Lithuania Roman Catholic Parish Registers
(in the Lithuanian State Historical Archives and Online)
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 epaveldas.lt 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/vbspi/. (Alternatively, you can go to the epaveldas.lt website at www.epaveldas.lt/en/home and left-click on "Previous version" in the lower right-hand corner.) IF THE WORDS AREN'T IN ENGLISH: left-click on the "English" box in the upper right-hand corner. This is the page of the website where you can search for parish registers (and other documents). This search screen contains the following:
I suggest that you bookmark this page in your web browser for future use.
To access the records of a specific parish:
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:
Click the "Search" button. A new page now displays, showing a list of the digitized registers for Tverečius parish that are in this online data bank.
This list consists of 33 books, arranged generally as follows:
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 by the 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:
In this example, because I'm looking for the 1802 birth record of my ancestor, I would want information from Item 3 on the list (Tverečiaus RKB gimimo metrikų knyga. 1800--1811 m.).
Each document on the list has a place where one can left-click on either "Description" or "Images".
In this example, a click on "Description" brought up for me the following page (http://www.epaveldas.lt/vbspi/biDetails.do?biRecordId=7519):
This page contains the following information:
In this example, a click on "Images" (after going back to the page with the list of Tverečius parish registers) under Item 3 brought up for me the following page (http://www.epaveldas.lt/vbspi/biRecord.do?biRecordId=7519):
This is the image viewing/ navigation page. It includes an area for viewing the selected Image (the large white area) plus some tools above and below the image area for navigating to other Images of this same parish register. 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
APSKAITOS VIENETAS 4
[Caution: With respect to the number of the Image being displayed below the bar, it currently seems to only display the correct image number if you navigated to the Image by using the "Go to" box, and not by the other available methods.]
In this example, I know that my ggg-grandmother's birth record is on Image 23, so I would enter "23" into the "Go to" box and then click on the "Go to" button. When I did this, it brought up the following page (http://www.epaveldas.lt/vbspi/biRecord.do?submit=Go+to&biExemplarId=77621&psl=23):
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.
This image can be enlarged for better viewing by clicking anywhere in the image area. When that is done, a new window (http://www.epaveldas.lt/vbspi/content/biImage.jsp?imageId=/vbspi/showImage.do?id=PG_S_77621_23&mc=N) opens, with provisions for viewing an enlarged version of the Image.
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.
Yet to be described are the epaveldas.lt website's provisions for moving to other Images within the same parish register. The top of the image viewing/ navigation page looks like this:
The top area has something called "Description" on the far left. Clicking on "Description" will bring up the same "Description" of this parish register that was accessible from the page that had the list of registers, and was previously described. (This feature can be of help if you forget which register you're viewing).
To the right of "Description" is a horizontal array of 7 thumbnail images of records in this parish register. The first one is a thumbnail of Image 1 of this register and is labelled "First". Clicking on "First" or on the thumbnail image above it will bring up Image 1 in the image viewing area of the web page. The last one (on the far right) is a thumbnail of the last image in this register (Image 118 in this particular register) and is labelled "Last". Clicking on "Last" or on the thumbnail image above it will bring up Image 118 in the image viewing area. The center 5 thumbnail images are identified by (consecutive) numbers below them, and always include the image that is being displayed in the image viewing area. Clicking on either a number or on the thumbnail image above it will bring up that image in the image viewing area. There are arrows just to the left and right of the 5-thumbnail center array; clicking on one of these arrows will bring up a new 5-thumbnail center array immediately preceding or following the present one, as indicated by the arrow direction.
There is a bar at the bottom of the page, that has similar features for moving between images, but uses only image numbers and has no thumbnail images.
[Caution: With respect to the number of the Image being displayed in the center of the narrow bar above the image, it currently seems to only display the correct image number if you navigated to the Image by using the "Go to" box, and not by these other methods just described.]