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Finnic Influences in Latvia: Personal Names

Time for my second post on Finnic influences in Latvia – see the first one on place names here. This post was planned for last week, but then my laptop’s motherboard died, and since it would have cost so much to replace it, it was a better option to just buy a new computer. […]

Finnic Influences in Latvia: Place Names

This is the first in a series of posts regarding Finnic influences in Latvia, which will discuss places, names, language and population, as well as the relevance that this will have on your genealogical adventures. Since Finnic peoples were never an occupying force in Latvia, as much attention isn’t paid to their influence when compared […]

The Dreaded Corner House of Rīga

During the Soviet era, there were few buildings so feared and dreaded in Latvia as the “Corner House” – an otherwise nondescript building on the corner of Brīvības and Stabu streets (though of course Brīvības street – meaning Freedom Street – was called Lenin Street during the Soviet era, couldn’t have any references to freedom). […]

52 Ancestors #29: Jēkabs Lūkins

Time for Week 29 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge! As noted in my first post of this challenge, I am starting with my most ancient known ancestors.

This week’s ancestor is Jēkabs Lūkins, born November 15, 1862 and died June 28, 1929. He is my great-great-grandfather, my paternal grandmother’s paternal grandfather.

Like so many […]

Happy Halloween!

No new puzzle today, Aila is taking the day off for every Goth’s favourite holiday – Halloween!

Now, Latvia doesn’t strictly speaking celebrate Halloween, but there are a number of Latvian pagan traditions that do mimic this holiday – most notably the practice of “ķekatas”. Now, in Latvian tradition, this going around to people’s homes dressed […]

The Spanish Flu Epidemic in Latvia

Most of you are probably familiar with the Spanish flu epidemic that ravaged the world from the beginning of 1918 to the end of 1920 and killed somewhere between 3 and 5 percent of the world’s population. But do you know how the epidemic took place in Latvia?

Since my great-great-grandmother Dorotea Matilde Francis (maiden name […]

“Rally Under the Latvian Flag!”

“Rally Under the Latvian Flag!”

This was the headline of the exhortation published on July 19, 1915, by Latvian members of the Imperial Russian Duma, Jānis Goldmanis and Jānis Zālītis, announcing that the Imperial Russian Army was allowing the formation of national battalions – in this case, the Latvian Riflemen Battalions, known in Latvian as “Strēlnieki”.

They […]

Liepāja’s Response – May 23, 1912

This is part of my series of interesting newspaper articles and snippets that I find in the old Latvian newspapers available through Periodika. Most of the articles I post are in some way related to migration, wars or other events that are of particular genealogical note.

Source: Liepājas Atbalss (Liepāja’s Response), May 23, 1912

Difficulties expected for […]

Book Review: The Case for Latvia

I don’t review books on here often – okay, this is the first review – but I think it might be something I start. This book in particular I think is very valuable for understanding the tricky nuances of Latvian history.

The book is called The Case for Latvia: Disinformation Campaigns Against a Small Nation by […]

Latvian Royalty?

Now, the title is a bit of a misnomer. There isn’t a Latvian royal family. Nobles in Latvia were typically German, sometimes Polish, sometimes Russian. But this post is about a group in Latvia that can be considered the closest thing to nobility that ethnic Latvians have – the “kuršu ķoniņi”, or “Curonian Kings”.

This group […]