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I is for International Tracing Service

This is a key letter for the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge. Not for the letter itself, but for the subject matter. The International Tracing Service can be the key to unlocking one’s family history – if your family emigrated from Latvia in the post-Second World War period.

I’ve already talked about the ITS on [...]

H is for Hinzugekommen/Abgegangen

Heading into German words now for the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge! Though I’m cheating – there are two words here instead of one, because they are inseparable when it comes to Latvian (and Estonian) genealogical resources. Since Estonian territory had the same sort of administrative structure as Latvian territory in this time period, [...]

Ģ is for Ģenerālgubernators

This next Family History Through the Alphabet challenge is a bit tricky, but I found something that works – Ģenerālgubernators. This means “governor general” in Latvian. Canadian readers will be familiar with this term as the Queen’s representative in Canada. In Imperial Russian parlance, the governor-general was the highest authority in a governorate (guberniya) of [...]

G is for German

What’s next in the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge? Germans!

Germans and the German language have a long history in Latvia. Ever since the first bishops of Bremen came to Latvian territory in the late 12th century to Christianize the local populations, Germans have been coming to the Baltics. Today, however, they are mostly tourists, [...]

F is for Flight of the Wild Geese

Some of you may look at the title for this Family History Through the Alphabet challenge post and wonder if you’re on the right blog. After all, what does an Irish Jacobite army have to do with Latvia?

As it turns out, quite a bit. I won’t go into all of the specifics of the Flight [...]

Ē is for Ērģeles

So what does the third Latvian letter of the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge get us? Ērģeles!

I’ll admit, this one is a bit of a stretch. But there aren’t many Latvian words that start with Ē (a long E sound – not like the “ee” in “feet”, but rather an elongation of the “e” [...]

E is for Emancipation

On to letter E of the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge!

E is for Emancipation

To many Westerners, particularly Americans, “Emancipation” means the freeing of slaves from slavery, more specifically black slaves in the American South, during the Civil War. But this is not the Emancipation we are discussing today, though this Emancipation takes place around [...]

D is for Denmark

It is time for the letter “D” in the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge!

D is for Denmark

After the Second World War, there were thousands of Displaced Persons (DPs) across Western Europe, having escaped the Soviet takeovers of their homes. A large number of these DP camps were in Germany, and they get the most [...]

Č is for Čigāns

Continuing with the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, we’ve come upon our second Latvian letter…. Č!

This was a tough letter! There are not many Latvian words that start with “č” (pronounced “ch”), and even fewer that could relate to genealogy in some way. But I’ve found one – “čigāns”. This is Latvian for Gypsy [...]

C is for Census

Time for the letter C in the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge!

C is for Census

Census records are key genealogical records in most countries. Latvia is no exception. However, accessing and interpreting Latvian records can be a bit of a challenge.

The first census available for Latvia is the 1897 All-Russia Census. This is the only [...]