04 October 2016

Was invited to the Lithuanian State Historical Archives by Regina. Located on the west end of the city, the Archives is the central repository for records dating from the 13th century until the interbellum. This includes most records relevant to my genealogical research.

Ate a quick lunch at the nearby bus stop where two transport officers were stationed. They boarded each bus to check for tickets, and each time at least a couple young people were escorted off to pay a fine. I haven’t paid for a ticket yet.

The Archives are located in an unattractive soviet-era building, not unlike my dormitory. I was directed to the reading room where Regina had already ordered an armful of volumes relevant to my research in the two towns that we visited on Sunday: Kudirkos Naumiestis and Marijampole.

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We started by examining insurance records of Kudirkos Naumiestis from the early 20th century. Russians occupied Lithuania at the time, so all records were in cyrillic. I took Russian for almost an entire semester last year before dropping out. Fortunately, the only thing I retained from the course is how to read cyrillic.

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Alas, time has taken quite a toll on the records and I never really mastered my script… Regina patiently instructed me as I tried desperately to read names. There is so much I want to learn from her.

No Schneiderowitz’ in the records unfortunately, so we moved on to Marijampole death records from the early interwar period. Germany occupied Lithuania during the war, and then provided assistance in their struggle against Russian incursions, so the first few volumes are in German. Within a few minutes I had found a record that I’ve been struggling to find for years: the death record of my great-great-great-grandfather, Abraham Simelsohn. He died in Marijampole on 15 December 1920, only two months after Lithuania gained her independence from Russia.

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Soon after I found the 1925 death record of Abraham’s wife: Sarah nee Frezynski. The record was in Lithuanian.

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Having struggled through three languages and two occupiers, a real journey through time, I ordered more records and made plans to return to the Archives with Regina on Thursday.

Took the bus home- no ticket.

One thought on “04 October 2016

  1. Pingback: 11 October 2016 | The Shtetl Shlepper

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