Many people of Lithuanian ancestry request assistance from the Museum when they begin to research their own Lithuanian family names or ancestral places of origin. Sometimes the expertise the Museum's Genealogy Department provides is linguistic in nature. The Museum staff can assist in deciphering historical immigration documents, particularly handwritten records, such as passports and immigration papers. These written materials are not always legible because handwriting styles and the spelling of Lithuanian words have changed significantly over time. For example, prior to World War I, Lithuania was part of the Russian Empire and documents were issued in the Cyrillic script. In such instances, the staff can assist with the translation of these records. If names have been shortened and "Americanized" over time or in circumstances where spelling was altered through transliteration, the Museum staff can help ascertain what the original Lithuanian surnames or place names might have been. "While we cannot always guarantee that we will find the information you are seeking, we can at least give you enough information to help you focus your genealogical research and avoid some common pitfalls," says Karilė Vaitkutė, who heads the Genealogy Department at the Museum.
Entitles a member to all the privileges of the Balzekas Museum's Family Membership, including free admission to the Museum, invitations to all programs, gift and program discounts, a 10% discount on translation service, and a subscription to the Lithuanian Museum Review. It also entitles a member to:
The Patron Genealogy-level includes all the priviledges of a Basic Genealogy-level membership, plus up to four Basic Surname Searches and four Basic Ancestral Town Searches. This membership level is highly recommended for those who want to research more than one family member: e.g., a husband and wife, or a grandfather and his parents, etc.
A one-time payment of $1,000 includes all benefits of the Basic and Patron Genealogy Memberships for life, plus a search of the following additional sources:
*NOTE: Online searches for digitized birth, marriage, and death records in the Lithuanian State Historical Archives are available based on accessibility. The records are in Old Russian, Polish, and Latin. A search and translation of one record is an additional $100.
Please select your Genealogy membership level by clicking on the PayPal menu below.
Non-member genealogy services are available à la carte:
For additional information, please contact Karile Vaitkute, Director of Genealogy Department, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-582-6500 during regular business hours.
Founded in 1966 in Chicago, Illinois, the Balzekas Museum is dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Lithuanian culture. The Museum celebrates the notable achievements of Lithuanian Americans, the Lithuanian nation, and Lithuanian communities world wide. The Balzekas Museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Read more