European Ancestors – Researching in Lithuania

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Lithuania gained its independence after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990. Lithuania has a population of around 3 million people. The official language is Lithuanian, but also spoken is Polish and Russian.

Records of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania between 1765 and 1784 were written in Polish before the second partition of Poland, and records written after 1782 in Russian.

The Lithuanian State Historical Archives holds material from the 13th Century up until 1918 when the Declaration for Independence was made.

Here the records of state institutions, religious communities, popular organisations and families are held. Also in this archives material also reflect the history of Russia, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia and other countries.

At the moment, the archive reports that it holds in excess  of 1,360 million items that have been preserved. That is a phenomenal amount given how much turmoil the country has historical experienced.

The Archive advises that documents they hold are in 8 major record sets:

  • Documents of the various offices of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania dating back to 15th–18th Centuries
  • Records of offices and organisations of Vilnius, Kaunas and Suvalkai Governorates of Russian Empire, and records of commissions responsible for the liquidation of offices to be evacuated to the Soviet Russia (1792–1918)
  • Records of offices in Lithuania relating to the period of occupation by German Empire (1915–1918)
  • Records of confessional institutions and communities operating in Lithuania between 15th–20th Centuries
  • Records of private persons and families  from 15th Century until 1941
  • Documents collections between 15th and 20th Centuries
  • Collections of microfilms of documents and collections of digital images of documents between 13th and 20th Centuries
  • Civil vital records from 1940–15 August 2007

Also maintained are the vital record books for birth, marriage and death of the different religious communities and churches of today’s Lithuania dating up to 1940 and civil registration records up to 2008 year; documents about the nobility of different families from Vilnius ( Vilno ), Kaunas ( Kovno ) and Augustavas Gubernias.

There is no computer data-base in the archives, meaning that searches are being undertaken by hand.

As you might expect, there are some restrictions on access to more recent records. Article 20, part 5 of Law on Documents and Archives for the Republic has laid out fixed restrictions on access to the documents which contain information on person’s private life, as well as to structured sets of personal data 30 years after the person’s death. In the event of failing to determine the date of death a term of 100 years from his birth is imposed.  If neither the date of birth nor the date of death of a person is determined, the access shall be limited for a term of 70 years from the creation of the documents.

There is also material in the special archives relating to individuals who were identified as being convicted for political purposes. Deportation of individuals to remote areas of the former USSR, German deportation during the Second World War. Filtering of individuals who were identified as permanently living outside of Lithuania. Also are records relating to the mandatory military service under the Soviets from 1944 to 1990. A list of Roman Catholic church records that have been digitised can be found HERE.

Posted in European Ancestors, Lithuania | Leave a comment

European Ancestors – Italian American Podcast

Italian American PodcastGenealogy is so much more than names and dates. Researching our ancestry is about understanding the locations, cultures and traditions that affected the lives of our ancestors.

To be successful at researching European ancestors you will need to put your European ancestors into the context of their Country during their time

In late 2016 I  became aware that this podcast series The Italian American Podcast had been launched in 2015. Sadly it took me until July 2016 to listen to the backlog and now I try to listen as each edition is released and if I don’t manage it then I binge listen!

For those researching their Italian genealogical links from a United States perspective this is a great interesting resource and even though my Italian links came to the United Kingdom, some did leave Sutera and head to the US, it is a fascinating insight into the Italian cultural experience.

Posted in European Ancestors, Genealogy, Italy, Podcasts | Leave a comment

Memorial – Kings Cross Station

In my last post I shared my Harry Potter experience on the way into Kings Cross. On the way out of Kings Cross I spotted the memorial to the men who perished in the First and Second World Wars who worked for the Railways.

The photographs are copyrighted to me, but if you click on the image you can read the list of names easily and likely download a copy. If you do so and then use the images, please cite me as the owner and do let me know as I may well share that on social media.

Posted in Genealogy, Memorials | 2 Comments

Harry Potter and Platform 9 3/4 – #50Before50

It was by pure chance that I was able to tick off another #50Before50 item. Last year I confirmed that I would happily speak at the Society of Genealogists again, on the subject of European Ancestors. Trains from my part of England arrive at Kings Cross station and then I realised that I was within easy reach of the Harry Potter and Platform 9 3/4 shop.

IMG_1196

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2019

IMG_4987

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2019

The shop is actually way to small for the amount of visitors it gets which includes visitors from around the world. I heard Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Italian and French being spoken and of course English. Outside there is a trolley going into the wall, just as the scene in the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter film 1). There was a huge queue to have a photo taken at the trolley, a queue that is likely never ending. I grabbed a photo between people. What is bizarre is that having had the photograph taken by the “official” photographer you do not even have to purchase it.

IMG_4994

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2019

I managed to squeeze between the people, mostly adults from my two visits to the shop (one on the way into London and one on the way out!). There was a delightful little girl crying because there was a small stuffed toy of Harry’s owl on the floor and she thought it was hurt – cute! and she had the loveliest brown curly hair. I smiled as I walked past as her Dad was trying to explain that it was not real, which I think made the cries louder!

Like all these types of places, the merchandise is pricey, but if you purchase what you actually will use then I am, at least in my case, happy with that. I purchased a magnet for my filing cabinet and a bookmark. Hubby purchased a pen and notepad.

The bookmark was put to use as I began reading one of the two books on the way home that I purchased at the Society of Genealogists bookshop, making use of my member discount. I was rather pleased with my strategic purchasing!

Posted in #50Before50 | 1 Comment

European Ancestors – Italian Bibliography

Italian Flag

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Transferred from the European Ancestors site is my Italian-bibliography which was created from a series of scraps of paper, post it notes and a typed list of books. I  merged the details together into the document linked above.

The list of books is not exhaustive. It is reflective on books titles that I have come across; and are either  general research guides in terms of Italians or Catholics, or about specific areas.

My own particular interest is in Italian migration to Surrey post Second World War and in the Sicilian village of Sutera. This might even be out of date, as I have added more to my Italian collection; I will update the document when I have a chance.

Posted in European Ancestors, Italy | Leave a comment

Family Tree Magazine 2019 – Surname Research Series

FTM June 2019In the May 2019 issue, the surname series continues with us looking at using a Non-British surname as the basis for a One-Name Study.

Readers of this blog will know that I am half Sicilian and have the Italian surname Orlando registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies.

Even though the Pharos Introduction course to One-Name Studies tends to have the majority of focus on surnames with a British background I am finding that more and more people are sharing their European genealogy and registering those surnames.

Meanwhile, I am still recovering from the backlog which built up whilst I was at #FamilyTreeLive and have a number of posts to share in the coming week.

Posted in Family Tree Magazine (UK) Surname Series (2019), Genealogy, One-Name Studies | Leave a comment

Introduction to Surname Research and One-Name Studies #FamilyTreeLive

Intro to ONS - Slide ImageHas it really been a week since #FamilyTreeLive? where does the time go?

My part of the show kicked off with a session on the Society of Genealogy help desk, I then held a workshop focusing on researching in Europe titled Routes into Europe where we focused in a short and concise manner the issues of researching in Continental Europe. My talk at the Society of Genealogists in a few weeks will go into more detail. If you are interested, please click HERE.European Wordcloud

My copyrighted slides and handout will be available on the Family Tree Magazine website in the next few days, but in the meantime, as promised, I have emailed them to the people that attended the lecture and asked me to email them.

The workshop delegates already have their copies, but I have also made them available via Family Tree Magazine.

I shall be back later with some thoughts from the event itself.

Posted in #FamilyHistoryLive, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Presentations | Leave a comment

Society of Genealogists – Half day lecture – Tracing your European Ancestors: East & West

halfday-278x178

Image courtesy of the Society of Genealogists, London

I will be at the Society of Genealogists in London talking about Tracing European Ancestors: East and West on Saturday 18th May 2019.

The history of Britain is full of stories about people arriving from Europe. Often they came as refugees, with few possessions. So, many of us face the challenges of tracing our ancestors back across a continent, frequently riven with war, famine and revolution.

Session 1: In this session I deliver a broad overview of research in Europe. A continent spanning more than 30 countries, subjected to wars, political unrest and border changes. Europe is a Continent with many languages, cultures and religions, all of which play a part in family history research.

I focus on:

  • The obstacles and pitfalls you may encounter;
  • The major historical events that have had a marked effect on family history, especially the impact of the world wars and regional conflicts, border changes and movements of populations;
  • The concept of researching European surnames and how it might link into European DNA projects.

Session 2: In this session I describe the key resources, some well-known and others less so, for researching European ancestry. They enable you to explore ancestral and family history sites. But they are also great resources for embracing the cultural, social, economic and political lives of your European ancestors.

I will cover:

  • How to research in the historical context of the time;
  • How to put your people in their place in their time;
  • Why this is vital to your successful European research;
  • How to bring your ancestors to life so that they become more than just names.

There are still some spaces left and you can book HERE

Posted in European Ancestors, Genealogy, Presentations | Leave a comment

European Ancestors

European AncestorsOver the course of the last few months I have been pondering on some genealogical housekeeping. That includes my blogging platform and website. I have already gradually merged another blog into this one and as that was relatively painless, I have decided to merge into this blog my European Ancestor posts from their current site to a category on this site, which you can find HERE.

The material will stay online at the old site, but the domain name which I will retain will point to the European Ancestors Category. Over the next few weeks you will therefore see a small flurry of material posted as that migration takes place.

Once the migration is complete there will be more frequent posts as I share additional material and European research material.

 

Posted in Books, DNA & Surname Projects, European Ancestors, Genealogy, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Presentations | Leave a comment

A-Z Challenge 2019 – Websites & Online Study Presence

AtoZ2019WBefore the internet those researching a specific study largely did so via a series of written methods. As we entered into a digital modern age websites were for large organisations. Over time the scope for websites and online presence expanded and expanded and as a result a good many Guild of One-Name Studies members have some form of online presence.

Initially, those that joined the Guild could have a profile page and that was akin to a website presence. It enabled members to have a platform that advertised and shared information about their study. Profile pages, like studies themselves come in all shapes and sizes. Some members have very detailed profiles, such as this one for the Baldacchino Study and personally I would like to see all members aspire to this level of detail, myself included! The Orlando Profile is HERE and the Butcher Profile is HERE.

Members are limited by only their imaginations for the scope of the material that can be included on the surname profile. If you look at both of my profile pages above you will see there is a difference between my own studies. At some point in the coming weeks I will write a few posts about creating a Profile page and how those profile pages will evolve over time.

The Members’ Website Project is one of the Guild benefit’s that I adore! These sites are hosted on the Guild website, as a way of preserving, publishing and sharing information about a study. Anyone who has undertaken the Pharos course in the last few years will know that I love the benefit offered to Guild members, at no cost (unless a member opts for a TNG site in which case the licence is around $33 USD) providing a website and yet still enabling the member to work upon their study and achieve the material at the same time. It does not matter how much material you have already, in fact I personally think it is better to have little rather than be in my position and have almost three decades of material to digitise.

Other options are for Facebook groups and pages for a study, or a Twitter feed. Some members opt for a blog structure and a number of members have all of the above! Whatever method you choose be sure to consider all the options. Top Tip – Don’t leave it until the last minute to start a website. The more paper and files you have the harder it will be to get going!

Posted in A-Z Challenge 2019 - Tips, Tools & Starting Surname Research Series, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course | Leave a comment