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It is supposed that this Page should provide information on those genealogy and family history resources which people do not consider as very important. Really, the resources discussed here contain less information and have no legal force if compared with information in archives and in other official sources. I think, however, if it had been possible to collect all the information of this kind, it could help to solve many problems. In any case, these sources could add some understanding of life a long time ago and of the people that then lived, and, by the way, the information gathered in this way quite possibly might not be found anywhere else.

 

Family Bibles I think you know the tradition to make inscriptions in family Bibles about important family events. I have described here 5 Bibles that I have bought.
20 Names: Allažs, Balodis, Brockhusen, Ģinters (Günther), Grinfelds, Gulbis, Gutmanis, Irbe, Irbens (Irbēns), Kasperovs, Lēmanis, Liepiņš, Ludzenieks, Lūsis, Reinsüsel, Rembergs, Osis, Šefers, Švarcbergs, Thiermann (Tīrmanis)
Family albums The photographs of many people, with whom I am mainly totally unfamiliar, taken in various time intervals are gathered on this Site. The photographs were not evaluated by their artistic merits or historical importance. The description of the whole project and several hundreds of photographs are available at this moment.
Postcards Usually the postcards sent long time ago are collected either for pictures they hold on or for stamp printings. I have gathered several thousands of them with the aim to study the names, the addresses and the texts once written on them. I think the texts may add some first hand details about the life of the people even if they (texts) are trivial. Connect to the Page with the information I managed to publish to this moment.
Letters In rare cases one can find private letters written long ago. These texts also speak a lot about life, how it was felt by the authors at the moment they wrote, without additions and biases of the later time.
Marriage invitations This was an old tradition which became rather popular among relatively well situated people in 1920-30s - to invite guests to marriage events by sending them specially printed cards with short information about the event. In some cases similar cards were sent to inform about a betrothal. The invitations are described in two files. (161 name)
Memoirs Statistics say that 48 books of memoirs were published in Latvia in 1997, and one may suppose that in the later years the number would be even greater. The books are useful sources for family history research, in spite of the fact that almost all of them are biased and politically correct. I do not buy and read books of memoirs systematically, and, of course, I am not going to review them on this Site, I only refer sometimes to some of them. The memoirs presented on this Site were not published previously or were published relatively long time ago. Extremely valuable are the memoirs of S.Strauch and A.Stubendorff.
Diaries A diary could be a valuable family history source, especially if it contained information about more general events and about the persons that lived around the author. The diary, I publish together with some documents of the family archive, belonged to Kārlis Eglītis, and he described the attempt of his family to escape westward at the end of the WW2. The link at the left will connect you to this source. I also have copies of some leaflets of the diary of Käthe von Manteufel written at the beginning of the 20th century, but the text should be deciphered yet.
Albums of Verses An old and in its time a very popular tradition was that the young people collected autographs of their friends in special albums. These inscriptions were to serve as remembrance of their authors later, when the owner of the album would grow old and would be glad to recall old good days. An inscription usually consisted of a verse with good wishes and of a signature. Unfortunately, these albums were not kept for a long time by their owners, at least the albums are not frequently offered in shops. I have got 3 of them and the most interesting one once belonged to Olga Dumpf, who gathered inscriptions in 1884-1885. I postponed the description of these albums to a better time, because relatively much efforts are needed to decipher the texts, and the information I could get seems to be mainly samples of old trivial poetry (what is also interesting but not for a family history research).

 


© Bruno Martuzāns. 1995-2002