Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
George is a 63-year-old retired community district manager in Astoria, Queens. After 37 years on the job, he is like a mayor emeritus of the area. George was born in Greece and moved to the United States after World War II. An avid collector of ancient Greek artifacts, he traces his family back to Asia Minor. The results of his DNA test show that he belongs to haplogroup R1b, one of the most common European lineages. His ancestors were among the first modern humans to settle in Europe more than 30,000 years ago.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
David Rumsey Map Collection - 111 maps of Greece and 152 maps of Turkey
Historical Maps of Europe - University of Texas at Austin, “Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection”; includes maps on Greece, Turkey, Byzantine Empire, Ottoman Empire, Constantinople and more
American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection - includes maps of Eurasia 1877, Ottoman Empire 1899, Turkey 1915, Western Asia 1918
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Here’s another tool to help you with your Greek Genealogy research. The chart is too large to include in this post, but you can access it through the following link - Greek Masculine Given Names in both Greek and English - at the HellenicGenealogyGeek.com website. The chart includes: Greek Masculine Name & Variations, Greek Abbreviation, English Transliteration, English Abbreviation, and English Counterpart.
Hope you find this helpful.
Good luck with your continued Greek Genealogy research.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
In order to utilize most of the records from Greece, whether requests directly to the local authorities in Greece, online Greek newspaper searches, or records held on microfilm at the LDS Family History Library that are available for your use, you will need to know how to spell your family surnames in Greek. In an effort to provide tools that will help you with your research, I have listed below 113 surnames in both English and Greek.
Originally posted to blog on http://HellenicGenealogyGeek.com on June 20, 2009
I was at my Aunt’s house last week and remembered that she had the Funeral Register (or Guest Book) from my paternal grandfather’s wake in 1964. I sat down with her and my mother and we went through the book. What a great find! Not only did it help them remember stories, but we ran across names of cousins and spouses on my father’s side I didn’t know about before.
Ask around and see if one of your family members is in possession of the Guest Book from one of your relative’s wake. It’s a great way to help your older relative’s remember stories you would love to hear.
Good luck with your Greek genealogy research.
The last country of European Europe to adopt the Gregorian calendar was Greece in 1923. However, these were all civil adoptions – none of the national churches accepted it. Instead, a Revised Julian calendar was proposed in May 1923 which dropped 13 days in 1923 and adopted a different leap year rule that resulted in no difference between the two calendars until 2800. The Orthodox churches of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and a few others around the Eastern Mediterranean (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Cyprus) adopted the Revised Julian calendar, so these New calendarists will celebrate the Nativity along with the Western churches on 25 December in the Gregorian calendar until 2800. The Orthodox churches of Russia, Serbia, Jerusalem, and a few bishops in Greece did not accept the Revised Julian calendar. These Old Calendarists will continue to celebrate the Nativity on 25 December in the Julian calendar, which is 7 January in the Gregorian calendar until 2100. All of the other Eastern churches that are not Orthodox churches, like the Coptic, Ethiopic, Nestorian, Jacobite, and Armenian, continue to use their own calendars, which usually result in fixed dates being celebrated in accordance with the Julian calendar.
Source: Lycos.com – wordiq.com
Here are some tips on using the Greek Military Enlistment Rolls
I recently had my library order Microfilm from the LDS Family History Library - “List of those who are called to enlist in the army by counties, district and municipalities” published in the Greek Government Gazette. (Microfilm #1462001 covers years 1884 – 1888; Microfilm # 1462002 covers years 1889 – 1892)
These rolls contain copies of the Greek Government Gazette’s (newspapers) – See photograph. Each issue of a newspaper covers a single ΝΟΜΟΣ (Region). It then lists names of men who are being called to enlist in the army by each ΕΠΑΡΧΙΑ (Province) and ΔΗΜΟΣ (Municipality) within each Region.
At a minimum you will need to know which ΝΟΜΟΣ (Region) your relatives are from and be able to recognize the spelling in Greek capital letters. You should be able to find this information with a Google search of the area you are interested in.
ΝΟΜΟΣ ΛΑΚΩΝΙΑΣ (Lakonias)
ΝΟΜΟΣ ΑΡΚΑΔΙΑΣ (Arkadias)
Even though the lists of names are further broken down into the ΕΠΑΡΧΙΑ (Province) and ΔΗΜΟΣ (Municipality), I personally found it fruitful to look through the entire ΝΟΜΟΣ for my relative’s names, reasoning that marriages took place between different villages and there could be relatives scattered about.
You will need to have a general idea of how your family’s Surname is spelled in Greek. The reason I say “general idea” is because just like in other genealogy research, you may find that the name is actually spelled a little differently. As usual have an open mind.
Sit down with the “Transliteration Chart” and write down possible spellings in Greek. (Note: Take the chart with you to the library to use as a reference).
TIP # 1 - The Surname is the first name listed –
Εxample: Βατοπούλης Κωνσταντινος Γεωργίου
Vatopoulis Konstadinos Georgiou (English Translation)
TIP # 2 – Some Surnames are listed with “Nicknames”
– Someone recently informed me that “In many villages, many people are known mainly with their nickname. In fact, many nicknames have become last names, while other have not. In the latter case, if the person was really known with his nickname, or if there were many people with the same name (in the Pelloponese there is a village where every single inhabitant has the last name Στεφανόπουλος (English translation Stefanopoulos)), then the nickname would become predominant.
Example of how Surnames and Nicknames look in the listings:
Τσαρπόπουλοσ ή Τσούνης Βασιλειος Νικολάου
Tsarpopoulos or Tsounis Vasileios Nikolaou (English Translation)
Tip # 3 – Last but not least. My father and his two brothers had an aunt they referred to as “thea Lakos” (aunt Lakos). That was one of the names I had on my mind while searching through these Military Enlistment Rolls. What I noticed was that there wasn’t anyone from the area with the name Lakos (Λακος), but there were plenty of names that ended with Lakos (λακος). My Lakos must be a shortened version of another name.
A few examples: Αποστολάκος Apostolakos
One last thing – HAVE PATIENCE, YOU CAN DO IT !
Sometimes we forget to check the basics. I live in the Chicago suburbs and my local library has archives of the Chicago Tribune Newspaper all the way back to the 1800’s. I was tired of looking at some LDS records I had been working on, so I looked up my grandmother’s obituary. I thought I knew absolutely everything it would say. To my surprise, it listed the last name of my remarried great-grandmother. There was a new piece of information I didn’t have before!
1872 Funeral Procession in Athens (from The Greeks of To-day*)
One cannot walk out many days in Athens without witnessing a funeral procession. Long before it comes in sight, the ear catches the low monotonous chaunt of the priests, who are preceded by boys in white robes bearing the crucifix and ecclesiastical insignia, in presence of which every head is uncovered, and every hand makes the sign of the cross. The corpse is exposed in full view in an open coffin of light material, covered with white or black cloth, with silver or gilt decorations, the cover of which, marked with a long diagonal cross, is carried before the procession. The body is dressed in the customary clothes of the deceased, the head slightly elevated, and the hands folded in front of a panel picture of the Virgin set up on the breast. If it be a female, the cheeks and lips are painted, vermilion, intended to reproduce a natural expression, but which gives to the corpse an artificial and ghastly look. Even to one accustomed to witness the exposure of the dead in Oriental countries, there is something painful in the idea of exhibiting to the glare of day, and amidst the whirl and insensibility of the public street, the features of a deceased person who in life may have been known only to the little group of mourners gathered about the remains. But there is something to be said in favor of this mode of burial, over that of our own. I confess to a feeling of the most tender reverence, when a funeral procession passes in Greece, which is not awakened by that of the stiff black hearse, the boxed up coffin, and the formal line of mourners, marching two by two in its wake, through the streets of western cities. At Greek funerals the hearse is not generally employed, and the light, open casket is borne by the hands of the nearest friends of the deceased, while the other mourners walk, not march, in a group around it. Thus they literally carry and accompany, rather than follow, their friend to the grave, and gaze upon the face which was dear to them, up to the moment when he is laid in his last resting place. The funerals of the poor are even more touching to behold. A single priest, perhaps, performs the chaunt, and half a dozen mourners, representing the little household, bear between them the coffin, which is composed of the cheapest material, and covered with white muslin. When a person of distinguished position dies, the funeral procession becomes an imposing spectacle, with the bishop and priests in their gorgeous sacerdotal robes, numerous lighted candles, and martial music. I once saw the body of a venerable bishop of the Greek Church carried in procession through the streets of Athens. He was seated in his bishop’s chair, elevated above the people, and was clothed in his canonical robes, with mitre on head and the crosier uplifted in his hand. A cloth around the forehead bound it to the back of the chair, but not sufficiently close to prevent the head from bobbing up and down, as if the dead man’s pale and rigid features were saluting, for the last time, the people among whom he had exercised his holy office for over three-score years. In this position he was placed in the grave, a peculiar honor accorded to his ecclesiastical rank. The dead – chiefly from climatic considerations – are buried within twenty-four hours of their decease. This is very shocking to foreign ideas; but the custom has come to be complied with, within a briefer number of hours than the law’s requirement. Indeed the feeling is, that the sooner the painful duty is over, and the house freed from the distressing spectacle of a corpse, the sooner will the minds of the mourners be relieved from association with what is repulsive, and return to the inward contemplation of their friend, as they knew him in their midst. Thus it often happens that the first intimation of a death is conveyed in the printed invitation to the funeral. I have conversed with a gentleman at an evening party, who appeared to be in the highest enjoyment of physical health, and the day following witnessed his interment, he having expired in the meantime from apoplexy. I had once a business appointment with a near neighbor, and on going to fulfil it, met his dead body coming down the door steps. I was sitting one evening at the bed-side of a distinguished American Missionary, who was describing to me his peculiar malady, and the next afternoon I saw him laid in the Protestant Cemetery. The modern Greek may well exclaim with the ancient Greek:
“Who knows what fortunes on to-morrow wait,
Since Charmis one day well to us appeared,
And on the next was mournfully interred!”
The removal of the body from the house frequently excites the most painful scenes. The realization of the parting rushes upon the minds of the afflicted family before time has brought the feelings into subjection, and agonizing shrieks and wild gesticulations accompany the first movement of the funeral cortege. It is the custom, after the decease of the occupant, to drape the interior of the house with mourning. I was once the guest of a country gentleman, whose wife had died nearly a year before my visit. The appearance that greeted me on entering the mansion, was not at all enlivening. Every article of furniture, from piano to footstool, was draped in black, and even the key of the tobacco box had a small streamer of crape attached to it. As to the huge four-post bedstead upon which I was invited to repose, it was like mounting a catafalque; while to expect “sweet dreams” under the folds and festoons of its funeral canopy, and massive silver cross and picture of the Virgin suspended over my head, was equivalent to depending upon the special intervention of the blessed Mary in my behalf.
FREE Online Antiquarian Books at www.HellenicGenealogyGeek.com
* The Greeks of To-day by Charles K. Tuckerman, Late Minister Resident of the United States at Athens; Published by G. P. Putnam & Sons, New York – 1872
Share with your children and grandchildren. Whether they realize it or not – they WILL appreciate it later on in life, and remember the wonderful talks you had and the things you told them about their background.
The following is a list of ideas to help you start:
- What was your actual family name in Greece?
- Do you have any documentation (passport, naturalization papers, association membership cards, letters or postcards, etc.) or photographs of the relatives that immigrated or their relatives that remained in Greece?
- Do you have any old family Icons? (Names and birth dates were sometimes recorded on the back)
- What stories does your family know about your grandparents or great-grandparents in Greece?
- Where did they live? Be as specific as possible.
- What memories, stories, or photographs do you have of the home or village in Greece?
- Did your family own any property in Greece?
- Do you have any relatives still living in Greece? Who are they, where do they live, what is their address?
- What Greek traditions did you have as a child?
- What did they or other members of the family do to make a living in Greece?
- Why did they decide to leave Greece?
- When did they come? Did they go back and forth between Greece and the United States or other countries?
- Do you know the name of the passenger ship that brought them to the United States? Who paid for their trip over? What port did they depart from? How much money did they bring with them? What was their voyage like? Where did they enter the United States or other country (what port)?
- Where did they settle? Do you know specific addresses? Where did they move after that? Did they stay in ethnic neighborhoods?
- Were they coming to stay with anyone that was already in the United States? Who?
- How hard was it to adjust to life in America?
- Did they experience any prejudice from other ethnic groups? Do you have any stories about this?
- What jobs did they do when they cam here?
- How did the Turkish occupation, Balkan Wars, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, or other historical events affect your family? Any stories?
- How did they meet their spouse? Are there any stories about their courtship? Where and when did they get married?
- Did they belong to any Greek associations here in the United States? Which ones?
- What was their political affiliation?
- Did your relatives learn to read and write English? How did they learn?