Big announcement today – Starting on February 9th, I will be running an online 12-week beginners’ course on Latvian genealogy, where we will start with the basics of Latvian research using online sources.

I know getting into the records can feel intimidating, especially if you don’t know the languages involved. But we were all beginners once, and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! That’s why I’ve created this course, so you can learn what you need to know and get help and advice along the way.

No prior knowledge of Latvian, German or Russian required – everything you’ll need to know to locate villages/towns, find your ancestors’ records on Raduraksti and then understand what the records say will be included in the course. The course will be conducted in English.

Course Outline

  • Week 1 – Historical Context and Migration Patterns
  • Week 2 – Spelling and Orthography
  • Week 3 – Location, Location, Location
  • Week 4 – Names
  • Week 5 – Relationships and Occupations
  • Week 6 – Baptism/Birth Records
  • Week 7 – Marriage Records
  • Week 8 – Death Records
  • Week 9 – Other Religious Records
  • Week 10 – Revision Lists
  • Week 11 – 1897 Census
  • Week 12 – Wrap-Up and Next Steps

Course Requirements

You will need to have an Internet connection as well as a Google account, since we will use many Google features, including Gmail, Hangouts (text only), Docs and Keep. A Google account is free. You will also need an account on the Raduraksti website, also free. A computer (desktop or laptop) would be best, but as long as you can see, read and navigate the embedded pages in the Raduraksti website, then a tablet would also suffice. The course material and exercises should take you about one to three hours per week.

Prices (in US dollars)

Basic 12-Week Course: $129 – which includes:

  • 12 modules, one each week, which will consist of readings, exercises and applying lessons learned to your own family history (see outline above), new modules will be released on Monday and you have until the following Monday to complete the exercises
  • corrected exercises returned to you within 48 hours
  • access to a group chatroom where you can discuss the course material with other students and ask the instructor questions
  • *BONUS* For this first session of this introductory course, upon completion of the program, if you wish to complement your own online research with on-site research conducted by the instructor (me), you will be eligible for a 25% discount on your first four-hour research package – get four hours of on-site research for the price of three!

Course Add-Ons!

$79 – Personalized Exercises Created For You

  • In addition to the regular course material, you will be sent personalized exercises for each module, as they relate to your family history (but won’t hand it to you – you still need to do the hunting for each record yourself!), such as providing more detail on the relevant parishes, extra help through various styles of handwriting you’ll need to deal with in your specific parishes and so on. Amount and type of extra exercises will vary by module and information that you are able to provide on your family history prior to the beginning of the course.

$49 – One-on-One Video Chat with Instructor

  • This add-on gets you three hours of video chat time with me, to be divided up throughout the course at mutually convenient times, recommended at a rate of half an hour every two weeks (for six half-hour sessions total). You can ask more detailed questions about the course material and any other Latvian genealogy questions you may have.

To Sign Up!

Please send an email to (note: this is an image to prevent spam, you will need to type it into your email program) expressing your interest (in the basic course and any add-ons, if applicable) and outline for me your Latvian family history as far as you know it, including when approximately they emigrated from Latvia, names and dates, ethnicity, religion, and so on, so that I can make sure that the course is appropriate for you. Once I’ve given you the go-ahead, you can send payment via Paypal, and you’ll be welcomed into the course!

Space IS limited – I’m only accepting 20 people into this session! Anyone signing up after that will be put on a waiting list for the next session, start date to be determined.

Hope to see you there!

Beginners’ Course in Latvian Genealogy!
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2 thoughts on “Beginners’ Course in Latvian Genealogy!

  • February 1, 2015 at 2:08 am


    I am a second generation Latvian on my paternal side and I am looking to investigate my family history. I have received a lot of information regarding my fathers history in particular the history of their time in the displaced persons camps during world war 2. However, I would like to find a way to research further my family history prior to 1945. In particular I would like to find out information about my grandfathers service with the Latvian military.

    I have a very close Latvian friend that has been able to work with me in the past, but I found out that sometimes the Latvian government agencies will only provide information to family members. Thus, it is very frustrating to work within these restrictions and guidelines since I am not familiar with the language.

    I have been able to obtain my Latvian citizenship in 2014 and plan eventually to visit the country in the near future. Thus, I have basic information about my father and his birth place and immediate family members.

    However, I am interested in researching specific history prior to 1945 but unsure If your 12 week course will be beneficial since I am in need of certain material.

    Please let me know your thoughts and if this upcoming course would help in my research.

    Iva Skufca

  • Pingback: New Genealogy Courses Starting in May! « Discovering Latvian Roots

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