True Lithuania

True Lithuania heritage search and more

True Lithuania is a website aiming to be an informative and well-illustrated English source on Lithuania created by a Lithuanian native Augustinas Žemaitis, a lawyer and avid traveler (recipient of Lithuanian tourism department prize "For persistence in travel and life"), as well as a Lithuanian heritage researcher.

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Services we can provide

True Lithuania provides or helps organize the following services:
*Legal services in Lithuania (the website owner is a member of the Lithuanian Bar Association).
*Archive search inside Lithuania for the birth, marriage, death and other records of your ancestors or relatives.
*Restoration of Lithuanian citizenship based on ancestry.
*Sale of images of Lithuania (all the ones available on this website may be provided in a good resolution, and our database is more extensive than that).

Free online guides we offer

*Guides to Lithuanian cities, towns, resorts, castles, religious sites, museums, valuable for tourists.
*Guides to practical life in Lithuania (transportation, shopping, restaurants, climate, dangers) valuable for both visitors and expatriates.
*The most extensive online English guides to Lithuania's ethnic and religious groups.
*The most extensive online Eglish guides on Lithuanian holidays, architecture, sports, music and famous personalities.
*A Lithuanian history guide that aims to be brief enough to be read at a single time yet complete enough to help you fully understand history and its results.
*Introductions to the Lithuanian politics, law, state symbols, language, theater, cinema, art, and literature.

Advertising in True Lithuania

True Lithuania offers wide advertising possibilities. Our visitors are mainly tourists, expatriates, researchers and people who are descended from Lithuania. Most are from English-speaking countries but a significant minority is from other European countries.

Comments (148) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Augustinas

    You may be the person who can help me. My ancestors lived in Kalviai (Kowalki)(Varena) It still exists. I cannot find any pictures of this community. Might you have a reference? I know who lived in the manor house in 1909 from the church census. I was wondering the simplest way of understanding who held these blocks of land going back to the middle ages. I know that my family (Stanielun) was represented in this village in 1795.

    aciu labai

    Jim Staneluis

    • James, Kalviai is a small village (population 68) so there are few pics available. However by clicking here you may see a farmstead recently sold in Kalviai, with interior and exterior images. It looks like a traditional home of the area (forested Dzūkija); many homes look like this in the region. The simplest way to search for historical information is through the state archives.

  2. Labas,

    I am hoping you are well and staying warm.

    I am hoping you could help me again with the spelling of family names. I want to have the Lithuanian Archivers do some reseach for me but uncertain of spelling. I have seen my great-grandmothers name spelled Szarniukic, Scarniukic, Scheran, Sarna, Serna, it was pronounced Sirna. I know she came from Pacmevezys in 1900.

    Her mothers last name was Yrameniuke and Petracrikic.

    Any help would be appreciated.


    • Hi, thank you. Modern surnames that sound similar are Šernas and Šerna (may have been written Szerna, Szernas in Polonized orthography). “Šerniukas” is a diminutive of “Šernas” (meaning wild boar in Lithuanian); I am not sure if there is a surname “Šerniukas” but it is possible to call someone with a surname “Šernas” to be “Šerniukas” especially in early age / childhood. The city you mention is likely Panevėžys (click here for info). Yrameniuke and Petracrikic does not rings much bell to me currently, parts of the surnames sound Lithuanian (e.g. “iuke” is a female diminutive, “Petras” is a Lithuanian version of “Peter”) but other parts seem to be greatly transformed, or maybe these already were rare surnames before transformation. One possibility for “Pertacrikic” may be “Petrauskas” (male surname) and for “Yrameniuke” – “Ermanytė”, but I am not sure.

  3. Both my parents were Lithuania & I am very curious about my grand parents. I am named after my grand mother on my mother’s side, she passed away before I was born, I have no idea where she & my
    grandfather came from & have no history of their background. My
    Grandfather’s name was Bernakis & I have no idea what my Grandmother’s maiden name was. Where do I start to find out about these two people I wish I had the opportunity to know?

    • Hello, State Archives may be the best place to search information, as well as many other archives, however, usually you need to know more than just name. By the way are you sure the surname was “Bernakis” rather than “Berankis”? One place to search for information when you have less may be specialized internet forums and groups, such as LithuanianGenealogy Yahoo group. However, the more information you will know initially the more likely you are to succeed (especially names, places, dates) – therefore you should seek for whatever more information you could find on your side, e.g. go through your grandparents documents and other things or talk to all people still alive that knew them (if there are any).

  4. Hello
    I have started working on my husbands family tree. His grandparents were from Lithuania. We do not have much information on his grandparents. His grandmother was born in Turiskiai, Krosna Township . We have not been able to locate this area. Although maybe the name has changed. We are also looking for the name of the Catholic church in Krosna. We believed she was baptized there. If you are able to give us some direction it would be greatly appreciated .

    • Hello. The village is Tūriškiai (56 inhabittants), the town is Krosna (401 inhabittants). Krosna church is dedicated to St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist (Lithuanian: Šv. apaštalo evangelisto Mato bažnyčia). We may provide heritage search services in archives, if needed.

      • Thank you for informing me of the population in those area . We were able to find my husbands grandmother’s baptism record from the church . Recently we found out that she had been married before and was a widow before marrying in Canada. You stated you offer heritage searches in archives and was wondering the fee. We were wondering if she married her first husband in Lithuania at the same church. Also is there a place in Lithuania called Keloaria (spelling most likely is not correct)
        Thank you

        • We have sent you now our offer by e-mail.

          There is no place “Keloaria”, but there may be places with somewhat different spelling. However, in this case it would be better if you’d provide anything you know where approximately that place would be located or about its relative size and what is the source of “Keloaria” name, what is the date of that record, etc. As there may be multiple placenames similar more or less to Keloaria so this would help to select the more probable ones.

  5. Hello,

    Am interested ind researching my Grandmothers mother(Kazakevicius)
    And Father (Valantanavicius) he was conscripted by Prussian army at 16 years of age then by Russian at 20 d. From Mielashkowpy, Suwalki.

    • Hello, did you write the placename correctly? On what document does it appear this way? Maybe it appears another way in other documents?

      • Hello,
        The town name was on his American naturalization paper.
        The only document I have from Lithuania is his discharge papers to the Russian military reserves. The top right corner of the page is missing, and that contains most of the vital information.
        There is a book and entry number. Would Lithuanian archives have the Russian military records for 1902?

  6. Hello,
    I am writing you from Lithuania. Just few day ago I found one old broken picture of the women with the words on the the side “como Lembre sempre” ?… And afterwards my mother informed that her grandfather’s brothers or sisters migrated to Argentina via First World War. Their surnames were Silanskas, Šilanskas, Silanskiene, Šilanskienė, Silanskaite, Šilanskaitė. They are born in Dzūkija region, Alytus or Varena district, near Daugai in Andriunai or Doskonys.
    My grandgrandfather’s name was Andrejus (Andrius) Šilanskas.

    I would be very appreciated to get any hints of my relatives.

    • Thanks for contacting. If you want to search your relatives who may be still living in Argentina, and you know all the names, it is the best to contact Argentinian and Lithuanian-Argentinian organizations.

      However, if you want to learn about the lifes of your forefathers and their relatives while they were still in Lithuania (e.g. when they married or were born, or what were the names of their children and siblings) then we may help you search the archives. The two may be combined: you should first learn the names of the people through the Lithuanian archives (we may help with that) and then, knowing the names and dates, you may contact Lithuanian Argentine institutions to find out if these people were somebody’s relatives.

      • Sveiki Augustai,

        galbut Jus galite pasakyti i kokias tiksliai organizacijas turetume kreiptis?
        Buciau labai dekinga!

      • Ir dar vienas klausimas – kokia pavarde galeciau ieskoti SILANSKAS pavardes po angliskos transformacijos: Shilanskas, Shilanski, Silanska?
        Matau, kad turit be gal daug patirties, tad viliuosi sis klausimas jums bus labai paprastas:)

        • Gali būti įvairiai, taip pat ir Szilanskas, Szilanski ar pan. Vienos tvarkos nebuvo: kai kada būdavo rašoma pagal tarimą (kaip rašytų anglas, pvz. su “Sh”), kai kada pagal lenkišką raidyną (pvz. “Sz”), kai kada su lietuviška galūne, kai kada be ar su slaviška galūne; kai kada ne taip nugirdus ir pavardė “pakoreguota” (ypač dažnai sumaišytos panašios raidės, pvz. “Z” ir “S”) ir t.t.

    • Hello, Vilma,

      The words written on the side of the photo are in Portuguese. I am wondering whether your family also had any ties to Brazil?

      “como” = “as/like”
      “lembre” = “you remember” / “he/she remembers” (lembrar = to remember)
      “sempre” = always

      In other words, “as you always remember (them)” (or, “as he/she always remembers (them)”).

      Good luck finding out more!

  7. Hello I am writing on behalf of my husband who is looking for information on both of his Lithuanian parents (now deceased). His mother Ona Sarkaite was born in Rokiskis May 1929. Her father (no name) was a school principle and sent to Siberia. We are not sure which deportation. Ona – an only child – and her mother – a school teacher – escaped Lithuania and stayed in a refugee camp in Germany before emigrating to Montreal, Canada. Where might we find information on this family? Searches for Sarkas, Sarka or Sarkys in Rokiskis come up empty.
    My husband’s father was Romaldus Bukauskas who left in the 40s with his parents (father Pranas or Pranes). They were from Obeliai. Any suggestions for where to search for information?
    Many thanks.

    • By searches for “Sarkas”, “Sarka”, “Sarkys” in Rokiškis do you mean Google searches?
      A search in archives may be good. We may arrange this / provide such services, if needed.
      Also, what information exactly would you seek to find?

  8. Hello!

    I’m a grandson of Lithuanians that imigrated to Brazil after second world war, we still have relatives in Lithuania, but we don’t have any document to prove my Grandparents were born in Lithuania, since sovietic union destroyed most of the documents that churches had at that time.
    We have some documents proving that he entered in Brazil as a Lithuanian, I’ve already visited lithuania a few times and I would love to keep this roots moving on with my future family, there’s anyway I can restore my family citizenship?

    • It is possible. We may help in searching for proofs. While not everything is possible, the more proofs would be found the bigger are the chances that the citizenship restoration request will be approved.

      We will contact you by e-mail with our prices as well as ask the other relevant information.

  9. Hello,

    I am writing from the U.S. with a question about a Lithuanian place name. In the Ellis Island archives, there is a record that seems to pertain to my great-grandfather and his family. Their ship sailed to New York from Hamburg, Germany, but they were Lithuanian, and their hometown was listed as “Galsiniki.” Does this place name sound familiar? How would it be spelled in Lithuanian, and does it still exist today?

    Also, I am interested in learning more about your genealogy services. Thank you in advance for any information you can email me about this.

    • Sorry, I should clarify: the Lithuanian town is listed as “Gallisiniki.” Does this hel in identifying its present-day spelling?

      Thanks for the great website, and I look forward to hearing more about your services!

      • Hello,

        I will look into possible similar-sounding placenames, however, before that, perhaps you know (or have been told) which part of Lithuania your great grandfather came from? As there are many similar-sounding village names, knowng area would help narrow down the search.

        As for genealogy services, we will send you our offer by e-mail.

  10. I found this website by accident whilst helping my 8 year old grand daughter to write a project about Lithuania.

    My Grandmother lived in London after emigrating from Lithuania in the 1890s. She lived in Vilnius and moved to England after her husband and son or daughter died from chicken pox. From my Mother’s birth certificate, it seems to show her married name in Lithuania was MAGGIE GEISZTORJITIS and her maiden name was KUBILIUS. She re-married a Lithuanian man in London called YUSEF (OR JOSEPH) SCINSKAS. I have searched all the census archives in London and can find no record of her, but my family told me that she did not have a birth certificate with her- we never knew how old she was, but I just remember her being very wrinkled and bent; and lovely.I never met my Grandfather, who had died and when Maggie died, I was about aged about four.

    My Mother’s first name was EVA and she lived to be 98 years old, until three years ago.

    My wife and I visited Vilnius about 15 years ago and tried to get information from some Council Offices that we tracked down, but they simply told us that most records were destroyed by the Russians and so it was not worth looking.

    I would love to know anything about Maggie Kubilius and her family, in particular, when she was born.

    Excellent website in which I have enjoyed reading and learning more about Liothuania.

    Greg Marshall, Cheshire, UK

    • Dear Greg,

      It is possible to search for information in the archives. While it is true that some archives were destroyed, many weren’t, so unless one searches one could not know. Today such searches are easier than 15 years ago as some (though still not all) documents have been digitized.

      If you don’t know her age, maybe you know her birthplace (i.e. if she was from Vilnius and was born there, or moved to Vilnius from somewhere else, or she was from some village/town in Vilnius district)? In general, any additional information you know (heard from your mother who heard it from grandmother) may help (raise success possibility in searching archives), especially where it concerns dates, locations and names (of person in question and all her relatives such as brothers, sisters, parents, children).

      In any case, we may offer services in archive search. We will send you our prices and details.

      BTW “GEISZTORAJITIS” is an English transliteration for “Geištoraitis”, or, in female version, “Geištoraitienė” and “MAGGIE” is also an Anglicization of original name, such as “Margarita”.

      Augustinas Žemaitis.

  11. My paternal grandfather was born in Bajorai, Kretinga in 1886. Unfortunately, he passed away when my dad was only 4, my dad is 85 himself and would like to find his past. Are there people that can help with geneaology searches in Lithuania? Ancestry is no help.

  12. hi i am searching for any info that i can find on my lithuanian ancestory. i dont know if my last name is the correct spelling. i do know that my grandfather peter douchinsky lived in western pennsylvania and west virginia and that he came to america in 1897 approx. i cannot find him from ellis island records. i have no living relatives that can help with info. do you know where i can go to discover what their circumstances where prior to comming here and the correct spelling of our last name

    • Lithuanian last name “Dučinskas” would seem to be the most probable original last name, as it sounds the same (with Lithuanian ending “as” added). We provide heritage search services and we will send you details by e-mail. However, some place to start will be needed, perhaps you’d know which part of Lithuania he came from (e.g. where in Lithuania he was born), or could find that information somewhere in documents or such?

  13. Hello, my parents and grandparents were residents of Memel and Nidden during and before WW I. I am researching my heritage (including DNA) and found out just recently that I have absolutely no German in my DNA, although my parents and grandparents’ mother tongue was German. Towards the end of WW II all of them fled from their homes and left for Germany. I have a number of different spellings for my grandfather’s last name and cannot get anywhere throught the US Mormon search website. The last name at one point was spelled Sziele, but I heard also from my mother that she saw the name Szylis above the entrance to a farm outside of Memel. Any suggestion what other name it could be? My grandmother’s last name was Gudovius. But that is all I know. My mother’s family was from Nidden (Nida) and I have found information about her family background up to a certain point. I am not sure what country I should zero the search on as they lived like Germans around the turn of the century.
    I very much would appreciate your help.
    Thank you.

  14. Hello,
    I’m happy to have found your site. My father was born in Lithuania. His brother lived out his whole life there, married and his widow still resides there. My aunt Emma Datis was a big supporter of the Theatrical Arts in Vilnius I believe. Sadly she just passed away. I’ve often wondered if I have other family living there today. John Vidrinskas is my fathers name. His siblings, Emma, Margo, Joseph and mother Maria. I wish there were more Lithuanian Americans where I live, I’ve always been proud of my heritage 🙂

  15. I intend to be in Joniskis on 10/7/2016 and see the house where my grandparents live and worked until 1935. Their names Zalman Zingerevicas and Chaiha Feiga Wolffson.
    They owned Manufakturos Prekyba , Turgaviete Nr. 23, Joniskis.
    The name of my uncle was Reuven Baruch Kaplan and his wife Yenta.
    I will appreciate to receive information about them and about jews in Joniskis.
    Thank you very much.

    • General information on Joniškis, including its two recently-restored synagogues, is available here: . If you want us to do a search in the archives for more about the particular people you have named and perhaps any other relatives, we may send information about proposed services by e-mail (though that unfortunately may be impossible to complete before July 10, as it often takes longer time to do an archive search). If you will also spend some time in Vilnius, we offer Jewish heritage tours there ( ) as the Jewish heritage in Vilnius is the greatest (many Jews from the towns moved there over the time).

  16. My ancestors live in Joniskis until 1935.
    Their names
    1. Zalman Zingerevicas, my Grandfather. owned Manufakturos Prekyba on Turgaviete 23 (Mark Platz). I would like to visit this place (what is the actual address ?), and also what was his home address.
    2. Chaia Feiga Wolfson, my grandmother. Her parents live in Jonisksis or nearby. I would like to know their names.
    3. Reuven Baruch Kaplan and his wife Yenta and six children, perish in1941, holocaust. Any information.
    I plan to visit Joniskis on 10.7.2016.
    Thanks for your cooperation.
    Moshe Zimrat

  17. Hi there. I am in the beginning stages of doing some research on my family in Lithuania. My grandfather was born in Lithuania but immigrated to Canada at a very young age. I know a fair bit of information already – I have my great-grandmother’s birth certificate and marriage certificate, as well as immigration details. I am interested in finding potential relatives in Lithuania as I hope to be visiting there in Sept or Oct 2017. Can you please send me more information on prices for your genealogy searches? I have also started learning how to speak Lithuanian using online and I am curious if you know of an app or website that you would recommend. Thank you for your help!

    • Thank you for contacting us. We will send you the details of our offer by e-mail.

      We plan to include some free lessons of Lithuanian language and recorded files of to True Lithuania website in the upcoming month.

  18. Hi,

    For the life of me I cannot find anything on the Kalpokas surname. I’m originally from Argentina and my ancestors immigrated in the 1920s I believe. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • What would you want to learn? There are numerous people in Lithuania with that surname (a Google search gives results). The word itself means a certain hat or a certain part thereof.

  19. I am traveling to Vilnius on September 27, 2016 with the intention of visiting the Village of Trasninkas, which is the place of my grandparents and great-grandparents birth. I have found very little about the Village and wondered if there is a way to determine the address of my grandparents’ childhood. My grandfather’s last name was Jurkevicius and my grandmother’s maiden name was Volengeviciute. Any assistance would be appreciated. Lee Davis

    • It may be possible to find such information in the archives (we may offer a service of such search). Otherwise, depending on when they left Lithuania, it may be possible to get some information by asking around in the village as some old people may remember them or their family (however, it is unlikely (m)any people would talk English there).

  20. Hello! I have been at a standstill with my great grandparents lineage. I know my great grandfather was Joseph Chesonis (I think it was Czesonis in Lithuania) and he was married to Marcella. That’s the most I know. I can’t find Marcella’s maiden name anywhere, not even her daughter’s marriage certificate. I would fly over there if I could!! But until then are there any online records available? Was hoping maybe a marriage certificate would provide some sort of info.

    • Hello. Lithuanian surname would be Česonis in modern orthography and likely full name Juozapas Česonis. There are few records online, but we may offer services of searching in the archives. That said, in order to know where to search we would need to know some more facts, e.g. birthdates (at least approximate) and locations of birth (at least approximate) of your great grandfather.

      • I finally have a little more info about my grandparents. Guess it’s been a while since I started! I have seen that it’s possible my great grandfather, Joseph, brother in law came from a town called Balos? Is that a place?? He was born May 25, 1882. We think. A couple records have different months but around then. My great grandmother Marcella was born around 1896. We believe he had a sister named Theresa born November 1877. Little by little the pieces are falling in but it’s so tough!

  21. Hello, I am trying to trace my Lithuanian family history. My Fathers name was Pranskus and he came as a displaced person never to return to LitHuania. I have his parents name and my fathers place of birth. Is it at all possible that you could help please?

    • With names, birthplaces and approximate birthdates it is possible. Even if this information is available only about some relatives, information about other relatives may often be derived from what is available. We can send you our offer for heritage search / archive search, if you are interested.

  22. I home am trying to find more about my grandfather Anthony or antanas Gelzinis migrated from bitkai between 1908-1910.He arrived from the ship Patrica from Hamburg.My grandmother Amelia was over later. both claimed Vilnuis as ..but relatives mentioned a hyphenated town. I am looking for any information more substantial

  23. Sveiki, Augustinai,
    Rasau Jums iš Lietuvos. Gal galit patarti, kokiais keliais ieskoti Australijoje gyvenanciu pusseseriu. Po tevu mirties jos visos isvyko is gimtosios Adelaides. Zinau tik ju mergautines pavardes, vienos is ju vyro pavarde (Hart) ir miesta, kur gyveno po vedybu su juo (~pries 15 m.) Ar imanoma kokia nors paieska?
    Is anksto dekoju uz atsakyma.

  24. Hello from the United States, Austin, Texas to be exact.

    I am eager to learn about my ancestry and may even pursue citizenship but find myself at a dead end due to the spelling of my great-grandfather’s name. Here in the states, his name was spelled Stanley Kwastovich. I know that spelling is very different from when he was born in 1884 or 1887 in what we believe was Miroslav.

    I’d be most grateful to learn more about my Lithuanian ancestor.

    Best regards,

    • We may offer heritage search services in the archives. We will send you our offer by e-mail.

      The town is likely modern-day Miroslavas. It is not a large town, so it may be possible to search the church birth registries of the respective years for similar-sounding surnames.

  25. Greetings!

    I have been trying for years to find out about the Lithuanian side of my family. According to census records Andro and Orshula Smilgetz came to the US sometime around 1890, but I have been unable to find either of them on any immigration records. The census records indicate they are from Russia, but it is our understanding that they actually came from Lithuania. Currently, our last name is spelled Smelgus. The family lived in Luzerne County/ Hazleton PA until the 1940s. I would love to have some idea about what our last name really is, and if we can trace our family back to Lithuania. Any help would be greatly appreciated…

    • I believe “Smilgevičius” is the most likely original variant of surname, then shortened for English pronouncability in the USA, as it was common. In the old Russian Imperial documents it may appear Russified “Smilgevich” or so (“Smilgetz” then could be misheard or purposefully shortened from “Smilgewitz”, which is another way to write it English without a Lithuanian ending). If you are interested, we may offer heritage search services in Lithuanian archives, although approximate dates and locations in Lithuania would be beneficial to know for the probability of success.

  26. Hi,
    I am interested in my grand-grandfathers history in the US. I was able to find one of his arrival records (arrived in 1912), however unable to find his first arrival entry.
    His arrival record indicates that he has been in the US before (from 1907-1910), and that his final destination was Lewiston, ME. However in the I find him in Waterbury, CT working as a Pickler at a Brass Factory. Would anyone know where I could find more information on his workplace and where exactly he stayed.
    He eventually (sometime before 1930’s) returned to Lithuania and died in Siberian exile. Any information is much appreciated.

    • More information about Waterbury may be found on our website about Lithuanian communities in Connecticut here:

      The same article in Lithuanian:

      There you will find the information on the Lithuanian church there he likely visited on Sundays.

      Census records and other period documents are typically the place to search for the information about the people, although as I understand yu have already made a significant research. It is possible that exact address will not be possible to find out as, for example, it is possible he did not have a single permanent address for the whole time in the US (which is likely the case if he changed cities at least once). Waterbury had many brass factories, some are now abandoned tourist attractions.

  27. Bom dia!!!!
    Meu pai, falecido, era lituano. Tenho o passaporte dele mas é um passaporte familiar onde, consta a foto dos meua avos e de todos os filhos e no passaporte, o nome dos meus avos completo e somente o primeiro nome dos filhos. Meu pai veio para o Brasil em 1926 com 3 anos de idade. O nome dele é Antanas Tamasevicius e nasceu em Vilnius. Vc poderia me ajudar em procurar a certidão de nascimento dele? Vc faria todo o tramite com o consulado para pedido de dupla cidadania? Muito obrigado.

    • Sim. Nós oferecemos esses serviços, porém nos falamos muito pouco Poruguês. Você compreende Inglês ou Lituano?

  28. Sorry, my father was born in Trakai. I understand english.

  29. Do you do the whole process to get dual citizenship visa? Send me values by e-mail.

  30. Hello Augustinas, I tried several times to find any evidence of residence of my family in Lithuania. They used to live in Latvia before the creation of Republic of Lithuania (1918) and after this they came back to Lithuania (Panemunelis). I tried the archives and nothing has been found about residence, passports, etc, they were peasants, working in agriculture… until 1927 when they left Lithuania to go to Brazil. Is there any other “magical” way to try to get these informations I mean something beyond the archives? I didn’t find anything there.
    Thank you.


    • Hello,

      Firstly, I’d like to ask what archives were searched, and what sections of these archives? Nobody could even in theory search all the archives, therefore it is likely that the data is simply somewhere else.

      Also, did you search in person in the Lithuanian archives (i.e. were you in the archives yourself), or have you went through it some other way, if so, what way?

      • Hello Augustinas, thank you for the quick answer.

        I just filled the forms looking for any evidence of the citizenzhip of my family (many times) to the Central Archives of Lithuania asking about any information about my family. Nothing has been found. In the historical archives they found may vital records about my ancestors as well my lithuanian genealogical tree.
        I never went in person to the Central State Archives.

        Thank you.

  31. Dear Augustinas Žemaitis,
    My grandmother Anna Grawbaukas ( born 1884 in Vizainiu, Koyno, Lithuania or Poland) and my grandfather Georges Evenskas/Evanski ( born 1875 in Krivauta, Suwalki, Lithuania or Poland). What country were they born in on those dates? I remember my aunt saying my grandmother was born in one country and the next year it was another country. Also, I can not find those small towns on any map. Did the names change? Thank you for any help you can give me as I plan to visit but do not know what country will have my information. I know they came through Ellis Island and settled in New Haven, Connecticut had children Beruta? Mame (She died there) and then came North to Quebec, Canada. I have been to Salt Lake City for research but maybe you could help me with proper name spelling. There is ka, kas, a at the end of names, male, female etc… Beverley

    • At the time, both Lithuania and much of what is now Poland were ruled by the Russian Empire. However, while Kaunas Governorate (your grandmother’s birthplace) was ruled directly by Russia, the Suwalki Governorate was ruled as part of the nominally autonomous Poland. While in fact the autonomy was limited, there were some notable differences, including different calendar. In Kaunas Governorate, the Russian Orthodox Julian calendar applied whereas in Suvalkai Governorate it was the Catholic calendar. This meant that when crossing the boundary of the Governorates, you had to “alter your time” by two weeks as the Julian calendar lagged behind. So, maybe this was the real story – that your grandmother and grandfather were in a sense born in different countries – and the story just changed over the time? The territories in question remained a part of the Russian Empire until 1915 and the Suwalki Governorate was acquired by Russia from Prussia during the Napoleonic wars, long before they were born.

      As for exact locations, I am not sure. “Vizainiu” should be Vižainis (currently in Poland as Wiżajny) – however, Vižainis was in Suwalki Governorate, not in Kaunas (Koyno), as you mention, so it is possible that governorate is a mistake.

      The names have not changed, there were, however, various different transliterations and different versions in various languages. “Vizainiu” litterally means “Of Vižainys”. See the “Lithuanian grammar” section of this article:

      Anna Grabaukas would likely be Ona Grabauskas in Lithuanian, and may have also used a Polish and Russian versions of her name (see, for example, ). Take note, however, that “Grabauskas” is a male surname version. It was common to use only the male surname version for females when in the USA (out of convenience, as the Americans did not understood gender-and-marital-status-based surname versions), but locally she would have used female ending, whcih would have been, in Lithuanian, Grabauskaitė if not married and Grabauskienė if married. See the section Lithuanian Names at

      Your grandfather would likely be named Jurgis, however it is more difficult to pinpointthe exact surname, which may be Ivanauskas (if not Evenskas), although other variants may also be possible.

      • Thank you, Augustinas Žemaitis
        for your prompt and very informative answer. My Dad is in his 100th year and my Aunt Beruta (name changed to Bertha) died at 103 so your information will help me follow their roots.
        I will continue my pursuit looking at the links you sent me. I will be looking probably for Ona Grabauskaite and Jurgis Evenskas. However, I would appreciate you sending me info on the cost for your to find them as I see that I have found the right person to do that 🙂 Beverley

        • Thanks. Unfortunately, however, as it seems likely that the localities are in the modern day Poland, the data would now be in the Polish archives. We work only in the Lithuanian archives.

          Also, don’t forget to check the Polish variants of the names, e.g. possibly Anna Grabowska.

  32. Dear Friends,

    possibly somebody knows any details about my uncle Jonas Zeleniakas (b.+/-1920). In Australia he became John Green.
    Thank You!

  33. I finally found the name of the place where my grandmother was born, but I can’t seem to find where it would be or was. She came to the US in 1911 from Juronis, Lithuania. Please send me information about your services. Thank you

    • We will send you th einformation about our services by e-mail.

      Regarding the location, there are/were several similar-named locations. If you know it, a province name would help. If you don’t, it is often (though not always) possible to deduce the exact location based on surnames, as different surnames prevailed in different areas (up to the 19th century, Lithuanians were often precluded by law from relocating).

  34. Hello Augustinas,
    I have been trying to remember my great grandfather’s Lithuanian first name and also those of his brother and sister that moved to the U.S.
    My grandfather’s name was Paul Stulginskis, older brother of Aleksandras Stulginskis, once president of Lithuania, 1920s I believe.
    Thank you

  35. Hallo Augustinas,
    at first let me thank you for the important job you are doing. I am looking for my relatives who came to U.S.A. in the begining of XX century from Zemaitija (Luoke-Upyna-Tryskiai area). My grate grate father Joe Norwilis and his love Zofie Glinskoski (Glinskaite) came from that part of Lithuania. They were married in U.S.A. My grandmother Walesa Alexandra Norvilyte were born 1918 Rumford , Maine. Later, after wife`s Zofie`s death, father with two daughters – my grandmother and her sister Stephanie-, came back to Lithuania around 1922 and lived there. I know that my grand grand father`s sister lived in Rumford with her family and she asked Joe Norwilis to leave his daughter`s to her , but he moved back to Lithuania. Our family chain from my moms side was broken. I am right know a citizen of the U.S.A. and live in Illinois, Lemont. I do have on hands the copies from Maine state archives with my grandmothers birth certificate, Registrum Baptizatorum in Ecclesia at Rumford Halls and I do have copy of 1920 Federal Population Census at Rumford town , Maine State. I am wondering maybe I can find my relatives (grand grand father`s sister`s kids or their kids or grandchildren). It would be nice to hug them and to see them, because we are from the same tree. I understand that to find someone would be equal like to find a needle in the haycock… but maybe…

  36. Hello, I am searching for any info on my family. My father was jonas Simonavicius born in village Daugincis. My grandmothers maiden name was Miezkowska from Kavarskus Ukmerge.

    • Hi. We may offer heritage search services in the Lithuanian archives if needed.

      The official names of the localities are, by the way, Kavarskas and, likely, Dauginčiai.

  37. I thought you would like to know you misspelled the word “Accomodation”. Silly mistakes are a pet peeve of mine and they can ruin your website’s credibility. In the past I’ve used a tool like to keep mistakes off my website.

    -Scott Matthews Sr

    • Thank you, I have changed “accomodation” to “accommodation” now in the places where “accomodation” still existed

  38. Hello!
    I am a grandson of Lithuanians who immigrated to Brazil in 1926/1927, I have only 2 documents that I received from LCVA and historical archive. But I need to find my grandmother’s passport or birth certificate.
    Can you help me find some documents from my great-grandmother? Please.
    I would like to restore my citizenship.
    Thank you

    • Hi. We do indeed help with archive search. We may contact you with a proposal.

      However, as you already have some documents from the archives, do I understand it correctly that you have already searched for the documents you mention as well (or hired somebody to search for them), but were unable to find them in the archives?

      Please note that in some cases, unfortunately, it is impossible to find documents (e.g. when they are destroyed). In most cases we are able to find documents, however, if you have already searched for them and the search turned out nothing, it is quite possible that another search would not yield positive results either.

  39. Any idea how the name Ruseskas might have really been spelled in Lithuania Also Brussock? Mother of my mother’s parents (my grandparents) were from Lithuania. I believe once they might have lived in Simno or Simnas?? My mother said my grandfather never talked about his family that was left behind when he and two of his brother came to PA. to work the coal mines. He was in his early teens. I would love to know if I have relatives still there and would love to visit some day. I have seen the spelling Ruseckas but I can’t find anything with my Grandfather Paul Viktor Ruseskas name in any records. His wife (my great grandmother was Catherine Bazes or Buzzo??? They had three sons John, Michael (not spelled that way) and Joseph who came to Pennsylvania very at very young age. My grandfather Joseph Paul Ruseskas married Helen Brussock after he boarded in their home in PA. I would love to know the spelling so I could try and find some information on any of them.

    • Ruseskas is spelled as Ruseckas.
      Brussock is likely Brusokas (for an unmarried woman the version of the surname would have been Brusokaitė in Lithuania; more info on Lithuanian names here: ).
      “Simno” litterally means “of Simnas”, so the town is Simnas.

      We offer heritage search services in the Lithuanian archives if you are interested to learn more about the ancestors.

    • Hello. My grandfather surname is Ruseckas and he was from Simnas. His auncles moved to US, and I know one was Jonas. We did match with you on ancestry as well, so I guess we are same family.

  40. Hello,

    I am so frustrated with my Lithuanian last name search!
    My great Grandparents Antanas …(I will get to hi last name) and Marijona Kruszas
    came to the US around 1892 or 1893 from Silale,Lithuania

    Antanas was murdered at the age of 29 in 1902 leaving Marijona with 5 kids to care for…1 died and the rest had to go to orphanages.

    Her younger brother came over after here and studied at a Seminary and because the first Prelate of Lithuanian descent in 1924..Monsignor Mykolas Kruszas.
    Sadly Marijona killed herself in 1929 after losing both of her parents early in 1918 and her oldest son Felix J. Washakas in the Argonne forest 9 days before WWI ended.

    Okay now for the last name I am Washay…my Great Uncle Felix served as Washakas…He and his younger brother Alexander Paul were in the catholic orphanage as Washiekies.
    My Great grandpa Antanas died as Tony Washayko at Joliet Prison.. great grandma Marijona has this name on her gravestone at St. Casimir’s in Chicago…Vaszeikiene

    She was born Marijona Elizabeta Kruszas…

    What would the male version of this name be..or maybe even the correct version?

    Thanks so much!

    • Vašeikis is the likely correct version. It is pronounced as “Va-shey-kees”, so it’s not strange it would be transformed into “Washakas” which could be pronounced similarly in English (“Wa-shake-eys”).

      In the pre-WW1 era, it was usually the US immigration officials who wrote down the people’s names, so they wrote them down according to English orthography rules rather than the original-language orthography.

      Married female version of the Vašeikis last name would be Vašeikienė. Vaszeikiene is the same surname, but it uses Polish orthography (presumably, whoever wrote down the name was familiar with Polish orthography; besides, at the time, Polish orthography was sometimes used for Lithuanian language by Lithuanians as well, see example in this article: . This article also has more explanations of the married/unmarried versions of the Lithuanian female surnames).

      BTW, “Mykolas Kruszas” also uses the Polish orthography; in Lithuanian orthography, already the prevalent one when he was a prelate, it would be Mykolas Krušas.

  41. Hello!

    My grandfather was from Lithuania, so I’ve always been extremely curious about my ancestry. I had the pleasure to visit Vilna and Kláipeda last summer and that only made me want to find out more about my long lost family. I have a birth certificate and I know they were from a little province near Kaunas. I also know one of his brothers immigrated to either Pittsburg or Philadelphia, PA. Could you please send me information about the types of services you provide and the fees? I would love to connect the dots and learn more about where my maternal family comes from!

    • I am glad you are interested in your ancestry. We will contact you by e-mail address you provided. We may do an archive search, a genealogical scheme, we may also help with acquiring a Lithuanian citizenship or a residence permit (depending on the exact family history), we may be able to find the exact locations your forefathers lived at in Lithuania or at least the churches they went to (celebrated marriage) and so on.

      You may also freely check our sister projects on the Lithuanian sites in the USA to get the ideas on the possible locations where your forefathers may have went after emigration (Lithuanian churches, clubs, cemeteries, etc.). This is the map of the Lithuanian sites in the New England and Mid-Atlantic (including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas):

  42. Hello! Part of my family emigrated to the US from Suwalki (which became part of Poland in the late 1800s. Their surname was Gražulevičius. I am interested in finding their birth recordsd to build the family tree backward further. How do I start? I imagine that I would need to investigate church records, but we have no record of their parish affiliation. How might you be able to help? Any assistance would be appreciated! Thanks.

  43. Hello again,
    I have been doing some research and it is a needle in a haystack. I don’t have any idea where my Lithuanian family came from. I would safely assume they were not the ruling class and not very educated. The whole anglicizing of names is a road block.
    A name that seems to be sound is Frank Zigmontavage / Zigmund who married Mary Navitsky/Novitsky. Mary Navitisky’s mother was Katherine Sincavage, my great grandmother. I do have a small work bench that I was told belonged to my grandfather, which I suspect is Great Grandfather, Frank Zigmontavage’s father and a painted photo of Katherine Sincavages that was in an attic in St. Clair.
    My maternal Grandmother’s maiden name was Mary Navitsky. The family settle in Shoentown, St. Clair etc and My grant father was a Coal Miner who died young.

    What is interesting is that I may never know where they came from, one record on line says my Grand Mother was both in Russia. I suspect they didn’t know how to spell Lithuania . I have been watching many youtube videos on traveling in the nation and it has given me a sense of place which I never had. I may never know any specifics but I have gotten a sense of self by touring the country, even by train on line. I can see that Pennsylvania resembled home.

    Jerry Kott

    • PS. I mentioned the work bench, my great grandfather was a clog maker, and the bench I have was said to have used by him.

      • Likely original names would have been “Pranas Zigmantavičius”, “Marija Navickaitė” (male version: Navickas), “Kotryna Sinkevičūtė” (male version: Sinkevičius).

        Of course, in the original documents of those days even in Lithuania, they could have been spelled russified or polonized (e.g. “Zygmantowicz”) as Lithuania was not independent until 1918 and, before that, Russian Empire ruled Lithuania, so Russian was the political language and Polish was held by some (especially the nobility) to be the cultural language.

        The fact mentioned above often made it hard for immigrants to America to understand what are they asked by “orgin”. Their ethnicity would be Lithuanian, yet perhaps they thought they were asked for the independent country they were migrating from (if that happened before 1918). In that case, it could have been Russia (for Lithuania-proper) or Germany/Prussia (for Lithuania Minor, e.g. Klaipėda). It could also have been Poland, which was an autonomous part of Russian Empire that also covered parts of Lithuania (which is now known as Sudovia) and, in addition to that, some of the Lithuanians were Polonized enough to see the Polish culture as more prestigious to declare.

        As such, the origin that was given to the US authorities is often of limited use to tell if somebody was a Lithuanian, a Pole, a Russian, or a German. Things like religion, alignment to ethnic parishes, language used, political opinions are often more useful to determine that.

        • Thank you for taking the time to give a detailed response. I will just have to live with the thought that the Hay Stack just got bigger.

          Thank you for your time

          • Well, not much bigger. Based on the surnames and the fact you know them to have been Lithuanians, they nearly surely were. And, given the name “Russia” written, they were Lithuanians from the Russian Empire (and not Germany/Prussia). Which nearly always means Lithuanians from modern-day Lithuanian (excluding the Klaipėda region) or some areas close to it.

  44. Augustinas
    A point I always found interesting was that when I was a young man living in NYC, I would shop on the Lower East Side-Orchard Street. Many of the shop owners and staff were from Eastern Europe. They would always ask me if I were Lithuanian. I don’t know what physical characteristics I had that gave them the thought. When I receive my DNA results I was surprise. All my life I believe I had German Heritage from my fathers side-KOTT, the results showed no German at all but I recall 60% Eastern European.
    It is just so intriguing
    Thanks again for your insights

  45. Hello, I have been doing family history research and I’m not able to find anymore information on my family. My grandfather’s grandfather moved to America in 1901 in NY. I found his naturalization records online and it says he was born June 29, 1881 he came to America April 23, 1901 from Hamburg Germany to NY. He traveled to Hamburg from Kapsemiertis Lithuania. His name was Peter Paul Dumblawskas. He was married to Helena Marcuhourte. Thank you so much for your time.

    • Hi. The name of the town is Kapčiamiestis, the likely name of him “Petras Paulius Dumblauskas” or “Petras Povilas Dumblauskas”. The original name of her is less clear but may be “Elena Marčiūtė”. We may seek additional information in the Lithuanian archives, if needed.

    • Hi Jessica,

      My father is the son of Cecelia Damblawskas, the daughter of Peter and Helena. We have the birth registration for Cecelia and is signed by Peter and Helena. I would be very happy to know more and talk about what you have found and what we have found.

  46. I am interested in locating the church in Vilnius that my ancestors were married in. It is believed that they came to America in 1896. There names were Rozaljia Dzingelewski and Michael Lukaszewicz. As you can see that neither surname sounds as a Lithuania name should. However the childrens’ baptismal records always mention Vilnius as the parents place of origin. Are you capable of performing a genealogical search for the exact church they were married at or can you direct me elsewhere?

    • Yes, we are capable of looking at the records of a particular church on the particular years, unless such records do not survive (most do, however).

      However, as I understand, you do not know the particular church? If you do not, then we’d have to look at multiple church records as there were numerous churches in Vilnius for those years.

      We may send you our offer by e-mail.

  47. My wife’s grandfather Josef Blus (Bluvas?) was born in Lithuania.
    He was born in a town named Sanapile.
    I am unable to locate this town on a map Lithuania.
    Please help us find the current name or whatever became of Sanapile.
    Wish to contact any relatives in that area.

    • Sanapile is likely a mistyping of Senapilė (such mistypings were common at the time when there was no single standartized Lithuanian orthography, i.e. until 1920s). Senapilė, a.k.a. (russified) Starapolė, is one of the names previously applied to Marijampolė. Still, for example, a band in Marijampolė is called “Senapilė”.

  48. Labas!
    Both of our Grandparents were born and raised in Lithuania. Our Grandmother, Anna Kaleda (b.1892) was born in Kaunas and our Grandfather, Michael Vinskus, (b.1889) was born in Vilnius. Like many of those who have posted here, we can’t find any further information or records about them. I believe they were married in Lithuania and left for the US after that. My Grandfather immigrated first and my Grandmother immigrated 2 years later. My Grandmother never became a US citizen. Our grandfather however, was Naturalized. My two sisters and I are leaving for Lithuania in 5 days and are hoping to find records for them in Vilnius and Kaunas. I am beginning to believe we don’t have the proper spelling of their surnames. Any suggestions?

    • Both surnames do exist in Lithuania. “Kalėda” is, however, a male version (typically, once emigrated, Lithuanians would all use male version as the English language has no male-female versions of surnames). You may read more about the gender-versions of Lithuanian surnames here, at the Lithuanian names section. Female versions of Kalėda would be Kalėdaitė (unmarried, i.e. daughter of Kalėda) or Kalėdienė (wife of Kalėda). Vinskus is a possible surname, there are also other similar surnames, e.g. Venckus. Also please note that in those times they were born Lithuania was ruled by the Russian Empire, and so the archives are mostly in Russian language; Russians would often add arbitrary Russian endings to the surnames or Russify the names, e.g. Kalėda may be mentioned as “Kaledovski” or something like that (in Cyrillic alphabet). If you need any help in searching the archives, please contact us at .

      • Hi – I noticed your last name, Žemaitis. My 2 great grandmother’s was Marijuna Zemaite, married to Motiejus Blockis, living in Garliava, Kaunas at least when my great-grandfather was born in 1875. I know that my great-grandpa, Jonas Theodore Blockis, was in the US around 1886 when he was 11. Where does the last name originate from in Lithuania? Perhaps we’re actually connected!

        • Žemaitis name is somewhat common. In fact, the Žemaitis name itself means “Samogitian” – i.e. a person of the region of Samogitia (see ). However, my recent ancestors come from another region (Aukštaitija) where they lived since ~1800. I would assume that when Lithuanians were taking surnames, it would have been illogical for people in Samogitia to take surname Žemaitis as everyone else around was a Samogitian (i.e. a žemaitis) too. However, for the families of recent “migrants” from Samogitia to other regions, the “Žemaitis” surname would logically fit as it would help differentiate them from others in their new regions. Perhaps that was a history of my grandfather’s family as well. Given the surname’s meaning, ultimately, it is likely that all Žemaitis people have some origins in Samogitia but it may be multiple centuries ago.

  49. Where do I find location of birth certificate of former citizen of Memel, Crottingen?

    • Birth certificates of the former Klaipėda region (Memelland) are in the Lithuanian archives. Crottingen is now known as Kretingalė and its certificates are also in the Lithuanian archives.

  50. I need help tracing a great grandfather. He was Jewish, name Raphael Hertzberg and left in WW II. I am looking at getting an ancestry passport.

  51. Aleksandra Lebrikas was my grandmother and my grandfathers name was Jonas Greiciunas both escaped from the Russians.
    I would love to learn more

  52. Mary Dairutis was my grans name from slabada(slabadai) 1886 to scotland via new york although it says russia I believe it Lithuania any Kestulis as that’s in my treebut they made off for australia from southampton around 1912

  53. Hi. I am trying to find a village or town in Lithuania. On the ship 1910 manifest for Wincentas (William) Zilis (Zilius) his birthplace appears to be spelled “Budlurcze” or “Budlurge”, Russia. On the same manifest his father is listed as Julius Zilis from Telschu, Konov. On his WW1 draft registration he lists his place of birth as Bednotova, Russia.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    • “Telschu, Konov” would be “Apskritis of Telšiai, Governorate of Kaunas” – that is, administrative units of the Russian Empire which are now in Lithuania. If you mean the father hailed from “Bednotovo”, it is likely Bernotavas, which was in Apskritis of Telšiai at the time.

      Modern Lithuanian version of the name would be Vincentas Žilius, Julius Žilius.

      Do you know if the father and son should be from the same/similar locality or did they migrate somewhere from father’s birthplace before migrating to the USA? If they were in the same place, it would be useful to look what villages are around Bernotavas which has names sounding like “Budlurcze/Budlurge”.

      If you also want a Lithuanian archive search, we may provide such services.

  54. Mr. Zemaitis,

    Could you send us your info and fees for research on Lithuanian ancestry? Thank you!

    My husband’s name is Arunas Aloyzius Antakauskas. He was born in 1946 in a DP Camp named Oberlinnengen, GermanY. We know nothing about his parents except that they met on the run from Lithuania around the time of 1942, 43. His mother was Petronelle Sidlauskus and had a sister and her mother here in the USA prior to her arrival in 1949. We know absolutely nothing about his father other than he was born in Lithuania. His name was Vladas Antakauskas and he was born April 4, 1918.
    Could you send us info on your fees for research. Thank you so much!!

    • Thank you for contacting us regarding heritage research. We will send you information on our fees and services.

  55. Hello Augustinas,
    I was wondering if you could offer any guidance on finding information about families that were exiled from Lithuania to Siberia? My great, great grandfather’s family was exiled to Siberia by a czar sometime around the 1870-1880’s. My great, great grandfather, Teofilas Pratkelis, was possible born there also and later fought in Manchuria for Russia. His family was from the Ukmerge area in Lithuania and they eventually returned there.
    Thank you so much!

    • We may find information about them in Lithuanian archives. However, if you seek for the information on what they did while in Siberia, it will not be in the Lithuanian archives. Only the actions they did when in Ukmergė (births, marriages, deaths and such) could possibly be there.

  56. Hi Augustinas. I, too, am looking to obtain information about my great grandparents. Could I possibly send you their info via email? Thanks, Debby

  57. Mr. Zeimaitis,
    I just came across your website. I am going to be traveling to Lithuania in the very near future and will be meeting new relatives for the first time. I have met a cousin once when she visited the US about 10 years ago. She has insisted on personally taking me to visit sights throughout the country. Can you provide me with the proper etiquette for paying for lodging and meals? I didn’t really expect her to do this, but she insists.
    Secondly, I see many of the posts have questions regarding finding relatives. I will be traveling with relatives from my father’s side of the family but hope to visit Kalvarija, where my maternal grandmother is from. I don’t have much information on her but do you know if there is someplace there that would have documents such as birth records?
    I wish I had found this site sooner!

  58. Dear Augustinas Žemaitis,

    Hello, my name is James Brazas and I’m an American with Lithuanian ancestry. I’m trying to find both the meaning of my surname as well as the town where my great grandfather was born. I’ve seen our surname listed in old records both as Brazas and as Bražas. Does that surname mean anything?

    My great grandfather was Anton Joseph Brazas, born on September 28th, 1876, immigrated to the US in 1902, and died on January 23rd, 1956 in Cook County, Illinois in the USA. In his naturalization papers, he says he was born in “Luke, Lithuania.” He also says his last foreign residence was Lukiskis, Lithuania.

    Do you know where Luke or Lukiskis are? I found a Lukiškės Square in Vilnius and a Lukšiai town. So I assume he probably lived near or in Vilnius at some point, but I have no idea what he means simply by saying he’s from “Luke.”


    • Lukiškės used to be a suburb of Vilnius and now is firmly a part of Vilnius (it mostly was already by 1902, however, but still less understood as part of the city).

      There are other similar named areas, however, e.g. Lukiškis village near Kaišiadorys. Knowing the region would be beneficial.

      Luke is nearly certainly a misspelling. Misspellings were often. Many immigrants were illiterate, so officials would just write what they told and English and Lithuanian orthographies are greatly different so an English-speaking person generally could not write down correctly what a Lithuanian person says.

      Bražas has no obvious meaning to a modern ear.

      • Thank you very much! Well, I think the old family story was that we were from southern Lithuania. I’m not sure if that helps much since it looks like both Kaišiadorys and Vilnius are in the southern half of the country.

        Agreed about Luke. That’s clearly a misspelling. The trouble is I’m not sure what it was supposed to be. My great grandfather is listed as fully literate in English at least as early as World War I, but he probably wouldn’t have been able to fill out English language forms in 1902.

        Hm. That’s unfortunate that Brazas and Bražas have no clear meaning. My family always told me it was the same root word as Brazauskas, so I thought it might mean something.

        Thanks again for the insights!

  59. Hello,
    I am researching my husband’s family, who came from Simnas, Lithuania. I have date and place of birth and death. I have variations of how the name may have been spelled. He was born March 2, 1892 in Simnas. His name is Charles Bercunas (or possibly Kazys Berciunas) I am looking to see if I can find his parents’ names, and any further information. I have done extensive research on but I am stuck. Any tips as to how I should proceed?

  60. Good Afternoon,

    I have been researching my family history for quite sometime now but cant seem to find to much on my great grandparents whose names were “alana elena rolanitis raulinatis ravlentis born december 10th 1893 in jundeliszki, soviet union lithuania. and my great granpa “paul povalis peter simonaovicz simonavicius simonds born july 14th about 1885 in kaunoi lithuania. i dont know who there parents where either i cannot find hardly anything beyond them and ive searched and searched. they left hamburg germany around 1906 to come to america and arrived in new york about 1907 i am told. but anything further besides where they lived here in america and there death date i dont know much. i know they had a couple chidren but i did not meet my granpa my dads dad until i was about 18 and he died 5 years later so i did not learn much. any help would be greatly appreciated thanks so much.

    • What you written are different variants of he same name.

      Her real name was likely Elena Raulinaitytė (if that was her nee), while various anglicizations, russifications, polonizations of the name may have altered it. The real name of the village is Jundėliškės and the Soviet Union did not exist back then – it was the Russian Empire. See here about the Russian Empire era.

      His real name was likely Povilas Petras Simonavičius (again, with possible different variants in different languages), and his place of birth was either Kaunas city or anywhere else in the Kaunas region (if there is anothe word written next to “Kauno” especially).

      We may help you offering the services of checking the Lithuanian archives, if needed. There, it may be possible to find out who their parents were.

  61. Hello, I am looking to locate my g/mother’s family. I asked her one what part of Lithuania she was from and she said Vilnius. On her marriage certificate is listed her last name as Andrejauskas. I’m not sure if that was really her name.
    Let me explain.
    My mother always told us the story that when my g/mother came here she used someone else’s passport and ticket. It was around 1913 or 1914. Whether or not that was her real last name or the person she bought the ticket from is a mystery. My g/mother could neither read nor write. She did have a neighbor named Mildred Polunus. Spelling could be Pilunus, Polonis, Palionis, or Palionius. Mildred could read and write, and did so to her family in Lithuania. MIldred would also ask her family how my g/mother’s family was and would deliver messages to and from them. Mildred is probably the best link I have to my g/mother’s family.
    Would you be able to help me find where Mildred’s family is from, and maybe the Andrejauskas family too?
    Please email me with the cost of the information.

  62. Good afternoon,

    I just recently found out that my family is coming from Lithuania. I was searching for the last name “Tsineman”, and found some information on what looks like an extended family that was living in Kaunas (sometimes written as Tsinenman, or Cinemaneite). The date of the revision was in 1898. Other Tsinemans were sometimes indicated as living in Jonava or belonged to “Vilijampole Jewish Community”. Is it possible to find out more? Did they move out of Lithuania during the WWI, or did they stayed? Maybe there are photos or any other records in the system about them? I would be grateful if you can provide me with any additional information on my ancestors.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Vilijampolė is essentially the same as Kaunas. It is now a part of Kaunas, although back then it was considered a separate town, a kind of Jewish suburb of Kaunas, separated only by a river from Kaunas downtown. See .

      It may be possible to check the archives to see if they have any details regarding their activities in Lithuania after World War 1 (i.e. passports, emigration documents, marriages in the family, etc.). We may offer such services. There are times when you could find passports with photos (from post-WW1) period, however, in general, photography was still quite rare in Lithuania back then, especially before WW1, so there are few photos in the archives and if there are, it is often impossible to tell who are the people who are pictured. Therefore, while theoretically possible, I think it is quite unlikely to find photos of them.

  63. I am interested in researching my paternal great-grandparents, all of Lithuanian descent, who settled in Plymouth, PA in the late 1800’s.
    Please send me information regarding your services.
    Thank you!

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