Re: Latvia Database / Christine Usdin Clarification #latvia #records

Marion Werle

Bernard, you are absolutely correct in that the JewishGen "1897 All-Russia Census — Latvia" database does not include all of the household members. The database description makes this clear: "What is in the Database and What is Not - The database concentrates on the head of the family, his spouse and adult children, but does not record the full details of every family unit.  Occasionally there is a record of younger children, but not all siblings are consistently extracted..."
At the time the 1897 data was added to JewishGen, there were financial and time constraints that kept the database from being fully translated. This is why most entries have an archival description that enables the user to find the complete, original record, and, if necessary to have it translated. We have two projects to address this: 1) Integrating Christine's translations for Riga and Dvinsk (her only 1897 census translations) into the database; 2) Correcting the links to point to either FamilySearch or, if not yet filmed by FS, to the new Raduraksti website. In cases where links are missing altogether or incomplete, they will be added. 
We do not currently have either the financial resources or the translators to enable us to add the full household members to the many towns of Latvia outside of the two large cities. There are 46,000 Riga vital records that remain to be translated, records that Christine had not yet translated at the time of her death. Translating these is our highest priority, along with correcting the links to the census and vital records. It would be ideal if we could add the missing household members to our database, but given our resource constraints and the prioritization of other projects, I'm afraid that this will remain a project for the future. We have a limited number of volunteers, and are doing our best to transcribe data and fix broken links. If you would like to volunteer to help us, please contact Paul Cheifitz at pcheifitz@....

Marion Werle,
Co-director Latvia Research Division

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