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Getting Out of Riga

Rīga is the capital city of Latvia and the largest city in the Baltics. Since Latvian records are largely unindexed, this means that locating an ancestor in Rīga is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

If your ancestors were ethnic Latvians, however, you might find yourself lucky – most ethnic Latvians in the capital [...]

Importance of the ITS

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 [...]

Paying Attention to Details

It is too easy, especially when reading records that require interpretation of handwriting in an unfamiliar language, to pick out the main details – date of birth and parents – but ignore the details that are “not strictly necessary” – godparents, occupations, and so on. It is also easy to just scan for the surnames [...]

Working With Revision Lists

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that the Kurland revision lists are up on Raduraksti. Good news – the Livland (Vidzeme) revision lists are up too!

Now here is your guide to making sense of these documents!

I’m going to start with just the revision lists themselves – many of them come with all sorts of [...]

Kurland Revision Lists!

I was looking around on Raduraksti, and I saw that they have posted what appears to be the full collection of the revision lists for rural Kurland (modern-day Kurzeme and Zemgale). They can be accessed by going “Saturs” -> “Dvēseļu revīzijas” -> “Lauku teritorijas”.

Revision lists are a great resource that take the place of censuses [...]

Records after 1905

In my last post, a reader requested that I talk about records after 1905. So here we go!

There are lots of different types of records available for the post-1905 period – however, as of right now, none of them are available online. The main online genealogical resource for Latvian records – religious records on Raduraksti [...]

What Do You Want To Read?

Sorry for the lack of posting the past couple of weeks – I was making my way home from Latvia, and then, just four days after getting home, moved across the province. I’m mostly settled in now, and starting to process everything I learned and found while I was researching in the archives in Latvia.

There’s [...]

Revision List Indexes

So the new project that I’ve been working on – revision list indexes!

Now, these indexes are simple – family name and number, and the farm names and numbers they appear in on the specified estate. More information is on the Revision Lists page.

The revision lists I’ve indexed aren’t available online yet, but they might be [...]

School Records

Ever wonder how your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents did in school? You may just be able to find out. Numerous Latvian school records are held at the Latvian State Historical Archives, mostly for the inter-war period (1918-1940).

Of course, to be able to use these records, you need to know where they went to school, and [...]

Project Update – May 1, 2010

The Latvian Record Project has been updated!

I have added 1506 new entries to the indexes, covering Lēdurga births 1895-1899, marriages 1895-1899 and deaths 1895-1900. Note however that unfortunately records for 1897 are not available, and are probably lost.

Compared to the previous updates, you’ll note that I’ve pared down the information available in the indexes. This [...]