Monday, 28 April 2008

To death us do part

On Saturday April 26th, I celebrated my grandparents 65th wedding anniversary. Ieva (Sakalauskaite) and Martynas Pocius were married in Kaunas in 1943. Martynas was born in Metrikvieciai, Silute region on 31 July 1920. Ieva was born in Piniava in 1923. Eugenijus Arvydas was born on April 27th 1944. After fleeing the Russians they made their way to Germany where they spent several years in Displaced Persons camps in Germany. A daughter Elzbieta Olga was born on 3rd November 1946. Martynas began studies in Engineering which was interrupted by the war. It wasn't until many years later he continued his education at Adelaide University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in 1955.

On arrival in Australia, Ieva was able to continue her passion for art, in particular sculpture. She has become well known in the art world. A statue of Catherine Helen Spence stands in Light Square, unveiled by the Queen in 1986.

Fifty-eight years in Australia and 65 years together, Ieva and Martynas were able to celebrate this day with their two children, two in-laws, three of their four grandchildren and two of their great-grandchildren. Their legacy continues.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Lithuanian House Youth Fund

In 1961 a youth fund was established to raise funds for the youth of the community. It cost $20 to nominate someone for inclusion. A photograph of the person was then placed into an album which is kept in the Lithuanian Archives.
Amongst the names included are: Arlauskas, Bielskis, Ciplyte, Cibiras, Dunda, Fiseris, Gylas, Grigonis, Jaunutis, Jurgelionis, Kaminskas, Kazlauskas, Stalba, Stimburys, Sliuzas, Vasiliauskas, Zakarevicius.

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.