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52 Ancestors #27: Bruno Maximillian Francis

Time for Week 27 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge! As noted in my first post of this challenge, I am starting with my most ancient known ancestors.

Though I am cheating a bit this week. I will not be talking about a direct ancestor, but rather, the brother of a great-grandfather. With all [...]

Bringing Out the Great-Grandfathers, Part 2

Part 2 in my series on my great-grandfathers. Part 1 is here.

Today’s great-grandfather is Arvīds Vilhelms Francis. Arvīds was born on August 7th, 1894 (Old Style) at one o’clock in the afternoon at Kroņi farm on the Nābe estate, south of the town of Limbaži in northern Latvia. His father was Roberts Jūlijs Francis (parents [...]

“Rally Under the Latvian Flag!”

“Rally Under the Latvian Flag!”

This was the headline of the exhortation published on July 19, 1915, by Latvian members of the Imperial Russian Duma, Jānis Goldmanis and Jānis Zālītis, announcing that the Imperial Russian Army was allowing the formation of national battalions – in this case, the Latvian Riflemen Battalions, known in Latvian as “Strēlnieki”.

They [...]

Ž is for Žandarmērija

So now we have come to the end of the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge! I’m happy that I’ve been able to complete the whole challenge. What next, I wonder?

So, Ž is for Žandarmērija… “žandarmērija” is the Latvian word for “gendarmerie”. This is typically a branch of military that also provides policing functions. This [...]

November 11 in Latvia

Today, November 11, is a day of remembrance in many parts of the world, whether it be called Remembrance Day, Veterans’ Day, or something else. This is usually a commemoration of November 11, 1918, when the Armistice was signed at the end of the First World War.

This may have been the end of the First [...]

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 [...]

F is for Flight of the Wild Geese

Some of you may look at the title for this Family History Through the Alphabet challenge post and wonder if you’re on the right blog. After all, what does an Irish Jacobite army have to do with Latvia?

As it turns out, quite a bit. I won’t go into all of the specifics of the Flight [...]