Mark ﬁrst contacted Legacy Tree in 2007, requesting help with translating the Lithuanian writing on the back of some photos into English and also extend his Lithuanian family tree.
Often we’re able to ﬁnd the genealogy records we need at Utah’s world-famous Family History Library or online — but not this time. The records Mark needed weren’t in Utah, or anywhere else in the United States. So we contacted the state archives in Vilnius, Lithuania to see if they could help.
It took years to start seeing real progress with the Lithuanian archive, but we stuck with it and started receiving records in combinations of Polish, Russian, Latin and/or Lithuanian. We then translated each record into English. As we proceeded with our research, we sent an on-site researcher directly to Vilnius, which really sped things up. We continue to work directly with the Vilnius-based archives today.
What have we discovered so far? We’ve learned that Mark’s ancestors belonged to the noble class as part of the Russian Empire. The line appears to be documented back to at least 1633. We’ve also been able to complete family groups with missing siblings, and we even created a video to help Mark pronounce his ancestors’ names in Lithuanian.