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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 [...]

Dates Before 1834

If you’ve spent any time in the Latvian church records on Raduraksti, you’ll have probably noticed that in most cases, the earliest records of births, marriages and deaths you’ll find is 1834 or 1835 (for ethnic Latvians, records for Germans sometimes go further back). On the rare occasion you’ll find earlier records, but use of [...]

Wordless Wednesday – Abandoned Estonian Church in Lincoln County, Wisconsin

I know this is a blog about Latvian genealogy, but I’ve decided to make this post about our friends and neighbours, the Estonians.

At the end of April and beginning of May, I was in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Lincoln County, Wisconsin, in the United States, to do some research about the early Latvian settlers in Lincoln [...]

Latvis – January 17, 1923

This is part of my series of interesting newspaper articles 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.

This article is a harrowing account of the lives of Latvian Baptists [...]

Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus from Discovering Latvian Roots!

Merry Christmas, or, as you would say in Latvian, Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus!

Hope you and yours have a good holiday!

And what would be a Latvian Christmas without pīrāgi (bacon buns)?

Here is my dad, making pīrāgi yesterday…

And here is (some of) the finished product! I helped. We made both the traditional bacon-filled ones, as well as mushroom-filled ones, [...]

Where Could They Be From?

What do you do if you have little to go on when it comes to researching your Latvian ancestors? What if they emigrated in the late 1800s or early 1900s, and the only information that passenger lists or naturalization records provide is that they came from “Latvia” or “Russia”? What do you do then?

First, do [...]

Ē is for Ērģeles

So what does the third Latvian letter of the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge get us? Ērģeles!

I’ll admit, this one is a bit of a stretch. But there aren’t many Latvian words that start with Ē (a long E sound – not like the “ee” in “feet”, but rather an elongation of the “e” [...]

B is for Baptists and Brazil

Now up on the Family History through the Alphabet challenge…

B is for Baptists and Brazil

Now, you may be wondering what Baptists have to do with Brazil, and what either have to do with Latvia. Quite a lot actually!

Towards the end of the 19th century, while there were still lots of people emigrating from Europe to [...]

“Who Do You Think You Are?” – Rashida Jones Episode Review

I never thought that this was something I’d end up doing on this blog – reviewing a Who Do You Think You Are? episode. But it has happened – last weekend’s episode took place partially in Latvia!

The celebrity in question was Rashida Jones, an American actress, daughter of music mogul Quincy Jones and actress Peggy [...]

Anatomy of a Birth Record

So you want to use Raduraksti, but you’re intimidated, because you don’t know German or Russian. That’s okay! With a bit of work, you can find everything you need to know from these records, without needing to be fluent, or even proficient, in the languages. It is just a question of being able to extract [...]