29 April 2008

Eine gute Woche!

...or so it seems it may be. I got an email on Saturday indicating that my films have arrived at the LDS. Unfortunately, they are closed to get their carpets cleaned tonight (Tuesday) and tomorrow night. I will have to wait until Saturday morning to peruse them. One more thing on this matter: I had thought that the documents would be in Russian, but the most significant one with information from 1920-1939 should be in Latvian -a much easier language to skim and decypher!

The next item of gute Zeitung is that my father finally got a letter from Karina in Latvia. In it, she has some personal comments, but she also included contact information for Helmut Gangnuss! My father said he was going to call Australia last night -the same day he got the letter- but he must not have been able to successfully contact him, as I told him to call me if he was successful. After he is successful -or after trying and failing for a few weeks- I will contact my Gangnus contact in Germany. I am sure he will be pleased to get the information.

The final and potentially exciting item is that I received an email from Dr. H. R., the father of Dr. J. R. (anonymity protected). He didn't share with me any new genealogical information, but he did provide a potentially very significant contact. He gave me a few names and email (and postal) addresses for gentlemen who are involved in Deutsch-Baltische research. Here is their website. (This may be a better link...) Apparently he has already spoken with them on my behalf and, to some extent, they may be expecting my contact. I am not sure what help they will be able to provide. I do not know whether I should send an email or send a letter by postal mail.

Here is what I specifically request:

There are two primary obstacles that I face that are particularly frustrating. The first difficulty I have is in finding from where in Germany –or old Prussia- individuals had come. I have found birth locations in marriage, confirmation and death records, but am wondering if there are any German (or Prussian) sources, such as emigration records, you might suggest that I examine.

The second, but more immediate and greater concern is where I might find records concerning the emigration from Latvia to Germany. I have found a lot of people who have simply disappeared from the records and of whom, I suspect, a lot of them went to Germany. I am familiar with the status of Germans in Latvia from the early 1800s until World War II so I know that the vast majority of Baltic Germans left Latvia for Germany at some point.

So, both problems revolve around migration between Germany and Latvia. Any information or suggestions that you could provide on these matters or on any other would be very much appreciated.

There is more to my letter, including surnames, but I did not include that information.

Again, I have no idea about fees, but they do seem to have memberships available, but I am not sure there would much use for me given my German -AT THIS POINT!- is not good enough.

So, to summarize: 1. contact information for a relative in Australia, 2. three films have arrived for me to examine this weekend, and 3. an email from Dr. H.R. with some potentially very good contact information for a Baltic German genealogical group in Germany.

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