Following is the translation of records found in the Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius for your ancestors. Translation is from Russian, Polish and Lithuanian. Names and locations are written in modern Lithuanian. Archival indexes are at the bottom of each copy of original record.

Vilius Vašeikis
Paberžės 30-37
LT-07144 Vilnius
Lithuania
26 February 2016

ŠUGŽDA and others

In the Lithuanian State Historical Archives are stored following books of baptismal, marriages and deaths for the interested years for Kudirkos Naumiestis (old name, Vladislavov): for years only of 1848, 1850, 1852–1857, 1859–1860, 1862, 1864–1867, 1872, 1874, 1876, 1879–1880, 1882–1884, 1886, 1888, 1890, 1893, 1896, 1899, 1903–1904, 1922–1938. Searching for needed records we were not able to find certain records just because of missing books for many years.

  1. The Client stated that the given name of the father of Petronėlė Melnikaitytė (Melnikaitė) was ‘Vincentas’. In fact, his given name was Simonas.
  2. We did not [find] the baptismal record for Pranciškus Simanavičius because according to his marriage record he had to be born around 1863 and the book for that year is missing. We did not find his baptismal record in books of 1859–1860, 1862, 1864–1866 either.
  3. We did not find the baptismal record for Jonas Šugžda because according to baptismal records of his children, [he] had to be born around 1869, but books for years 1868–1871 are missing.
  4. The marriage between Jonas Šugžda and widow Petronėlė Simanavičienė was not happening on 6th of September, 1890 because the daughter Ona Simanavičiūtė was born on 10th of February, 1891. We do not think that if the mother widow already got married to Jonas Šugžda and became Šugždienė, the baby born in such existing new family would be recorded in the name of already deceased father Pranciškus Simanavičius. Even more: there were no registered marriage in 1890 in Vladislavov Roman Catholic church between Jonas Šugžda and widow Petronėlė Simanavičienė. As well as no record of death of Pranciškus Simanavičius which supposed to happen according to the Client in between May and September of 1890. The only possible, but hardly believable, option would be that Pranciškus Simanavičius has died somewhere else and not in Vladislavov parish, and the widow got married to Jonas Šugžda somewhere else and not in Vladislavov parish.
  5. In the books of Vladislavov church we did not find any single mentioning of persons with surname “Šugžda” except in records 8, 9 and 10.

1. Marriage of Simonas Melnikaitis & Ona Vidrinskaitė  – 24 January 1864

This marriage occurred in Vladislavov [Kudirkos Naumiestis] on 24th of January, 1864 at 2pm. In the presence of witnesses Silvestras Keblinskas, 27 years old farmer from Gustainiškiai village, and Simonas Gudžentis, 24 years old hired-labourer from Lauckaimis village, a religious marriage was concluded between Simonas Melnikas, 34 years old, born in Katromyslė village of the Kalvarija district, and who resides in Sakalupėnai palivarkas [Sakalupis estate], the son of already deceased Stanislovas Melnikas and Ieva née Stepšytė, and Ona Vidrinskaitė, 22 years old, born and residing at her brother’s house in Lauckaimis village, the daughter of deceased Juozapas Vidrinskas and Magdalena Vidrinskas née Venciūtė living at the son’s house in Lauckaimis village. Three banns were called before the marriage in Vladislavov church, on 10th, 17th and 24th of January of this year. The newly-weds announced that no marriage agreement between them was concluded. The religious marriage ceremony was conducted by the priest Juozapas Marma. This decree was announced to the audience and signed for the illiterates by the priest Kolbauskas.

Note: Palivarkas is the Lithuanian word coming from German fahrwerk; it means a separate division of the main manor.


2. Birth of Petronėlė Melnikaitytė – 1 November 1864

This baptism occurred in Vladislavov [Kudirkos Naumiestis] on 1st of November, 1864 at 2pm. Personally arrived Simonas Melnikaitis, 36 years old from Sakalupėnai palivarkas [Sakalupis estate] where he resides and serves, together with witnesses Jurgis Savickas, 22 years old, and Stanislovas Petraitis, 32 years old, both who reside and serve in Sakalupėnai, and showed a female baby stating that she was born in Sakalupėnai palivarkas [Sakalupis estate] on 1st of November, at 2am, by his legal wife Ona née Vidrinskaitė, 32 years old. In the baptismal ceremony, the priest Mykolas Snabauskas granted the name Petronėlė to the baby. The Godparents were Jurgis Savickas and Rožė Šatner. This decree was announced to the audience and signed for illiterates by the priest Kolbauskas.


3. Birth of Juozapas Melnikaitis – (19) 31 March 1867

This baptism occurred in Vladislavov [Kudirkos Naumiestis] on 19th/31st of March, 1867 at 3pm. Personally arrived Simonas Melnikaitis, 41 year old from Sakalupėnai palivarkas [Sakalupis estate] where he resides and serves, together with witnesses Jurgis Savickas, 26 years old, and Matas Mickevičius, 35 years old, both who reside and serve in Sakalupėnai, and showed a male baby stating that he was born on 19th/31st of March at 2am by his legal wife Ona née Juškevičiūtė, 35 years old. In the baptismal ceremony, the priest Juozapas Marma granted the name Juozapas to the baby. The Godparents were Matas Mickevičius and Ona Grigošaitis. This decree was announced to the audience and signed for illiterates by the priest Kolbauskas.

Notes: (i) The Russian Empire was at that time transitioning from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, and all records had to show the dates of both calendars. The correct date by the Gregorian calendar is always the second date. (ii) This record has mistakenly recorded the maiden surname of the mother as “Juškevičiūtė”, rather than Vidrinskaitė.


4. Birth of Jonas Melnikaitis – (18) 30 May 1874

This baptism occurred in Vladislavov [Kudirkos Naumiestis] on 19th/31st of May, 1874 at 1pm. Personally arrived Simonas Melnikaitis, 40 years old laborer from Sakalupėnai palivarkas [Sakalupis estate], together with witnesses Vincentas Polteraitis, 35 years old, and Kazimieras Baziliauskas, 40 years old, both labourers from Sakalupėnai, and showed a male baby stating that he was born on 18th/30th of May at 7pm, by his legal wife Ona née Vidrinskaitė, 30 years old. In the baptismal ceremony, the priest Silvestras Leonavičius granted the name Jonas to the baby. The Godparents were Vincentas Polteraitis and Pranciškus Vidrinskaitė. This decree was announced to the audience and signed for illiterates by the priest Dičpinigaitis.


5. Marriage of Pranciškus Simanavičius & Petronėlė Melnikaitytė – (16) 28 September 1886

This marriage occurred in Vladislavov [Kudirkos Naumiestis] on 16th/28th of September 1886, at 11am, in the presence of witnesses, residents of Lauckaimis village, Juozapas Grigaitis, 46 years old plot-holder, and Juozapas Dekeras, 25 years old son of a farmer. The religious marriage was concluded between Pranciškus Simanavičius, 23 years old, born in Kataučizna village and residing in Slibinai village, illegitimate son of already deceased Ona Simanavičiūtė, and Petronėlė Melnikaitytė, 21 year old, born in Sakalupėnai palivarkas [Sakalupis estate] and residing in Lauckaimis village, daughter of plot-holders from Lauckaimis village Simonas Melnikaitis and Ona Melnikaitis née Vidrinskaitė. Three banns were called before the marriage in Vladislavov church – on 17th/29th of August, 24th of August/4th of September, 31st of August/12th of September. The newly-weds announced that no marriage agreement between them was concluded. The religious marriage ceremony was conducted by the priest Saliamonas Goliakas.


6. Birth of Silvestras Simanavičius – (21 September) 3 October 1888

This baptism occurred in Vladislavov [Kudirkos Naumiestis] on 21st of September/3rd of October, 1888 at 3pm. Personally arrived Pranciškus Simanavičius, 25 years old plot-holder from Lauckaimis village, together with witnesses Juozapas Baltrušis, 26 years old, and Juozapas Dekeras, 28 years old, both farmers and residing in Lauckaimis village, and showed a male baby stating that he was born on 21st of September/3rd of October at 3am in Lauckaimis village by his legal wife Petronėlė née Melnikaitytė, 23 years old. In the baptismal ceremony, the priest Mykolas Gavelis granted the name Silvestras to the baby. The Godparents are Vincentas Prapuolenis and Marijona Prapuolenienė. This decree was announced to the audience and signed for illiterates by the priest Goliakas.


7. Death of Juozapas Simanavičius – (16) 27 December 1888

This death was recorded in Vladislavov [Kudirkos Naumiestis] on 17th/28th of December, 1888 at noon. Personally arrived Izidorius Petraitis, 38 years old tailor, and Pranciškus Vidrinskas, 38 years old daily labourer, both residents of Lauckaimis village, and stated that on 16th/27th of December at 7pm in Lauckaimis village Juozapas Simanavičius, 1 year old, son of day labourer Pranciškus Simanavičius and his legal wife Petronėlė Melnikaitytė, temporarily residing in Lauckaimis village and permanent residents of Kataučizna village, passed away. This decree was announced to the audience and signed for illiterates by the priest Goliakas.


8. Birth of Pranciškus Šugžda – (29 May) 10 June 1896

This baptism occurred in Vladislavov [Kudirkos Naumiestis] on 29th of May/10th of June, 1896 at 7am. Personally arrived Jonas Šugžda, 27 years old lodger from Lauckaimis village, together with witnesses Pranciškus Sroginis, 35 years old plot-holder from Lauckaimis village, and Jonas Skučas, 37 years old sexton from Vladislavov township, and showed a male baby stating that he was born on 29th of May/10th of June at 4am in Lauckaimis village by his legal wife Petronėlė née Melnikaitytė, 31 year old. In the baptismal ceremony, the priest Jonas Naujokas granted the name Pranciškus to the baby. The Godparents were Pranciškus Sroginis and Ona Sroginienė. This decree was announced to the audience and signed for illiterates by the priest Goliakas.


9. Death of Pranciškus Šugžda  – (8 June) 20 June 1896

This death was recorded in Vladislavov [Kudirkos Naumiestis] on 9th/21st of June, 1896 at 3pm. Personally Jonas Benokraitis, 31 year old, and Pranciškus Vosylius, 32 years old, both plot-holders from Lauckaimis village, and stated that on 8th/20th of June at 10pm in Lauckaimis village, Pranciškus Šugžda, one week old, son of residents of Lauckaimis village plot-holder Jonas and his legal wife Petronėlė née Melnikaitytė Šugžda, passed away. This decree was announced to the audience and signed for illiterates by the priest Goliakas.


10. Birth of Vladislovas Šugžda – (20 May) 1 June 1899

This baptism occurred in Vladislavov [Kudirkos Naumiestis] on 21st of May/2nd of June 1899, at 2pm. Personally arrived Jonas Šugžda, 30 years old plot-holder from Lauckaimis village, together with witnesses Vladislovas Vasiliauskas, 24 years old son of a town-dweller, and Jonas Skučas, 40 years old sexton, both residents of Vladislavov township, and showed a male baby stating that he was born on 20th of May/1st of June at 9pm in Lauckaimis village by his legal wife Petronėlė née Melnikaitytė, 34 years old. In the baptismal ceremony, the priest Konstantinas Kudirka granted the name of Vladislovas to the baby. The Godparents were Vladislovas Vasiliauskas and Agota Pačinaitienė. This decree was announced to the audience and signed by the first witness, Vladislovas Vasiliauskas, for the illiterate father, and signed for the second witness by the priest Goliakas.


Researcher’s notes:

Lauckaimis is just 5 km from Kudirkos Naumiestis, which was at that time called Vladislavov. This town was right next to Eastern Prussia, then part of Germany, but is now the Kaliningrad Oblast (Exclave) of Russia. This exclave is, nowadays, the most militarised area in the world. Historically, the area was on a crossroads, and though the majority were Lithuanians, there were also German, Jewish, and Polish people. The area suffered very badly during WW1 and WW2, and this explains why the archives are missing church books from most churches in the area: the churches were burnt or ruined. Therefore, we could not even find those records which were available in 1920s when your ancestors applied for their birth certificates.

A correction to the initial translation of the records: Since the records were translated from Slavic languages (Polish and Russian) the name of frequently mentioned “Sakalupėnai palivarkas” was incorrectly translated. This is the “Sakalupis Estate”, an existing village right on the border with Eastern Prussia (now Russia), though the census shows 0 residents. Navigating for getting it right, I have found an interesting article describing the realities of the author’s (and your ancestor’s) life. The author, the son of emigrants to Scotland, writes about book smugglers and general national situation at the turn of the 20th century. I think it is an interesting reading for you. Look at www.spaudos.lt/Knygnesiai/Father.en.htm