Find Ancestors

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

Gift subscriptions

Genes Reunited gift subscription

Do you know someone interested in discovering their family history?

You can now buy a gift subscription to Genes Reunited so they can research their family tree.

Buy gift or redeem gift


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Russian Ancestry

Page 0 + 1 of 2

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. »
ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Wendy Report 13 Aug 2013 16:21

Does anyone have any idea how one can find information about ancestors who were born in Latvia when it was part of Russia and in Griefswald, Prussia in 1848?


AnnCardiff Report 13 Aug 2013 16:30

hello Wendy - welcome to the boards :-)

care to give details in case some of us can help?


martynsue Report 13 Aug 2013 16:42

there are a lot of Russian record's on family search under continental Europe.


AnnCardiff Report 13 Aug 2013 17:14 - a free site


Wendy Report 13 Aug 2013 17:59

Johanna Auguste Wiseman was born in Windau (now called Ventspils), Latvia in 1848 and married Charles William Hanneman, who was born in Griefswald, Prussia in 1850. Four children were born in Lindau, Prussia, William 1871, Alexander 1873, Alice 1876 and Arthur 1880. This info is on the 1881 Census when the family had moved to the UK and living in Hull, E. Yorks.

In the 1891 Census the surname had been changed to Harman and the ancestor I had been researching, Emma Harman had been born in Hull in 1888. I have obtained her birth dertificate and it states her mother, Johanna had been born to British parents and had been called Wiseman.

I have tried researching the family on the Family Search website and others with no luck. Thank you all for your replies.


Peahen Report 14 Aug 2013 07:30

Try this or just google Latvian Archives and there is some sites which may help.

Latvian State Historical Archives
Address: 16 Slokas Street, Riga, LV-1048

Consultation (+371) 67613118
Secretary (+371) 67612406

Fax: (371) 67612406

I will search further for you.

Good luck,


Wendy Report 14 Aug 2013 09:58

Hi Sappho, thank you for your message and also this information which I shall certainly look into.

Thanks again


Peahen Report 14 Aug 2013 10:50

Hello again Wendy,

I have had a look on the sites for Latvia, Prussia, East and West Prussia, but no luck so far. Wiseman does not sound like a Prussian name and Hanneman - the only references are a family in Wisconsin, USA, but the thread is an old one - 2006 and they are no long connected to ancestry.

Is there any chance you can give any more information. For these countries and many Russian and Baltic States the archives are only just being reformulated and it is best to find out the religion.

Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox etc, any addresses apart from towns, which have changed so much over the years. This will help with the searches.



Wendy Report 14 Aug 2013 13:25

Hi Sappho

thank you for your research help, which is most appreciated. I am currently trawling through the Latvian Archives with no luck so far.

The information I have on Johanna is that she was born to British parents in Windau. On Emma's Birth Certificate her maiden name looks like Wickman, however, her brother, Alexander applied for British Citizenship in 1925. I applied to the Public Records Office for a copy of the application and in this Johanna's maiden name is stated as Wiseman. Unfortunately, I have no idea of their religion and apart from birth towns I have no further information.



Peahen Report 14 Aug 2013 15:44

Hello Wendy,

There is another site for Latvia - Radurasksti, but with this you need to know a bit more information such as I have suggested before mainly religion of the family.

I think you will have quite a time of finding your family information. The only other suggestion is the British embassy in Riga who may be able to point you in the right direction. I say Riga as although your family came from Prussia, I am having trouble locating the place you mention Windau.

I have a Russian helper who may be able to help.

You could go into Message Boards with ancestry and put a message on there using the family name. You would need to find the site for Prussia. East Prussia, West Prussia and so it goes on.

I will keep looking to see if I can find the place you mention.



Peahen Report 14 Aug 2013 16:02

I have managed to find Ventspils, Latvia, but they do not go back further than 1898-1917 in their reference books and it would not indicate that your family name is mentioned.

Without the religion it is going to be very difficult indeed. Nearly almost all of the records lie with the Churches of the areas in the Baltic states - it is they who have been able to retain any records over the years which the countries went through so many rulers from so many different countries.

The only thing I can suggest is that you get a Researcher to search for you, but when I employed someone to do this, he did need the religion to get a start.

Will keep thinking for you.



Peahen Report 14 Aug 2013 16:14

Here are three sites which show you the area from which your family originated. It gives you some idea how difficult it is to find the villages and places where the family originated due to the upheavals the area went through.

Map 1:

Map 2:

Map 3:

Pomerania (west Prussia) is where we can locate Lindau.

This is a hard one.



Wendy Report 15 Aug 2013 12:10

Hi Sappho

You've really been busy on my behalf for which I am grateful.

I actually made a couple of errors in an earlier reply to your post - Johanna was born in Lindau and the children were born in Windau also there are two n's at the end of their surname - Hannemann . I have trawled through loads of pages on the Radurastski site with no joy.

You are right - this is a hard one!

Thanks again


Peahen Report 15 Aug 2013 23:03

Hello again Wendy,

Have been offline for a day so will get back to this when I can, but AnnCardiff and martynsue have made suggestions regarding - a free site. Have you tried this?

It is important to try anything suggested as the double nn on the names from these areas may not be so important. For instance when I put the name in with solitary n - the USA relatives came up. This was on the Ancestry - Message Boards. Again it was last used by that family in 2006 and they do not appear to still be connected to the site currently. You could try and send a message.

Please bear in mind any relatives may have separated and gone to different places. The difficult times in the area saw many go to USA, Canada and UK (as my family did) so the process of searching for your relatives is a long one, but do not give up.

Give everything a try and I will keep looking. Remember to put any little snippet that comes to mind about your family on this thread; you may think it unimportant, but it may just be the hint helpers need.

If the need arises I can recommend the head of Archives in Latvia who will charge, but he is very good. He found all of may family down to births, baptisms, military service, migration, etc. I only say this as you may get frustrated as there is a language barrier as well as trying to find family, districts, etc. It is a slow process so give yourself months!



Peahen Report 15 Aug 2013 23:07


Take some time out and read this - it will give you some idea of what you are dealing with. Long, but important to understand the area.

Ventspils - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Go to Google and bring this up.



Peahen Report 16 Aug 2013 11:54

Hi Wendy,

Another find:
If you want to get in touch with other Hannemann researchers (the surname Hannemann is not rare in Pommern) you should submit your information to the contact database for family researchers called Pommernkontakte. You can search the database at but don't miss to submit your information too that others can find you.

If you have further questions as to Pommern I would recommend you to subscribe to the mailing list Pommern-L for genealogy in Pommern. check out:

The first site is in German, but at the top right-hand side - click on English (shows the British Flag)and it will be translated.

No luck with the Wiseman name. there is every possibility they were Catholic Religion - try this when doing searching.



Wendy Report 19 Aug 2013 16:03

Hello Sappho,

Thank you for all this information which I have already accessed and have found no helpful information other than there were Hannemann's in Griefswald but without access to birth certificates or census details I feel as though I have hit a brick wall!

I will endeavour to find out more about when the family were living in Hull and may contact the East Yorkshire Records Office as they may be of help.

Thanks again


Peahen Report 10 Oct 2013 11:14

Hi there Wendy,

Just found this new site. I know this will help you to find some information as they have helped me with my Russian family.


They research all of the countries involved Russia. Give it a go - there is lots of information.

Personally, I am interested to know how you have got on and hope you can come back on here and let us know.

Good luck again



Alisoun Report 12 Oct 2013 12:38

Hi Wendy
You may find some extra information and alternative spellings of birthplace on registration documents if any of your ancestors had to register as aliens in 1914 .
We obtained a photo of my great grandfather this way . Good luck ...


Wendy Report 15 Oct 2013 14:15

Hello again

Sorry I have not replied to your posts earlier but I have been sunning myself in Cyprus.

I contacted the Latvian National Archives last month and received a reply to say that birth registrations had been found for Johanna and her children so I am awaiting arrival of these documents and then see where I can take it from there.

Thank you so much for all your help and advice.