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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.

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.

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Tombstone Tuesday - Strazdiņš Family

In this series, I am sharing photographs that I took of graves while I was in Latvia. All have death dates prior to 1945, and I have no further information on the people mentioned.

Names: Mārtiņš Strazdiņš, born September 9, 1841, died May 4, 1896; Matilda Daugan born Strazdiņš, born October 24, 1870, died October 24, [...]

Surname Saturday - Surnames of Jumurda Estate, 1826

I’m starting a new Surname Saturday feature – each week, I will profile the surnames of a different manorial estate from the 1826 revision list. Why 1826? That is the year that surnames first appeared in the revision lists – for the Livland guberniya, at any rate, in some cases in the Kurland guberniya they [...]

Tombstone Tuesday - Putniņš Family

In the coming weeks, Tombstone Tuesday will be featuring Latvian tombstones that I photographed while in Latvia. I only photographed tombstones with death dates prior to 1945, to maintain privacy. I have no further information on these people besides what is found on the tombstone.

Wordless Wednesday – Statue of Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly

(click image to enlarge)

Statue of Field Marshall Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly was a descendant of Scottish clan Barclay whose family had settled in the Russian Empire. His grandfather Peter was the mayor of Rīga for a time. As Field Marshall, Michael Andreas was the commander of the Russian army against Napoleon in the early [...]

Latvia: Now on Google StreetView!

Google StreetView is now live for Latvia!

Now, after doing some poking around, there are some caveats to this. I would not agree that there is “almost 100% coverage”, as some news articles say. While their coverage of Rīga and other major cities appears to be amazing, once you leave the major population centres, it is [...]

“Who Do You Think You Are?” – Rashida Jones Episode Review

I never thought that this was something I’d end up doing on this blog – reviewing a Who Do You Think You Are? episode. But it has happened – last weekend’s episode took place partially in Latvia!

The celebrity in question was Rashida Jones, an American actress, daughter of music mogul Quincy Jones and actress Peggy [...]

Latvian Genealogy Primer - Part 2

Part 2 – Genealogical Sources

After reading Part 1 of this primer, and the historical context of Latvian emigration, now it is time to move to genealogical sources – the resources that you can use to trace your Latvian ancestry.

What You Need to Know About Latvian Genealogy

Most records are in Russian or German prior to the [...]

Latvian Genealogy Primer - Part 1

Ready to move on to genealogical sources? See Part 2 of this primer here.

Part 1 – Historical Context

What You Need to Know about Latvia

Latvia is a country in northeastern Europe, bordered by Estonia, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania. The official language is Latvian, an Indo-European language of the Baltic branch, related to Lithuanian. Latvia has a [...]