Anatomy of a Birth Record

The following names are those of the witnesses/godparents – this section might only list the names of the people, might list their occupation or their non-married state (“Junggeselle” for “bachelor” and “Mädchen” or “Magd” for “maiden”). Sometimes they also mention where that person lives – this is how I found one of my great-great-grandfathers, by consulting the church records local to a woman with the same surname that had been listed as one of his daughters’ godparents.

… and with that, you’ve retrieved the key data! There are, of course, other notations, but these are the key features that you need to find to further your research.

What have you managed to find? What key facts about your ancestors have you learned through Raduraksti recently? Share your stories below!

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5 comments on this post.
  1. Pauline:

    This is just so clear, it has inspired me to have another go at looking at Raduraksti. Hopefully I won’t be so intimidated. Thanks Antra!

  2. Chelli:

    Same here! Taking a closer look. The German is sometimes harder to read than the Russian for me. And I only speak English! Looks like a doctor wrote these records or something…

  3. Maris Ulmkalns:

    The Catholic church record in Russian I have been looking at has different headings see .

  4. Resource: Raduraksti’s Church Books | A Latvian Canadian Story:

    [...] Records you find on Raduraksti may be hard to understand for the English-as-an-only-language researcher such as myself, since are in old-German script, Russian Cyrillic, Russian translations of German translations of Latvian names and places, etc. I am still yet to use the Revision lists or Census, simply because I haven’t had the time to hunker down, figure out how to find what I’m looking for, and really go at them just yet. I can pick out my family’s surnames and first names now in Cyrillic, and make some really slow progress with the help of online translators, but the church books are really the only document I’ve gotten into just yet. I will get to the census and revision lists in time! Here’s an excellent guide to understanding these records by a fellow Latvian genealogy blogger: http://www.celmina.com/genealogy/2011/09/anatomy-of-a-birth-record/ [...]

  5. Harold Lassman:

    I have been provided with a “Geburts und Taufurkunde”, literally “birth news” document prepared in 1943 by a member of my family for German occupation authorities to prove the baptism of my Great Grandfather Peteris Lasmanis, presumably to avoid treatment of Peteris descendants as Jews. The document was executed at Sarraiken by the pastor of the Lutheran Church of Grobina for the Saraiku baznica, a small satelite church of the Grobina Church. Sarraiken is the German name for both Saraiki a small village near to Medze, and for Saraiku muiza an estate near to Saraiki. Peteris Lasmanis was born 25 October 1851, the son of Janis Lasmanis and his wife Latte. Peteris Lasmanis died 21 June 1931,at Medze,about four months short of his 80th birthday. According to a blog called “Surname Saturday” peasants in Latvia were required to adopt names in 1823 and a list of authorized names included the name Lassmannis, now spelled Lasmanis. Assuming that Janis Lasmanis was a typical age of about thirty years he would have been a child when the name Lasmanis was selected so that I probably have two more ancestors surnamed Lasmanis who very possibly attended the Grobina Lutheran Church’s satelite church Saraiku baznica between 1823 and 1851 when Peteris Lasmanis was baptized. I would like to locate the baptizmal and membership records of these affiliated churches if they still exist to see if my ancestors can be identified. I have my DNA tested and it shows that I am N1c1 with L550 predicted which would make me N1c1d when the new Y-Haplogroup designations are officially adopted and my STRs indicate that I am of the South Baltic branch. My Grandfather was Karlis Lasmanis, in America, Carl Lassman and my father Theodore Alexander Lassman, both his parents, Karlis Lasmanis, and my Grandmother Bertha Greezt were Latvian. My ancestors probably go back for thousands of years in Courland/Kurland in Latvia. Both Peteris Lasmanis and his father Janis Lasmanis worked for Saraiku muiza, possibly my family were serfs of this estate for hundreds of years. I am a lawyer in Florida, U.S.A., living in Deland, near to Orlando. I have a son Andrew Evans Lassman, a brother Carl Lassman, and a sister Alexis Lassman. My Lassman grandparents had four children, two sons and two daughters, all of these have descendants. My grandparents settled in Erie, Pennsylvanis; many of the family remain there, many live in Florida and many elsewhere in the U.S. My grandfather had a brother Janis Lasmanis who settled at Wooster in Massachusetts as John Lassman and who had children and descendants.

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