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 did not appear until the 1834 revision list.

This means that these 1826 revision lists are the closest thing we have to establishing places of origin for surnames, since in most cases documents regarding the actual granting of surnames no longer exist. Some do, but they are few and far between. Now, it is important to remember that many surnames have multiple places of origin – common names that often came from farm names, such as Kalniņš, Ozoliņš, Bērziņš, etc. belong to many completely unrelated families. But for some of the more uncommon surnames, it could provide important leads.

So, without further ado – on to this week’s estate: Jumurda!

Jumurda estate is in central Latvia, northwest of the town of Madona. This was a part of the Livland guberniya during the time of the Russian Empire. Why have I chosen Jumurda as the first estate? Simple – it is an estate that a significant number of people emigrated from in the mid-1800s, due to unreasonable rents and corvée demands placed upon the peasants. According to a book on Latvian colonies in Russia, all of the Jumurda peasants wished to move from the estate. Not all were able to, but a good number did, including peasants with the surnames Ozoliņš and Grāpis. These two, along with quite a few others, traveled to southern Russia and the area around Yeysk on the Sea of Azov (the body of water separated from the Black Sea by the Crimean Peninsula). Other Jumurda peasants headed to different parts of the Russian Empire, including the Vitebsk guberniya, Kuban oblast, Smolensk guberniya and Stavropol guberniya.

The 1826 revision list had 63 unique surnames, 51 of which are ethnic Latvian surnames. This number – 80% – is much higher than I’ve noticed in other estates. Four of the names are Germanic in origin (German, Swedish, etc.). One name is a blend of Latvian and Germanic. The last seven I am uncertain of. Some sound like they could be Latvian names, due to their endings, but I can’t connect a meaning to them. All names are written according to modern Latvian orthography, except where noted.

So, without further ado:


Āboltiņš Auziņš Avotiņš Bāliņš
Balodis Bērziņš Blīgzniņš Celiņš
Dalders Draudziņš Dukats Elksnis
Ezeriņš Gailītis Glāzītis Grāpis
Gulbis Kalniņš Kauliņš Kļaviņš
Krastiņš Maziņš Melbārdis Ozoliņš
Paeglītis Pakulis Pļaviņš Priedītis
Purviņš Putniņš Radziņš Riekstiņš
Rozītis Rudzītis Salpetris Saulītis
Sērmaukšs Sigalds Sirmbārdis Stepītis
Sudrabiņš Upītis Vītols Žagats
Zālītis Zariņš Zeltiņš Zemnieks

Latvian, but due to the spelling in the old records (shown here), they could be one of several different names:

Leping Mesit

Blend of Latvian and Germanic



Bleiwe Grunbergs Johansons Rinke

Unknowns (written as in the records)

Lissums Pedder Pimber Prussels
Skarrs Wizau Zaubuling

The Latvian names here are the usual suspects – all of the really common ones, as well as a number of other often-seen names. The more unusual ones are Blīgzniņš (diminutive of “goat-willow”), Salpetris (saltpeter) and Sudrabiņš (diminutive of “silver”). Of the unknowns, I have the suspicion that “Lissums”, “Skarrs” and “Zaubuling” are all of Latvian origin as well, but their connections to Latvian words are tenuous.

Is your family from Jumurda estate? When did they leave? Where did they go? Share your stories in comments!

Surname Saturday – Surnames of Jumurda Estate, 1826
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5 thoughts on “Surname Saturday – Surnames of Jumurda Estate, 1826

  • May 27, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Johansons sounds like a swedish patronymic, Johansson.

  • May 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

    That is also possible. I usually use “Germanic” rather than “German”, which would be more accurate to encompass Swedish, Danish, etc. as well. I’ll change that now.

  • June 4, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Thank you for posting this page. Is it possible the thE “GRAPIS” could be “GRASIS”.


  • June 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I’m feeling that “Wizau”could be derivative from Polish…
    Apparently, that’s where I ended up with “Bredovskis”. Somewhere, somehow my ancestors got close to some Poles, either biologically or otherwise, so we ended up with a Latvian version of a polish name.

  • July 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for info on my name

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