

    Good Luck everyone. X

  • Margret McPharlin

    DOES ANY ONE KNOW HOW I CAN FIND MY GRANDPARENTS BURIAL PLACES. i KNOW MY GRANMOTHER DIED IN RIGA, BUT UNSURE WHERE MY GRANDFATHER DIED. THANKS….

  • Silvio Bukbardis

    Hi there, I’ve been researching elements for a novel losly based on my relatives story of escape from Latvia ahead of the Russian invasion in 1944. I stumbled across your site as I’ve been looking for names to base the characters on, and I couldn’t find my fathers surname of ‘Bukbarde’ or ‘Bukbards’. Do you have any idea what this surname could mean? Thanks

  • […] in finding your own Latvian family history, a great guide to getting started can be found here! Advertisement LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  • Beth

    My great-grandfather was born in Poland or Russia, but apparently came to the US from Libau, Latvia. I managed to find a ship record, but am having trouble navigating the archives. Can you offer me any info, previous blog posts, or instructions?

  • Rita

    I find all this information very interesting. My sister and I are planning a visit to Riga (Latvia) in May and have been trying to find out some information about my father, born in Latvia in 1925 (Died in the UK 1981) and came to the UK after the War. We understand he was in a German POW Camp before he came to the UK but only knowing his Name,Date of Birth and, place of Birth as “Latvia” it is very difficult. I understand that some DP’s changed there Surname some time? his Surname was “Vilmans”. Does anyone know if the name “Vilmans” is a typical Latvian name?

  • Ilga

    A few years ago I started to search my ancestors and created a user name, parole etc., unfortunately now I have forgotten all these, but since my email is the same, I cannot get in…. if I create another profile, they ask me to change my email, since it exists already with the previous profile. I send messages, but don’t get an answer. What can be done? Does anyone know where I could find a responsible contact, to unblock the situation?

  • Aaron Sugarman

    Hi, I am trying to find a passport and accompanying photo for my great-great grandmother Sarah Sugarman (Tzukerman? Zukerman?) who immigrated from Dvinsk, Latvia to the United States circa 1905. She was the daughter of Dovid and Slowa Zingerevich of Dvinsk, who married Louis “Yehuda Leib” Sugarman. How would I go about finding if this passport exists, or who might find it for me, if it’s not available for searching online? We don’t have a photo of her in our family collection, and I’m hoping that the government still has her passport photo. Thank you for any help.

  • jennie

    Stuck on Step 5. I have people that came over in 1908 and 1909. I’ve found some passenger lists, and have 2 original passports. The passenger lists have country of birth only. The passports are in Russian and don’t appear to be very detailed (no year of births or photos). I’ve only translated (one page from each was in french?) from them that one was a peasant and one was middle class. Will try to decipher the few Russian words written, but getting nowhere. The Raduraksti is impossible if you don’t know what town/areas your people were from. One of my guys said he was from Riga in some documents, but don’t know if that was place of birth. If place of birth isn’t in passport or passenger list, where do I find it?

  • I am searching to trace birth and shipping records for my grandparents, Philip Josephs born Riga 1877 probably (or 1876 or 1878), and his wife born Sophia Hillman (Heller, Heilerman ?) born probably 1876 or thereabouts in Dvinsk (Dauvagpils. I have a photo of her with photographer’s address in Liebau/Liepaja which must have been taken before she left Latvia for Glasgow in 1896. I would like to find the name of the ship they left on…probably from Liebau. And any birth records…Jewish. I have their marriage certificate from Glasgow and death certificates from sydney.

  • Sam Cartwright

    This is a great site which only serves to highlight the fact that researching Latvian ancestry is really difficult if you don’t speak/write Latvian and Russian and German! A subscription-only records site would be a really great business idea for someone in Latvia!!

    I am researching the families Otilija PALM and David STIRNA from Riga, my ggrandparents who emigrated to London in 1902 & 1906 respectively. Ancestry.com has been useless. I cannot decipher any of the Radurastki site due mostly to my lack of language skills. I paid a modest fee to the Historical Archives in Riga. It took about 6 months but they managed to go back 3 generations on the PALM side via the Evangelical Lutheran church records, which was really helpful. Turns out they were Baltic Germans with some sort of link to the Latvian community in Novgorod (Russia). There was no help at all on the Stirna side, which is where I am now stuck. There is anecdotal evidence in the family that the Stirnas might have been Jewish, but JewishGen does not seem to support this. Church records available in Riga don’t seem to help either. I’m posting this just in case anyone else is researching the STIRNA family from Riga, or wants info on the PALM family. Seems we need to share information as much as we can.

    Best of luck everyone!
    Rgds, Sam

  • Ida

    My grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Latvia. His name is Robert Christyanovich Strauss and he was born 22 May 1871. He was in his early 20s when he arrived in the US and lived in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Youngstown, Ohio. His father was Krisch Strauss and his mother Anna Uhder. We have a baptism certificate from a Lutheran Church in New Dubblehn, Latvia. He spoke both German and Russian but maybe Latvian as well. We have a booklet in which he practiced his English as he journeyed to the U.S. via a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. He died before I was born in an accident while on a trip to Canada with my grandmother who was injured. He earned a degree as a Messerschmidt from the University in Riga and we have a huge certificate with the waterfront of Riga on it. Anyone who can give me a clue as to where to write or search for additional family information, I would be most appreciative. I would guess in that church in New Dubblehn there is a cemetery with lots of our family graves.

  • […] Do explore my website more by clicking on the tags at the side, to see the variety of sources I’ve discussed and records I’ve profiled. For more steps and details for getting started, please see my post Getting Started with Latvian Research. […]

  • Maija

    I am researching KOCEN Zenta Helena and Kurt, GEIDE Arnold Emil and Valtrauta Elise, SONNE Marija, MAIER Nina (all borned in Riga) -they are my great-great-grandmother Jevdokija Samsonova (born in Latvia Limbazi/Lemsal 18 August 1839) and his sister’s Natalia family. All are in US. Maria Kocen, Kurt mother died in Argentina. I only know that Nina with his daughter in 1959. from Sydney go to Chikago.

  • Mara R-N

    Dear Antra — Could you be so kind as to send my email address to Vija Klive (on this http://www.celmina.com/genealogy/2011/11/wordless-wednesday-last-looks-c-1945-1955/ page), in case she would like to connect with me. It turns out that our grandparents were neighbors in the country in Latvia, and I bet by pooling our family stories we will both know so much more about the past. Thank you, Antra. It’s because of your site that this connection is possible. Much good luck to your in keeping this project going. –Mara R-N

  • David

    My grandparents along with 4 children immigrated to Canada July 23,1929. I am trying to trace our heritage. They cam by way of Southhampton England. My Dad always said they were Latvian. I have their passport and it is Latvian. There surname is spelled differently on documents ie. Manveiler or Manweiler. My grandfather was from Saratov, Russia and it appears my grandmothers father whose name is Zielke was from Trakaten in Latvia. Not knowing the language it is really hard to get good info. I do have the birth date for both grandparents from the passport but I have com up empty getting past this point. I did email the Historical Archives in Latvia but did not receive a response.

  • gunta Harrison

    Miila Antra, Es tev rakstiju agrak no Tucsons. Ilgs laiks jau pagais. Man masica no Minn nomira un ta atstaju visu meklesanu. Jus stastijat kad radi dizvoja Vecate “Jaunmellusi” Tad tev ir kadi radi.man puse. Matie bija Miller unzvards. Vai tie bija pec karu laik Lukins?? Es vel mekleju tevu kurs dzimis Riga. Neko nevar atrast pa gramatam. Varbut kad nekad nav ierakstits. Kur es var rakstit un dabut informaciju. Tad talak vina vecaki ir dsimusi Burtniek puse pie Renčeniem. Tue es ari izskatiju nav. Velalk visi brauca uz Rigu un tad un Jaunraunu. pec otra kara. Mila Antra kur es varetu rakstit Larvija pec informaciju.

    Tev is gan liels raksts pa visu.Vis skaists un daudz informacija Tik jauna un zin daudz. Paldies par visu palidzibu man.

    Gunta no Tucson

  • Rudy Birzin

    Sveiks, I am new to the site. My great grandfather’s name was Andrej Johannes Berzins. He lived from 1865 – 1935. He was married to a Kesta Freiberg Kleinberg. According to ancestry.com he immigrated to the US when he was 60. His son John Rudolf Birzin (he changed his last name for some reason) and daughter Olga Birzin had come to the US sooner. I am wondering if either Andrej or Kesta have any Latvian documents that can help me find out if they had siblings, and who their parents are. I’ve tried finding them on this site, but to no avail. Any help you can give is much appreciated. Thanks! -Rudy Birzin

  • Riga Pladers

    After a little help PLEASE, not knowing quite where to start. My father Zigfrids Pladers, born 10th Aug 1923 in Riga came to Australia (Melbourne) on the General Black with his Latvian wife(?) and brother Victor at the end of WW11. Was sent to Cairns to cut sugar cane for a number of years, marriage fell apart, moved to Adelaide, met my Mother and wed. Knowing very little about my fathers family, I was hoping to find out if I have any relatives in Australia and/or Latvia that can help me fill in some missing pieces that leave me wondering, my father passed away 18 months ago with a lot of questions unanswered, I suppose having some Latvian blood, I find somedays that I just want some answers to how my father lived his life before me?
    Cheers Riga (W.A)

  • Steinar Hansen

    My great grandfather Wilhelm Oscar Bansner died in Riga 1938. His famiy left Riga for Germany the following year. He was born 1889 in “Tormaschew” witch I believe is Tomaszów Lubelski, Poland. I am trying to find his death record so that I may find his origin of birth an parents name. Have been looking in church books for possible marriage, but it seems that the period 1910-1920 is only registered in russian. Can you point me in the right direction. My grandfather and his siblings are also born in Riga 1918-1928. Thanks! Steinar

  • Sylvia Erna (Krums) Cocks

    My mother’s family name is Marija Alide Klohk and she was a Baltic German – Born in Aizpute My fathers name was Alfreds Voldemars Krums and was born in Liepaja – they were displaced after WW2 and emigrated to Australia. I am looking for information on both families.
    Both my mother , father, maternal grandfather and grandmother died in Australia. Any Latvian family information would be appreciated

    Thank You

    Silvija

  • Louise

    Hello…If you can guide me in this search, I would be so grateful.
    Am looking for the Feldman family…I have addresses on postcards, from the 1920s..they are from Tukums and Liepaj.
    Some are signed Feldmanis.
    The names all seem to be Germanic, although my grandparents spoke Russian, Latvian, German and English.
    Any help is appreciated. (I had sent letters to all the return addresses on those postcards…three years later, received a reply…from a person in Riga, whose email address was incorrect, mail was returned from the street address that she gave me…so, no luck there!)
    Thanks again.. Louise Hudson

  • Elena Ermanson

    Dear Antra,
    I seek for Martin Ans Ermonson’s & Berta Zibert’s families,the siblings of my great grandfa(bisnonno)Indrik Ans Ermonson,born 1877 in Liepaja. Also Indrid had the sisters Rosa, Lona from Kurland & a cousin Robert Jacobson Berta Zibert was able to immigrate to America & might live there
    The Ermansons came to russia in the Latvian community (Novgorod)in 1900s 20th. Indrik married Emma and they had 6 children.
    In 1931 Indrik’s family was exiled in Siberia how kulak, in 1938 he was executed by shooting.
    Where to find the descedants of Martin, Berta, Robert ect? Can you point me in the right direction? Liepaja valts Archive replied to me all records are in the Historical Archives in Riga
    I wrote to Babtist Church community where Indrik worked & was mentioned, but it did’nt help me
    Seems we need to share information as much as we can.
    Thanks for the help!
    Elena Ermanson

  • Maria Armstrong

    My mother, Velta Pavars – born September 7 1927, came from Riga via Germany. I believe they left in 1944 and ended in DP camps in Germany. When I was small, my mother spoke Latvian to us and told us about their horrible experience, but when I was old enough to understand and ask questions, she didn’t want to remember it anymore. I’ve just been to visit Riga and found it beautiful. My mother died 15 years ago, without seeing her country again, so I feel so sad for her. I don’t know much. She told me her mother (name unknown) was a midwife and had her own clinic until the Russians took it. My aunt, Erika, and mother went to Cleveland, Ohio, but my mother came alone to England. There was also a brother, who came to visit once in England. He was in the German Navy, I think. I can’t remember his name, I was very small.
    Thank you so much for this website. I didn’t know where to start, but don’t speak any Latvian and don’t know if I have any relatives there. You’ve given me some ideas to start with – Paldies!
    Best wishes, Maria

  • Jyri Dubkovski

    My great grandfather Nikolai Panov was born in Latvia, Riga.
    Birthdate Dec´ 2-th 1866, son of Maria Panova (maiden Selivanov) and Aleksandr Panov. http://www.geni.com/people/Nikolai-Panov/6000000007294795749

    Unfortunatelly thats all I know. After Nikolais born the family could live in Gatchina, SP or Pskov. The reason he was born in Latvia, Riga is unknown. We have searched in Raduraksti records, but no success. Any information concerning the Panovs family in Riga or around it is welcome :) my e-mail is: jyri.dubkovski@gmail.com

  • a very interesting article. i don’t have latvian ancestry but as i work for paying clients this would be a good resource if anyone with latvian ancestry gets in touch so well done!

  • Jaseps Milons left Latvia on a ship “Polonia”
    as a cabin boy in 1923.Last letter was received from NY in 1941. No additional info is available.Does anyone know something? He was coming and going and we lived in Liepaja.
    Married my mother Elvira Matisons and I was born 1934.Any new, suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

  • Ilga Melo

    My grandparents,Jansons,are from Liepaja. They were part of a Baptist group that migrated to Brazil between WWI and WWII. My mother was raised in a Latvian town, Varpa, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. This site is great!

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