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This project is dedicated to tracing ancestors in Lithuania at its present territories and Lithuania Propria historical lands.

This portal provides a list of online genealogy sources, such as registries and archives of Lithuanian documents.

If you have Lithuanian ancestors or study ancestral lines deriving from Lithuania Propria, please follow and participate in this project.

Lithuanian Last Names

Lithuanian first and last names have meaning in the Lithuanian language. Oldest known pagan Lithuanian name meanings are associative to personality traits or a life mission assigned to the child. Some are nicknames given to the person during his/her life. In the Lithuanian language, male and female first names and surnames vary in ending, which is typical for each gender.


The major spoken language in Lithuanian territories is Lithuanian. Documents are recorded in Latin and Ruthenian languages.

During the 9-14 centuries Lithuanian nobility was formed. The nobility used crests (heraldry symbols) as their last names. Earliest known noble Lithuanian, Curonian, and Old Prussian last names are runic symbols. They were used to mark property ownership, signs engraved in stones marked the limits of the territory, and family symbols were used on military shields, guns, and banners. Some Lithuanian noble families retained their runic symbols as crests during later centuries, although they were renamed per their association to various clans in the early 15 century. Examples: Abdank, Boreyko, Odyniec, Columns of Gediminas, Prus, and others. Families descending from western European nobility used their crests as a last name; one example is a Swan - according to the legend, in the 9 c. A Danish knight with Swan on his shield came to live in Baltic lands; he was nicknamed "Dunczyk" or "Dunin" (Dane), and his descendant was known as Włost.

11-12th c. Lithuanian dukes who had dominions in Slavic territories accepted Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Slavic Christian names. The influence of Orthodox Christianity on pagan Lithuanian culture is evidenced in about one-third of present-day Lithuanian surnames constructed from baptismal names are Old Church Slavonic in origin. During this period Patronymic name, the usage became common for males and females, in addition to a family crest.

Noble families from Crimea 1390-1441

Based on the Crimean Karaites history, at approx. 1390-1396 Vytautas the Great played a historic role in the resolution of Crimean coup - a conflict among ruling political forces. Vytautas rescued and gave asylum to a pregnant wife of Crimean ruler. A boy was raised and educated as Vytautas' true son, and later he became a founder of Giray dynasty. The asylum was also given to approx. 200 Crimean noble families - political supporters of that future ruler. In 1441 Hacı I Giray ascended to the Crimean throne, and some of his political supporters followed him back to Crimea. However, other families, mostly Crimean Karaites and Qırımçaq Jews, remained in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Some of these families accepted Christianity and were given GDL nobility. Symbols in their family crests contain a Crescent and Star or a Star of David. Examples of such descending Lithuanian noble family coats of arms are: Leliwa coat of arms, Ostrogski coat of arms (it also contains old Lithuanian runic symbol), and many other Lithuanian noble families, who intermarried to Crimean families contain both: Crescent, Star, and parts of Lithuanian runic heraldry symbols.


The first records of last names in Lithuanian culture appear during the 15th century. Documents are recorded in Latin and Polish languages.

After 1413 Union of Horodło, Lithuanian nobility was united into the Polish nobility system. New family crests were assigned to Lithuanian nobles, and only politically influential Lithuanian nobles remained with their old crests. Lithuanian nobles accepted Roman Catholic Christening and new last names assigned to them - usually derivatives of their pagan patronymic names. Family crests were named based on Polish nobility standards, per their association with known clans. Large clans were separated, and different crests were given to branching families. During this time, most given first names were Catholic or Russian Orthodox.

During the 15 - beginning of the 16 century, some Lithuanian noble dynasties with large land ownership or strong political positions among several brothers split into branches adopting new last names: either Christian Patronymic name or estate name was added, in some cases previous last name was completely dropped. Nevertheless, in most cases, the noble crest of the family remained the same.

During 15-16 c., not noble residents of the cities were documented with surnames. Last names were first acquired by people who owned real estate, participated in a trade and handicraft business, city management, and were city workers. During this period, patronymic last names, derivatives of professions, and derivatives of nicknames were given to the citizens as surnames. Also, during this period, peasants and farmers were registered within their parish records. Families who worked in service to nobles often received the same or similar last names (without a crest). Some farmers received the last names of the land owner where they farmed or resided. Some last names were derivatives of the settlement or locality name.

In 1563 the Church instructed priests to keep books of records for birth, marriage, and death. The first book of baptismal records in the world was found in Krakow in 1578. The oldest church book found in Lithuania dates back to 1599.

During early 17 c., the first female surnames based on marital status were recorded in church books (prior to that, women were recorded only with their first and patronymic names). Starting this period, women's surname endings began to indicate their marital status. (In Lithuania, only one 16 c. record is found where a woman carries her marital last name). During this time, more often Slavic (Russian and Polish) name recording style was applied to Lithuanian names, with the ending -owa added to women's marital surnames, and endings -ewna, -owna added to women maiden names. Nevertheless, at the same period, there are records of Lithuanian endings indicating female marital status: -ienė indicates women's marital last name, and -aitė, -ytė or -ūtė (-ūčia) ending indicates women's maiden name.

During 1710-1711 the Great Plague epidemics raged in Lithuania. This also affected priests; in many parishes no church records were kept during this time.


Documents are recorded in Polish and Russian languages.

1795 - the third partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forever destroyed this state. The largest part of ethnic Lithuanian lands and the Duchy of Courland were annexed by the Russian Empire. An order to legitimize with Imperial Russian state was issued to the nobility of annexed lands. Some Lithuanian last names in records are changed to comply with typical Russian language pronunciation, and Slavic writing alterations are applied. Descendants from the same family, who lived in different parishes, might have had different spellings of their surnames during this time.

At the end of 19 c.- beginning of 20 c., many Lithuanians emigrated to Western countries, mainly to the USA. Young men were escaping the draft to the Imperial Russian army. Some Lithuanian families were persecuted for participating in national resistance (1831 and 1863), for the distribution of the forbidden Lithuanian press. Also, economic possibilities in Western countries influenced emigration. Most Lithuanian immigrants to the US spent close to 20 years working in Pennsylvania coal mines before returning to Lithuania. At this time, many emigrants still planned, after saving earned money, to come back to Lithuania, purchase land and a home, and establish their future family in Lithuania. Many of these emigrants returned to Lithuania after the declaration of independence in 1918. Back in their homeland, these Lithuanians were called "Amerikonai."

Litvak names and surnames (source:

Lithuanian Jews, similarly to other Mediterranean cultures, up to 17 c., did not have surnames. In records, they were listed with first names and patronyms. The word "ben" (son) or "bat" (daughter) was added to the name. However, Jewish tradition requires a respectable person to recite the names of the ancestors of at least seven prior generations.

Since the names within one family's descendants were often repeated, the geographical labels were often used next to the first names. Examples: cha Romi - from Rome, Ierusalmi - from Jerusalem. Also, professions were listed next to names: Sandalar, Sandler - Shoemaker, Sofer - Clerk. Nickname usage was widespread in Jewish culture, and nicknames were often recorded next to names: Shapiro - decent, Yoffe - handsome.

Only at the end of 18 c. were surnames assigned to Jews in Europe. In 1787, Austrian Emperor Joseph II issued a law requiring all Jews to receive hereditary surnames. This process instantly was consumed by corruption: in order to have a nice, nobly sounding surname, Jews were demanded to contribute large payments, and who refused - were given the most unpleasant surname. Such as, for example, Krautkopf - cabbage head, or Ochsenschwanz - oxtail.

In Imperial Russia Gavrila Derzhavin suggested the system of surnames for Jews. The proposed system demanded that Jewish surnames be created based on the "Ruthenian Style" and reflect the person's character and the government's attitude towards that person. Introverted people received the surname Zamyslowaty or Zamysliuk, perky and bright - Shwydkiy. The "Jewish Law," which obliged Jews to receive surnames, was approved in 1804. In 1850, Jews were banned from changing their surnames, even after converting to another faith.

The first known and today most widespread Jewish surnames are Kohen and Levi. Kohen is a cast of Jewish clergy, and Levi is a helper of a clergyman. These statuses were inherited by the Jews according to the lineage of the father, which made the other nations gradually consider them as surnames.

While Jews settled in different countries, various surnames were created from Kohen and Levi - Kogan, Kona, Kana, Kaganovich, Levin, Levitan, Levia, etc. In addition, even if the surname is not similar to the original "Koen," it may be related to it. For example, Katz is an abbreviation of kohen-cedek - a true Koen.

Many Jewish surnames have toponymic origins, and this is not surprising given the fact that the Jews are widely spread around the world. Suppose a person came from Austria to receive the name Oistrach (in Yiddish - Austria). Coming from Lithuania - Litvin, Litvak, Litvinov. There are surnames derived from the names of cities - Liwschitz, Landau, Vilenski, and Berliner.

There are also ethnonymic Jewish surnames, such as Deutsch and Nemtsov (German), Polak and Polansky (Polish), and others.

Many Jewish surnames originated from the names of the professions. Suppose Portnov, Chayat, Schnayder, or Schnädermann derived from the same word - "a tailor." Shuster, Sandler, and Schwechat derived from the shoemaker profession. The surname of the Melamed is translated as "the teacher of religion," Mogel is "the master of circumcision," and Shadchan is "a host."

Jewish surnames that originated from first names are not as numerous as "professional." The simplest form of generating such a surname is the use of a personal name. Examples: David, Israel, Adam, Aron, and others.

A large group of Jewish surnames derived from the so-called "kin" - household names. For example, Marx or Marks surname is the German form of the name Markus, used as a household variant of the Mordecai name. The name Lobroz is a household variant of Uriah's name.

In addition, surnames can be formed based on the names of close relatives from the father or mother and also according to the name of the wife. The patronymic surnames could have been formed by the addition of the ending "-stam" (strain) or "-bein" (bone). For example, names such as Mandelshtam or Fishbein.

As far as the purely Jewish traditions of surnames are concerned, the abbreviations should be distinguished. They have a certain principle of encrypting information about surname owners.

For example, the surname Zak is deciphered as "zera kadoshim" - a holy family. Marshall's surname is an abbreviation of "Morena Rabbi Schlomo Kluger," which can be translated as "our teacher, our lord Solomon the Wise." The surname Roshal is an abbreviation of "Rabbi Schlomo Luria."

Not all Jewish surnames relate to the place of residence, profession, or kinship. There are many so-called decorative Jewish surnames. Usually, they are formed from German or Yiddish words' roots. Many Jewish surnames contain the word "gold" - Goldbaum (golden tree), Goldstein (golden stone), and the like. From the word "rose" - Rosenbaum (rose tree), Rosenblum (rose flower).

Many Jewish surnames originated from precious stones and jewelry material names. Finkelstein is a luminous stone, Bernstein - amber. Perelstein is a pearl, and Edelstein is a precious stone.

Not everyone could afford to get such a prominent-sounding surname; in most cases, beautiful surnames were obtained for a great amount of money.

Census, parish registers and lists of parishioners online


Dictionaries and encyclopedias online.

Maps online:

Other useful sources:

Discussion groups.

Portalas skirtas paieškai protėvių, kurių kilmė susijusi su dabartine ar istorine Lietuvos teritorija.

Šiame portale pateikiami įvairūs internetiniai genealoginės paieškos šaltiniai, bažnyčių metrikų ir Lietuvos archyvinių dokumentų sąrašai.

Jei turite su Lietuva susijusių protėvių, arba jei tiriate iš Lietuvos teritorijų kilusių protėvių genealogines šakas, prašome prisijungti ir dalyvauti šiame projekte.

Metrikai ir parapijiečių sąrašai internete:

Duomenų bazės:

Žodynai ir enciklopedijos internete.

Žemėlapiai internete.

Įvairios naudingos svetainės:

Straipsnio autorius, aut. Elena Jazbutienė]

Pokalbių grupės.

Danny portal służy do wyszukiwania przodków, korzenie których są związane z Litwą - z obecnych obszarów oraz z historycznych ziem Litewskich.

Tu się znajduje lista źródeł internetowych z dziedziny genealogii, takich jak rejestry i archiwa dokumentów litewskich.

Jeżeli macie litewskich przodków lub studiujecie linie rodowe pochodzące z Litwy, zachęcamy do przyłączenia się i udziału w tym projekcie.

Źródła do wyszukiwania w Internecie.

3. Słowniki i encyklopedie online.

Mapy online.

Grupy dyskusyjne.

Этот портал служит для поиска предков, которых происхождение связано с Литвой - нынешней територией государства и с историческими Литвоскими землями.

Здесь предоставляется список интернет-источников по генеалогии, таких как реестры и архивы литовских документов.

Если у вас есть литовские предки или если вы изучаете родовые линии, вытекающие из Литвы, присоединяйтесь и учавствуйте в этом проекте.

Источники для поиска в интернете.

Словари и энциклопедии онлайн.

Карты в интернете.

Обсуждение в группах.