Guidelines for Commenting

1. Please do not post the same item on multiple posts. You only need to post once for it to be seen.

2. Please include a working email address - if your comment is related to your own personal family history, rather than Latvian genealogy in a more general sense, I prefer to respond by email to maintain your privacy. By leaving a comment with your email address, you consent to receiving an email reply to your query to that email address.

3. I don't sell email addresses or send anything to them besides responses to your comments. I am the only person who has access to them.

Paying Attention to Details

It is too easy, especially when reading records that require interpretation of handwriting in an unfamiliar language, to pick out the main details – date of birth and parents – but ignore the details that are “not strictly necessary” – godparents, occupations, and so on. It is also easy to just scan for the surnames […]

Working With Revision Lists

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that the Kurland revision lists are up on Raduraksti. Good news – the Livland (Vidzeme) revision lists are up too!

Now here is your guide to making sense of these documents!

I’m going to start with just the revision lists themselves – many of them come with all sorts of […]

Kurland Revision Lists!

I was looking around on Raduraksti, and I saw that they have posted what appears to be the full collection of the revision lists for rural Kurland (modern-day Kurzeme and Zemgale). They can be accessed by going “Saturs” -> “Dvēseļu revīzijas” -> “Lauku teritorijas”.

Revision lists are a great resource that take the place of censuses […]

Records after 1905

In my last post, a reader requested that I talk about records after 1905. So here we go!

There are lots of different types of records available for the post-1905 period – however, as of right now, none of them are available online. The main online genealogical resource for Latvian records – religious records on Raduraksti […]

What Do You Want To Read?

Sorry for the lack of posting the past couple of weeks – I was making my way home from Latvia, and then, just four days after getting home, moved across the province. I’m mostly settled in now, and starting to process everything I learned and found while I was researching in the archives in Latvia.

There’s […]

School Records

Ever wonder how your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents did in school? You may just be able to find out. Numerous Latvian school records are held at the Latvian State Historical Archives, mostly for the inter-war period (1918-1940).

Of course, to be able to use these records, you need to know where they went to school, and […]

Project Update – May 1, 2010

The Latvian Record Project has been updated!

I have added 1506 new entries to the indexes, covering Lēdurga births 1895-1899, marriages 1895-1899 and deaths 1895-1900. Note however that unfortunately records for 1897 are not available, and are probably lost.

Compared to the previous updates, you’ll note that I’ve pared down the information available in the indexes. This […]

International Tracing Service

I first read about the International Tracing Service about a year ago when searching for more information about post-World War Two Displaced Persons Camps. According to their website, their history starts in London in 1943, as a tracing bureau for people missing due to war. After the war, they continued to work to identify and […]

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 […]

Project Updates – January 21, 2010

The Latvian Record Project and the Latvian Surname Project have been updated!

The Surname Project has 61 new names, including LAPSA and DZĒRVE.

The Record Project has 1075 new records, including Limbaži baptisms 1900-1905, Lēdurga baptisms 1900, Limbaži marriages 1900-1905, Lēdurga marriages 1900 and Suntaži marriages 1900-1905. For all records, Limbaži is missing 1904 and Suntaži is […]