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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 [...]

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 [...]

Latvian Genealogy Primer - Part 2

Part 2 – Genealogical Sources

After reading Part 1 of this primer, and the historical context of Latvian emigration, now it is time to move to genealogical sources – the resources that you can use to trace your Latvian ancestry.

What You Need to Know About Latvian Genealogy

Most records are in Russian or German prior to the [...]

Latvian Genealogy Primer - Part 1

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 [...]

Tuesday’s Tip: Look Randomly

Generally speaking, genealogy is a calm and focused pursuit. However, sometimes you need to be random – this is particularly true when trying to find something at the archives.

There is a reason for this – the Central Fond Register really only names the fonds – and usually they are named after the creator of the [...]

Tuesday’s Tip: House Books

A wonderful resource for researching Latvian genealogy is the house book collection at the Latvian State Historical Archives. They are available in fond 2942 for Rīga and in fond 2110 for the rest of Latvia.

During the Czarist era, as well as during the interwar period, every residential building in Latvia had to keep a record [...]

Search for Anna Liepa: Update

So last month I posted a “Plan of Attack” for finding more about the origins of my great-grandmother Anna Liepa. So, how has it gone?

Not all that well, I’m afraid.

The house book for Romanova iela 62/64 did not yield any results for anyone in her family, nor did any books for 62/66.
The tax lists of [...]

Plan of Attack: Finding Anna Liepa in the Rīga Records

My most difficult ancestor is my great-grandmother Anna Liepa. The reason for this is because she was born in Rīga, and Rīga is a big place. This means that any record search inevitably takes forever, since there are many records to search.

So I have formulated a precise plan of attack for finally finding her and [...]

Birth Record of Karolīne Matilde Baburs - December 31, 1867 (O.S.)

Caroline Mathilde, daughter of worker Martin Babbur and his wife Edde born Jansohn. Baptized by Pastor Getter(?) in the church [Church of Jesus, an evangelican Lutheran church south of the Old City of Rīga]. Godparents maiden Caroline Wendt, worker Martin Lasmann and Jann(?) Krasting.

Usually I post records on the day of the event based on [...]

Death Record of Jēkabs Šīrs – October 4, 1923

Click for full image. Image courtesy of a cousin from my Lūkins family line.

Fishing manager JĒKABS ŠĪRS, 61 1/2 years old, born in Aloja, divorced.

Died on October 4, 1923, at 10 o’clock in the evening in Rīnuži.

Buried October 14, 1923 at the Baltās Baznīcas (White Church) cemetery.

Daugavgrīva church book, 1923 deaths, #53.

Jēkabs Šīrs was my [...]