Lecture descriptions Angela Sinickas, FEEFHS 2021

Lithuanian Research (Russian track)

Lithuanian genealogical records abound, but unlocking them requires the key to understanding why the same family surname might be written in a variety of ways for different family members or in different centuries. This class provides simple, clear explanations and lots of tips on how to try alternate spellings when doing searches of indexed databases for Lithuanian genealogy.


This class covers:

  • How language, calendars, history, and geography affect where and how to look for your Lithuanian ancestors' records.
  • How Lithuanian is completely unlike the languages of most nearby countries that speak Slavic, Germanic or Scandinavian languages.
  • How a belated changeover from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1918 may affect the birthdates of your ancestors.
  • How Lithuania's very late Christianization process, starting in 1386, means there were no church records before then, other than rare Russian Orthodox conversions.
  • In what years the records you're searching for might be written in Latin, Polish, German, Russian, or Lithuanian.
  • In which archives besides Lithuania's you might find your Lithuanian ancestors' records due to changing borders after wars were fought.
  • Why and how the endings on Lithuanian surnames are different for males, married females, and unmarried females in the same family, and why the endings will also be different depending on the position of the name in a church record.
  • How modern-day spellings of Lithuanian names may be different from the way those names were spelled in the past, or spelled by the Polish and German officials who wrote down what they heard illiterate peasants say were their names.
  • How to easily tell apart unfamiliar male and female first names in Lithuanian.
  • How to correct for mistakes that may have been made by indexers when you're searching databases.


If you have Lithuanian ancestors but don't speak Lithuanian, this class is a must-not-miss before trying to find your ancestors' names in a variety of archives.