Latvia Census

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Family lists / local censuses

Research use: Excellent source for identifying family groups. Due to the difficulty in using metrical books, the revision list provides the most information for the least amount of effort. The original returns are bound in volumes that are sometimes three to four feet thick, making them very difficult to handle except on microfilm.

Record type: Population enumerations were conducted after the revisions for the purpose of assessing a poll tax and identifying those for conscription into the military.

General: The term supplemental revision lists was used in some areas when referring to family lists. Since there was no universal mandate as in the case of the revisions to create these records, they occur randomly at different times for different places. Family lists were also created by conscription offices that listed all male members of a family along with their parents.

Time period: 1860-1920.

Contents: Head of household, family members, ages; other details vary.

Location: State Historical Archive in Riga.

Population coverage: 30% coverage because conducted randomly on a local basis and not always preserved.

Reliability: They are not completely reliable because of efforts to evade taxation or conscription by avoiding correct enumeration.[1]

1897 All-Russian Empire Census

The 1897 All-Russian Empire, helps to identify family groups and give extensive personal information. The census can also help researchers identify location of birth as well as residence, which can lead to other research sources.

Historical Background

The 1897 census was the only universal census in tsarist Russia. It was conducted on January 28, in the middle of the winter because this was the time when the populace was least mobile. On the appointed day, 150,000 census takers spread out into the environs of the nation and completed over thirty million sheets of returns. Some census workers traveled as much as forty miles to gather the required data. There is a separate list (Form A, B or V) for each household. For those who belong to the household, the following information is listed: name; note if blind, deaf, mute, or insane; relationship to head of family and head of household; age; marital status; social rank; birthplace; where registered; residence; note if person is absent at the time of the census; native tongue; literacy; place of study or graduation; main profession; additional profession; military status. The first page of each enumeration form notes state (guberniia), county (uezd), district (volost), village, name of head of household, number of dwellings, number of souls found on day census was taken (divided by sex), number living there permanently, how many people are there who are not peasants, those who live there but are not official residents, and signature of person who compiled the form. A copy was made locally and both copies forwarded to the provincial census commission. One of these was kept by that commission and the other sent to the Central Census Bureau in St. Petersburg. The St. Petersburg copy is no longer extant but the local copy has survived in some regional archives.

Record Access

Remnants of the 1897 census for areas in Latvia have survived and are available through Raduraksti, in the Tautas skaitīšana (Census) collection. From there, select the name of the village/parish of interest. Note that only approximately 40% of the name returns are extant. The records are well preserved in a good facility and they were little used during the communist period (1940-1990).[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Latvia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1995-2002.