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I realize that surnames varies on documents due to the recorder's hearing the name. That has presented me with a great challenge trying to find information about my grandfather. Here are the different variations, so far: Verseckas, Verseckes, Versieckis, Varsoke, Varsoky, Versiackis, Varsockas. Each of my grandparent's four sons birth certificates had a different spelling for their last name.

I do know that my grandfather was from Lithuania. I would like to find out from where in Lithuania. I also know he came to the US sometime between 1905-1913. I haven't been able to discover any documentation (Ellis Island/Massachusetts/Canada entry points) for him.

He disappeared in 1931 after my grandmother died and no one has seen him since. Does anybody have any ideas of how I might find out where he actually came from in Lithuania? As of now, I don't even know what my maiden name actually is.

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    Hi, welcome to G&FH.SE! I have lightly edited your question to make it more readable and changed the title to reflect the information you want to find. Telling us how you know the information will help us to write better answers. Do you have any other sources besides the sons' birth certificates? You can use the edit link underneath your question to add more information. – Jan Murphy Jun 27 '18 at 18:29
  • Thank you for editing. I have several sources, all with different names for both my grandfather, Mike, and grandmother, Albina. From a wedding certificate, Mike and Albina came from Vilnius. Other documents state his former residence was Russia, or Russia Lithuania. How can I narrow the field? – Lee Courtney Jun 28 '18 at 19:27
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    I suggest adding a short but precise list of what sources you have -- for the wedding certificate, please include which denomination it is -- and the dates (at least the year) of each document. With that we can quickly see where you are starting from, can point out clues in a document you might have missed, can see patterns you might have missed, and can suggest searches for other sources which might have more information. Knowing the dates is especially important because the name of his former country will differ depending on when the source was created, as you've already shown. – Jan Murphy Jun 28 '18 at 20:26
  • Based on the information posted, I have good reason to believe that the child born in 1920 in Norwood may have been my grandfather. If you wish to compare family records with the little information I have, my email in noellelenorateague@gmail.com – noelle Dec 30 '18 at 5:55
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The most likely places to see a location (town) for an immigrant to US would include records such as:

  • Immigration records (more so at later dates)
  • Naturalization records (after 1906)
  • Newspaper records (patchy, but sometimes origins are mentioned in obituaries)
  • Military records (WWI and WWII records for men sometimes list birth town)
  • Local history books (particularly for rural areas or small towns)

Where spelling is highly variant, it can be worth focusing on records for a specific area. I can see that in 1920 they had a child in Norwood, Massachusetts, so I found a index to declarations of intention for Norfolk County, and found this:

Mithou? Versackas, box maker, resident Walpole aged 30, in 1927 (VOl XI Page 55)

The original image shows him as Mithous Versackas, born 25 December 1896 in Vilmo or Vilnio, which was also his last residence. His wife, Albina, was also born there but now resided in Pemberton Street, Walpole with him. He sailed from Hamburg, and arrived in New York about 14 July 1913, although he did not recall the name of the ship.

Given the wife's name, and the location, I think this is indeed your "Mike". I cannot see a petition for naturalisation in the same location. He needed to wait three years after the declaration of intent to petition for naturalisation, so given the timing perhaps he moved on before he put in his petition.

This does now give us the information to try and locate him in the shipping lists. We need a ship that sailed from Hamburg (a popular leaving port for immigrants from Europe), to New York, arriving about July 14, 1913.

For this I used the excellent search facilities provided by stevemorse.org . The closest match arriving at about this time is this man on the President Lincoln, which arrived July 16, 1913, from Hamburg: Mateusas Wersackas, aged 18, last residence Wargaklina (sp?), next of kin at home father, Juozas Wersackas of Wargaklina, heading to Amsterdam, NY, where he had an aunt, Paulina Karcauskas.

He was travelling with a young cousin, Wladas, son of Paulina.

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  • I've wondered about the Mateusas Wersackas immigration connection. In a 1920 Amsterdam, NY City directory, Mike and Albina Warsecki is listed. They were married July 1, 1919, Amsterdam, NY. as Mike Versieckis. His name was Mike Versieckis on a state NY marriage index (copied from NY County Marriage records). Versiackas, Matheus and Albina Kasokas written on St Casimir's Lithuanian Church marriage document. I have an ancestry tree. Would you like to look at it? All my documents and information I've gathered is listed there. How can this be done? – Lee Courtney Jul 1 '18 at 16:34
  • I found in a marriage doc for Albina and Mike, that Mike's father, was named Joe. Could that be Juozas? – Lee Courtney Jul 19 '18 at 23:31

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