While filing documents for the Adelaide Lithuanian Archives there was a copy of a letter relating to Vincas Laurinaitis. The letter is from the United Lithuanian Relief Fund of America, written to the Resettlement office in IRO Area 5, Munich October 1948. The letter in English is asking for support in processing applications for Argentinian visas for persons on the enclosed list. The following page, in Spanish, lists 40 names; among them; Malela Vytautas, born 1888, a chemist residing at Augsburg DP Hospital, his wife Vladislava born 1894, son Romualdas born 1932, a labourer and Vladislava born 1926. The list is of Lithuanian Catholics on the North American zone of Germany who wish to relocate to Argentina. (Thanks Google translate). I stopped at the name Malela, as it is in my family history. My grandmothers aunt married a Malela. I knew he was a chemist and had been in partnership in the firm Germapo, a large chemist firm in Lithuania before WWII. I pulled out what notes I had on that family name, and what little I had on them matched.
Using Ancestry and Family search, I found that Romualdas went to the USA, he became a US citizen on July 13, 1965, living in Cicero Illinois and died on 29 February 2004. Family search had an image of a visa application of Vladislava travelling to the USA, with a photo attached. Going back through notes that my grandmother had compiled, I did indeed find a Senora Vlada Survila, with her address in Buenos Aires. I had no idea she was a relative.
A search in the current Buenos Aires white pages shows four Survila’s listed. Now to write a letter to see if I can find out more.
Family history research has always astounded me in the number of coincidences that seem to happen. The chances of finding your family name on a letter that has ended up in Adelaide, to a family that has no connections with this country just astounds me. I know that if my father had read the letter he would have made no connection with the family. The randomness and luck in family history makes it so much more exciting.