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L is for Livland

Now time for another Latvian province for the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge… Livland!

Livland was not strictly a Latvian province. The territory it covered is now divided between northern Latvia and southern Estonia. This is an important thing to remember when researching ancestors from Livland – if they seem to “disappear” from Latvian records, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Mysteries Revealed – And Created

So today was my second day, and first full day, at the Latvian State Historical Archives.

I was able to view the passports I mentioned in my previous post, belonging to Pēteris Celmiņš and Anna Celmiņa (born Liepa), and confirmed that they are the correct individuals, and thus able to add their information to my family [...]