Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Search Continues

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 their questionnaire 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 fate!

Here is what the letter said:

Dear Mr. Cirksis,
Thank you for returning the completed Questionnaire for inquirers. We will now ask the Latvian Red Cross in Riga to check whether there is a possibility to initiate investigations regarding your uncle's fate. As soon as we receive any news, we will inform you immediately. 
So it wasn't exactly what I had hoped but at least I know my questionnaire arrived safely in Germany. Unfortunately, I still don't know if this line of inquiry will be able to shed any further light on my uncle's fate or final resting place. As mentioned in the Letters from Latvia series, as late as 1949 the family seemed not to be aware of Peteris' fate. Hopefully at least one of these two investigations will be fruitful in this regard.

On other fronts: I have asked Antra of www.celmina.com to search through Raduraksti for my ancestors. The records for Nīca are in very poorly written german and I was absolutely amazed that she was able to find the marriage records of my great grandfather and great grandmother which included my great, great grandfather's (from both sides) names and occupations.  Had the records been in well written (preferably typed) German I might have had a chance of finding it myself but as it stands, I am glad I got an expert to look for me.

A screenshot of the marriage record found by Antra of www.celmina.com Even knowing what was contained in this record, I still had trouble reading it! To complicate things further, Čirkšis is spelt phonetically in German as Tschirkshe. By the way, if you can make out the occupations in this picture, please let me know!
Another little project that may be on the way is the posting of what I believe are some Latvian folk songs that I found among Janis' belongings. I only remembered that I had them recently and I hope that some of them will match up with some old recordings of Janis singing.

Finally, my local photo shop has finally nearly finished scanning my old photos! The posting of the old family album was one of the main things that I hoped to achieve with this blog. In the past I have usually posted the photos in bulk lots. This has meant that I haven't been able to give each photo the attention it deserves by annotating them fully and accurately. In the future, photos will likely be posted as singles or in groups that are very similar.

At the moment, some of these projects are simmering away in the background. If you are particularly interested in any one of them and would like me to post more sooner rather than later, let me know in the comments below! You can also find me on google + and Twitter by clicking on the links in the About Me section at the top left of this page or by going to my about.me page . By the way, I would love to know how many of us are out there! If your last name is Čirkšis, Čirkse or Tschirkshe, please leave a comment below!

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