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zieds1mazs.gif (257 bytes) Mixed marriages

 

The share of cross-ethnic marriages is quite interesting for demographers. It is also of some interest for genealogists, if one wish to estimate the probability that an ancestor had a spouse of different ethnic origin. I have no information about mixed marriages for the Russia Empire, but for Latvia these data are available in statistical sources.

 

Mixed marriages in Latvia 1930

Ethnicity of the husband

Ethnicity of the wife

Latvian

German

Russian

Jewish

Polish

Lithuanian

Estonian

Other

Total

Latvian 11434 157 313 5 253 119 37 10 12 328
German 191 395 48 8 30 3 2 5 682
Russian 233 28 1 765 1 104 14 3 1 2149
Jewish 6 1 8 850 1 - - 1 867
Polish 140 16 99 3 416 31 2 1 708
Lithuanian 102 7 3 - 30 137 - - 279
Estonian 29 2 3 - 3 - 19 - 56
Other 15 10 5 - 5 2 - 21 58
Total 12 150 616 2 244 867 842 306 63 39 17 127

 

This information is from the Statistical Yearbook for 1930. The number of marriages contracted in the same ethnicity is 15037,  what is 87.8%  of all of them.

The rates of mixed marriages for 1930 by ethnicity are calculated in the following table:

 

Ethnicity

Married in their own ethnicity

Married women
Married men
Percentage of women married in their own ethnicity Percentage of men married in their own ethnicity
Latvian 11 434 12 150 12 328 94.1 92.7
German 395 616 682 64.1 57.9
Russian 1 765 2 244 2149 78.7 82.1
Jewish 850 867 867 98.0 98.0
Polish 416 842 708 49.4 58.8
Lithuanian 137 306 279 44.8 49.1
Estonian 19 63 56 30.2 33.9
Other 21 39 58 - -
Total 15 037 17 127 17 127 87.8 87.8

 

The figures show that only the most part of Jews and Latvians married in their own ethnicity. Other ethnicities were gradually dissolving in Latvians.

 

Mixed marriages in Latvia 1937.

Ethnicity of the husband

Ethnicity of the wife

Latvian

German

Russian

Jewish

Polish

Lithuanian

Other

Total

Latvian 10299 128 391 14 320 176 49 11377
German 128 353 39 1 20 4 5 550
Russian 272 19 1700 3 127 29 3 2153
Jewish 4 5 6 839 - 1 2 857
Polish 135 13 117 1 336 22 1 625
Lithuanian 95 2 32 - 58 135 - 322
Other 26 7 9 1 2 1 41 87
Total 10959 527 2294 859 863 368 101 15971

 

It follows of the table that 13662 marriages, or 85.5 %, were contracted in the same ethnicity. The source (Latvija Skaitļos 1938) asserts that there were no serious differences in the analogous figures for 1936.

 

© Bruno Martuzāns. 1995-2002