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Mappy Monday – Prefixes Everywhere!

Rural Latvia was and is covered with farms – usually quite small in size, and all with names. Many of these names have been around for centuries – in most cases, longer than surnames.

Many of these farm names come from natural features, occupations and so on – much like the surnames that would later come […]

Mappy Monday – Both Sides of the Daugava

Daugav’ abas malas, mūžam nesadalās, ir Kurzeme, ir Vidzeme, ir Latgale mūsu…
(Daugava and both its shores, never divided, here we have Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Latgale ours…)
-“Daugav’ abas malas” (composer J. Norvilis)

There are many iconic images and ideas in Latvian history and mythology, but none have the endurance of the Daugava River. It has been there from […]

Tombstone Tuesday – Eduards Bielovs, 1895-1930

In this series, I am providing pictures of tombstones from Latvian cemeteries, all with death dates prior to 1945. I do not have any further information on the people mentioned.

Photo taken by me, September 2014. Click to enlarge.

Top Inscription: “Manam tēvam, sirsnīgā meita” (For my father, from your dear daughter)

Middle Inscription: “Drēbnieku meistaram brālim” (For […]

Mappy Monday - Road to the East

Since the Second World War, Siberia and the Russian Far East are associated with deportations and prison camps. It is difficult to imagine that in decades past, thousands of Latvians and other Balts traveled there willingly to make new homes. But that is precisely what happened – in the late 19th century, with land in […]

Tombstone Tuesday – Emīlija Kauliņš, 1880-1941

In this series, I am providing pictures of tombstones from Latvian cemeteries, all with death dates prior to 1945. I do not have any further information on the people mentioned.

Photo taken by me, September 2014. Click to enlarge.

Name: Emīlija Kauliņš, born March 12, 1880, died March 28, 1941

Location: Lejas kapi, Cēsis

Mappy Monday – All Roads Lead Out of Rīga

I know the saying is typically “all roads lead to X”, but in this case, both are true, though I’ll be talking more about Rīga rather than the rest of the country for this.

Many old cities have pretty some pretty unimaginative street names. One type of street name particularly common in Latvia is naming streets […]

Mappy Monday – The Many Names of Freedom Street

We’re starting off the Mappy Monday series on Discovering Latvian Roots with the most famous and iconic of Latvian streets – Brīvības iela, in English – Freedom Street. This is also one of the streets that has undergone the most name changes, especially in the 20th century, so it makes a good starting point for […]

Tombstone Tuesday - Karlīne Slēgere, 1856-1880

In this series, I am providing pictures of tombstones from Latvian cemeteries, all with death dates prior to 1945. I do not have any further information on the people mentioned.

Photo taken by me, August 2014. Click to enlarge.

Top Inscription: “Še dus Dieva mierā” (Here in God’s peace rests)

Name: Karlīne Slēgere, born 1856, died 1880.

Location: Jūras […]

Tombstone Tuesday – Miķelis and Anna Stegers

In this series, I am providing pictures of tombstones from Latvian cemeteries, all with death dates prior to 1945. I do not have any further information on the people mentioned.

Photo taken by me, August 2014. Click to enlarge.

Top Inscription: “Svētīgie sirdsskaidrie, jo tie Dievu redzēs” (“The holy and pure of heart, for they will see […]

Tombstone Tuesday – Antons Maurītis, 1883-1919

In this series, I am providing pictures of tombstones from Latvian cemeteries, all with death dates prior to 1945. I do not have any further information on the people mentioned.

Photo taken by me, August 2014. Click to enlarge.

Name: Antons Maurītis, born September 27, 1883; died October 29, 1919

Location: Jūras ielas kapi, Limbaži