This is part of my series of interesting newspaper articles that I find in the old Latvian newspapers available through Periodika. Most of the articles I post are in some way related to migration, wars or other events that are of particular genealogical note.

Today’s article makes reference to people referred to as “optanti” – people who have opted for Latvian citizenship as opposed to Soviet citizenship in the 1920s. The rules governing this process were complex, and not always observed, but it did mean that thousands of people of Latvian descent were able to make their way out of Soviet Russia and into Latvian territory in the early 1920s.

Source: Latvijas VÄ“stnesis (Latvian Herald), June 6, 1921.

“The First Who Opted for Citizenship”

Eight families with 36 good horses and cows, having come approximately 200 versts [NB: approximately 213 kilometres] to the border on foot, arrived in Rēzekne on June 2, by way of Zilupe. They are on their way to the Liepāja, Nereta and Jelgava districts.

Latvian Herald – June 6, 1921
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