Recent experience with Latvian Archives #latvia


This is a Part 2 to my previous message on Latvia SIG@lyris from April 9, 2020. To review, following a preliminary exchange of emails, I sent the Latvian Archives my initial deposit of 70 Euros on 23 December, by electronic transfer from my local bank, along with an emailed list of Latvian ancestors I had questions about. There were then some emails back and forth to clarify what they were finding and what I was looking for. They completed their search in 3 months, as of 30 March, and said they had collected 73 electronic files to send me once final payment was received. I sent them the final electronic money transfer on 9 April and, seven days later, received a Zip file from the Archive by email. The files consisted of copies of 13 Latvian passports (with photos), 2 marriage records (written in Cyrillic and Hebrew), 2 birth records (in Cyrillic and Hebrew), 2 divorce records (in German) [regarding the divorce of two Great-Uncles who divorced their Lutheran wives in order to save them and their children from being placed into Riga Ghetto ! ], 1 passport application (with photo), and an excellent 5-page summary, in English, of what additional information the Archive was able to gather regarding the ancestors I asked them to research.
For those of you who might be expecting to receive actual paper copies, you are in for a surprise; that is no longer done. Everything now is electronic: as I said above, you will receive a Zip file by email. I am in my early 70's, so - unlike my children and grandchildren - what to do with such things does not come intuitively to me. However, I found that the process goes something like this: Open up the email, double-click on the attached Zip File, when it opens up at the bottom of your screen, click "download" and install it on your computer [the Zip File you get from the Archives expires after two weeks, I believe, so you can't just leave the files there]. Once downloaded onto your computer, you will want to open up the individual files - and their subfiles - and then put it on Half-Screen format. Then bring up where you want the files to reside on your computer (such as "My Pictures" or Word files in "My Documents" or create a new folder such as "Latvian Archives", then place that receiving location on Half-Screen format, as well - so that you have the Zip file screen and the destination file screen side-by-side on your computer screen - and then individually drag-and-drop the files from the temporary Zip File to the location on your computer where you want to permanently keep them. As you bring the individual files over, one at a time, right-click your mouse and rename them so you will know what each file contains. Once you have completed that process, you can then print out hard copies as Word documents, for example. I don't guarantee that what I did will necessarily work for you. I might not have explained it accurately enough. The procedure will also vary depending on what operating system and what version of that OS your computer is using. If in doubt, ask your children or grandchildren, they probably know how to do it !
I hope my experience with the Latvian Archives and this information will be of use to those of you who are considering contacting the Latvian Archives. Remember that a human being is only dead when the memory of him has also died. Keep the memory of your ancestors alive for the next generation !
George Mason    <gmason3815@...>

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