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Lithuanian Family History Research

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Lithuanian Family History Research

Postby PBradbury » Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:08 pm

Please can anyone give any advice on tracing family history in Lithuania?
My grandfather was born in Vilnius in 1886 and came to Manchester around 1890 with his parents.
On the 1901 census the family are listed as being all born in Russia but with British Subjects entered. I have been unable to find out how this status was achieved-did they have to be nationalised? Any help or advice on information regarding tracing family in Lithuania would be appreciated.
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Re: Lithuanian Family History Research

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:43 pm

One fairly boring explanation for "British Subject" is that the father was already a British citizen either by birth or by naturalisation, so his children automatically take on their father's nationality. And I guess that could have cascaded through several generations. Just speculating - if the grandfather were British born, went to work in Vilnius, had children out there, then they would be British Subjects, as I understand it. And if his son continued grandfather's work out there, and also had children born out there, then his children (i.e. your GF) would be, unless I'm missing something, British subjects also.

Having said all that, when I check in Wikipedia, it suggests that the entitlement was not codified under law until 1914. So precise answers may not exist.

What I can say is that I have relatives back in the 1800s who were born in Siam while their father (from Staffordshire) worked out there - they are described as British Subjects in the census.

For the other option, the TNA site has research guides on British Citizenship that deal with naturalisation. Personally I would follow up that angle first, not least because the records are over here.

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Re: Lithuanian Family History Research

Postby PBradbury » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:26 pm

Thank you for your reply- much appreciated. My Grandfather and his parents were all born in Lithuania-so still not sure how the British Subjects statues was achieved.
Will have a look at the National archives site.
Many thanks
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Re: Lithuanian Family History Research

Postby Sylcec » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:35 pm

As you haven't shared the family name with us, no comment can be made on the likely surname origins. However, have you checked for naturalisation records in case they were naturalised prior to 1901? Read the guide here: and note that records for 1870-1912 are on Ancestry.

A potential problem is that your ancestors may have anglicised their name from what it was when they settled in England. This could have been done and registered by deed poll, or informally, however I think that the naturalisation record should show their original name.
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Re: Lithuanian Family History Research

Postby MysticDave » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:54 pm

You might find the David Suchet WDYTYA useful, especially if your ancestors may be Jewish.
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