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Showing posts from June, 2013

More letters coming soon

Just a quick post to let everyone know I will be posting new letters soon. I have been run off my feet for the past few weeks so I haven't been doing a lot of geaneology.  Stay tuned!

More resources!

This will just be a quick post to highlight a website that I found particularly interesting:

The Center for Baltic Heritage
I'm not sure why but there seems to be two web addresses for this site so I will link the other one as well...
The Center for Baltic Heritage
On their about page they say they stared in 2000 after finding an alarming "lack of material and information" about the soviet occupation of the Baltic states. They state that nearly a decade later "Individuals, organizations, and regimes continue to perpetuate misinformation rooted in Nazi and Soviet propaganda whether through ignorance or to serve their own purposes."
This is something that I have personally experienced while trying to find information on Latvia during WWII. A youtube search of "Latvia WW2" is instructive. One of the links is from a Russian (who will remain nameless so as not to promote links to misinformation) is so far removed from the facts that it con only be described as…

Letters From Latvia - 20th September 1947

Janis CIRKSIS was a displaced person (DP) after the Soviet union annexed Latvia and the Baltic states during WWII. This is a continuation in the series of letters that he received from his homeland, translated into English. To see the other letters in the series clickHERE.

For more information on Latvian translations please see the Latvian Translations page.

Love, life, mortality, pride, this letter seems to have it all. Again, part of the story (the letters from Janis and Lidija) appears to be missing. From what I know of the conditions in the DP camps, they were difficult. Employment was scarce and many people were starting to think about moving to a better life in Canada, America the UK or Australia. For most of the people in the camps returning home to Soviet occupied Latvia would have meant risking being deported to the gulags (labour camps in Siberia). It appears however, that in Kate's view, some Latvians "have given over to living the high life" - what exactly that…

The Meaning of Čirkšis

A Bird By Any Other Name
One of the goals I set in writing and researching for this blog was to find out the meaning and origin of the Cirksis family name. When I started writing, there was literally nothing online about any other Cirksis in the world and I was starting to think I might be the only one left!

I know that my immediate family on the Cirksis side came from Nīca in Latvia and I have vague recollections of Janis Cirksis saying that the family name came from a bird. But questions remained: Did the family name originate in the Nīca region or did my ancestors come from somewhere else? And what exactly does Cirksis mean?

At this stage, I might be able to provide some -unconfirmed - answers. I say unconfirmed because it all comes from secondary sources at the moment. It may be that primary sources do not exist, or are too degraded to consult, which is why I have decided to post the information I have now. As further information comes to light I may post more.

I will start firs…

The Search Continues

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While I have been making regular posts on this blog thanks to the Letters from Latvia series, I have also had a few other pots on the boil. I thought that this week I would take the time to post an update on the progress of my other projects.

Yesterday I finally received another letter from the ITS regarding the fate of my uncle Peteris Čirkšis. You may remember from my last post on the topic The International Tracing Service: Following the bread crumbs that the ITS had replied that they "could not investigate any details within [their] documents" and that the Latvian Red Cross might be able to help. I filled out theirquestionnaire for the Red Cross and sent it back to Germany.

For some reason, I had been thinking that I might receive a response from them yesterday and when I got home from work, I went straight to my desk to check for it. To my excitement, the letter was there! Finally, I thought I will be able to answer some of the many questions I have about my uncle's …