|from Ghosts of the Pines|
After my talk, I went to the Oakland FamilySearch Library to do some research but ended up helping someone who came in looking for advice on how to prove his grandmother was Lithuanian, so he can claim Lithuanian citizenship. I wrote recently about the right of return and my experience researching someone's Italian ancestry. Apparently the Lithuanian requirements are similar to the Italian, including eligibility up through a great-grandparent (though the information on the Wikipedia page is singularly uninformative). One aspect relating to eligibility is proving that the ancestor was a Lithuanian while Lithuania was an independent country, between 1918-1940. His grandmother was living in Lithuania at that time, and there was a 1923 national census, so I recommended he try to find out if the census has survived and has information about individuals. There's also the possibility of finding a civil birth registration (his grandmother was born when Lithuania was part of the Russian Empire), or maybe the visa issued by Lithuania when his grandmother left to immigrate to the United States.
An interesting quirk in this patron's situation is that his great-grandfather immigrated to the United States in 1913, while Lithuania was part of the Russian Empire, but did not apply for U.S. citizenship until 1922. When the great-grandfather submitted his Declaration of Intention to become a citizen, he renounced citizenship and allegiance to Russia. So I'm wondering what his citizenship status was from 1918-1922, when Lithuania was independent but he had not renounced any citizenship. Was he Lithuanian? Russian? Stateless?