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Lithuanian Roman Catholic (RC) Ancestor Search Information

Lithuanian RC Ancestor Search Process

​5.  Find Ancestors and Relatives in Online Registers of Lithuanian RCCs


Outline
  • Find U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor in Birth (Baptism) Register of Ancestor's Birth Parish
  • About the Search Sequence to Find More Ancestors and Relatives in Registers of Lithuanian RCCs
  • Find Ancestors and Relatives in Marriage Registers of Lithuanian RCCs
  • Find Ancestors and Relatives in Birth Registers of Lithuanian RCCs
  • Find Ancestors and Relatives in Death Registers of Lithuanian RCCs
  • Added Problems When Searching in the Older (Latin-Language-Era) Parish Registers


Find U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor in Birth (Baptism) Register of Ancestor's Birth Parish

The first step is to find the actual birth record of the U.S. immigrant ancestor, which will have information about the ancestor's parents and will thereby enable a search for more ancestors and family members.  At this point, you will have collected as much information as possible about the ancestor from other sources, and have determined whether the registers of the immigrant ancestor's birth parish are online. If they are online, and you are going to start the search on your own, the information on this web page will give you an idea of how to proceed. Although this page talks about online searches, it would be typical of the process followed by a Lithuanian genealogy researcher to search contemporary registers that are not online.  If the immigrant Lithuanian ancestor's birth date is after 1850 and before WWI, it is expected that the ancestor's birth record will be in handwritten Russian ("Old Russian").  An example search is described on the Search in 1848-WWI Russian-Language Birth Registers page of this website.



About the Search Sequence to Find More Ancestors and Relatives in Registers of Lithuanian RCCs


Once you have found the birth record of the U.S. immigrant Lithuanian ancestor, the next step is to search the birth, marriage and death registers of the ancestor's birth parish to find other records of his/ her family and ancestors. The immigrant ancestor's birth record is the base of reference for all family and relatives found from this point forward, so you need to be confident that the birth record you found is actually that of the immigrant ancestor. If the appropriate registers of the immigrant ancestor's birth parish still exist, it is probable that you will find more ancestors in that parish. This probability exists because, in general, people (and especially "peasants") didn't move around much in 18th-century/ 19th-century "Lithuania"; they tended to live in the same general area for generations. In cases where they did move, it is likely that they didn't move far, so your search for a specific ancestor might eventually be shifted to a nearby RC parish. [Using parish registers, you can probably find successive generations of ancestors back to around the year 1800.  Earlier parish registers exist, but they often are illegible or lack important detail.]


The typical primary objective would be to find the names of as many generations of direct ancestors as possible, and to find when and where they were born, when and where they were married, and when and where they died. The typical secondary objective would be to find the same information about the siblings of the direct ancestors.  The reason to find the records of the siblings is that those records might help to correct any erroneous information that is in the records of the direct ancestors. [The birth record of my U.S. immigrant Lithuanian maternal grandmother had the wrong maiden name of her mother but the birth records of her siblings had the correct maiden name of the mother.]  If all of the parish registers were available to search and none of the records contained errors or omissions, I think that one would first search the marriage registers to learn the names of as many generations of direct ancestors as are available; and then search the birth and death records of the direct ancestors beginning with the ancestor's parents and then for each subsequent generation for which records are available. After that, one could search for the siblings, beginning with the siblings of the ancestor. 



Find Ancestors and Relatives in Marriage Registers of Lithuanian RCCs


If all of the marriage registers of the U.S. immigrant Lithuanian ancestor's birth parish were available for you or a researcher to search, the typical sequence would be as follows:

  • Search for Marriage Record of Ancestor's Parents [If found, this marriage record would probably have the names of the Ancestor's Grandparents]
  • Search for Marriage Records of Ancestor's Grandparents [If found, these 2 marriage records would probably have the names of the Ancestor's 4 Great-Grandparents]
  • Search for Marriage Records of Ancestor's Great-Grandparents [If found, these 4 marriage records would probably have the names of the Ancestor's 8 Great-Great-Grandparents]
  • Search for Marriage Records of Ancestor's Great-Great-Grandparents [If found, these 8 marriage records would probably not have the names of any of the Ancestor's Great-Great-Great-Grandparents]


During one of the above searches, you might find a record that says the groom or bride was from another named RC parish. In such cases, you would typically need to search for any earlier records of that ancestor in the registers of that other parish.


The following pages of this website provide descriptions of the typical search for an ancestor in an online marriage register:



Find Ancestors and Relatives in Birth Registers of Lithuanian RCCs


​If all of the birth registers of the U.S. immigrant Lithuanian ancestor's birth parish were available for you or a researcher to search, the typical sequence would be as follows:

  • Search for Birth Records of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor.
  • Search for Birth Records of Siblings of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor.
  • Search for Birth Records of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Parents.
  • Search for Birth Records of Siblings of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Parents.
  • Search for Birth Records of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Grandparents.
  • Search for Birth Records of Siblings of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Grandparents.
  • Search for Birth Records of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Great-Grandparents.
  • Search for Birth Records of Siblings of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Great-Grandparents.

Of the above, the searches for birth records of siblings of ancestors can be postponed or omitted, but those records might have helpful information, or even enable a connection to a published family tree. Finding the records of the siblings of one's direct ancestors is often of help in resolving the inconsistent, omitted, and erroneous entries that are sometimes found in the records of one's direct ancestors.


During one of the above searches, you might find a record with an added notation that says the baptized child was later married on an identified date in another named RC parish.


The following pages of this website provide descriptions of the typical search for an ancestor's record in an online birth register:



Find Ancestors and Relatives in Death Registers of Lithuanian RCCs


​If all of the death registers of the U.S. immigrant Lithuanian ancestor's birth parish were available for you or a researcher to search, the typical sequence would be as follows:

  • Search for Death Records of Siblings of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor.
  • Search for Death Records of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Parents.
  • Search for Death Records of Siblings of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Parents.
  • Search for Death Records of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Grandparents.
  • Search for Death Records of Siblings of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Grandparents.
  • Search for Death Records of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Great-Grandparents.
  • Search for Death Records of Siblings of the U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Great-Grandparents.

Of the above, the searches for death records of siblings of ancestors can be postponed or omitted. Finding the records of the siblings of one's direct ancestors is often of help in resolving the inconsistent, omitted, and erroneous entries that are sometimes found in the records of one's direct ancestors.


The following pages of this website provide descriptions of the typical search for an ancestor's record in an online death register:

  • Search in 1848-WWI Russian-Language Death Registers [future page]
  • Search in 1827-1848 Polish-Language Death Registers [future page]
  • Search in 17xx-1827 Latin-Language Death Registers [future page]



Added Problems When Searching in the Older (Latin-Language-Era) Parish Registers


There are at least two new types of search problems that arise as the older parish registers are searched:


  • Lack of Information in Earlier Records. In general, the pre-1828 parish registers don't contain enough information to be sure that any specific record is in fact a record of your ancestor. The basic problem is that these earlier records contained much less information than later records, and that problem is compounded by the fact that several men/ families in the parish might have the same surname, and that problem can be further compounded by the fact that there was typically not a large variety of given names within any specific parish.  Examples: A marriage record might have only the names and villages of the bride and groom; a birth or death record might have only the given name of the child and the name of the father. Although this lack of detail tends to correlate with the use of the Latin-language (at least in the dioceses of Vilnius and Telšiai), the only real correlation seems to be that, when the dioceses edicted the use of the Polish language to replace the Latin language, they used that occasion to re-define the minimum information that was to be included in the parish registers.


  • Illegible Entries in Earlier Records. In general, the older records tend to be more difficult to read because of preservation problems prior to the time they were microfilmed or digitized. It is almost inevitable that in very old registers there will be some entries that are illegible and others that are extremely difficult to read. That illegible entry might be the entry of your ancestor.



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