While ruling powers – Germans, Swedes, Russians, Poles, etc. – changed over the centuries, one constant in the ruling class remained: Most local gentry in Latvian territory were Germans. As a result, many documents related to Latvian genealogical research prior to Latvian independence are written in German. But German writing then did not look like [...]
I am posting this on behalf of a member of the FEEFHS (Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies) Facebook group, since I know a number of readers here are descendants of Second World War Displaced Persons, and could thus help in the research.
As part of my master’s thesis on the legacy of WWII [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
Ready to move on to genealogical sources? See Part 2 of this primer here.
Part 1 – Historical Context
What You Need to Know about Latvia
Latvia is a country in northeastern Europe, bordered by Estonia, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania. The official language is Latvian, an Indo-European language of the Baltic branch, related to Lithuanian. Latvia has a [...]
I’ve mentioned the International Tracing Service (ITS) numerous times, as a key resource to finding out information about WW2-era Latvian emigrants who spent the post-war years in Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Western Europe. Despite their important activities, I rarely see them get a mention anywhere.
Until now! This news article, which I first saw in [...]
Welcome, everyone, to the 28th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy! This month’s topic was War Stories.
J.M. of Tracing My Roots, in the post The Effects of War, describes the lingering effects of war after the battles are over, and how in this particular case they influenced the life of a [...]
I first read about the International Tracing Service about a year ago when searching for more information about post-World War Two Displaced Persons Camps. According to their website, their history starts in London in 1943, as a tracing bureau for people missing due to war. After the war, they continued to work to identify and [...]
Before I went to Latvia and started conducting my research in the archives, I was purely a genealogist. I wanted names, dates and places. While at the archives, a transformation occured: I became a family historian as well. Rather than spending most of my time stretching back further into history, I concentrated on finding out [...]