Making Sense of Exonyms

Now that you have your estate name and farm name worked out, it is time to place it on a map created after independence. I have an atlas issued in 1940 that belonged to my paternal grandfather that he brought with him to Canada. I also have a CD that I acquired while I was in Latvia at this store that contains detailed topographical maps of Latvia, including farm names. These maps were made between 1920 and 1930, and I have them at the 1:75 000 size. Using these resources, I have been able to precisely identify the farms of all of my known ancestors.

Being able to accurately identify not only what estate someone lived on, but where on the estate they lived, can be vital to determining what church they would have most likely attended, and, consequently, what church records you should be looking at. If their farm was equidistant between two churches, they could have even alternated which one they went to, so records could be found in both. It is worth checking all of the churches in the area if there are numerous possibilities.

Are there any exonym resources you’ve found useful? Share in comments!

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2 comments on this post.
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  2. brenda:

    Thank you!! … for those wonderful finding aids. At last I found the Latvian name for Marzingshof (Marsneni). I can’t reproduce the diacritical marks.

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