There are many, many people of Lithuanian descent in the United States.  How difficult is it to find one's "roots" in Lithuania?  The answer is that it almost always can be done.  Some searches are easier than others.

The place to start is with this question:  how much information about your Lithuanian ancestors do you already have?  Researchers in Lithuania will tell you that you need to be able to complete this sentence with reasonable accuracy to be able to actually locate the area where your relatives are from:  "__________ (name)  was born (or married or confirmed or something similar) in the village (or town) of __________ on _____________ (month, day, and year)."  For many people in the U.S. that is asking a lot.  However, the information does not have to be 100% accurate, just "pretty close".

Here are some good websites to start your research:

1) Lithuanian Global Genealogical Society (www.lithuaniangenealogy.org/)  (check out their databases)

2) LGGS has two online options for networking and Lithuanain family history search questions: a Yahoo discussion group (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/L... easy to join; free) and if you have joined Facebook, they also have a page for the Lithuanian Global Genealogical Society (https://www.facebook.com/groups/lithu.../)

3) the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture's Genealogy Department (http://www.balzekasmuseum.org - $ fee but a search is included with membership. They can assist in locating old Lithuanian church records.)

4) the Family History Center (http://www.familysearch.org/) (online and microfilm records that can be sent to your local FHC).

6) For those ready to begin research in Lithuania with a professional genealogist, a list can be found here: http://lithuaniangenealogy.org/files/...

 

Assuming that you find, or already have, the needed information, then the prospects for a great Family History Tour are very much within reach.  Here are some sites that can help.

1)  Perhaps the best source for information about family history tours is LithuaniaVisits.com (http://www.LithuaniaVisits.com) (guide with excellent English and excellent search skills).

2) The "In Your Pocket" guidebooks have invaluable information about cars, hotels, etc. (www.inyourpocket.com/city/vilnius).

3) LitInterp is a well-established and versitile travel and guide service (http://www.litinterp.com/indexEN.html).

4) General information about travel and events in Vilnius and Lithuania can be found at http://www.vilnius-tourism.lt/

5) Official website of Lithuania Tourism - http://www.lithuania.travel

Once your Family History Tour is underway, you will have a wealth of new experiences and breathtaking moments.  It is deeply moving to actually see where your grandfather or grandmother came from, to get a sense of the conditions under which they lived, and to meet people who continue to hold your family name.   Among the must-sees for any Lithuanian genealogy tour are the family village or farm, the family church, the local cemetary, and generally the countryside of your local area.  All of this is quite doable, with a little help from one of the sources mentioned above.

Fortunately, driving within Lithuania is relatively easy.  There are many good maps available.  There are plenty of gas stations.  And now there are many nice hotels.  Even a small city will most likely have a nice place to stay that meets your standards.  Outside of Vilnius, people who speak English are not in great abundance, hence the desirability of having a good interpreter along.  But Lithuanians are a very warm and understated people.  You will find them both very hospitable and very interested in helping with your search for family connections.