These last couple of days I have been looking at Estonian church records. My grandmother was born in Estonia so I have been looking into Estonian genealogy a little but now I decided to really focus for a while.
I have some dates and places but I haven’t seen the sources so thats where I started.
And the place for me to start since Im doing it online is at Saaga where you can find a lot of sources, like church records. It doen’t cost any money to use it but you need to get an account and log in to see the actual church record pages. It is a great resource. Unfortunatly I don’t know Estonian. I have been trying to sign up for a beginners class for at least four years but every time it got canceled since there wasn’t enough interest. Well, except this year when suddenly they didn’t have a teacher.
|Be sure to check out Saaga for your Estonian ancestors|
Now Saaga has an English version of the page as well which is of great help and a little cheat sheet with translation of the different record titles.
|Helpfull cheat sheet|
I started to look at my grandmothers fathers siblings who are born in the second half of 1800. First out was August, born 1869 in Kopu according to my notes. Unlucky me, didn’t find any birth records for Kopu earliner than 1892. August died as a young child a couple of months before his third birthday in Poltsamaa. Looking at he death records in Poltsamaa, I found him. And the church records are written in German.
|August Seck, my great grand uncle 1869 – 1872|
Only fifthteen days after the death of August, my great grand aunt Therese Emile Marie was born.
|Birth of my great grand aunt Therese Elmile Marie Seck in 1872, Poltsmaa|
The third child, Ida, was born in 1874 and yet in another place, Helme.
|Birth of my great grand aunt Ida Seck in 1874, Helme.|
Then there are two more children, August Ludwig born 1877 and Johann Karl Edmund born 1879. They are said to be born in Rouge but I cant find them. But thier younger sister Alice Charlotte born 1883 I find in Rouge.
The last child, born in 1886 is my great grandfather, Nicolai Eduard and the birth place is supposed to be Polva, and I cant find him there.
Since there were so many different birthplaces I used Google Earth to pin out the places to get a visual view. I marked the places / actions of which I have a source document with yellow dots. White dots are according to the notes I have but where I myself haven’t seen a source document. Doing this you could really see the family moving around in a quite big area of Estonia.
|Note: födelse is Swedish for birth, död is Swedish for death|
One of the nicest thing I found so far was the birth of my second great grandmother, Mari Tedder, born 1840 which gave me two news names to write into my family tree.
I had seen a notice in one of the records that she was born in a place called Woroküll. I couldnt find it so I went and asked Google about it. Google was nice and showed me a page with German names of Estonian places and Woroküll is Vooru. Suddenly, there she was:
|Birth of my second great grandmother, Marri Tedder, 1840, Vooru|
Now to the title, Nicolai Seck, where are you? My second great grandfather is said to be born 1842 in Tartu. Friday evening I spent hours browsing birth records of different parishes of Tartu looking for Nicolai. It would be so nice to find him and see the names of his parents. In some of the books there was such a nice handwriting and I was thinking “please let him be in this book where it is really easy to read the handwriting”. But nope. Haven’t found him yet, but he is there, somewhere, waiting to be found, by me or by someone else.
One last thing I what to share in this post. The birth record of my first cousin twice removed, Hilda Ellinor. She was born in 1906 and by then the Estonian records are in Russian with Cyrillic letters. Still they wrote the name in Latin letters as well, making it much easier to find. And I think this record looks just really beautiful.
|Birth of Hilda Ellinor in 1906|
I did take a couple of Russian classes a few years ago. I didnt get to study Cyrillic handwriting (only printed letters like in the headlines of the record) but still I am pretty sure sponsor number 1 in the record above says Eduard Seck, my great grand father.