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The New Latvian Surname Project is Live!

After six months of hard work and fiddling around with the new software, I’m proud to present the all-new version of the Latvian Surname Project!

What’s new…

  • … you can browse surnames by parish!
  • … you can see old spellings of the surnames!
  • … you can see how the surnames would appear in Cyrillic!
  • … you can look at surnames by category (nature, occupations, etc.)!
  • … and more! Just go take a look!

It’s been a LOT of work to get this off the ground, but I think it is worth it! Updating the old pages for the project could be time-consuming, since I’d need to insert new items into already massive files, make sure everything is still perfectly organized/formatted and then upload the new files to the website to replace the old ones. The new project, since it uses Wiki software, is a snap to update when a new name comes along, or if I find a name in a different parish. Upfront it took a lot of work, but it will be easier from here on out!

Right now, the project has 1,090 surnames, from 252 different parishes and towns in Latvia. The parishes with the most surnames listed are Limbaži (207 surnames), Suntaži (91 surnames), Lēdurga (89 surnames), Mazsalaca (78 surnames) and Lāde (66 surnames). There are still lots of parishes to cover, and lots more surnames to add!

I also have grand plans on how it will be able to be expanded in the future – right now there is just barebones information about the parishes, but I hope to add more on them as time goes on, as well as listing the manorial estates found in each one, and the surnames from the revision lists. A quick look at any surname page will also tell you that I am also in the process of adding maps of surname distributions as well as images of handwritten Cyrillic (to help in searching those Russian language records), but those are also going to be over the long term.

Thank you to Chelli of A Latvian-Canadian Story who helped me out with entering some of the names! If you also want to help contribute, do drop me a comment here and we’ll see what we can do! The wiki is locked so that only people I invite are able to contribute. This is to prevent spam and to make sure everything is entered and formatted correctly.

Comments on the new Latvian Surname Project? Suggestions? Ideas on what else could be added? Comment here!

9 comments to The New Latvian Surname Project is Live!

  • Randy Zihrul

    Thank you for all your work, I wish to find more information on my Heritage. My Grandfather and his two brothers emigrated to Canada in ~1905. I do have some documents that i believe are either birth or baptism certificates however i do not speak or read Latvian :(. I would be willing to send you images of these and any help you can give me would be much appreciated,

    Thank you

  • This is an AWESOME (revised) project and not only should we trickle-down Latvians be grateful, but it’s a model for other genealogy sites to emulate. I’m telling Facebook and Google+ about it tomorrow. Your work is SO appreciated, Antra!

  • Awesome work, I was able to find the meaning of two of my ancestor’s family names! I have a name to add to your list: ČIRKŠIS! Actually I’m still a little confused with this name as on my father’s birth certificate it is spelt “ČIRKŠE. My father was born in Nica in 1924.

  • Pauline


  • Krists Čirkšis

    Michael, maybe we are related then. My surname is Čirkšis and I am from the are near Nica. And I am searching for my family history hoping to make a family tree as extensive as I can.

  • Anthony Deicmanis

    I wish to research the name “Deicmanis” I do have a little bit of history
    but would like to find out more.


  • Steve

    The names i am trying to find are Circans 1888 and Zelc from around Madona area.

  • Skrodel

    My father’s family came from an area in Eastern Prussia that is now Oblast Kaliningrad and my maiden name is Skrodel. Is it a Latvian name? I’m from Germany and would be happy about an answer. Only one person in Germany, my cousin, is left with this name.

  • Hi, this is great project, is it possible to add my surname – Ulmkalns ?

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