A talk on how to search for Lithuanian data in US archives

Vaitkutė gave a talk on the search of Lithuanian data in US archives. Photo: National Library of Lithuania/ Vygaudas Juozaitis

This summer, the National Library of Lithuania hosted a talk on how to search for Lithuanian data in US archives and genealogical websites presented by Karilė Vaitkutė, head of the Genealogy Department at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in Chicago (USA).

Vaitkutė shared her experience with how to search for Lithuanian material in various US archives, as well as paid and free-of-charge genealogical websites, how to decipher the documents found, how to determine whether they belong to a family member under consideration, and how to overcome the obstacles that occur during the research. In her talk, she also answered more specific questions concerning the search for Lithuanian relatives in the USA and gave an overview of the different sources available.

For the past ten years, Vaitkutė has been working in the field of genealogy, helping Lithuanian Americans whose grandparents and great-grandparents came to the USA before World War I or after World War II to find their roots in Lithuania and Lithuanians who are looking for their relatives in the USA.

Historical letters handedover to the National Libraryof Lithuania

The signing of the document. Photo: National Library of Lithuania/ Vygaudas Juozaitis

This year, Lithuanian American Nijolė Bražėnaitė-Lukšienė-Paronetto turned a hundred years old. On this occasion, the National Library of Lithuania invited Nijolė’s friends and all those interested to an evening to commemorate this anniversary. The event featured a presentation of the book “Apie anuos nepamirštamus laikus: Juozo Lukšos-Daumanto ir Nijolės Bražėnaitės susirašinėjimas” (About Those Unforgettable Times: The Correspondence between Juozas Lukša- Daumantas and Nijolė Bražėnaitė) compiled by Laima Vincė.

During the event, the author of the book handed over a valuable gift to the Library—letters written by Bražėnaitė to Juozas Lukša-Daumantas, which testify not only to the romantic love story of the two young people but also to the great sacrifice they made in the name of their homeland, Lithuania.

On July 18, the formal handing over of the letters and the signing of the documents occurred. The document was signed by the donor, Laima Vincė Sruoginis, and Aidas Sinkevičius, Deputy Director General of the National Library of Lithuania.