Author: Mac Benoy  May 2012
Wards of Dublin 
Udakis Family ORIGINS
(the following section was compiled by Cathryne Ward based on research by a Lithuanian genealogist, followed up by a visit to relatives in the country in July 2009) Matthew Udakis was christened Mateuses Judeikis.  His family home is Uzventis in northwest Lithuania.  Uz means ‘near’ and ventis is the name of the local ‘river’, so Uzventis literally means, near the Ventis river.  The river is a demarcation between ancient parts of the country with the land to the west, extending to the Baltic, occupied by tribes with an advanced culture during Roman times.  In the seventeenth century, Uzventis was under the control of the Russians.  A nobleman from Russia settled in Uzventis and he brought many workers with him from Russia.  Marcella believes her grandfather Mykolas may have come from Russia. ‘Judeikis’ is not a common Lithuanian name.  It’s derivation may have 3 possible explanations: 1. Juodas which means black – Mykolas was a blacksmith 2. Judrus which means agile - originally the surname could have been Judreikis and later it phonetically assimilated into Judeikis. 3. There was speculation that, given Lithuania hosted a very large community of Jews for hundreds of years, it may be a derivation of ‘Juden’, east European for Jew.  This was discussed with the curators of the Jewish museum in Vilnius and was dismissed.  It was similarly treated by local family members. Mykolas was originally from a village named Zalaki, a few kilometers from Uzventis.  As the blacksmith, he was an important person in the area.  The village was dismantled around 1900, supposedly because it was not viable, and the villagers re-assembled their houses in Uzventis.  Remains of the original foundations of Zalaki can be found in a wood in the middle of what is now a farm field.  There are many scaterrings of metal pieces indicating the presence of a forge possibly belonging to Mykolas. Bill’s Memories Strictly this part of history should have been compiled by Marcella but since she has given me the little that is known of her roots, and doesn't type, it was decided that for continuity I would record her knowledge which goes no further back than her parents when in England.  It should be known at that time of life, much different to now, her parents were not as free with their history as now.  People, although possessed of all the same desires and emotions of today, expressed and subdued them in different ways; life was move simplistic in that one had to accept one's station in life and just get on with it - grow up, get a job, marry, rent a house, rear a family, then die.  But the Udakis family were foreigners in a conservative British city and living in a working class environment.  They felt they had to conform but at the same time establish a family dignity especially in the strained political pre-War times.  Maybe it was from this that George and Marcella developed a reserve of expression - to be accepted - so as not to be foreign, but again, maybe this wasn't so and their attitudes were the ordinary characteristics of their Lithuanian heritage.  The world of travel, telephones, television, the media, magazines, discussions, sex, birth control, abortion, etc. hardly existed and where it did it was quite subdued.  Thus to record one's family history was, in the main, a responsibility followed only by the rich and privileged.