Over the centuries, Latvia has been home to many Roma (Gypsy) people. While many died during the Holocaust (Porajmos in Romani), approximately 6500 Roma live in Latvia today, particularly around the Sabile and Talsi areas in the western part of the country.
In the old records, people of Roma descent were frequently referred to by their ethnicity where non-Roma would be referred to by their occupations. This makes it possible to identify surname trends in the Roma community. These names will be included in this category. It is important to note, however, that some Roma might not have been identified as such in the records, and could bear different names. Likewise, it is also possible that non-Roma may hold these names as well.
Also to note: A number of surnames that were given to Roma were offensive in some manner, often referencing their position on the fringes of society. It is possible that holders of these surnames later changed them to something non-offensive, when it was made possible to change one's name.