If you have any thoughts of making a trip to Lithuania, I urge you to do so and not wait. To walk in the footsteps of our ancestors is a feeling that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. -- Jeanne Shalna Dorr,
Letter From the Editor,
Bridges - The Lithuanian American News Journal
We are specialists in Lithuanian family history. We are located in Vilnius and have ready access to all available genealogical records. Our goal is to serve you, our clients.
Whether you wish to locate a single document or your entire Lithuanian family, we are here to help. Our experience has taught us to listen carefully to what clients say. Ours is a service profession, and we are here to serve you.
We offer three services:
- researching genealogy records in Lithuania and providing full reports and translations, as desired
- locating, and establishing communication with, living relatives in Lithuania
- conducting Family History Tours for individuals and small and large groups
Our genealogy record searches are done in the Lithuanian National Archives by professional researchers. We believe that we produce results that are second to none, and we are proud of the expertise that we have developed. Some clients need only a single document and we can normally handle such requests very quickly. Other clients desire of all important records for a branch of their families. Requests to find out information about the brothers and sisters of a grandparent or great-grandparent are common.
We are committed to a policy of proceeding only with the full knowledge and approval of you, our client. Searches are typically broken down into defined steps, and client approval is obtained for each step of the process. This approach helps us produce the result you want and insures that you approve in advance the scope and cost of each part of the undertaking.
One of the distinct values that we bring to our searches is a solid understanding of what records exist and what records were destroyed or are otherwise not available. Fortunately it is the exceptional case in which we regretfully have to tell a client that no records have been preserved for the relatives in whom the client is interested.
Locating living relatives in Lithuania calls on a different set of our strengths. Typically it is critical to make contact with at least one reliable and interested family member. We are very good at that and have had a very high rate of success in finding living family members for our clients.
We are very mindful of the desirability of locating family members who are conversant in English. The results in this area are increasingly successful as more Lithuanians study English here or undertake academic studies abroad.
Many clients desire to have an event that involves gathering the Lithuanian branch of the family together. These are often wonderful and heart-warming events. Ties that were broken by war and occupation and economic distress begin to be rejoined. Typically there is a meal, and of course lively conversation. Depending on the size of the group, there may be a small ceremony, usually one in which representatives of the Lithuania and overseas branches of the family share their stories. These are very memorable moments, and those involved almost always find out a bit more about who they are.
We can do a lot or a little in bringing you together with your living relatives. It is your choice, and we work at your direction, with a well-stated game plan. We relish the role we play in creating lifelong memories. We understand that clear communication is essential to the best outcomes.
Our third service, Family History Tours, have the personal touch that we have described for our other services. A trip "back home" is unlike any other travel experience you can have. It is interesting, deeply personal, and memorable beyond description.
You will feel your Lithuanian roots. You will experience the warmth of the Lithuanian spirit and the unforgettable delight of conversing with those who share your family name.
Visiting ones Lithuanian heritage completes a story that was never quite whole because of time, distance, war, and occupation. But Lithuania is now an open and very hospitable country. Your relatives, even distant ones, will be happy to see you.
We have found that conversations are easy and friendly. There is a lot to catch up on, on both sides!
And of course you will travel in the beautiful Lithuanian countryside. The rural character of the country is still very much present.
What do we provide? Most of the time, the answer is "Just about everything!" We will search for the records you request. We provide translations as needed. If you desire, we can locate relatives, we can facilitate family gatherings, we can provide transportation and arrange for lodging, and of course we will be your translator. If it is your desire to come to Lithuania, we can insure that you step off of the plane and have your days planned for you, especially your visits to your broad extended Lithuanian family.
How much does this service cost? Less than you might think. You can find a more detailed discussion of costs in our Frequently Asked Questions.