Lithuania Roman Catholic Parish Registers
(in the Lithuanian State Historical Archives and Online)
With one general exception, in all of the pre-WWI birth, marriage and death registers of Lithuanian RCCs, the names of ethnic Lithuanians were usually Polonized (converted into Polish-language versions of the names by the priest making the entry) when they were entered into the registers and the names of Lithuanian towns and villages were identified by their Polish names when they were entered into the registers. The general exception to this is that in the Latin-language registers of Lithuanian RCCs, the given names of all persons were Latinized.
In the Russian-language records, the names of Lithuanian people and places were Polonized, but the Polonized name was also trans-literated into the Cyrillic alphabet by the priest making the entry, so the names may appear to be Russified, but they are actually Cyrillic-transliterated Polonized forms of Lithuanian names.
For example, if the entry were for a Lithuanian man named Jonas Antanavičius from the village Bukliškė, his name and village would typically appear in a register entry as follows:
Latin-language register entry: Joannes Antonowicz (from) Bukliszki.
Polish-language register entry: Jan Antonowicz (from) Bukliszki.
Russian-language register entry: Янъ Антоновичъ (from) Буклишки.
When translating names of ethnic Lithuanians in register entries, Lithuanian genealogists typically convert the "Latinized" and "Polonized" names in the entry into Lithuanian names. Such conversions of persons' names are appropriate if the persons were ethnic Lithuanians, because it is believed to be simply a reversal of the name-conversion process utilized by the priest who made the entry in the register. Such conversions of persons' names are also preferable, because without such a reversal of the name-conversion process the names of ethnic Lithuanians would appear to be those of ethnic Poles.
The given names that appear in translated register entries are the names as spelled in modern Lithuanian. With respect to the determination of equivalent given names, a good source is the Polish volume and / or the Russian volume of the In Their Words books by Shea & Hoffman (References 1 and 2).
The surnames that appear in translated register entries are the translators' interpretations of how the surnames would be spelled in modern Lithuanian. [Different translators could arrive at different spellings of a surname based on different translation philosophies.]
When translating place names of Lithuanian towns and villages in register entries, Lithuanian genealogists typically convert the place names back into their Lithuanian-language names, but they use the modern (present-day) spellings of these place names. The place names that appear in translated register entries are the names as spelled in modern Lithuanian.