31 January 2008

A couple of minor things

I've ordered three documents last weekend: two sets of birth records from St. Martins in Riga that are from around 1850-1873 and a set of death records from St. Jakobs in Riga. The death records cover from around 1920 to 1939. I hope to find the Trusinskis' there, but expect to find a surprise or two. They should arrive in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I think a whole lot of the 1920s documents are going to be in Russian. I can decypher Russian font/text, but Russian handwriting is MUCH more difficult for me!

The most recent "family tree" on this site is quite outdated. As my immediately family knows, I have a couple of branches now established into the 1700s.

I emailed a gentleman who had maintained a site on the internet that deals with Latvian genealogy. The site is very, very good. It is bitter-sweet, for me, however, because in one link he lists the resources he has "at his fingertips". TWO of which are VERY interesting. One resource, if I recall correctly, is the list of Baltic Germans who left in 1939/40, while the other was made up of Latvians who died in WWII serving in the German military. Unfortunately, I can't even seem to find that link now. UGH! Finally, I tried to subscribe to the mailing list and discussion group, but the address posted isn't recognised as a valid address by yahoo.com.

It's all good, however. I have made a TON of progress in just a short time. Who would have thought that I'd have documents that go back to the late 1700s?! Of course, I did that in less than 9 months of research! I am STILL looking for that link to Sweden and the supposed link to a Polish baron.

The mystery goes on...

24 January 2008

Communities in Latvia in which I have found relatives in the past

Goldingen -Kuldiga
Schrunden -Skrunda
Lemsal -Limbazi
Iwanden -Ivantes
Needern or Nerden -Niedru or Niedre
Wenden -Cesis
Wolmar -Valmiera

I expect to find more. I found a reference to Kaupen and there is one in Germany and one in Eastern Latvia, but the one in eastern Latvia does not make logical sense... Oh, and even more interesting is that there is a community named "Tils" in western Latvia. "Tils" is how Till is spelled in Latvian. Frequently, surnames are a reference to occupation or a region from where a family comes. The third common basis for a family name is that it is the patronymic of the father. For example, if the son is named John and the father is named Karl, the last name for the son is Karlson. I have a number of those in my searches, but only one that can be linked to my tree in any way: Peterson -at it is only by marriage.

Looking for...

Karlis Trusinskis, Roberts Trusinskis and Igors Trusinskis. We may be related so I am seeking to determine if that is true. I share your last (family) name. My father left Latvia with his parents and siblings during World War II and the name on their birth certificates was spelled Trusinskis. I do not think the name is probably any more common in Latvia than it is in the United States.

If you contact me through this web site by clicking on the "comments" link, I will send you more information that may help you determine if there is a relationship! I hope you choose to contact me!


21 January 2008

More information found

I have found yet another community in which we may have had (past tense, certainly!) relatives. In a death document for a Carl (yes, Carl with a C) Wihgert, it noted the town in which he was born. He was born on 12 December 1814 in Skrunda, then called Schrunden -or something like that. His father was a shoemaker. It is the first instance in which I have found an occupation that was easily read and understood. Also, it gave the mother's maiden name -Jankowski- and where the mother and father came from. In German it is Needern [or Niedru (Nerdern)], and is also somewhere around Kuldiga. FINALLY, another reason the document is particularly interesting is that the death record spells Carl's name Wihgert, like the way our earlier, documented relatives spelled it, yet the birth record is spelled Wiegert. SO, what that means is that if a link can be found from one generation to the next, a slight differnce is spelling doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't related. In fact, it may mean that they are the SAME PERSON! I KNOW I have seen a series of Wiegerts in my research by I didn't record their location/information, as one has to limit their search parameters in some way.

I am still looking for the marriage record of the gentleman who had died in 1885 and then, from that, hope to find the birth record of Heinrich Wihgert. That might give a middle name and help me find siblings, too. I still haven't found the maiden name of Heinrich's wife, Anne, anywhere. Hopefully that is listed in their marriage document...if I can ever find that. WHEW!

18 January 2008

Disappointing realization...

So, about the Rogenhagens of whom I was so excited to have found...I'm not related. The reason that I am not related is because the Till that married the granddaughter of a Rogenhagen had four children in that marriage. The wife then died (don't know why, YET) and then he remarried a bit later. He then had 7 children with that woman. It is through one of those children I am related.

It's kind of too bad, as Rogenhagen seemed to be an interesting name to me. *sigh* Oh well.

One more thing: I reviewed two films in Oakdale that I had ordered from the LDS. There was nothing there except for one reference to a "Puls". It was a maiden name of a woman in a marriage document. I guess there was one more thing. I did find a lot of entries for St. Jacobs Kirche in Riga. Virtually all of the entries, however, seem to be "von" someone. It is my understanding thus far that "von" in front of a family name implies some sort of royal lineage. My grandfather -apparently- insisted that he and his family were related to royalty. It certainly seems as if a number of others in his church were, but there isn't a hint of evidence thus far that his family is!

Tomorrow I will be returning to Oakdale to review (hopefully) four more films of records from the late 1800s. I don't recall if they are the Till side or the my grandfather's side, but I hope find something of use. Finally, I plan to order another film or two that focuses on the (my family name -I don't type it so my students do not find this site via a web search). I have hit a wall in that area. It is on that side I have a key person being born in Latvia, Russia or Karelia. Not particularly useful, though, if I actually found the record, it would be pretty cool if it were Karelia!

14 January 2008

I figured out where the Wihgerts came from!

My grandfather's mother came from some town, according to her confirmation record, that I couldn't figure out, given the messy foreign script. Anyway, long story short, they didn't come from Goldingen, but a community near Goldingen called (now) Ivandes. I have no idea about the current or past size, but I hope to someday find out about its history. Suprisingly, I also came across a death record for Karl Jabob Wihgert. He was 71 when he died which was in 1885. Unfortunately, I STILL haven't found the maiden name for my grandfather's grandmother. She is consistently listed as Anne Wihgert, despite most other records from other churches showing the "geboren" name. *sigh* Maybe I can find the death record. Sometimes they give the mother's maiden name on that.

12 January 2008

very quick update

I've used the website mentioned in the last post and found out some more information. I have found two more family names that have been mentioned multiple times in documents: Rogenhagen and Neuman. BOTH of these lines go back to the late 1700s and I found a Till (married to the Neuman/n) that was born in 1781 +/- a year. An interesting note: I've found more than once instance (by myself once, while in research by others another time) where a couple had another child and gave it virtually the exact same first and middle name as another child.

04 January 2008

Latvian Genealogy Records Online

The Latvian government is scanning and publishing online many documents that family genealogists want to view. Thus far, if one isn't familiar with some aspects of Latvian and/or Evangelical Lutheran organization, they may be a bit difficult to navigate. For example, when I've requested documents from the Family History Center through the LDS, I could search for them by a specific municipality or church. They don't seem to organize them in this way as far as I can see. Additionally, I can't seem to figure out how to print out the documents or save the image. If you check out the site and can figure out how to do so, PLEASE revisit this site and share with me how you did it! THANKS!!

You do have to register to use the site, but it is quick and free! Here's the link: http://www.lvva-raduraksti.lv/en.html