Lithuanian Scots

Lithuanian Scots or Scottish Lithuanians are an ethnic minority of Lithuanians living in Scotland. 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.

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.

Of the 7,000 Lithuanians to emigrate to the United Kingdom over half came to work in Scotland, with Glasgow having the largest Lithuanian community in Britain.

Read more about Lithuanian Scots:  Notable Scottish People of Lithuanian Descent

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