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18 June 2014
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Immigration and Emigration
Kulisaskas family c1926
© Allan Poutney
Lithuanians in Lanarkshire

There were many different reasons why they left their home on the shores of the Baltic: some were escaping conscription into the Russian army; some were freedom fighters, carrying illegal books in the proscribed Lithuanian language; some were Jews fleeing persecution; others were simply economic migrants, desperate to escape the crushing poverty at home and prepared to go anywhere in search of a better life.

Lithuanian miners c1914
© SCRAN
Many came to Scotland as they could not afford the journey on to America, others were even duped into thinking they had arrived in America, only subsequently to discover they were, in fact, in Scotland.

When they arrived in Scotland, mostly at the port of Leith, the Lithuanians split into two groups, the Jewish immigrants settling in the Gorbals and the Catholic Lithuanians heading for the smelting works of North Ayrshire, the mines of West Lothian and, mainly, for the iron works and mines of Lanarkshire, the vast majority settling in the area round Bellshill and Mossend.


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Your comments

1 James Lamond from Lanarkshire - 10 February 2004
"I am trying to trace my grandfather who was a Lithuanian who lived in Leven, Fife. I have very little information on him but can provide a name (which I believe is an anglified version). Any information on how to progress this would be useful. "




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