I occasionally browse the variety of newspapers available through the Latvian National Library’s website here and here. Newspapers can be a very valuable source of information, but many pre-World War 2 Latvian newspapers were written in blackletter font and old Latvian orthography, even in the 1930s. This typefont is not easy to read, but with practice, it does get easier.

However, to read and understand the full depth of the articles, you need to be able to read Latvian (or Russian, or German, depending on the article in question). Since the purpose of this blog is to make Latvian resources and research more accessible to people who do not speak Latvian (or German or Russian), I thought, why not share some of them with you?

I’m hoping this will become a regular feature on my blog, as I find interesting articles relating to emigration, interesting goings-on and so forth. I’ll try and feature them in a “this day in history” type format, but making an exception for today’s, since it was what inspired this feature.

Today’s excerpt (it’s a short one, but related to emigration!) comes from “Limbažu Ziņas” (Limbaži News), a newspaper from the town of Limbaži in northern Latvia. It was published on August 9, 1908.

The Valmiera Regional Police would like to remind people who may wish to emigrate to Canada that, as per the request of the Canadian government, railroad workers are not needed there. One can only hope to find work if one is an agile farmer, if they have the resources to rent land or if they are a female servant.
     -Valmiera Police Gazette

This is an interesting piece of information – to learn more about it would require digging into the Canadian governmental documents to see when the proclamation was made, and if it did translate across the ocean properly. This article also shows that emigration was something that must have been on people’s minds in the Limbaži area – otherwise it would not have been worth mentioning on the front page of the local paper.

Limbaži News – August 9, 1908
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One thought on “Limbaži News – August 9, 1908

  • April 17, 2012 at 6:15 am

    I find that very interesting too! Apparently the first work my grandfather Victor Freibergs found in the summer or fall of 1906 was working on laying railway lines in northern Ontario through heavy bush country. One of his co-workers a year later was Janis Jurikas from the Limbazi area, whose sister eventually became Victor’s wife. I doubt there was a Canadian government “proclamation” about not needing railway workers … more of a diplomatic message? (but seems to infer Latvia was then a definite source of immigration). Without consulting a lot of proper references, I’d say it was likely more indicative that the last difficult piece of rail line across the Canadian Cambrian Shield had been completed. Ergo, no more railway workers needed.

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