From Latvian Surname Project
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This page lists all of the estates that have been added to the Latvian Surname Project. At present, the estate pages contain the earliest surnames known on these estates, usually from 1826 or 1834 revision lists.

Prior to the 20th century, the estate was the primary organizational unit of rural society. Barons (usually Germans, sometimes Poles and Russians in the east of Latvia) owned vast manorial estates which would be subdivided into various peasant farms. At first, these peasant farms still belonged to the baron, but later in the 19th century, peasants were able to buy out their land. Usually there was still some sort of work detail (corvée) that needed to be done for the baron and the main estate.

The names of peasant farms predate surnames among Latvian peasants. As a result, the names of the peasant farms were a common, though not exclusive, source of surnames.