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Wordless Wednesday – Concentration Camp Memorial

(Click picture to enlarge)

Memorial to commemorate those who died at the Rīga-Kaiserwald concentration camp between 1943 and 1944, located not far from this memorial in Sarkandaugava, a northern suburb of Rīga. Photo taken by me, August 2015.

Mappy Monday – Both Sides of the Daugava

Daugav’ abas malas, mūžam nesadalās, ir Kurzeme, ir Vidzeme, ir Latgale mūsu…
(Daugava and both its shores, never divided, here we have Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Latgale ours…)
-“Daugav’ abas malas” (composer J. Norvilis)

There are many iconic images and ideas in Latvian history and mythology, but none have the endurance of the Daugava River. It has been there from […]

Mappy Monday – All Roads Lead Out of Rīga

I know the saying is typically “all roads lead to X”, but in this case, both are true, though I’ll be talking more about Rīga rather than the rest of the country for this.

Many old cities have pretty some pretty unimaginative street names. One type of street name particularly common in Latvia is naming streets […]

Mappy Monday – The Many Names of Freedom Street

We’re starting off the Mappy Monday series on Discovering Latvian Roots with the most famous and iconic of Latvian streets – Brīvības iela, in English – Freedom Street. This is also one of the streets that has undergone the most name changes, especially in the 20th century, so it makes a good starting point for […]

In Loving Memory: A Special 52 Ancestors Post

This is my Week #39 52 Ancestors post, and it is dedicated to a very recent ancestor of mine, my grandmother Aina Margrieta Līcīte, married name France, who passed away yesterday at the age of 95.

Aina Margrieta (Līcīte) France

October 19, 1919 – October 29, 2014

Passport photo of Aina Līcīte, c. 1947

Aina Margrieta Līcīte was born […]

52 Ancestors #38: Karolīne Matilde Baburs

Time for Week 38 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. And I know, I know, I have some catch-up to do. Working on it!

This week’s ancestor is Karolīne Matilde Baburs, born December 31, 1867 and […]

Pay Close Attention to Document Numbers

Many genealogical documents contain not only information about your ancestor, but clues on how to find out even more. But do you know how to read those clues?

Documents and records lead to more documents and records. This is a given. However, the path a genealogist needs to take to get from one to the other […]

The Dreaded Corner House of Rīga

During the Soviet era, there were few buildings so feared and dreaded in Latvia as the “Corner House” – an otherwise nondescript building on the corner of Brīvības and Stabu streets (though of course Brīvības street – meaning Freedom Street – was called Lenin Street during the Soviet era, couldn’t have any references to freedom). […]

52 Ancestors #32: Mārtiņš Baburs

Time for Week 32 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.

This week’s ancestor is Mārtiņš Baburs, born January 9, 1844 and died 1870. He is my great-great-great-grandfather, by way of my paternal grandmother’s paternal grandmother Karoline […]

A Needle In A Haystack: Rīga Census Records

Census records are typically heralded as the Holy Grail of genealogical documents: Family groups, relationships, ages, occupations, and more, easily accessible (as long as there is a search function, or if you know precisely where they lived) right at your fingertips.

Clearly, whoever says this has never tried finding anyone in the city of Rīga in […]