Monday, March 9, 2015

ONLY FROM THE DNA article - Greeks in Washington (Skimas, Skamnias, Thermopolis Greece, Camas Washington)

Brought to my attention by our Hellenic Genealogy Geek friend, Dawna Stevens.


Published October 2014 on the Greeks in Washington website -

John Skimas has found relatives with the original family name of Skamnias, a derivation of the Greek word for sycamore or mulberry tree.  This discovery was made while visiting Greece and using a DNA kit to determine that there was a 99% match with his relative.

John’s father, Nicolaos, was from the town of Thermopolis, Greece, just west of the city of Lamia.  He emigrated from the abject poverty of Greece to the United States in 1909 where he worked on the railroad and eventually found his way to Camas, Washington.  Camas had a large paper mill where many Greeks were employed.  Many also worked on the railroad.  Nicolaos worked there for four years until the outbreak of the Balkan War when he returned to fight against the Turks.  Nicolaos remained in Greece until 1920 and returned to Camas, worked again for ten years and amassed enough money to find a bride.  He corresponded through his brother with the brother of Panagiota Papageorgiou and returned to Greece to marry his “mail order” bride.