Virus of Genealogy
We all brought to this world by our parents. From the first steps of our life we try to walk or even run forward. We always want to grow fast.
There are life stages: while growing up, waiting for Barmitztva, for the 16th birthday. I remember myself waiting for the 18th birthday to consider myself as a legal adult.
In this run forward, usually we are not so interested in our past, at list for the first 3-4 decades of our life. And then, occasionally, while looking on the old photos we see ourselves helping Granny to clean up the room.
Or maybe your friend just asked you – “where are your family came from?”. And of course, it can be a question asked by your child – “what did your great grandfather did for living?” And this pushes you to search for the answer.
Most possible first answer will come after a long time and research. Some people will be satisfied with the answer, and will continue to run forward, while others will inhale the Virus of Genealogy.
And now I come to the point to explain strange name of this article. One of such questions made me to asking myself more and more about the roots of my family. For me Genealogy is like a virus. Many people live and do not even think about origin of their family, person they were named after, how many generations family lived in your hometown. What was their profession.
This information is very hard to find. Especially in Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine and Russia, what used to called the Pale. Here settlements change their names, todays Lithuanian Capital Vilnius once was called Vilna and Wilno. Or head town of Zemaitija district Telsiai used to called Telz.
A lot of trouble is caused by the pronunciation of names and surnames. Europa suffered from many wars in its history. Fires destroyed vital records in many places. But if you already got sick with this virus, nothing won’t stop you.
You will spend all of your free time to find another small snippet of information. One more photo, one more name, one more date. Sometimes you think that you found everything possible, but inside, you will always feel that there are more things to clean the dust from.
After weeks, months or even years you will try to find more information, you will be sure you missed something and you will never give up.
As a part of a family genealogy, people travel to their family origin places. Sometimes there is nothing to see, but you can breathe the air your ancestors breathed, walk the streets your family members used to walk on. Jump into the river they used to bath in.
Many of our client who came on our tailor-made heritage tours send us pixels of information they have and we help them to put it into a more or less clear picture.
It is always better to make a research in advance and not to rely on the last moment discovery.
We highly recommend to apply for the vital records’ search in the Central Historical Archive
Another big data base is in the central archive of Lithuania http://www.archyvai.lt/en/archives/centralarchives.html
If you come with something in your hands, it is much easier to find things on the spot. Sometimes people go to a wrong country because they have misspelled the name of the Village or town.
People think that they can come to a place and find information in the local archives, but many times it is a kind of an illusion. You think that your guide can knock on the door and ask people in 2018 about somebody who lived there in 1920.
In most of the cases it is not realistic. But some miraculous coincidences did happen and we have met people who new to tell about the relatives of my clients.
On our tours we teach about Napoleon in Vilnius, who said his famous fraise “there is no future without the past!”. We have to remember and learn from the past.
What you know about your family roots? Time in that research work against you, possible that there are no more seniors of your family you could ask the questions. Don’t waste your time, go ahead to travel, to the past and present.