About the Latvian Jewish BMD, 1864-1921
General collection information
This collection contains images of birth, marriage, and death records from Jewish congregations in Latvia dated between 1864 and 1921. The records may be written in Latvian, Hebrew, or Cyrillic.
Using this collection
Records in this collection may include the following information:
When accessing this collection, you'll want to click under "Browse this collection," use the dropdown menu to choose a "church or item," and then click the link under "description."
Here are some common words and phrases in Latvian that may help you in your research:
This collection can be used to trace the milestones of your ancestor's life from birth to death, especially if they attended the same church for a long time. When these records were created, churches were the only keepers of vital records in Latvia. Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths began in 1922. Knowing the church your ancestor attended may lead to church histories that provide interesting details about your ancestor's religious life.
If you can't find your ancestor in these church records, you can try to find them in the Latvian census between the years of 1854 and 1897: Latvia Census and Resident Registers, 1854-1897.
Collection in context
These records were created by officials from various Jewish congregations in Latvia. The collection includes images of documents in their original form, making them high-quality primary sources. The original documents are housed at the Latvia National Archives.
Jewish people first settled in Latvia in the Courland region during the late 16th century. By the 1860s, when the earliest records in this collection were created, the Jewish community had significantly influenced industry and trade in Latvia. However, anti-semitism caused many Latvian Jews to immigrate to the United States, Great Britain, and South Africa during the late 19th century. About two-thirds of Latvia's Jewish population fled the country during World War I. However, during the 1920s and 1930s, the country's Jewish community re-emerged with new private Jewish schools and notable contributions to Latvia's culture and economy.
Ancestry.com. Latvia Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1854-1909. Accessed April 7, 2023. https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/61883/.
European Jewish Congress. "Latvia." Accessed April 7, 2023. https://eurojewcong.org/communities/latvia/.
Morton, Sunny Jane. "The Genealogist's Guide to Church Records." Family Tree. Accessed April 7, 2023. https://www.familytreemagazine.com/records/church/church-records-genealogy-workbook/.