My Great Grandfather JONAS (John) LEIMANTAS

I have always believed that the original Lithuanian spelling of my surname was Leamontas. Furthermore, I believed that the Customs Agent “Americanized” my Grandpa’s name to Laemont, thusly explaining that odd “e”, which has plagued us all.

In exploring in an attempt to add to our family tree, I stumbled across two astounding facts:

      • BEFORE MY GRANDPA LAEMONT CAME OVER, his Dad (My Great Grandpa, Jonas Leimantas) came to the United States in 1911


  • My Grandpa came over from Lithuania in 1912 (age 21) and was Naturalized in 1925. His name was changed from Jurgis Leimantas to George Laemont!  Here’s his Naturalization card.


  • My Dad, George II, came over a year later (this document shows his age as “about” 11 months, when his actual was 27 months! ) with my Grandma (Note Customs agent’s spelling of her name “Alybeta”, which I always thought was “Elizabeth”). They came through Rotterdam and then into NY. Note the ending “as” became “os”. It’s a miracle anything was spelled correctly back in those days!



  • I’m not able to find out, nor did I ever know anything about, Great Grandpa Jonas. I’m afraid the various mis-spellings of the family name has clouded that information.
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6 Responses to My Great Grandfather JONAS (John) LEIMANTAS

  1. Keith says:

    Dear Family,
    We have an true-blue Lithuanian intern working at Piedmont Research Center….Her PARENTS arre from the old country. She KNOWS THE LANGUAGE. We were talking of the spelling of our Lithuanian name, and she could place the consinants (sp?) as associated with such. The above says why, I would imagine. I’ll re-inform her. Dad, if you could respell the only Lithuanian you know about hitting with apples, I’ll see how much you remember from her!

  2. danlaemont says:

    Fantastic! Here is the phonetic spelling of the phrase you were asking for: “Eik namo bulbous skust, ash dost tau per snookie su wobili”. Translation: “Go home and peel potatoes or I’ll hit you across the face with an apple.” Please advise my new Lugan friend that the dialect I have used is from the early 1900’s when my Grandparents came over. My understanding is that the modern Lithuanian has changed quite a bit. Please give her a “Kaip tau einis?” for me?

    (I can’t believe you remember the “hitting with apples” phrase!! Very Good, Keith!!)

  3. This is so neat! I met a few Lithuanians in Miami, and lots and lots of Russians. Everyone expected me to know the language based on my appearance! I love learning about our genealogy. More Grandpa more! Let’s plan a trip?

  4. Hi,

    I am from Lithuania (currently living in London, UK) and I share the surname with you, which I always thought to be quite an unusual one – it is extremely rare even in Lithuania, so I did a quick search on it on Google as well as went through a bunch of old documents dating up to a hundred years back or so, so I learned quite a bit.

    And I must say I was very surprised (in a good way) to find people all over from the US who share the same surname and are actually going through the same process of trying to figure out were we actually come from here on this very blog!

    It would be fantastic to get in touch with people who have the surname – who knows, we might even be some distant relatives!

    Kind regards,
    Rimantas Leimantas

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