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WW1 Diary – July 8, 1915

Fourth installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War, just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front. For the background, see here.

July 8, 1915

Today hundreds of refugees passed by our house. Across the Daugava it is like a market square, or a terrible Jurgi [...]

WW1 Diary – July 7, 1915

Third installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War, just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front. For the background, see here.

July 7, 1915

We are all very worried, since we need to prepare to evacuate and flee if the government so directs. People from [...]

WW1 Diary – June 27, 1915

Second installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War, just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front. For the background, see here.

June 27, 1915

My thirtieth birthday. Already!! I haven’t lived in vain. I am at peace in my life. There is enough of everything. [...]

WW1 Diary - June 24, 1915

When visiting a great-aunt of mine (my maternal grandfather’s sister) in Latvia, she shared with me a real family treasure – the wartime diary of her aunt, written during the First World War. I photographed all of the pages, and am now slowly transcribing and then translating the content. It provides a fascinating view into [...]

Č is for Čigāns

Continuing with the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, we’ve come upon our second Latvian letter…. Č!

This was a tough letter! There are not many Latvian words that start with “č” (pronounced “ch”), and even fewer that could relate to genealogy in some way. But I’ve found one – “čigāns”. This is Latvian for Gypsy [...]

Importance of Farm Names

Before I went to the Latvian State Historical Archives for the first time, I didn’t pay much attention to farm names. Sure, I knew the name of the farm where one of my grandfathers grew up, but I didn’t attach a significance to it beyond an address.

My work in the archives showed me just how [...]

“Fearless Females” – March 2

Today’s prompt:Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?

I’m cheating, and posting two. While looking through my photos, I realized that I have very few of female ancestors by themselves. There were a couple, but not [...]

Surname Saturday – Kukurs

This edition of Surname Saturday is about the surname Kukurs.

I have chosen this surname for two reasons – a person with this surname in my family tree is currently giving me trouble, and I happened across the definition of this word in my Latvian etymological dictionary while looking for something else.

The root of the word [...]

Navigating Raduraksti

I make many references to LVVA’s Raduraksti. It is the best resource for people researching their Latvian family history if they’re not able to go to the LVVA itself. The collection of documents available there is growing – recently they also added revision lists for some towns and cities.

But the website can be a bit [...]

Families Unknown

When doing your research, have you ever come across a family – not your own – that appears to have a story to tell, and you want to find out what that story is?

This has happened to me while looking at the Limbaži parish registers.

While looking at the christening records, the records where no father [...]