Lithuania Roman Catholic Parish Registers

(in the Lithuanian State Historical Archives and Online)

Examples of Transcription and Translation of Entries in Russian-Language Marriage Registers of Roman Catholic Churches (RCCs) in Lithuania


Informational Content of a Typical Entry in a Russian-Language Marriage Register

A typical entry in a post-1848 marriage register would include the following information: 
- date of marriage;
- place of marriage; 

- name of priest conducting the wedding ceremony;

- dates that the banns of marriage were announced;

- names of groom and bride; 
- social class (peasant, townsperson [burgher], noble) of groom and bride;
- ages of groom and bride; 

- home villages of groom and bride; 

- prior marriage status (widower, widow) of groom and bride; 

- home parishes of groom and bride; 

- names of parents of groom and bride; 

- a statement that the priest has found no impediments to the marriage;
- a statement that groom and bride stated their wedding vows;
- names and social class of named witnesses to the marriage;



About Content and Translations of Entries in Post-1848 Russian-Language Marriage Registers of RCCs in Lithuania

  • Language. In general, the marriage registers of Roman Catholic churches in Lithuania were in the Russian language from about 1848 until after WWI. The register entries are handwritten in Russian ("Old Russian"), because the lands of the Lithuanian people were under the rule of Tsarist Russia. Most of our Lithuanian ancestors probably never spoke more than a few words in Russian.


  • Given Names in Russian-Language Registers. The given names of ethnic Lithuanians will typically be written as the Polish equivalent of the person's Lithuanian given name, as transliterated into the Cyrillic alphabet. When translating a register entry, it is the typical practice of Lithuanian genealogy researchers to translate these given names into their equivalent Lithuanian given names as spelled in modern Lithuanian. For ethnic Lithuanians, it is necessary and proper to do this. Similarly, it is not proper to use the English equivalent of the given name in an English translation because the person was actually known by the Lithuanian name. 


  • Surnames in Russian-Language Registers. The surnames of ethnic Lithuanians will typically be written in a Polonized form of the Lithuanian surname, as transliterated into the Cyrillic alphabet. When translating a register entry, it is the typical practice of Lithuanian genealogy researchers to attempt to convert the surnames back into the original surname [often as spelled in modern Lithuanian]. For ethnic Lithuanians, it is necessary and proper to do this.


  • Place Names in Russian-Language Registers. The names of Lithuanian villages and towns will typically be entered as the Polish name of that place, as transliterated into the Cyrillic alphabet. When translating a register entry, it is the typical practice of Lithuanian genealogy researchers to translate these place names into their Lithuanian place names as spelled in modern Lithuanian.


  • Mothers' Maiden Names in Marriage Registers.  I have found a much-greater-than-expected number of omissions of, or significant errors in, the mother's maiden name in the marriage records of her children.  It appears to me that the priests of that era just didn't consider the woman's identity to be as important as the man's identity.

  • Ages in Marriage Registers. Ages are often estimated and are sometimes several years different than the actual age.


  • No Marriages During Lent or Advent. The Roman Catholic Church did not allow marriages during Lent or Advent (and continuing through the feast of the Epiphany on January 6) except in extraordinary circumstances. Because of this, there are typically no entries in the marriage registers during these periods.


  • Most Marriages Were During Non-Farming Months.  As typical in farming communities, most marriages occurred at times when the marriage celebrations would not interfere with the farming activity--there are not many marriages during the summer months and there are many marriages during November.  



Examples of Entries in Russian-Language Marriage Registers


Each link below provides an example of transcription and translation of an entry in a Russian-language marriage register of a Roman Catholic parish in Lithuania.
 
         Lieplaukė RCC 1861-11-14 Marriage Record (in Russian)
         Tverečius RCC 1890-01-28 Marriage Record (in Russian)
 
 



 


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