I'm trying to find information on my Lithuanian ancestors with the last name Chessick. I have found documents with various spellings of Chesick and Chezis. First names were Dominic and Helen. They came to the US sometime around 1900 and settled in Pennsylvania. I'm having a hard time finding resources on Lithuanian Ancestry all together, and hoping someone can help me find the right place to look! I've done many searches on ancestry.com as well as a few other websites I've came across, and they all seem to lead to dead ends when it comes to Lithuania. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
of course, any of these names are not exactly like original name would have been spelled in Lithuanian. English and Lithuanian phonetics differ a lot, and U.S. immigration officials (who were not exactly academicians after all) had hard time writing names presented by (often) illiterate immigrants. Right on the spot or later names often were changed to be easier to use for English speakers. All of that sometimes makes original forms to be really hard, or even impossible to reconstruct.
Now, Chezis - for my eye - may suggest original name Česys (less likely Česis, Čėsas). Of course, it is a guess only. Surname Česys indeed exists in Lithuania now.
Chessick or Chesick hints something like Česiukas or Česikas. But those are diminutive and pretty intimate forms of a FIRST name Česlovas. However, who knows, may be they used a first name as a surname somehow ??
As for the place they came from, you need to start from a ship manifest, I guess. But I would really suggest to ask in http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LithuanianGenealogy/ (free membership needed). Some members are really resourcefull and helpfull in that field there.