Guidelines for Commenting

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

2. Please include a working email address - if your comment is related to your own personal family history, rather than Latvian genealogy in a more general sense, I prefer to respond by email to maintain your privacy. By leaving a comment with your email address, you consent to receiving an email reply to your query to that email address.

3. I don't sell email addresses or send anything to them besides responses to your comments. I am the only person who has access to them.

Surname Saturday – Different Kinds of Hills

As many of you probably know, the Latvian word for hill, “kalns”, is a fairly common Latvian surname, particularly in its diminutive form Kalniņš.

But there are many different kind of “kalns” as well, as evidenced by my journeys through old church records. These names are particularly common in western Latvia, especially in communities such as Tukums and Skrunda. Tukums is located on a series of hills, so many “kalns” names being associated with the town and its environs would not seem unusual. I have not been to Skrunda, so I can’t speak to the hilliness of that region.

Some of the “kalns” names that I have seen: Baltkalns (white hill; Skrunda), Bērzkalns (birch hill; Skrunda, Mazsalaca), Brīvkalns (free hill; Rīga), Kaļķukalns (lime hill [the mineral, not the fruit]; Skundra), Kroņakalns (crown hill; Tukums, Skrunda), Leiškalns (Lithuanian hill; Rīga), Liepkalns (linden hill; Skrunda, Suntaži, Kastrāne), Mālkalns (clay hill; Vecgulbene, Anna), Mierkalns (peace hill; Nurmuiža, Jūrmala, Tume), Ozolkalns (oak hill; Tukums), Pilskalns (castle hill; Aizpute, Rudbārži), Puķukalns (flower hill; Tukums), Sauleskalns (sun hill; Padure), Viduskalns (middle hill; Rīga), Vīnakalns (wine hill; Skrunda, Smārde), Zvaigznekalns (star hill; Rīga, Tukums).

It is quite possible that many of the ones I’ve seen in Rīga had their origins in western Latvian parishes that I have yet to explore. There are all sorts of interesting names to explore all over the country!

Do you have any “kalns” names to add? Share in comments!

1 comment to Surname Saturday – Different Kinds of Hills

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

six − four =

seven + = fifteen