Tag Archives: archives
Met with the head archivist Vitalija at the Kaunas archives. We learned about how they kept the records for the region vs the central archives on Vilnius. One thing that was really important was that each family in the town had a number that stayed with the family. If people were added or subtracted it went in a revision list that connected back to that number. This helps genealogists with identifying families prior to surnames. People were not free to move around. They had to have permission and register with authorities when they went to another town. They had internal passports. I ordered records and went through them with the archivist. She also showed me the same plot plan I showed in my previous blog but this one was the original an it was hand painted in color! It was roughly 3×4. So now can understand why we are 52.
POURING! Rain rain go away, it actually didn’t actually rain that much. Peggy says, “if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes”. We had a wonderful day in Prenai, Saralee’s roots tour. The three of us are sharing a guide/ driver as our roots tours are in the same area. We first stopped at the mass murder site in the woods of Prenai. Saralee had grandparents who lived/were murdered there. She had their address from their last correspondence. We stood in front of their last residence. Stopped at a local bookstore to get a postcard. I wandered around and found the Twilight series and one of Bennett’s favorite series Eragon. Lunch was nice because we got to order from a menu!!! I ordered a Greek salad that ended up not having lettuce. Kinda boring but i needed a non-carb meal. The big 3 course meals are lovely but too much food. We also ordered ( don’t laugh too hard) fried dark rye bread. It was an appetizer we saw walking past a bar. It was really tasty, how could it not be. My mom has potato pancakes, Simon had borscht. We went to the museum/cultural center. It was closed for renovations but they let us in. We learned about some Jewish families that used to live there. I think that 40% of the town were murdered. It was sad to only see one stone for all of them. There was a famous Jewish brewer in the town. He was well known as he exported his beer which was quite unusual. He was killed but his daughter was hidden and lived.
Checked in at Hotel Kaunas. It is the second largest city in Lithuania. Simon helped translate the documents that I got in Vilnius. I learned that my great great grandfather Leizer Libovski was an important well respected man. He was on the city board of electors. He owned his own house and made a good living. He net over 600 Russian rubles a year in 1888. (Tom Freeman can you figure out what that is in dollars today?)
Mom and I walked down the main avenue toward the cathedral church. It was sunny and beautiful. I hope my good weather karma holds out for tomorrow when we go to Jurbarkas and Seredzius where my great grandparents are from. We stopped for a beer, guess who had the beer. We thought about our fellow Litvak friends on their roots tours and how their experiences are going. Tomorrow, when we all are back together, there will be a nice evening of sharing.
I love that it is 10:30pm and it is still light outside!
Today we went to the central archives. About 3 months ago I ordered a bunch of archives to be printed out for me. ( I wish I had them translated too) I got 3 records. One written in Hebrew and the other ones in Belarusian. I will try to have someone translate before I leave. One was of my great-grandfather’s birth written in Hebrew, the next was a voting list of my great-great grandfather with his signature. And the third is a business document of this business which was listed as agriculture. We know he had a flax factory. We still have many archives to get in Kaunas but this was rather cool. We also saw original books, seals, and elaborate royal family trees. Original seals of the Grand Duke of Lithuania and hand written 15th century bibles. When we go on our roots tour to rural Lithuania I hope to see the factory in Jurbarkas.