The main goal of Latvian State Historical Archives project Raduraksti is increase possibility of use that part of national documentary heritage, which is directly bound up with identification of residents and researching family history, at the same time – to provide the necessary preservation of the original documents.
In 2010 the Archives virtual reading room provides access to the church books of Evangelic Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Greek Catholic, Old Believers’, Reformed Protestant congregations, vital records of Rabbinate, revision lists of Livland and Courland, materials of Russian Empire Census (1897) in provinces of Courland, Livland and Vitebsk.
As a result of the project all concerned persons – Internet users – will have the opportunity to research their family history.
Marriage chronological registers
(only for Evangelic Lutheran congregation) show names and surnames of groom and bride, date of marriage, in some cases – place of residence
contain the following information: name and surname of the deceased person, place of birth, age, family status, date and place of death, cause of death, date of funeral (in some cases also the place)
In some cases the death records of the Roman Catholic congregation also contain information about the widow / widower and children.
(only for Evangelic Lutheran congregation) contain the following information: name and surname of the confirmed person, date and place of birth, date of confirmation, parents’ names and surnames, social status and occupation, notes about the knowledge of religion.
Archives keep birth, marriage and death records only until 1909. The records for 1910–1921 are kept in the Registry Office Archives of the Ministry of Justice of Latvia (address: A. Čaka Street 38a, Riga LV-1011, Tel.: 67830682 , 67830684, fax 67830673, e-mail: email@example.com ). Records after 1921 are kept in the districts’ Registry Offices according to the place of birth, marriage and death.
Revision lists of 18th–19th centuries
The first revision in province of Livland took place in 1782 (it was the 4th revision in Russian Empire), the 5th revision – 1795, the 6th revision – 1811, the 7th revision – 1816, the 8th revision – 1834, the 9th revision – 1850 and the last 10th revision took place in 1858.
The first revision in province of Courland took place in 1797 (the 5th revision). The revision was performed imperfectly therefore it was recorded repeatedly in 1798 and 1803, the 6th revision took place in 1811, the 7th revision – 1815/1816, the 8th revision – 1834/1835, the 9th revision – 1850 and the last 10th revision was recorded in 1857/1858.
Every year between the revisions there were compiled the lists of persons who came to the estate or left it, showing when and wherefrom the person came or where gone.
In the 4th and 5th revision lists were recorded noblemen, members of magistrates and town councils, teachers and church officials and also artists and craftsmen. In Livland the revision lists were recorded up to 1917, but in Courland – up to 1912.
There are recorded the inhabitants of private-owned and state-owned estates, farms, taverns and mills in the revision lists. The revision lists for 1811 contain information about male-inhabitants only. The revision for 1816 was recorded repeatedly in 1826, when peasants in Livland were stated with surnames for the first time.
Peasants in Courland were stated with surnames in 1834 for the first time, but in some estates in 1850 only. Before that every family had own number which was maintained until the next revision. The inhabitants were recorded in two groups: the taxpayers liable for military service (Steuer- und Rekrutenpflichtige) and only the taxpayers (Steuerpflichtige). The following information can be found in the revision lists: names of family members, family composition, age at the time of the revision, social status (servants, farmers), previous place of residence, belonging to the certain taxpayers group and whether subjected to the military service (recruits).
Website contains the revision lists of cities in Livland and Courland: Riga, Schlok (Sloka), Walk (Valka), Wenden (Cēsis), Wolmar (Valmiera), Lemsal (Limbaži), Bausk (Bauska), Grobin (Grobiņa), Friedrichstadt (Jaunjelgava), Mitau (Jelgava), Jakobstadt (Jēkabpils), Goldingen (Kuldīga), Libau (Liepāja), Pilten (Piltene), Tuckum (Tukums) and Windau (Ventspils).
In the cities the revision lists were based on place of residence and belonging to the certain taxpayers groups – Oklads (workers, bourgeois, merchants, artisans, Jews and other).
In the cities of Courland the revision lists primarily were based on religion: Christians and Jews. These inhabitants also were divided in the taxpayers groups – Oklads.
The revision lists of Latgale (Latvian part of province of Vitebsk) are survived partially. The Archives keep only the revision lists of Rositten (Rēzekne) district for 1772, Ozupino village in Ludsen (Ludza) district for 1816 and 1834, private-owned estate Ozupino for 1850 and 1858, and only six files of the revision lists of Ludsen and Dunaburg (Daugavpils) districts for 1858.
Russian Empire Census documents
The first and the only Russian Empire Census was performed in two stages. In the first stage (December 1896 – January 1897) the counters visited all houses and filled in the questionnaires, but in the second stage (January 28, 1897) the counters visited all houses one more time and updated the questionnaires.
The census lists – questionnaires contain following information: family name, given name, patronymic, gender, relation with respect to the head of the family or household, age, marital status, social status, place of birth, place of registration, usual place of residence, faith, mother language, literacy and occupation.
The census questionnaires for provinces of Livland and Couland were printed in Russian with translation in German and Latvian (for Estonian part of Livland – also in Estonian), but the questionnaires for provinces of Pskov and Vitebsk – only in Russian. The questionnaires were filled respectively in Russian, German and Latvian (or Estonian) languages.
Every archival file is digitalized as a separate file and the title page shows: fund name, fund number, inventory number, file number, dates of the document and number of pages.
The virtual archives consist of digitalized documents of the archival funds. Information about the funds’ content can be found in the database of the Central Register of National Archival Fund http://www.arhivi.gov.lv