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

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Latvian Cemetery Culture

The title of this post may seem a bit odd to most readers – how is there a culture revolving around cemeteries?

In Latvia, cemeteries (“kapi” or “kapsētas”) are a very important part of life. Great care is taken to keep the graves of family and loved ones looking tidy and pretty. While in many Western [...]

Revision List Indexes

So the new project that I’ve been working on – revision list indexes!

Now, these indexes are simple – family name and number, and the farm names and numbers they appear in on the specified estate. More information is on the Revision Lists page.

The revision lists I’ve indexed aren’t available online yet, but they might be [...]

Exciting Stuff to Come!

Sorry about things being quiet here lately – I’ve been busy at work in the archives during the week, and on weekends going out to different places in Latvia to visit where ancestors lived.

What I can say though, is I’ve been learning so much and I’ll have lots to share with you all when I [...]

Day of Remembrance – Jewish Victims of the Holocaust

This post should have been up yesterday, but I was out of town for most of the day and returned with a splitting headache, so I hope you’ll accept the post today instead.

On July 4, 1941, numerous synagogues across Latvia were burned to the ground, some of them with people inside. One of the most [...]

Surname Saturday - Early Latvian Surnames

As I’ve mentioned before, most Latvians didn’t have surnames prior to the early 19th century. They were peasants, and until serfdom was abolished, surnames were not a necessity since they were tied to the land. It was only afterwards that surnames became necessary.

But not all Latvians were peasants. Some were merchants, craftsmen and traders, and [...]

School Records

Ever wonder how your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents did in school? You may just be able to find out. Numerous Latvian school records are held at the Latvian State Historical Archives, mostly for the inter-war period (1918-1940).

Of course, to be able to use these records, you need to know where they went to school, and [...]