The main goal of Latvian State Historical Archives project Raduraksti is to provide access to the archival documents which can be used for family history research and to provide the necessary preservation of the original documents.
The idea about the project came in 2005 when virtual archives Saaga created by the Estonian National Archives appeared and which included Lutheran and Orthodox Church books as well as other documents for family history research.
The virtual archives contain church books of Evangelic Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Greek Catholic, Old Believers’, Reformed congregations, vital records of Rabbinates, Revision lists of Livland and Courland, materials of the 1st All-Russian Census for 1897 in Courland, Livland and Vitebsk provinces as well as Riga house-registers for 1854–1918 (for now partly).>
Other groups of documents will also be accessible.>
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 by whom the deseased was survived.
(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.
The 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: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
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 imperfect 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 lists of persons were compiled for those who came to the estate or left, showing when appeared and where the person was from or where gone.In the 4th and 5th revision lists noblemen, members of magistrates and town councils, teachers and church officials and also artists and craftsmen were recorded. In Livland the revision lists were compiled up to 1917, but in Courland – up to 1912. In the revision lists inhabitants of private-owned and state-owned estates, farms, taverns and mills were recorded. 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. Every family had its own number which was kept until the next revision. The inhabitants were recorded in two groups: taxpayers liable for military service (Steuer- und Rekrutenpflichtige) and only 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 for concription. (recruits).Here you can find 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.
Revision lists of Latgale (Latvian part of province of Vitebsk) have survived incomplete. The Archives keep only 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.
All-Russian Census documents
The census lists – questionnaires contain the following information: family name, given name, patronymic, gender, relationship to the head of the family or household, age, marital status, social status, place of birth, place of registration, permanent place of residence, faith, mother tongue, literacy and occupation.The census questionnaires for provinces of Livland and Courland were printed in Russian with translation in German and Latvian, but the questionnaires for provinces of Vitebsk – only in Russian. The questionnaires were filled in respectively in Russian, German and Latvian (or Estonian) languages.
Every archival file is digitalized as a separate file and the title page shows: fond 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 fonds. Information about the fonds’ content can be found in the database of the Central Fond Register at http://www.arhivi.gov.lv
Since 2013 the site has a new section – Databases – List of Latvian Inhabitants (1918-1940) set up as a result of work with personal documents. Ordering at the archives one can obtain information about: maiden name of women, family status, marriage or divorce, religion, occupation, minor children, address at the Latvian territory, as well as a copy of the passport photos if available.