Lithuanian Roots of UK Formin Boris Johnson
British foreign secretary Boris Johnson has said he’ll travel to Lithuania because he has roots here. What roots? The newspaper Lietuvos Rytas tried to find out. Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevičius discussed Lithuanian immigrants in Britain with the UK’s new foreign policy strategist Boris Johnson the day before yesterday and invited Johnson to visit the land of his ancestors. Johnson reportedly accepted the invitation enthusiastically. The family tree of Johson, 52, shows an Elias Avery Loew born October 15, 1879, in Kalvarija in what was then the Russian Empire. He later changed his surname to Low and is the father of Johnson’s grandmother. Both of Eli Low’s parents were born in Lithuania: Charles Loew, a silk merchant was born in Kalvarija in 1855, and Sarah Ragoller in Kaunas the same year. Later the family emigrated to the United States. Lithuanian archives don’t preserve the vital statistics on Johnson’s ancestors. Galina Baranova, advisor to the director of Information and Dissemination Department of the Lithuanian History Archive who has worked successfully for many years with the Lithuanian Jewish archives, said there is no way to find out more about the British foreign secretary’s forefathers, although it is clear he had ancestors in Kalvarija. Those records don’t survive and vital statistics only go back to 1922 now. There was a Ragoler family in Kaunas from 1898 to 1925, according to Kaunas Jewish Community birth records, but there is no way to connect this family with Boris Johnson’s.
Full story in Lithuanian here.