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Lithuanian Roman Catholic (RC) Ancestor Search Information

Lithuania Roman Catholic Parish Registers

(in the Lithuanian State Historical Archives and Online)

How to Access and View the Online Registers of RC Parishes in Lithuania (using current version search screen)



OVERVIEW

Access to the online database of Roman Catholic (RC) parish registers in Lithuania of genealogical interest is via the epaveldas.lt website (Reference 4).   Only those RC parish registers that have already been digitized can be accessed via the epaveldas.lt website; refer to the Are the Registers of Ancestor's RC Parish in Lithuania Online? page of this website for a list of parishes with registers that can be viewed online.  The description on the website says that these RC parish registers at LVIA are being digitized by the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania (and partner Lithuanian organizations, including the Office of the Archivist of Lithuania) as part of of a project that receives financial support from the European Union.  [In terms of genealogy nomenclature, I consider this website to be the "Repository" of these digitized records, and LVIA to be the "Repository" of the paper, microfilm, and other pre-digitized versions of these records.]  The website refers to www.epaveldas.lt as being a "portal", and prohibits any commercial use of the material.



HOW TO ACCESS THE EPAVELDAS SEARCH SCREEN

Use your web browser to go to the epaveldas.lt website at www.epaveldas.lt/en/home.  This is the page of the website where you can search for parish registers (and other documents).  This search screen contains a Search Entry Box and a Search Button that can be used to access the parish registers.


I suggest that you bookmark this page in your web browser for future use. 



HOW TO USE THE EPAVELDAS SEARCH SCREEN

To access the records of a specific parish:

  • In the Search Entry Box, type the name of the town, as spelled in the Genitive Case (i.e, as spelled on the List of Lithuanian RC Parish Registers Online).  The best way to find the Genitive-case spelling is to type in a truncated [omit the ending] spelling of the town name; this will bring up a list for all places that start with those same letters. If your parish is on the list, it will show you the proper Genitive-case spelling for the parish name.] Then enter the complete Genitive-case spelling of the parish name in the Search Entry Box. The search page will accept substitution of English characters for Lithuanian ones (e.g., will accept "c" for "č") but will otherwise require Genitive Case spellings.  
  • Click the Search Button.


EXAMPLE:  This example shows how to access the birth record of my ggg-grandmother Rozalija Vitėnaitė born 23 August 1802.  You can use the same general method to browse (search) through any of the parish registers in this online data bank.  [In my "source citation" for Rozalija's birth record, I identify the register and say that is on Image 23 of the register, and is Entry 119.]


To access the records of Tverečius parish:

  • In the entry box, I type "Tverečiaus" (without the quotation marks), which is the name of the town as spelled in the Genitive Case.  Alternatively, the search engine will accept the term "Tvereciaus", but it won't accept "Tverecius" or the actual town name "Tverečius".

















  • Left-clicking on the Search Button then brings up the following page:


















This page shows a list of the digitized registers for Tverečius parish that are in this online data bank. [At this point, I typically change the sort to be "by title (a-z)"; this displays the registers in groups that are each in chronological order. I also change the display to show the maximum items per page.]


This list consists of 33 books, arranged generally as follows:

  • 20 entries in the format "Tverečiaus RKB gimimo metrikų knyga.  1___--1___ m."
  • 1 entry "Tverečiaus RKB gimimo metrikų rodyklė.  1780--1890 m."
  • 6 entries in the format "Tverečiaus RKB mirties metrikų knyga.  1___--1___ m."
  • 6 entries in the format "Tverečiaus RKB santuokos metrikų knyga.  1___--1___ m."


The term "Tvereciaus RKB" translates to "of Tverečius Roman Catholic church";  in this usage, it can simply be translated as "Tverečius RCC".  The term "metrikų knyga" translates to "records book", but I translate it as "register" because in my experience that's what this type of book was usually called in RC parishes.  The term "rodyklė" translates to "index". [In my experience, the registers for most parishes often don't have indexes and, if any indexes exist, their locations within the registers are typically not identified until you happen upon them.]  The terms "gimimo", "mirties", and "santuokos" translate as "of birth", "of death", and "of marriage", but in this usage translate simply as "birth, "death", and "marriage". The "m." after the date range is the customary Lithuanian way of clarifying that the numbers are "years"; which is not customary in the U.S., so this can be dropped in the translation.  The list of 33 books can be translated as follows:

  • 20 entries in the format "Tverečius RCC birth register, 1___-1___."
  • 1 entry "Tverečius RCC birth index, 1780-1890."
  • 6 entries in the format "Tverečius RCC death register, 1___-1___."
  • 6 entries in the format "Tverečius RCC marriage register, 1___-1___."


In this example, because I'm looking for the 1802 birth record of my ancestor, I would want information from the 1800-1811 baptism register: Tverečiaus RKB gimimo metrikų knyga.  1800--1811 m.


Each document on the list has 4 places where one can left-click to bring up other pages:  

  • A click on the document title will bring up a new page that has a short description of the set of digitized images that constitutes this online document.
  • A click on the words "Lietuvos valstybės istorijos archyvas" will bring up a new page that has the EAIS information about the document from which the digitized images were made.
  • A click on either (1) the thumbnail image (of the register front cover) to the left of the document title, or (2) the words ">> view digital images of the object" will bring up an image viewing/ navigation window.


















This image viewing/ navigation window includes an image display area for viewing the selected Image (the large white area) plus some viewing and navigation tools above the image area.  When you first access this page, it will include the first digitized image (Image 1) of the document.  Image 1 is always an LVIA reference page that is not actually part of the original parish register.  The Image 1 in this document is a typical one.  For the Image 1 in this example, the information on this page is as follows:


                                                       LIETUVOS VALSTYBĖS ISTORIJOS ARCHYVAS

                                                       LITHUANIAN STATE HISTORICAL ARCHIVES


                                                       FONDAS                                                         1332

                                                       FONDS


                                                       APYRAŠAS                                                            1

                                                       INVENTORY


                                                       APSKAITOS VIENETAS                                        4

                                                       FILE


Immediately above the image display area are the tools for viewing the image that is in the image display area and for selecting other images of this same parish register to be displayed in the image display area:

  • Top Row:  a horizontal array of 7 thumbnail images for use in selecting a specific image of this parish register image set to be displayed in the image viewing area.
  • Bottom Left:  A page (image) number display that contains the number of the image that is currently being displayed in the image display area, with a "back arrow" on the left of the page number display and a "forward arrow" to the right of the page number display.  The displayed words "1 page" means that Image 1 of this image set is being displayed. Clicking on the back/ forward arrow will display the previous/ next image (in numerical order) of the image set.
  • Bottom Right:  The words "Viso: 118 psl." indicate that the entire image set for this parish register consists of 118 pages (images).
  • Bottom Right:  An Image Number Entry Box with an Image Button, for use in selecting a specific image of this parish register image set to be displayed in the image viewing area. Typing an image number into the box and then left-clicking on the button will bring up that image.
  • Bottom Center: Tools for magnifying and rotating the displayed image, and for causing it to be displayed in full-screen view in a new window. 

  









In this example, I know that my ggg-grandmother's birth record is on Image 23, so I would type "23" into the Image Number Entry Box and then click on the Image Button.  This would bring up Image 23 in the image viewing area of the viewing/ navigation window.



















For this record of my ggg-grandmother, I saved (downloaded) a copy of the image to my computer by using the related tools of my web browser.  


In this example, the entry for my ggg-grandmother is number 119, which is on the right-hand page.  To enlarge the image for viewing, right-click on the image, and then left-click on "Open image in new tab".  Below is a copy of this image (Image 23) with my added red rectangle to identify the record of my ggg-grandmother:

























The entry for my ggg-grandmother is number 119.  My enlarged view of that entry is shown below (with my added red rectangle).







It reads: D~. [Die] 24. Ego Silvester Breykʃ[z]tt bap~vi: [baptizavi] Inf~m: [Infantem] ne [nomine] Rosaliam natam die 23. Patris Thomæ Witen et Zophiæ Teliczowna LLCC. Pleb: Cond: de Paʃzuny. Patrini Georgius Teliczen de Witeny et Catharina Czeglowna de Orzweta. –.


This would typically be translated as follows: Day 24 [of August].  I, Silvestras Breikštas, baptized an infant named Rozalija born on day 23 [of August].  The parents: Tomas Vitėnas and Zofija Telyčiūtė, lawfully married spouses, peasants, of Pošiūnai. The godparents: Jurgis Telyčėnas of Vytėnai and Kotryna Čioglytė of Erzvėtas.


[I added a "z" to the priest's surname because he used the "z" in all other entries on this page.  Also, based on other records, I know that the mother's maiden name was probably "Telyčėnaitė" rather than the "Telyčiūtė" inferred by this record.  I describe various aspects and problems of translation elsewhere on this website, with my translations of the records of my ancestors.  ]


This completes the example of how to find a specific record.  You can use the same general method to browse (search) through any of the parish registers in this online data bank.




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