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Latvia Passport Issuance Books Database 1919-1941

Background

This wonderful resource has been compiled by Arlene Beare and edited by Mark Maymind on behalf of the JewishGen Latvia Research Division. It is the first of the Passport Issuance Books to be put into the JewishGen Latvia Collection and is for Jekabpils (formerly Jakobstadt). The information has been extracted from the FamilySearch site which has Latvia Passport Issuance Books for - 

  • Abrene – 1 book Cesis – 8 books Daugavpils – 3 books 
  • Jekabpils – 4 books Liepaja – 1 Book Ludza – 10 books 
  • Rezekne - 16 Books Riga – approximately 420 books 
  • Valmeira – 12 books 

Ludza and Rezekne are in process of being compiled and will be added to the Database when ready. 

Passports for travel abroad were not used to any great extent before 1920.Many left without passports or bought documents at the quayside before leaving.Internal Passports were issued after the First World War by the newly independent Latvia, formerly part of the Russian Empire.

There are over 700,000 Internal Passports in the Archives for Jews from all over Latvia. The most exciting recent development has been the release, in various formats, of images of Latvian Internal Passports for the years 1919 to 1941. They were updated each time the passport holder moved house and worked in conjunction with household registers to keep track of where the population was residing at any given time. 

Records of marriages are stamped in the passports as well as births of children.If someone died and the relative handed back the passport then the date of death was recorded. When an election was held and the Passport holder voted a note was made in the passport.If overseas travel occurred this too was noted in the Internal Passport even though an International Passport was required for the purpose. Each resident of Latvia was issued an Internal Passport around their 16th birthday. Prior to that date they were listed on their mother’s Internal Passport. During the First World War and the Russian Revolution some Latvians held German Internal Passports which were issued during their occupation. 

With the survival of these Internal Passports we have, not only a written record, but also a photographic record, of our relatives, and a large percentage of Latvian Jewry who did not survive and for whom no other photos exist. 

Each entry in the Internal Passport Issuance Books written in Latvian lists religion and thereby it is simple to isolate entries referring to Jews. Where one sees Religion Ebreju it is a Jewish entry. 

As of June 2020, there are 726 records in this collection.

Work is ongoing. To volunteer as a transcriber, please contact Arlene Beare (Co-Director of Latvian Research) by clicking here.

Database Fields

The database includes the following fields:

  • Town/City
  • LSHA Archival Reference per FHL
  • Passport Number
  • Date of Issue
  • Surname
  • Given Name
  • Father's Name
  • Maiden Name
  • Address
  • Document on the basis of which passport was issued
  • Place of origin/birth
  • Marital Status
  • Age
  • Date of Birth
  • Occupation
  • Military Service *Note: Military Service details have not been included in this database.
  • Children
  • Photograph
  • Image Number
  • Other notes

Searching the Database

This database is searchable by clicking here.

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