In order to prove that your ancestor was a Lithuanian citizen before June 15th 1940, you must obtain an official copy of a birth record, or some other record dated before 1940, from Lithuania.
“Documents confirming that the person held Lithuanian citizenship prior to 15 June 1940 shall be the following documents: extant internal or foreign passports of the Republic of Lithuania issued prior to 15 June 1940; foreign passports of the Republic of Lithuania issued by diplomatic missions or consular posts of the Republic of Lithuania abroad after 15 June 1940; documents relating to service in the Lithuanian Army or employment in civil service; birth certificates or other documents having direct reference to Lithuanian citizenship held by the person, identity cards issued on the basis of documents issued in Lithuania prior to 15 June of 1940.” – Lithuanian Archives
“In the absence of the above documents the following documents may be submitted: documents relating to studies, work and residence in Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940; Lithuanian descent shall be confirmed by documents testifying directly or indirectly that the person’s parents or grandparents, or one of the parents or grandparents are Lithuanian or held Lithuanian citizenship.” – Lithuanian Archives
In order to obtain records from Lithuania, there are two offices with which you will want to become familiar.
Lithuania State Historical Archives: This is the office you will want to contact to obtain birth,death, and marriage records. If your grandparents were born married or died in Lithuania – this is the office that will have the records for you.
Lithuanian State Historical Archives
Lithuania Central State Archives: If you are looking for any other record mentioned above, you will want to contact the Lithuania Central State Archives. Lithuanian Central State Archives
I strongly recommend contacting both of these offices at the same time. Do not contact the central archives for a birth record, and then wait until you are told there is no birth record to contact the state historical archives for additional records. All of this information is not electronic, and is stored in a warehouse somewhere in Lithuania. It takes time to sort through all of that information. In addition, the more evidence you have, the better. If you end up obtaining a birth record AND other records, that is just better for your case.
I sent an email to both offices – letting them know that I was looking for my grandparents’ records. It took probably a week of turn around time to get a reply from both offices. The offices each sent me a form to fill out with information regarding my grandparents. I had to fill out 1 form for each grandparent, for each office. So four total forms. I have listed the forms below so that you are able to see what kind of information you will need about your ancestors.
*These forms and others can also be found here. *
It is important that you include any and all information you have available. I was able to include my great grandparents’ names, my grandparents’ birth years and cities, my great grandparents’ siblings names and so on. I was not able to include every piece of information requested on these forms so if you cannot either – don’t stress. Fill out as much as you possibly can.
In addition to emailing back my completed forms, there is also a fee for the search. The fee is charged for each persons’ search. So I paid four fees total. One for each form. I believe the fees came out to around 80 USD total. The archives will let you know the exact fees when you contact them. I believe it was around 18 Euro for each form for one office, and less for the other office. You are allowed to send the money via wire transfer from your bank, or by mail. At first I thought I would send it via wire transfer. However when I got to the bank they informed me that it would cost 40.00 PER TRANSFER. (40.00 x 4 just to send the money internationally… No thank you.)
So, I opted for a money order and an envelope. I sent two money orders total. One money order to the Central state archives which included the funds for both grandparents, and one money order to the historical archives which included the funds for both grandparents. I also included a copy of the necessary forms, even though I had already emailed them. I wanted to make sure the funds were applied to the appropriate search. I chose to purchase priority mail with a tracking number, so that I could ensure my funds have reached the destination. This cost 25.00 per envelope. I did not include this 25.00 tracking number fee in my total cost, since it is optional.
YOU MUST send enough money to cover the conversion rate from dollars to Euros. if you send 18 USD and not 18 EURO you have not paid enough money. The approach I took was to send more, not less. I used a currency conversion app on my phone and rounded up. So, I converted 20USD to Euros instead of 18. I think I ended up sending a whole 4.00 more than I needed to, but that was worth the peace of mind and the potential month I saved not having to go back and forth with them to send more money. I also believe there is a fee for sending a money order, which was only like 2.00 or something. Again, they are very helpful and will tell you the exact fees when it is time.
Once I sent this information off to be worked on, I moved on to the second thing I had to prove.