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Ū is for Ūdens and Ūdrs

Once again we have some Latvian surnames for a more obscure Latvian letter of the alphabet for the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge. “Ū” is a long U sound.

ŪDENS means “water”. In old orthography, it would have been written as Uhden or Uhdens. In Cyrillic, it would be Уденс. I have seen this name in Jaunsalaca and Lugaži.

ŪDRS is somewhat more common – it means “otter”. In old orthography, it could be Uhdr, Uhder, Uhdris. In Cyrillic, it would be Удрис. I have seen this name in Lāde, Limbaži, Meirāni, Nabe, Pāle, Sēļi and Vecpiebalga.

Do you know any other “Ū” surnames? Where have you seen them? Share your findings!

3 comments to Ū is for Ūdens and Ūdrs

  • I’m intrigued by just how different these names are in the variant styles. Far more than English-style names.

  • Dana

    The Uden surname was changed from uden to Youden in the late 1700’s by a man named Thomas Youden from Whitby, England and settled in Newfoundland.

    Newfoundland was part of Britain, gained its independence for a short while and then joined with Canada in 1949.

  • Antra

    This is unlikely. Widespread use of surnames amongst ethnic Latvians in Latvia did not start until the early 1800s, since prior to that they were serfs. This was also not a time of great migration from Latvian territory, so it is even more unlikely that a Latvian who did happen to have a surname migrated to England and then further to Newfoundland. It is probable that the Uden/Youden connection you’re talking about is in regards to a completely unrelated Uden name used in the Netherlands.

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