A description of the process that I followed to search for and find the birth, marriage and death records of my Lithuanian ancestors who were Roman Catholic (RC), and adaptation of this process to present-day use. This is described in terms of 7 phases:
Collect Birth Data of U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor and Any Immigrant Relatives
Identify U.S. Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor's Birth Parish in Lithuania
Is the Baptism Register of Ancestor's Birth Parish Online?
Options: Who Will Search the Registers of Lithuanian RC Parishes?
Find Ancestors and Relatives in Online Registers of Lithuanian RCCs
Find Ancestors and Relatives in Non-Online Registers of Lithuanian RCCs
Find Male Ancestors of Any "Noble" Ancestors (in Nobility Documents)
Additional information is provided on the Collect Birth Data of Immigrant Lithuanian Ancestor / Relatives page of this website.
The main objective is to find the immigrant ancestor's birth parish, so that you can start searching for the ancestor's baptism record in Lithuania. As you find specific birth places identified for your immigrant Lithuanian ancestor in the various data sources, you need to evaluate how close you are to knowing the specific birth parish. [If you can't find the specific parish, but can narrow the search area down to a reasonable number of potential parishes, the searches could still be performed but they would be much more time-consuming (expensive), and you still might not find the record.] Additional information is provided on the Identify Immigrant Lith Ancestor's Birth Parish in Lithuania page of this website.
The next step is to find out if the baptism register that you want to search is online. There is a list of RC parishes for which there are registers online, and new parishes are eventually being added to the list. You must go to the www.epaveldas.lt website to find the specific list of birth registers that are online, and to see if there is an index of the baptisms [there usually isn't]. Additional information is provided on the Are the Registers of Ancestor's RC Parish in Lithuania Online? page of this website.
Your options will be: (1) a professional researcher employee of LVIA (the Lithuanian State Historical Archives); (2) a private professional researcher; or (3) you. Unless the registers of the ancestor's parish are online, don't even consider Option 3. Additional information is provided on the Options: Who Will Search the Lithuanian RCC Registers? page of this website.
The typical process that you or a Lithuanian genealogy researcher would use to find the ancestors and relatives in online registers is described on the Find Ancestors in Online Registers of Lithuanian RCCs page of this website.
The process is similar to Step 5, but you really can't do this on your own. Refer to the Find Ancestors in Non-Online Registers of Lithuanian RCCs page of this website.
The parish birth, marriage, and death records almost always identified the individual persons as being either peasants, or "noble" [and sometimes as townspeople (burghers)]. If one of your ancestors was "noble", there might be a "nobility document" that shows the male ancestors of that "noble" ancestor. [These generally go back farther in time than the Roman Catholic parish registers.] Additional information is provided on the Find Male Ancestors of Any "Noble" Ancestors page of this website.
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