Posted By:David Wiswar
Subject:Spelling at the end of Latvian names
Post Date:February 20, 2013 at 12:52:01
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Forum:Latvia Genealogy Forum
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       I am looking for information to help explain the endings of Latvian names. The names are on a document I received from the Latvian archives on the birth dates of my father and his parents. My understanding is that most Latvian male names end in “is” or “s”. Female names often end in “a”. I read that endings may change to show the possessive case. The information is from the birth and baptismal register “Gertrūdes baznīce Rīgā” 1900.

       My grandmother’s maiden name is Anna Pētersone. Her parents are listed as namdara Kriŝa Pētersona un Lizetes.

1.       First thing I note is the two endings in the uzvārds; an “e” and an “a”. Why the “a” on her father’s sir (family) name?

2.       Namdara. I translated this as carpenter. Was it customary to give the father’s occupation?

3.       Kriŝa ends in an “a”. I have also seen my grandfather’s name as Kristjan on another document.
And as Kriŝs and Krists, and Kriŝtjānis on the website :

Why does Kriŝa end in an “a” as it does not confirm to the more typical “is” or “s” endings?

4.        Is the name spelled Lizetes. Searching the web, I could only find Lizete without the “s”. Is Lizetes the possessive case?

5.       What does the phrase “tāds tēvvards” mean?

6.       Would the birth and baptismal register “Gertrūdes baznīce Rīgā” contain only the names of those who are church members or would it be all the names from a certain area regardless of faith?

Thank you.

David Wiswar
Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.A.