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Showing posts from August, 2013

Letters from Latvia - Nica 14th of November 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.

It has been a while again since I last posted a letter. This is partially due to me exploring other avenues in relation to my family tree and partially because I have been a bit busy / lazy recently. I am on leave at the moment so I intend to cue up some of the letters to auto publish so that I am releasing them more consistently in the future. 

The next letter in the series has a number of interesting features in terms of life in Latvia directly after WW2 and also on a personal level. My father used to tell me that his mother was a very hard worker and these letters confirm that. In this day and age in Australia, sawing and chopping…

Postcards from Sibīrija (Siberia) - 25/8/1950 From the Pirtnieks

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Finally, the digitising project is finished! I have had about 1500 family photos digitised over the last year or so - several technical problems plagued the project, which is why it took so long. Not all of them relate to this blog but there are several photos that are important to the Čirkšis family history.

One of the benefits of digitising photographs - and publishing a blog about them - is that you take a closer look at things. Many of the photos I have, have Latvian writing on the back of them. A lot of the writing is illegible, at least for a non-Latvian-speaker (I know I should learn!) but occasionally I can decipher enough to work out what the photo is of.

This particular photo had been sitting in an album and I had never taken it out to examine it though, I had some idea that it must be the Pirtneiks (my grandmother's) side of the family. Today, while I was checking off the scanned photos to ensure they were all there, I glanced at the back and found some very clearly wr…

Who is Peteris Čirkšis?

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As some of you will know, for about a year now I have been trying to discover what happened to my lost uncle Peteris Čirkšis. As with many things in my family history, I neglected to ask questions of my family members while I had to opportunity. Perhaps I was too young to care about history, perhaps like most young people, I thought I knew everything already. But also I think I was probably too young to know what questions to ask.

So what do I know about Peteris?

I know he was the son of a farmer who was able to acquire a small patch of land after the Latvian war of independence.  He was born in 1922 in Nīca near Liepājas, Latvia and died in 1941 at the hands of the NAZIs. These are the facts. But who was he really?

The only account I have of Peteris' life comes from what I remember my father telling me about him. But memory is a fragile thing, second hand memory is even worse. As a researcher what I want is confirmed and verified facts. State documents, personal diaries and lett…