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Surname Saturday – Time for Dinner!

When Latvian peasants were choosing surnames after emancipation from serfdom, they were strongly encouraged by the German and Russian rulers to choose names in their own language, and were forbidden to choose names of local nobles or famous people.

While not all obeyed this directive and chose German names (or had German names assigned to them [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Latvian Surname Project

Squeaking in for Surname Saturday (in somebody else’s timezone…)…

Today, I bring you the launch of the Latvian Surname Project!

The most common search term that brings people to my blog is “Latvian surnames”. Therefore, I thought starting a resource on Latvian surnames and their meanings could be helpful to a lot of people.

So far, there are [...]

Surname Saturday – Radziņš

Today I’m featuring one of the new surnames I’ve discovered in my family tree – Radziņš (feminine form Radziņa, the surname of one of my great-great-grandmothers.

Marija Radziņa was born on November 16, 1856. I am not sure yet where she was born, but she married Pēteris Celmiņš sometime before 1878, when their first child was [...]

First Day at the Archives

So I have arrived in Latvia, and today I made my first trip to the Latvian State Historical Archives.

And I may have already found something!

Since it takes them a few days to find and bring out the requested documents, for the most part today was just filling out the forms to request the items I [...]

Surname Saturday – Baburs

Participating in my first Geneabloggers daily blogging theme – Surname Saturday!

The surname up this week is Baburs.

The most recent ancestor I have with this name is Karolīne Matilde Baburs, born in Riga and baptized in the Church of Jesus parish in the late 19th century, to Mārtiņš Baburs and his wife Ēde. Mārtiņš’ father, Ādams, [...]

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 [...]

The Big Three

Bērziņš, Kalniņš, Ozoliņš – these are what I call the “big three”. They are the most common Latvian surnames. With these names more than any others it is imperative that you know where your ancestor was from.

But what do these names mean?

All three are in a diminutive form, but for surnames, this can also mean [...]