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The Genealogical Research Division of

Riga Tax Administration List [Fond 1394]

Commissioned and Donated by Arlene Beare and the Latvia SIG

This database consists of over 12,000 entries, taken from the Riga Tax Administration records compiled and amended during the years 1858-1917.  It contains references to over 23,000 individuals living and working in Riga.

Background and Statistics

This database of some 12,859 entries was created as an alphabetical register drawn up in Riga in 1904 to assist in the collection and administration of tax.  It is a composite list in that it incorporates information from previous tax lists, in particular tax lists of 1858-1887.  Following the creation of the list in 1904, the archivists continued to add updating information as late as 1917 as new information became known.

The original list is held in the State Historical Archives in Riga and is in hand written Cyrillic.  Some notations are in German as well.  The list includes fatherís names in 10,826 cases, so that there is genealogical information about not less than 23,685 individuals and information concerning two generations of the same family in over 20,000 cases.  Some 2,100 Maiden names are listed providing important information about maternal lines.

How the lists works - the entry fields

  • Family name -
    This is the Surname of the person at the date when the list was compiled.

  • Maiden name -
    In the case of a woman this is her name at birth.  If her fatherís name is listed, then this is likely to be his surname as well.

  • Other Names -
    This is a catch all category and you should read this column in conjunction with the "Comments" column.  This column is usually associated with a divorce or widowhood.

  • Given Names -
    There is considerable variation in spelling.  We have followed the original list rather than attempting to standardise the various forms a name can take.  You can see many examples of assimilation at work in the inclusion of both a Yiddish/Hebrew name and a more "modern" name included in the same field, for example Sheine / Sophie.

  • Fatherís Name/s -
    This gives the name of the father of the person registered. In the case of a married woman the fatherís surname will generally be her maiden name.  In other cases the fatherís surname is likely to be the same as the individual listed.  Take note of any comments in the Comments field for additional information to guide you in individual cases.

  • Age in -
    This format which is used throughout the database gives the personís age in the year stated.  For example, "18-1888" means 18 years old in 1888.

  • Date of Birth -
    If a date of birth is given it is recorded in the database.  Many entries have only the month and year of birth.

  • Date of Death -
    The Tax Administration Lists went on being updated until about 1917.  Dates of death would have been provided to the Tax Office by next of kin or relatives and this information was noted on the records.  In some cases the place of death is recorded providing information that may assist in further searches.

  • Place -
    The list was compiled in Riga and all entries in this column read "Riga".

  • Family Number -
    Each family was assigned a family number.  Some of these numbers have been transcribed and they can assist in establishing whether individuals with the same name are part of the same family unit.

  • Married Number -
    Only a few of these have been recorded.  These numbers ensure that married units are correctly identified

Where Can I obtain More information about persons appearing on this list?

Neither the Latvia SIG or the Database Co-Ordinator have any further documentation relating to individuals or their families in this list.  The database records everything that we have.  The original list is held in the State Historical Archives in Riga.  For further information you will need to contact them directly for further information about individuals or families mentioned or for copies of documents.  For further information contact:

Ms. Irina Veinberga, Head of Department
Latvijas Valsts vēstures arhīvs
(Latvian State Historical Archives)
Slokas iela 16
Rīga LV 1007

In common with other archives in the former Soviet Union, the Riga archives have a policy of charging a preliminary search fee of $50, preferably paid by postal order, before embarking on research, plus an additional fee for each family member located or document provided.  Their expertise in identifying and tracing Jewish family roots is unrivalled.


This list was commissioned and compiled by Arlene Beare, the author of the Riga ShtetLinks page as part of her ongoing work and research on the history of the Jewish Community of Riga.  She gratefully acknowledges the generous advice and support of the archivists in Riga.  Malcolm Singer and Carmen Wiseman gave their time and computer expertise unstintingly to make the project a success.  Additional computer support was provided by Richard Sinclair and Michael Whippman.  As always we are grateful to Warren Blatt for his enthusiasm and practical support, and to Michael Tobias who brings it all together and makes it happen.

Sponsorship and Volunteering

The database is a "work in progress" and depends on the generosity of those who use it and believe that the Jewish heritage of Latvia must be reclaimed and preserved.  The Latvia SIG looks forward to further substantial projects such as the transcription of the Census records for Dvinsk and Rezekne but needs financial support to carry forward its ambitious programme.  In addition volunteers are needed to database the material that has already been obtained.  If you would like to sponsor the extraction and transcription of further material then please contact either Mike Getz, treasurer of the Latvia SIG or Arlene Beare.  If you would like to help with the volunteer effort or just to learn more then please contact Constance Whippman. There is an urgent need for volunteers and you will receive a friendly welcome.

Constance Whippman, Database Co-ordinator
Copyright ©2000, The Latvia SIG.
Last Updated: July 2, 2000   WSB

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