My great-grandmother Veronica KUPRAJTYS was born Feb 4 1885, and married John SHLAPIKAS in England in 1903. Their first child Alice was born in England, but died in infancy (1903). They moved to the US, settled in Sheboygan WI and had 7 more children. Veronica was widowed in 1929, when the youngest child was just 7 yrs old. Her 2nd marriage was to Joseph Juska in Sheboygan area; they had no more children. ("Juska" was shortened from a name I can't recall now, although we do know it.) My grandfather Tony was her 4th child. We have complete records for all her children and their descendants.
The name SHLAPIKAS has various spellings in all our documents: Slapikas and Szlapikas in non-US documents; Slepekis and Slapikes are used by current family members. We don't know much about John Shlapikas -no birth date or town- except that he was also Lithuanian/Polish. I am interested in finding out about ancestors in Europe from this branch of the family, and am excited to say that just yesterday I made contact with a Slapikas in Kaunas, Lithuania!
Veronica's siblings were: one older sister (unconfirmed); 3 younger brothers (Frank, Stanley, Adam); 1 youngest sister (Victoria).
-- Frank came to USA and has descendents in Florida.
-- We believe Stanley was born and buried in Poland, but have no dates or town. We also do not know if he married. Polish spelling was "Stanislau Kupraitys".
-- Adam (b: 7/8/1896 d: 1963) changed spelling to "Kupritis", married Alma Forester (b: 6/23/1897 d: 6/4/1980); we don't know if they had children.
-- Victoria's birth certificate in Polish is spelled "Wiktoria Kuprajtys". Born Dec 24, 1890 in Wiz.ajny, died May 16, 1981 in California. Her 1st husband was John Kunigonis; they had 4 children. She was widowed in 1936 and later remarried. Victoria's descendants from her 1st marriage are mostly in California.
Veronica's and siblings' parents were Michal/a KUPRAJTYS and Anny BORKOWSKICH (birth, marriage, death dates unknown).
My mother always knew her grandma Veronica to be Lithuanian, and said Grandma used to talk about seeing the Russian soldiers when she was a girl. She also spoke 7 languages, one of them Yiddish. Elderly relatives today deny that the family was Jewish. Another rumor was that they WERE, and 'converted' to be safe. (Personally, I believe they were Jewish. Non-Jews didn't speak Yiddish, right? Especially in that region in the late 1880's.) Hopefully her father's relatives did not all perish and some descendents can be located.
I was almost 3 years old when Great-Grandma Veronica passed away. I have one memory of visiting her. I believe she had the classic "babushka" profile, and I think I remember her in an apron. The kitchen was long and narrow, and very sunny. The kitchen table was small, maybe a red or other dark-colored surface. The table was under a window, and sunlight was shining down on it. A bud vase with a single blossom was on the table, up under the window. Next to the vase was another glass, containing water... and Grandma's teeth! Funny that I don't really remember her; I remember the dentures! Must have been very fascinating for a 2-year-old. My mother can't believe that I remember this.
I know I have lots of researching and legwork to do, and do know of places to contact. If anyone comes across the surnames listed above in their own research, please contact me so we can share information and fill in the gaps.