To become a member of the Lithuanian Royal Union of Nobility (LRUN), an individual needs to be legitimized as a descendant of a noble family of Lithuania.
DIRECTIONS FOR PERSONS WISHING TO LEGITIMIZE THEIR NOBLE ANCESTRY AND TO JOIN THE LITHUANIAN ROYAL UNION OF THE NOBILITY (LRUN)
To be a true member of the LRUN is eligible only the legitimized noble of Lithuania. To be legitimized may a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania or any other country being a direct descendant of nobility of the Kingdom of Lithuania or of the ones residing in Lithuania up till the year of 1918 of male or female line age and being of age 18.
The right to the inheritance of the nobility do not possess the descendants of persons whose nobility was conferred after the 1773 partition of Lithuania for their merits to czar’s occupational regime. A legitimized noble male has the right to confer the nobility to his lawful wife and to his children born in the lawful wedlock. The right to transfer the nobility to her children the noble mother has if her nobility was granted after her ancestors. When a marriage is dissolved, the former wife of the noble looses her right to pass the noble status to her children born in other wedlock.
With the submitted documents for legitimization every person has to prove the noble descent of their ancestors, the coat of arms, submit a brief family’s history also prove the blood relationship with the last ancestor whose nobility is confirmed by the archival documents.
The example how the required documents for legitimization should be arranged and their sequence in the nobility acknowledgement File:
A list of documents in the File - the contents of the File showing page numbers.
Applications of established form for legitimization and for joining the Lithuanian Royal Union of Nobility with photographs.
A brief personal (autobiographic) and family’s history or a statement from the archives.
A scheme of the family’s genealogy.
A copy of the applicant’s birth certificate.
A copy of the female applicant’s marriage certificate.
Any other certificates of birth, of marriage, of death proving the applicant’s relationship with the last ancestor whose nobility and coat of arms are confirmed by the archival documents.
The family’s archival documents of noble descent compiled by rank societies confirming the nobility and the coat of arms.
A copy of the family’s coat of arms in color and its description.
Any other documents in applicant’s possession demonstrating the nobility presented at applicant’s discretion.
A copy of a diploma of higher education or of an academic degree (if applicable).
A written consent to make use of the archival documents which were obtained not in the name of the person being legitimized.
A copy of pensioner’s or student’s certificate to obtain discount for fees or dues.
The nobility is inheritable; therefore the children and grandchildren are not eligible for legitimization if their parents or grandparents did not legitimized when still alive. If they are deceased their death certificates must be included in the File. Also not eligible for legitimization are the descendants of persons who became commoners before the year of 1917, and of noble women married to commoner.
When a wife is legitimized after her husband, her File should include her husband’s documents #5,6,8,9,10,11 and her personal documents #1,2,3,4,6,7,12,13 as numbered in the example above.
All submitted documents should be Xerox copies. The originals should be kept by the person being legitimized. The File should be presented in two copies bound in a folder with a transparent front cover. All separate sheets of documents should be numbered with led pencil according to submitted document list and should not be placed in clear enclosures.
To be legitimized is permitted only if the ancestors were nobles. Exception could be made if the noble status was taken away by the czar for participation in the revolts or for political actions against the occupational czar’s regime. To confirm these facts an appropriate certificate from the Historical Archive should be furnished.
SEARCHING FOR DOCUMENTS
Many documents safeguarded by families were lost or destroyed during the war and the occupational period; therefore it is advisable to start the search with the birth certificates of known grandparents, great grandparents or parents born before the year of 1917, because up till that time the social rank was noted in the certificates. If the names, last names, dates of birth and churches where they were baptized are known, the best place to start inquiring is:
- The Lithuania’s State Historical Archive, Mindaugo g. 4, Vilnius, LT 2009, tel. +370 213 7484, Miss Neringa Ceskeviciute
- private genealogists (Independent Virtual Archive Genmetrika)
- other internet resources.
Certain fees are required for the services of the archives. It is possible to make arrangements to work personally in the reading room of the State Historical Archive.
Not all documents have been saved in the Lithuanian Archives. A significant portion of the documents is kept in the archives of the former Russian Empire:
- Russia’s Central State Archive of Old Acts, Russia’s Federation State Archive (GARF), the documents of the highest departments of state from the year of 1917. 119817 Moskva GSP, B.Pirogovskaya, 17.
- Belarus’ State Archive of History, 220038 Minsk, Kozlova 26.
- Belarus’ State Archive of History, 230023 Belarus, Grodno, pl. Tizengauza, 2.
It is also advisable to use the following literature compiled in various libraries:
1. The Chronicle of Lithuania edited by A.Baliulis and R.Firkovicius, published in six volumes, a set at the Lithuania’s State History Archive.
2. Borkowski Dunin , Jerzy Sewer “Polish nobility list of 1887”.
3. Kojalowicz Wojciech Wijuk “Heraldry of the knights”.
4. Gorczynski Slawomir “Heraldry of the Polish nobility”.
5. Boniecki Adam “ Polish Heraldry”.
6. Boniecki Adam “A List of the families of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania”.
7. Niesiecki Kaspar “Polish Heraldry”. Ten volumes. New edition of 1979. Warsaw.
8. A more recent publication “Polish Nobility Families and their Coat of Arms”. Bialystok 2000.
The above mentioned publications may be found: at Kaunas Regional Public Library’s rare publications department, Donelaicio g. 2; at the Library of Kaunas University of Technology, Donelaicio g. 20; at the Library of Vilnius University.
A person in process of legitimization could be invited to a nobility meeting of a District for an introduction. The legitimization File after the review by the Council of Legitimacies is presented to the Senate for the confirmation.
The fees and the dues may be paid by transferring directly into the account of LRUN region division with a note of purpose such as: “Annual membership dues”, ”Joining fees”, “Support for the LRUN mansion” and similar. The account number is indicated on the first page of Vilnius division website.
According to the decisions of the Senate of September 29, 2007, the total contribution for legitimization and for joining the Lithuanian Royal Union of Nobility (LRUN) is a sum of:
- General fees:145 € (this includes).
- Reduced to seniors and students - general fees 90 €: (this includes)
For the second legitimization the annual membership dues are not applicable.
The nobility certificates to the newly legitimized nobles are presented at a festive celebration on the State Holidays of February 16th, March 11th, July 6th,, July 15th, September 8th, and on other special occasions.
Translated by Ms.Snieguole Jurskyte