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Birthday Gift for Aleksandrs Francis – September 24, 1945

My grandfather Aleksandrs Francis was born on September 24th, 1920. The first twenty years of his life were, by all accounts, relatively normal for a middle-class Latvian youth growing up in the 20s and 30s. He attended an agricultural high school, followed by a degree in agronomy from the Jelgava Academy of Agriculture.

Then in 1940, [...]

Birth Record of Anna Liepa - September 22, 1895

This post is the first in a series that I’ll be making about events in my ancestors’ lives, on the days that the events took place.

My reasons for this series are twofold – first of all, it helps me organize my own family documents and files, which is something that has been severely lacking, especially [...]

Wordless Wednesday - Where is This?

Can anyone help identify the building in this photograph? I’m pretty sure it is in Denmark, since it is a photo of my grandmother from her collection of Displaced Persons camp photographs, c. 1945-1949. However, I haven’t been able to turn up any results. Also possible that it could be in northern Germany around Hamburg [...]

Anatomy of a Birth Record

So you want to use Raduraksti, but you’re intimidated, because you don’t know German or Russian. That’s okay! With a bit of work, you can find everything you need to know from these records, without needing to be fluent, or even proficient, in the languages. It is just a question of being able to extract [...]