About the Latvia Census and Resident Registers, 1854-1897
General collection information
This collection contains census records from Latvia between the years of 1854 and 1897. Records may be written in German, Russian, Latvian, or Polish. All records are handwritten on pre-printed forms. Russian records may be written using either the Cyrilic or Latin alphabet.
Using this collection
Records in the collection may include the following information:
Not all of the above information may be available, depending on which year and region you're researching.
If you don't speak any of the languages found in this collection, knowing a few common words can aid in your search:
Names can help provide clues about your family member's gender. Last names for males usually end in 's' while last names for females often end in 'a.' For example, male members of a family will have the surname "Bērziņš" while female members of the same family will be named "Bērziņa."
Collection in context
During the time period of this collection, Latvia was part of the historic region of Livonia. Livonia was a long disputed territory and was occupied by the German State of the Teutonic Order, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Sweden. By 1795, Latvia was ruled by the Russian Empire. Parts of Latvia were included in the The Russian Imperial Census of 1897 (Первая всеобщая перепись населения Российской империи) the only census conducted by the Russian Empire. This census was unique in that it was conducted for statistical purposes, rather for taxation.
In the aftermath of World War I, the Republic of Latvia declared their independence on November 18, 1918.
Ancestry.com. "Russia, Jewish Families in the Russian Empire Census, 1897." Last modified 2008. https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1448/.
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. "History of Latvia." Last modified 2010. https://eca.state.gov/files/bureau/history-of-latvia.pdf.
Žemaitis, Augustinas. "History of Latvia: Introduction." Onlatvia.com. Accessed on January 20, 2022. https://www.onlatvia.com/topics/history-and-today/history-of-latvia.