Showing posts with label Varno. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Varno. Show all posts

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Not the first Lithuanians

Having got excited that I may have found the first Lithuanians in South Australia I'm pretty sure they weren't the WARNAS family. While the entry in the Lobethal birth records listed WARNAS, there were none in the SA BDM's. I did find Mathilde Bertha though, she was listed as WARNEST, her parents August Ernst WARNEST and Johanne Luise SCHILLING. August died young aged 36, his surname listed as WARNESS. There are two death entries for August, one in Angaston and one in Adelaide. The information on the BDM's index does not give place of birth or cause of death. This can only be gleamed from the original records. Also because August died early in SA history the records at that time did not contain much information. Hence a call to the Genealogy Society to look at the original only told me that he was a farmer and died of pneumonia.

The next step was to find an entry in the Biographical Index of SA. I found the family under WARNEST, it states they came out on the ship Catharina and were from Prussia. Johanne came from Lagmeil, Zullichau, which is not in Lithuania.

I have again searched the Skjold shipping list with no likely matches and then searched the shipping lists of ships coming from Germany to Australia. Again no VARNO. The Skjold was the only ship to come out to SA that year. You can search these lists online at

I don't this Jonas Vanagas made a mistake, I would just love to view his records to confirm this information. The search continues.

Monday, 31 March 2008

The Varno family

As mentioned in an earlier blog, it is believed that the Varno family was the first Lithuanians to arrive in South Australia on the ship the Skjold in 1841. Their names do not appear on the shipping list, but as the list is not complete its not surprising.
Today i found an entry in the Lobethal Register of Baptisms for 1848 while in the Lutheran Archives.
The entry reads:
Maria Elisabeth WARNAS, born 15 March 1848 at Light Pass, parents of August Ernst Warnas and Johanne Luise Warnas nee Schilling.

Could this be the Varno family? In German a W is pronounced as a V in English and because the reference to the family from Vanagas was in Lithuanian the way the surname was written was in a singular genitive (Not sure if that is correct) case and so appeared with an O ending rather than the nominative 'AS'.
The names are very German sounding as well, but if they were Lutherans it is possible that this would be the norm.
Will keep looking.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

First SA Lithuanians

Research conducted by Jonas Vanagas reveals that the first Lithuanians to SA were the Varno family, consisting of parents a son and two daughters. They arrived on the ship the Skjold in a group of 275 from Prussia. The family settled at Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills. I have searched the BDM's for any mention of the Varno family and have found none. The shipping list available online also reveals no Varno family for the ship the Skjold. I have no doubt that Vanagas found some reference to the Varno family but as yet have not been able to trace the source. I have tried variations on the spelling of the name also with no luck. Did they move interstate? anglicise their name? I won't give up seeking though, there must be a reference.