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lithuanian greatgrandfather sent back to russia ?

Replies: 11

Re: lithuanian greatgrandfather sent back to russia ?

Posted: 31 Jul 2011 11:16AM GMT
Classification: Query
Unfortunately, your great-grandfather was caught up in a most ugly period of U.K. history. Here is an article about the Lithuanians in Lanakshire, but which covers other areas as well and also addresses the forced repatriation of ethnic Lithuanians to Bolshevik Russia:

This article describes the situation:

"Things became even worse when, in 1917, Britain signed the Anglo-Russian Military Convention. This document related to “the reciprocal liability to military service of British subjects resident in Russia and Russian subjects resident in Great Britain.” In other words, while the Lithuanians were Poles to the ordinary Scots, they were Russians to the British government, and as such, were liable for service in the Russian army. This led to many of the Lithuanian men of working age in Scotland being sent to Russia. By the time most arrived the country was in the grip of the Bolshevik Revolution, with over 200 dependent families being left behind in Bellshill alone, facing the threat of eviction from company-owned housing. Of the 1200 or so men who had gone to Russia, only about a third ever returned to Scotland.

Many of those who had left for Russia were not allowed to return to Britain after the war and their families were forced to leave for Lithuania after the British government suspended dependents’ allowances. These families, many comprising people who were Scots-born, were faced with the choice of either leaving or remaining in Scotland with no means of support in an uncertain economic climate."

Here is another article on the subject:

My guess is that there are many other articles on Lithuanians in the U.K. that you'd find with a Google search.

A few words about the names.

Lithuanian does not use the letter "w" but rather "v". Your spellings reflect a lot of Polish or Slavic influence.

Stanislovas is the usual spelling for Stanley in Lithuanian, but there are several shortened forms for the name such as Stasis, Stasys, Stasius, Stosius, Staja, Stanys, Stanis, Stanius, Stonys, Stonis, and Stonius.

You've given two different surnames here, which in Lithuanian would be Belekevic^ius and Belkevic^ius (i.e., dropping a syllable). Both probably at one time in the distant past were from the same root or stem. The tendency in languages is to shorten and simplify over time so it is more likely that the surname was originally Belekevic^ius. The ending "-vitz" is an Anglicized version of the Slavic or Polish ending "-wicz", which many ethnic Lithuanians adapted to the ending "-vic^ius." Other Anglicized versions of this ending: "-witz", "-wich", "-vich", "-vage", etc. So the Lithuanian spelling of your great-grandfather's name would be Stanislovas Belekevic^ius, pronounced something like sta-nihs-LOH-vahs beh-leh-KA-vih-chus. The Lithuanian letter "c^" is pronounced "ch" as in the English word "church." The letter "e" before the "v" is pronounced like the letter "a" in the English word "hat."

Another characteristic feature of spelling differences between Polish (Slavic) and Lithuanian (Baltic) is the interchangeability of the vowels "a" and "o" and sometimes "u". Consider the Polish surname Kozlowski, which becomes in Lithuanian Kaslauskas. The ending "-ute" in Lithuanian is used to indicate an unmarried woman's or girl's name, where her father's name ends in "-us". So the unmarried daughter of a Mr. Vaitkus would be Miss Vaitkute. Putting this all together for your great grandmother has the Lithuanian spelling of Ieva (in older times, Jeva) Lukas^evic^iute, i.e., Ieva, unmarried daughter of a father whose name was Mr. Lukas^evic^ius. The Lithuanian letter "s^" has the same sound as the Polish "sz", i.e., "sh" as in the English word "shout." So her name would be pronounced something like YAY-vah loo-kah-SA-vi-chus.

Just to round out the linguistic vagaries of the Lithuanian language here. The ending to surnames for women also changed when they married. In such instances, the ending "-iene" is used instead of the husband's ending of "-a", "-as", "-is", "-ys" or "-us". So your great grandmother's surname (including her maiden name) was Ieva Lukasevic^iute Belekevic^iene.

Once Lithuanian immigrants landed in English speaking territory, they tended to drop the various endings and use only the masculine singular ending "-a", "-as", "-is", "-ys" or "-us" and often shortened their Lithuanian names. But among themselves, they would surely use these different endings. It should be clear that there was a powerful Polish influence over ethnic Lithuanians because Polish was seen as very high status and the major landowners and priests usually were either Poles or educated in Polish schools and used the Polish language (whether their Lithuanian congregations,l subjects or neighbors did so or not) -- certainly before WWI.

John Peters

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
craigwoods10 31 Jul 2011 1:33PM GMT 
craigwoods10 31 Jul 2011 1:35PM GMT 
eglejara 31 Jul 2011 4:52PM GMT 
LithuanianGen... 31 Jul 2011 5:16PM GMT 
craigwoods10 9 Aug 2011 2:14PM GMT 
pauliuslukose... 10 Aug 2011 9:02PM GMT 
TishPage 27 Jan 2013 10:37PM GMT 
Carla_belkevi... 7 Mar 2013 7:50AM GMT 
teevan83 10 Mar 2013 11:37PM GMT 
TishPage 12 Mar 2013 1:26PM GMT 
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