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Genealogy of Lithuania


Genealogy of Lithuania

A kind of 'digital library' and 'strategy center' for those tracing ancestries in and from present-day Lithuania. I've created Discussion forums based on geographies, as this is the only part of GW where you can reply to each other!  Here's a quick jump to all the discussion forums, otherwise, scroll through all the resources until you get to them.

Members: 163
Latest Activity: Jul 7, 2021

Below are some general tips, processes, sites, etc. for doing research. For state-specific or country-specific links, tips and discussions, please scroll down to the appropriate Discussion Forum.

A nice big Map of Lithuania. Lithuania is divided into 10 counties: Telsiai, Taurage, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Panevezys, Vilnius, Utena, Siauliai, Alytus and Marijampole. Here's a Wikipedia page of the counties of Lithuania.

Message Boards:
The Lithuanian Genealogy Group on Yahoo: fast-paced, informative, helpful.
Lithuanian Genealogy message board on RootsWeb.
Lithuania on Ancestry
Lithuania (Scandinavian and Baltic States) on Ancestry
Ethnic Race Lithuania on Ancestry
The Lithuanian group on GenForum
"Little Lithuania" genealogy message board on Network 54.
The Lithuanian Global Genealogical Society has a good database of Lithuanian cemetery burials in the USA, among other resources.

Words and Language!
A Lithuanian-English Dictionary (Volume I) from 1915 that you can download an a PDF file. Just click on the 'PDF' under the blue 'Read this Book' button. Here's Volume II, but it's only viewable online.

If you make the jump to searching for records in Lithuania, you might bump up against documents in Russian, Polish and Latin, in addition to Lithuanian.  Further, the Russian may be in cursive!  The sane thing would be to have a professional researcher find and translate these, but for the brave among us, the Steve Morse site does have a tool that changes Russian cyrillic print to cursive.

Ordering a Social Security Application (USA)
Online Form to request a Social Security application for an ancestor. You want the "Original Application", not the "Computer Extract". Alternatively, you can print off the form and mail it snail mail to the SSA.

Naturalizations (USA)

Basically Naturalizations are broken down to those that occurred before Sept. 27, 1906, and those after. For the former, you will probably need to contact the courthouse for the county in which the person applied for citizenship, or the State Archives. For the latter, you should seek information from the National Archives in Washington, DC (or one of it's satellite locations)

To order Naturalization papers online from the National Archives, you should have the following minimum information on your ancestor:
state in which naturalization occurred

} name of the petitioner
} country of origin
} city and county of residence at time of naturalization
} approximate year of birth
This is the main page for Requesting Reproductions from the National Archives. Naturalization paperwork is a steal, at just $7.50.
The Footnote site has some naturalization records online, but don't get your hopes up. You can search without becoming a member.

An excellent primer on Naturalization papers, including what info can be found depending on when the papers were filed. This is the main page for USA & Canada; be sure to click on "USA" for MUCH more information. And from there, there are links for individual state info at the bottom of the page.
A guide to finding Naturalization papers for your ancestor.

Making use of the LDS Family History Centers before you attempt the Vilnius Archives
Search the catalog by location (assuming you know it) to find what records they've microfilmed. Then make your way to the Family History Learning Center nearest you. If they don't already have the microfilm you want, for a nominal fee, you can order a copy to build your local Center's library. This is especially useful for older records (before 1900), as the LDS are prohibited from filming records in Lithuania these days (at least Catholic ones).

The Archives in Vilnius
Persons searching for information about their or their relatives’ birth, death or marriage (certificates from church and civil vital records books) should apply to:
Lithuanian State Historical Archives
Address: Gerosios Vilties g. 10,
LT 03134 Vilnius, Lithuania
Telephone: +370 5 213 7482
Fax: +370 5 213 7612

Persons searching for other information, such as passports and military service, should apply to:
Lithuanian Central State Archives
Address: O. Milašiaus 21,
LT 10102 Vilnius, Lithuania
Telephone: +370 5 247 7811
Fax: +370 5 276 5318

The Archives in Latvia
You may find that your ancestors spent some time in Latvia, either for work, or as part of a protracted migration. The Latvian Archives have very extensive Genealogical Records (titled Raduraksti) (birth, marriage, death), organized by date and location. There is an English interface, however, there is no ability to search by name, and the records are in cursive Russian, so translation may be an issue.

To the USA:
The Steve Morse site is perhaps the most used search engine anywhere, though some of the data base it accesses are on Ancestry and require a membership.
Before there was Ellis Island (1892), there was Castle Garden. If your ancestor came through New York before 1892, you should search here.
Searching Ellis Island's site directly might bring up names missed in transcriptions to other sites.

The Bremen Passenger Lists from 1920-1939, from Bremen to the USA, England, South America, Portugal, Spain, etc.

Lithuanian Directories: Includes landlines and cell phones. Has an English-language option, click on "EN" in the upper right corner.

For the Lithuanian language, here's some help:
"Telefonu knyga" is literally "book of telephone numbers". It does not provide listings of cell phones.
"Pavarde" means "Surname"
"Vietove" is "Locality" or "District"
"Bet kuri" means any of the localities in the list
"Ies^koti" is "Search"
"Apibendrinta paies^ka" is a general search, and "Detali paies^ka" is an advanced or detailed search, i.e., by given name, street name, etc., which I do not use since it does not focus so much on the genealogical or historical considerations that I'm primarily interested in and does focus more on locating listings for present-day

The list of districts under the little arrow to the right of the box entitled "Vietove" refers to a list of districts (rajonai) that one can search by clicking on the arrow, rather than the entire country.
Since it is a telephone directory, i.e., a directory or list by family name or surname, it can only be searched by surname, not by town or village name or by given name.

g. = gatve, street (the street number follows the street name)
k. = kaimas, village
m. = miestas, town or city
mstl. = miestelis, small town
raj. = rajonas, district (compare to the English word "region")
sen. = seniunija, eldership or elderate, an administrative division larger than a town or city, but smaller than a rajonas. Perhaps, like a township or burough. Sometimes paired with "miestas" to mean something like an area inside a city.
pas^. = pas^tas, post office
The endings "-o", "-u", "-aus", "-os" all indicate the possessive case, meaning "of or belonging to" as in the phrase "city of Vilnius" = "Vilniaus miestas".

Lithuanian Post Office site to find postal codes for sending mail to Lithuania.


Roman Catholic Churches and Records in Lithuania

There's a link for churches by town out there somewhere, and when I find it I'll put it here.

Some birth, marriage and death records have been digitized at Epaveldas.  You'll find that they may be in cursive Russian, Polish or Latin (see Words and Language, above).  There is a list of which churches in which towns have been scanned (in Lithuanian) which you can find here.  It's like playing the might get lucky!  The search interface itself does have an English version (on the blue bar, all the way to the right).  In the third field for "Subjects and keywords", type in "metriku" for the metrical books, and the name of the village, town or city from the list of churches.

Resources for Researching Jewish Lithuanian Ancestors:

There are many, many books addressing Lithuanian Jews in general. This list is from GoogleBooks.
Photos and history of sites of Jewish heritage in Lithuania, including: synagogues, cemeteries, schools and the Chaim Frenkel Palace.
International tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany has records on about 17 million persons (e.g., Holocaust victims and survivors as well as displaced persons (DPs)).

Meanings of Lithuanian Names
A database of surname origins (link is dead, don't think it will ever be back online)
A good listing & explanation of Lithuanian first names.
A list of MALE given names
A list of FEMALE given names

Social Networking sites I've used to find living relatives in other countries:
Facebook- primarily in English, but there are a lot of younger folks worldwide as members
Frype- popular in the Baltics, membership is by invite only. I got an invite from my cousin in Lithuania.
Orkut- if you have relatives in Brazil whose ancestors came from Lithuania, this is a must. There are quite a few groups about Lithuanian Genealogy there. I even found a group for my family.
Naza-Klasa- this is primarily Polish (and in Polish), but depending upon where your family was from (i.e. the Lithuanian-Polish border), it might be useful.

Discussion Forum

In Lithuania: Klaipeda County

Started by Richie C.. Last reply by marla jacques Oct 14, 2019. 8 Replies

Klaipeda county, on the Baltic Sea, is made up of two cities, Klaipeda and Palanga, and five municipalities: Klaipeda m., Kretinga m., Neringa, Skuodas m., and Silute m. If your families come from this region, or you just have questions about this…Continue

Contacting the Archives in Vilnius: Instructions, Experiences, Pitfalls

Started by Richie C.. Last reply by Anthony Lumbis Jul 25, 2018. 26 Replies

There will likely come a time that the only logical next step in your research is to contact the Archives in Vilnius. There are smaller Archives in other cities, but by and large, all surviving records have been moved from churches and…Continue

From Lithuania to Scotland

Started by Colin White. Last reply by Colin White Jun 19, 2018. 8 Replies

Hi,     This is my first post to Genealogy Wise. I'm interested in tracing as much information as I can about my Grandparents, who came from Lithuania to Glasgow around 1905.They very possibly came from Sunskai in the Suwalki Region, and birth dates…Continue

Tags: Scotland, Lithuania

The Elusive Village in the Old Country: How can I discover it?

Started by Richie C.. Last reply by Richie C. Mar 27, 2018. 26 Replies

Probably the biggest frustration is finding out what village your people came FROM in Lithuania...assuming you know their real surname, of course. How do you go about figuring it out if there's no one left to ask? What strategies, resources, etc. do…Continue

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Genealogy of Lithuania to add comments!

Comment by Sherri S on November 18, 2010 at 12:28am
Congratulations on the 100th member! I am sad to say that work has kept me from using the resources you have posted but hope to do so around Christmas when I am off. Thank you for your time and effort!
Comment by Heather on October 4, 2010 at 8:45pm
Thanks so much, Robert! I appreciate any help that I can get.

I just sent you a friend request. I will send it as soon as possible.
Have a safe trip down south and enjoy!

Thanks again!
Comment by Robert Michelson on October 4, 2010 at 7:19pm

A copy of the letter would be a great help. There are ways of finding small towns as well as large ones on the internet. If you could scan a legible copy, I could give it a try. Might be a couple of weeks as I am a snow bird and closing my northern house and moving south in the next few days. E-mail will be disabled for a while.
Comment by Heather on October 4, 2010 at 5:07pm
Thanks for accepting my request to join the group, Richie!

I'm praying that someone out here could help me.

I am so fortunate to have been given a copy of a detailed letter written to my great-uncle (my Grandfather's brother) about his family in Lithuania, and it's all in English! If only I knew what to do with it...I cannot make out the name of the town that the cousin states in the letter. She mentions of a couple of the uncles either staying there, and/or going back to Lithuania to a farm that was in the family. There is the possibility of having living relatives over there, but again, I cannot make out the name of the town and I wouldn't even know how to begin to find them. Our surname has been: Aleksandrowicz, Alexander, Alek or Aleck. We were told it was Alexandravich, but I'm not sure if that was for pronunciation reasons, or not.

I cannot locate my great-grandfather's (Antoni Aleksandrowicz) immigration record in order to get a location hint, but I do have his marriage record from 1912 which would put his birth around 1880 and it was in Russia at the time. He was a baker in the city of Boston/Charlestown.

I was wondering if anyone out here would know if the Aleksandrowicz surname was/is common to one or two certain areas in Lithuania, and what would I do to see if I can locate this family farm and relatives?

I'm happy to share the letter with anyone who may be interested.

Thanks so much!
Comment by Gloria Weber Baikauskas on June 27, 2010 at 1:39pm
I joined Facebook to use it for genealogy purposes. I sent messages to those with my Lithuanian surnames asking if they knew the town, or people....the information that I had. A few replied finally breaking down for us where our Tverkus family was from. They generously offered to go to the village and check the cemetery and church records for us.
Comment by Chrystine Jordan on January 29, 2010 at 6:46am
Thankyou Richie. I actually found Diana on Facebook. She emailed her address to me, but it was written as a sentence with no postal code included. Her english is not very good, so I thought I might have more luck posting my question here. Thankyou for your help!
Comment by Richie C. on January 28, 2010 at 11:22am
I'll take a stab at it. Where did you find her address? I didn't see it in the Lithuanian Phone directories. Anyways, it should probably read:

"Her Name"
Mindaugo g. 19-7
Vilnius m.
Respublika Lietuvos

Your message said Mindaugo "Street", so that would be g. for gatve, and the house number comes after the street name. I'm guessing Vilnius to mean the city of Vilnius since no other location is given, so that would be Vilnius m. for miestas, meaning city or town.

There's a link on the main page above to find postal codes in Lithuania by address. The site is in English. And it did pull up Mindaugo gatve in Vilnius city.
Comment by Chrystine Jordan on January 28, 2010 at 10:45am
Good Morning Everyone
I have a question and although I am not sure that this is the best place to post it, I am hoping that someone will be able to help. I have found a woman in Vilnius Lithuania who has the same last name as my great grandmother ( Deimontaite). I would like to send her a letter and some pictures but I am unsure how to address the envelope! The information that I have to work with is Mindaugo Street 19-7 Vilnius, Lithuania. What do I do with that? Is there a zip code? Thankyou for any help you can provide.
Comment by Tom S. on January 24, 2010 at 3:52pm

My guess is that the village of Sindriunai is too far north for that Glinskas line to be connected to the one in Padovinys.

You're right about the Kaunas surname, there are at least 53 listings of males with that surname in the Lithuanian on-line phone directory.

Tom S.
Comment by Saul Anuzis on January 24, 2010 at 1:15pm

Here is what I have from the Glinskis family:

Angelas Glinkis
b. 20.Feb.1923 Sindriunai, Lithuania

married: 1955 in Kaunas to

Velerija Krisiukenaite
b: 10.Dec.1920 Kiliskiai, Lithuania

Angelas parents are Benediktas Glinskis & Liuda Morkunaite

Agelas has two children: Gabija & Rimvydas Danius...both born in Kaunas.

Kaunas is actually a surname as well. Not confusing, huh:)

Let me know if that might be a relative. Glinskis cousins are in CT, Pesys.


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