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Pay Close Attention to Document Numbers

Many genealogical documents contain not only information about your ancestor, but clues on how to find out even more. But do you know how to read those clues?

Documents and records lead to more documents and records. This is a given. However, the path a genealogist needs to take to get from one to the other [...]

Saving Time on Death Records

All genealogists know that “killing off” – that is, establishing precise death dates and places – your ancestors is important. It helps prevent them from being confused with other people, explains why they weren’t at later events/places, and so on. But if you don’t have a clue as to when they died, this can be [...]

What Are You Looking For?

This blog has been going for over three and a half years! Over the years, I’ve made a number of different posts, and I’ve decided to put this post together to highlight some key posts that are particularly useful for helping you find your Latvian ancestors. This is intended to help new visitors to this [...]

Newspapers for Genealogy

I’ve been mentioning Periodika, an online collection of historical Latvian newspapers, recently. I talked about it a few years ago, here, but it has been updated and upgraded since, so merits mentioning again. Newspaper articles can provide an idea on historical events as they happen, certainly, but do newspapers have other value in genealogy?

They most [...]

R is for Raduraksti

But wait, what about Q? Well, the Latvian alphabet doesn’t have a Q, so R is the next letter of the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge! This is only the first letter I’m skipping, and being as I’ve done a lot of extra ones for the extra letters in the Latvian alphabet, I think [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]