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1. Please do not post the same item on multiple posts. You only need to post once for it to be seen.

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Sorting Out Ethnicity

So you have established that your ancestors lived on Latvian territory. But what were their ethnic origins? Latvia has been a multi-ethnic territory for centuries, so the distinctions between ethnic groups might not always be so clear in the old records.

There are, however, numerous ways in which to establish someone’s ethnic identity. They are not [...]

Project Update - February 15, 2010

The Latvian Surname Project has been updated!

The Surname Project has 153 new names, including BĒRZLAPA and MIEŽUVĀRPA. That brings the total number of surnames in the project so far to 521!

I’m afraid I don’t have a Record Project update this time – life has gotten in the way. I’ve also had a bit of trouble [...]

Surname Saturday – Time for Dinner!

When Latvian peasants were choosing surnames after emancipation from serfdom, they were strongly encouraged by the German and Russian rulers to choose names in their own language, and were forbidden to choose names of local nobles or famous people.

While not all obeyed this directive and chose German names (or had German names assigned to them [...]

Project Update – January 31, 2010

The Latvian Record Project and the Latvian Surname Project have been updated!

The Surname Project has 100 new names, including KALĒJS and ZVEJNIEKS.

The Record Project has 368 new records in Limbaži marriages 1890-1899.

That’s all for this update! Updates will happen, on average, every ten days.

Surname Saturday – Kukurs

This edition of Surname Saturday is about the surname Kukurs.

I have chosen this surname for two reasons – a person with this surname in my family tree is currently giving me trouble, and I happened across the definition of this word in my Latvian etymological dictionary while looking for something else.

The root of the word [...]

Project Updates – January 21, 2010

The Latvian Record Project and the Latvian Surname Project have been updated!

The Surname Project has 61 new names, including LAPSA and DZĒRVE.

The Record Project has 1075 new records, including Limbaži baptisms 1900-1905, Lēdurga baptisms 1900, Limbaži marriages 1900-1905, Lēdurga marriages 1900 and Suntaži marriages 1900-1905. For all records, Limbaži is missing 1904 and Suntaži is [...]

Latvian Surname Project

Squeaking in for Surname Saturday (in somebody else’s timezone…)…

Today, I bring you the launch of the Latvian Surname Project!

The most common search term that brings people to my blog is “Latvian surnames”. Therefore, I thought starting a resource on Latvian surnames and their meanings could be helpful to a lot of people.

So far, there are [...]

Surname Saturday – Radziņš

Today I’m featuring one of the new surnames I’ve discovered in my family tree – Radziņš (feminine form Radziņa, the surname of one of my great-great-grandmothers.

Marija Radziņa was born on November 16, 1856. I am not sure yet where she was born, but she married Pēteris Celmiņš sometime before 1878, when their first child was [...]

Mysteries Revealed – And Created

So today was my second day, and first full day, at the Latvian State Historical Archives.

I was able to view the passports I mentioned in my previous post, belonging to Pēteris Celmiņš and Anna Celmiņa (born Liepa), and confirmed that they are the correct individuals, and thus able to add their information to my family [...]

Surname Saturday – Baburs

Participating in my first Geneabloggers daily blogging theme – Surname Saturday!

The surname up this week is Baburs.

The most recent ancestor I have with this name is Karolīne Matilde Baburs, born in Riga and baptized in the Church of Jesus parish in the late 19th century, to Mārtiņš Baburs and his wife Ēde. Mārtiņš’ father, Ādams, [...]