My father was an only child. But I did know two of his relatives,
An aunt, Sister Mary Catherine who was a Catholic Nun. I remember meeting her
once as a small child at the convent in Chicago. She died in 1974. My father
also had a relative that we called Aunt Annie.
But she couldn't of been an Aunt because my father was an only child. She was a regular in our lives and is still living. I'd always been kind of fuzzy about what
the relationships actually were. My first task was to straighten out my
understanding of these.
At the same time, I also began researching my grandfather, Antanas Sacauskis. I knew very little about that line, I knew he had a brother, Mike, but the brother spelled his name a little different his name ends in A-S versus ours, which ends in I-S. I still haven't discovered why this is the case. I also knew we had some cousins or something from that side of the family. I met one of them once in the Mid 80's. I also learned that my Sister's godmother was from the Sacauskas line as well, but I only remember meeting her once in 1967 when my grandfather died and we returned to Chicago from California to attend the funeral. Other
than that I knew no other Sacausk(i/a)s'.
I didn't know where in Lithuania the Sacauskis family came from. I
started with the Social Security Death Index. It's a public
database of the deceased who had social security numbers. From it you can
request, via the Freedom Of Information Act, a copy of the application that the
person filled out. I wasn't able to find my grandfather in the
database, but I was able to find his brother. I ordered the application and it provided me the information I
was looking for, their parents names, Michael Sacauskas Sr. and Anne Certautas,
and the name of the village he was from, Didkiemis.
I also learned some basic information about my relationships to
Sister Catherine and my “Aunt” Annie.
What I learned was there were three Sisters: Sister Catherine (Veronika Balcius), My
Grandmother, Josephine (Balcius) Sacauskis and Marija (Balcius) Mizeris . Marija was the mother of My Aunt Annie.