Lithuania SIG #Lithuania Vital Records Translation Project Update #lithuania

Joel Ratner

Records Uploaded to the All-Lithuania Database

The Vital Records Translation Project recently submitted over 10,000
birth record translations for inclusion in the LitvakSIG All Lithuania
Database. The records are now up and searchable. Translations were added
for the following towns:

Vilna County

The next update for Vilna and Suwalki gubernia records is scheduled for
December 2009.

Translations in Process

Records currently in translation include the following:

Balbieriskis unfilmed records
Kudirkos Naumiestis unfilmed records
Merkine marriage and divorces
Vilna birth and death records - various years
Vilna County death records - all

Planned translations

The schedule of upcoming translations currently looks as follows:

Ziezmariai marriages and divorces
Snipishok births (possible short term volunteer)

Other towns with vital records

Additional Funds Needed

The following towns require additional funds in order to continue

Butrimonys - needs roughly 6 new contributors

Towns with Critical Funding Needs

With the exception of a few towns not mentioned above, all other towns
with vital records have insufficient funds to either continue or even begin
translations. The most obvious examples of these are the towns listed below:

Trakai District


Vilna District


Lida District Towns

Novy Dvor

With one or two exceptions, the towns listed above as critical have never
roused much interest over the 7 year life of the VRT project. Researchers
for these towns are encouraged to begin participating in the VRT project at
this time. The vital records for these towns remain untapped, waiting to
yield golden nuggets of information researchers are either searching for
or don't even know exist.

Short Term Special Offer

Special Offer Part I - Adding Additional Towns (existing qualifying donors
as of 6/30/2009)
LitvakSIG is pleased to announce that until Sept. 1, 2009, we can offer
the existing vital records translations for the following towns to
researchers who have made a qualifying VRT donation of $100 in the past
(prior to 7/1/2009) at the rates specified herein:

Vilna / Suwalki gubernia towns

Kudirkos Naumiestis
Vilna County (births only)

1 of the above towns may be added for $80 until Sept. 1, 2009. After
that date, the rate will revert to $100.

2 of the above towns may be added for $150 until Sept. 1, 2009. After
that date, the rate will remain at the discounted $150 rate.

The offer presented above incentivizes existing qualified donors wishing
to augment the towns they qualify for to add a single town for a
discounted rate until September 1, 2009. Those researchers wishing to
add two towns benefit >from a permanent reduction in the rate.

Kovno gubernia towns - Aaron Roetenberg has added the following provision
for Kovno district VRT donors:

Added provision - Kaunas or Vilijampole researchers who have made
qualifying donations of at least $100 may add a single surrounding town
within Kovno district (not gubernia) for $80. This is only for the Kovno

Special Offer Part II - Single Town

The second part of the offer is simply to restate the existing rate
structure for a single town. This rate, which has been $100 until now,
will remain at this level through Sept. 1, 2009 and continue thereafter
except for the towns of Vilna, Vilijampole and Kovno. The rates for
these three towns will go up to $150 as of Sept. 2, 2009.

Single town researchers for these three towns are incentivized by this new
structure to contribute as soon as possible to avoid the rate increase.
These particular increases are based on experience with this project,
the large number of records (Vilna City has approximately 170,000
records) as well as the number of paid up donors over seven years time.
The $100 rate for all other towns was kept at this level in order to
continue to offer as much value as possible.

Researchers who have given $100 in the past (prior to 6/30/2009) are
The period established >from now through Sept. 2 2009 was established
to allow new researchers to take advantage of the existing rate
structure. Grandfathered researchers for Vilna, Vilijampole and Kovno
are encouraged, if possible, to continue donating to their towns, if
only at a reduced level, to assist the fundraising as much as possible.
Donors capable of making annual contributions to the VRT project are
encouraged, although this is not required.

Special Offer Part III - VilnaVRTPLUS category

The city of Vilna was bordered in the north by Snipishok (Snipiskes) in
the east by Antokol (Antakalnis) and to the southwest by Novygorod
(Naujamiestis). These towns had their own separate metrical registers.
The number of vital records for these three towns amount to several
tens of thousands, while the city of Vilna has approximately 170,000
vital records. These numbers account for the filmed records only.
Today, these towns are incorporated into the city of Vilna. These towns
have only a handful of researchers.

Over the ten years I have been either the Vilna District coordinator, or
a Vital Records project coordinator, I have encountered many Vilna
researchers. Approximately half of them have stated they have never
been able to find any records for their family, but they were told the
family was >from Vilna. To date, we have many data points to work from
unlike in the early days of the SIG. We have the 1858 Revision List,
birth records spanning 1837 - 1900, most of which have been translated,
as well as the 1915 Vilna city directory Vsia Vilna, and the 1942 Vilna
ghetto census. We now also have access to a large number of Polish
business directories and the 1906 Vilna Duma electors list. These
records span over 100 years, and provide many ways to find relatives
however, there still remain a large number of researchers for whom
answers do not appear.

Given this situation, the plan included a new category for the
VRT project. This category goes by the name VilnaVRTPLUS. The purpose
of the VilnaVRTPLUS category is to completely integrate the translation
efforts for the city of Vilna, Antokol, Snipiskes and Novygorod owing
to the geographical proximity of these towns to Vilna, the fact many
researchers may have information among the records for these towns, and
the lack of researchers to bear the cost of translation.

The VilnaVRTPLUS category is open to all existing qualified Vilna City
Vital Records Translation Project donors. Also eligible for this are
donors to the Antokol, Snipiskes and Novygorod VRT projects under the
following rate structure. The integration of the 3 bordering towns would
cost $300 additional under the existing fee structure. As a special
promotion for this category, until September 1, 2009, qualified Vilna
donors can add the 3 adjacent towns mentioned for a discounted rate of
$150. After September 1, 2009, the rate goes up to $200.

New researchers can also join the VilnaVRTPLUS category at any time
with a qualifying donation of $300. This is a permanent reduction of
$100 against the current fee structure.

A map of the Old Town plus the immediate suburbs can be viewed on the VRT
web site at

Scroll down to the bottom of the Navigation Bar on the left and select the
e VilnaVRTPLUS page.

Researchers with questions regarding the details of the offer are
encouraged to inquire at this time. There is less than one month left to
opt in to the provisions of the offer and with many people going on
vacation prior to the holidays, staffing to answer queries may be somewhat

Joel Ratner

Join to automatically receive all group messages.