New format of Surname Saturday here on Discovering Latvian Roots – if you want surname meanings, go check out the Facebook and Twitter pages, here on the blog it will be a summary of what’s new on the Latvian Surname Project, as funded by my supporters on Patreon!

Extra this week, since last week I didn’t get to post because of my computer meltdown!

New this week!

Parishes added – Ä€beļi, Aiztere, DzÄ“rve, Gostiņi, Liepna, Pededze, Zante

Names added – Baltalksnis, BārenÄ«tis, Burbulis, Grantiņš, Kāpostiņš, Karlovičs, Ķesteris, Melngalvis, Oga, PuÄ·e, SÄ«poliņš

… and over 50 other names have been updated to reflect their presence in more parishes!

The Surname Project currently includes 1332 surnames from 466 parishes, towns and cities. Many parishes only have a few names listed so far, but I’m working every day to add more for each parish!

Surname Saturday – Latvian Surname Project Update, August 1, 2015
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One thought on “Surname Saturday – Latvian Surname Project Update, August 1, 2015

  • August 7, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Hi Antra. Thank you so much for all your work. Enjoy reading it so much. I have some surnames and maybe some other interesting information for your history work. I don’t have my Latvian language app installed on this computer right now so you’ll have to forgive my lack of diacritical markings on the names. My mother, Herta Kikuts Hansen, was born in Jekabpils, Latvia and left her home with the rest of her family during WWII. Her parents were Stanislavs and Wilhelmina Rits Kikuts, who I believe may have gotten married in Krustpils. Grandmother’s family was not happy about the marriage because Grandma was pregnant and they said Grandpa liked street women and alcohol. Haha. May have been true as mom remembers living with Grandma at an aunt’s home a couple times for awhile when she was young. Sounds to me like Grandma gave him the boot a couple times, lol!! I do know he did like his vodka way too much in later years! Grandpa ran a shoe shop and from the ads I found on Periodica, I believe it was located at 89 Pasta Iela in Jekabpils. Mom said their home was located on the banks of the Daugava, across from the Krustpils Military Post where Grandpa was stationed while in the service prior to their marriage. Grandma’s parents were Richards and Veronika Ritt (also seen as Ritta, Rit or Rits). Richards had a business making shoes for stores according to my mother, and after he passed my grandfather Stan ran the business. Richards Rit was also a Volunteer Fire Chief that died due to injuries suffered in a fire. My Grandmother Wilhelmine (Minna) was born in Jekabpils and was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church (I think St. Michaels if that sounds correct). Grandpa Stan was born in Rezekne and he always told me that his father Adams Kikuts was a gardener for “the baron” so I assume it was on an area farm. According to the International Tracing Service information, his mother’s name was Rosalija Masalska which sounds a bit Polish to me. My Great-grandmother Veronika Ritt’s maiden name was always said to be Taisons but the ITS paperwork lists her name as having been Tiefentales. I have not sorted that bit of twisted info out yet. Not sure how or where to check on it. My mother said that the Taison’s left the area and I have not been able to track that name and connect it to my family. She said they went to “New Yorka” (in her broken English) and then came back to the city so I am guessing maybe Riga. They used to visit an aunt in “Capital City”, so may have been one of my Great-Grandmother’s family members. Great-Grandfather Ritt’s family I believe may have been from the Zasa area as mom says they always visited another great-aunt’s farm there when they were young. Most recently post-war, a step-great-aunt still lived on the farm with an address of Rukmanos in Zasa until she died in Nov. 2013. Her name was Salimona Levanes & her husband who passed several years ago was Janis Levanes. He had been a Latvian Army Officer that I believe was an instructor at the military school. He somehow escaped being shot with most others after the war. Believe he may have been hiding in the forest. From correspondence in past years, mom found that he had been deported to Siberia a couple times but was released. After the communist ruling stopped, they were able to get the family farm back but what had once been good land was now depleted of all nutrients by the collective farm system. So sad. I’m not sure exactly the relationship but another one of my great-grandfather’s sisters may have lived on the property at one time. Her name is in the Jekabpils News on Periodica as having been well-known for paper flower making. Her name was Zelma Sunaklis. Her husband was the Sunaklis that was a well-known organ builder in Latvia. Mom said he traveled all over the world building organs. Very interesting family history & I wish we had more photos. The step-great-aunt was able to recover a few from mom’s home after the war ended so we are grateful to have what we do. Mom said when their neighbors started to disappear in the night, they would tell others that they were going to an aunt’s house in the country, which they would do & then after leaving they would hide in the forest instead of going home. Everything was left in place in the house, including all the photo albums so that it would not appear that anyone was leaving for good. One day mom said they put extra layers of clothes on and when they were in the forest, the train stopped and picked a group of them up. She said the weather was warm so I am guessing it may have been approx. June of 1940. I’ve never gotten the whole story out of mom as it is obviously painful. They traveled all over & grandpa was taken by the Germans to work on the train system. Eventually they reunited and spent several years in the DP camps all over Germany. Mom was a lead Girl Guide in the Erlangen DP Camp and also danced in her national costume at celebrations in the camps until they were able to come to the United States in May of 1949. I hope I have the history correct, but it gives you some more surnames for the list and also one for the farm list. If you run across any names or further history to share it would be wonderful. I also noticed that the Rukmani farm is not far from your family’s home area after one of your last farm posts, if I am not mistaken. On an old map, it looks like there is a Celminieki farm about 1.8 km straight north of Rukmani. Maybe our world is not so small!!

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