Re: Smiltene, Latvia [finding addresses before a visit] #latvia


Logan J. Kleinwaks
 

Loren Greenberg asked for advice about visiting Smiltene, where her
grandfather Samuel MILLER/MILNER had lived. This is a general
reminder to anyone planning a visit to Latvia that you might be able
to find street addresses where relatives lived or had businesses by
searching address, telephone, and business directories at
http://genealogyindexer.org . Not every directory entry has a street
address, but many do. To limit search results to Latvian sources (+ a
few also including Estonia), change the "Any Place" option below the
search box to "Latvia + Estonia." Search results link to scans of the
original sources, often on the website of the Latvian National Digital
Library.

In Loren's case, searching for Miller Smiltene finds pages containing
both words, and among them are entries in 1927 and 1926 Latvia Trade +
Industry Directories for a Peter Miller in Smiltene whose business was
agricultural machinery (no street address given, unfortunately).

Using both the surname and town in the full-text search is a good
strategy, as most directories do not have a town index (e.g., they
might be organized first by type of business). For the 1940 Latvia
Telephone Directory, though, I created a linked town index at
http://genealogyindexer.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1532 . There are
several directories limited to a single locality -- Riga, Liepaja, or
Jelgava -- but most cover all of Latvia or Courland, Livland, or
Vitebsk Gubernia.

For a list of directories included in Latvia-only searches, see:
http://genealogyindexer.org/directories#Latvia .

There are also searchable directories and other sources (e.g., WWI
military casualty lists) covering the entire Russian Empire, which are
not searched by limiting results to Latvia only, as above. These are
much less likely to include street addresses, but are useful for other
reasons, such as including patronymics.

Logan Kleinwaks
kleinwaks@alumni.princeton.edu
near Washington, D.C.

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