Greek Surnames - Searching Indexes

Greek Surnames

Do you have Greek ancestors who migrated to the United States or Canada but you can’t find them on any of the passenger ship indexes? Do you think you have tried all the alternate spellings when doing your searches?

I ran across two great charts that have been put together by

Spelling Substitution Tables for the United States and Canada

Commonly Misread Letters Table – this table shows how indexers and transcribers sometimes misread handwriting. When reading the chart you will see two columns – “Intended” (shows the actual spelling) – “Common Mistakes” (shows what the indexer or transcriber sometimes thought he or she saw)

Phonetic Substitutes Table – The creator of the record sometimes misspelled the name in the original record because he or she misunderstood what the informant said. This happened very often when the informant came from another country (in our case, Greece). Also, many people were illiterate and did not know how to spell their names. The creator of the record spelled the name the way he or she thought it should be spelled. This table shows two columns – “Original letters” (for Greeks you might want to also think about “sounds like”) – the second column is “Letters Which Might Be Substituted for the Original”.

I am going to print these charts and keep them available for when I am doing my personal family searches.

Good luck with your Greek family genealogy research.

Georgia Keilman nee Stryker (Stratigakos)