Re: Latvian town name(s) #general

Bruno Martuzans <bruno@...>

"Alexander Sharon" <a.sharon@...> wrote:
Joan Breslow wrote:
I am looking for a town named Nyra/Naira. Can't find it in my world

Was near or part of Friedrichstadt (now Juanjelgava). or in the
Kandava/Kandau./Tukums area?
Nyra and Naira are an alternative names for Jaunjelgava, also known as
Yaun-Yelgava, Yaunelgava, Friedrichstadt and under few other names, at
5637 2505. It is the same place.

Alexander Sharon
Calgary, Ab
Dear Alexander,

Sorry, but again I have doubts in your information. Could you kindly inform
me about information sources on the alternative names of
Jaunjelgava/Friedrichstadt. To my knowledge the town never had names Nyra or
Naira, at least officially. In the 19th century the town was well known, was
a region (uyezd) center, and officially had the name Friedrichstadt in
German and in Russian languages. Of course, Russians wrote it using cyrillic
letters. Latvians normally named it Jaunjelgava, and it is quite possible
that Jews also had completely different name for the town, especially if one
takes into account that the town was inhabited mostly by Jews, but do you
hear any Hebrew or Yiddish in Nyra or Naira? In any case, I am sure that in
all official documents only the name Friedrichstadt was used.

Unfortunately, the author of the original query Joan Breslow
did not wish to tell us the origin of the names. If on a
document, what kind of document it was? Was this document deciphered
correctly? If a person told, who was he/she? What was her/his native
language? The additional problem is that the spelling Nyra is absolutely
impossible in Latvian, just because the alphabet has no letter "y". The
German language alphabet formally has this letter, but now it is used very
rare, though in former times the usage was more frequent. This letter could
be found only in loaned words, but, believe me, Germans never considered
place names in Courland as loaned words, even if they really were loaned.

The spelling can be wrong, of course, but I can not imagine any town name in
Courland with similar spelling also. Maybe it is a spoiled name of a village
or a manor. Courland Jews sometimes lived in such small places.

The letter "y" exists in Lithuanian and Polish languages, and the word Nyra
sounds slightly Lithuanian, so it would be advisable to check Lithuanian
regions, if it seems plausible.


Bruno Martuzans
Riga, Latvia

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