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O is for Orthography

I know, I know, it has been a long time since I updated on the Family History through the Alphabet challenge. I was already behind when I joined, now I’m even further behind! But no matter. I will catch up by the end of it!

So, without further ado, Here we have O is for Orthography!

When [...]

Ņ is for Ņižņijnovgoroda

Wow! That sure looks like a mouthful, doesn’t it? Don’t be too afraid though. This latest edition of Family History Through the Alphabet is just the Latvian name for the Russian city and oblast of Nizhny Novgorod.

Nizhny Novgorod is located in the eastern part of “European Russia”, and the oblast straddles the Volga River. The [...]

N is for New Style

Almost caught up on the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge! Today we’re talking about dates, dates and more dates – the topic is New Style vs. Old Style!

No, we’re not talking about fashions for an evening out, but rather different calendars. Up until 1918, the Russian Empire used the Julian calendar. Most European countries [...]

M is for Manorial Estate

This is a good one for the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, something I mention quite a lot but I’m not sure if I’ve ever really defined… Manorial Estate!

There were two types of “estates” in pre-independence Latvian society – manorial estates and social estates. Discussion on the latter to come later when we get [...]

Ļ is for Ļaudis

We’ve stumbled onto a particularly difficult letter for the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge… Ļ. “Ļ” is an odd letter – sort of like the “ll” in “million”, with more of a “y” added to it.

The only word that I could come up with for this letter is a surname, “Ļaudis”. It means “people” [...]

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, [...]

Ķ is for Ķimene and Ķiploks

So I have finally ran out of regular genealogy-related words for the more unusual letters of the Latvian alphabet for the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, so we’re off to surnames… so today for Ķ we have Ķimene and Ķiploks!

Both of these surnames are food-related. This is not unusual for Latvian surnames, as you [...]

K is for Kurland

For centuries, what we now know as Latvia was a part of larger empires. In these larger empires, Latvia was not a province by itself, but rather divided into a number of different provinces. In this edition of the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, we’ll discuss one of these old provinces – Kurland.

Kurland was [...]

J is for Jaunlatvieši and Jaunā Strāva

So, what are we serving up for J in the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge? Jaunlatvieši and Jaunā Strāva – two related movements in Latvia in the 19th century.

The nineteenth century is when the Latvian nation started to “awaken” and gain a national consciousness. Prior to this time, Latvians who managed to make it [...]

Ī is for Īrija

Okay, this one is a stretch. But for this tricky letter of the Latvian alphabet and the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, it’s all I’ve got.

“Īrija” is Latvian for “Ireland”. In this series, I have already mentioned a number of Irish connections to Latvian history, in terms of Irish-Russian military commanders. But today, I [...]