Introducing “Yiayia & Me”

By Alexandra Kiritsy

Geia sas and welcome, everyone! Thank you for checking out our first “Yiayia & Me” article! Read on to learn more about this new platform!

What is the goal of Yiayia & Me? 

Greg and I have been investigating our personal family histories since we were teenagers, and we have immensely enjoyed the experience! That being said, we would like to encourage and help other young Greeks like us get involved with family history to whatever degree they’d like! We know and appreciate how people connect with their family heritage in a multitude of ways, and so that’s why we are planning to cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from food/drink to travel and to history! We simply hope to inspire young Greeks to start thinking about their family history and genealogy in a more concrete way through fun and engaging content! All of our content will be available under “Education” > “Yiayia & Me” on Greek Ancestry, as well as through our Instagram account (@yiayia_and_me). Stay tuned for all that is to come!

Why did you choose the name “Yiayia & Me”? 

Who doesn’t love their yiayia?! Oh, and their pappou, of course! Rooted in our goal, the name “Yiayia & Me” reflects the distinct connection we have with our Greek ancestors. We all have our yiayias (in fact, we have a whole line of yiayias!), and so we wanted to keep their memories alive as we encourage people to think more about their own family histories!

For those who don’t know, yiayia (Greek: γιαγιά) means grandmother and pappous (Greek: παππούς) means grandfather! 

A Bit About Me…

My name is Alexandra Kiritsy! I live in Massachusetts, where my propappous (great-grandfather) settled after emigrating from Northern Epirus! I am in my early 20s and am currently a student at Wellesley College studying math. For over three years, family history research has been my passion as well as my biggest hobby, and I am incredibly proud of my Greek and Epirotic roots! Indeed, learning more about my Greek family has truly been one of the most fun and rewarding experiences in my life. I have been fortunate enough to meet some of my many cousins over in Greece and Northern Epirus (now part of Albania), which was made possible thanks to genealogy! In addition, I have been lucky enough to learn more about my Greek ancestors all the way back to my great-great grandparents!

The adventure never ends! This is why I love family history, and I hope to share this love and excitement with all of my fellow Greeks!

However, the most exciting thing for me is that my family history research will never be done because more and more Greek records are becoming available online all the time (shoutout to our parent organization, Greek Ancestry!). Thus, the adventure never ends! This is why I love family history, and I hope to share this love and excitement with all of my fellow Greeks!

A Bit About Greg

This is Gregory Kontos, founder of Greek Ancestry, with roots in Epirus, Lakonia, Aitoloakarnania and Messinia! I became interested in family history at the age of 15 and since then, I have been very active in the field of Greek genealogy: in 2014 I was the head researcher for the Greek episode of “Finding your Roots” on PBS; from 2016 to 2019, I served as the Greek Projects Consultant for MyHeritage and, in 2020, I founded my own business, Greek Ancestry, based in Patras, Greece. My passion for genealogy is complemented by my passion for history. I hold a BA in History (Athens University) and a ResMA (Leiden University) with specialization in Greek migration.

My goal is to make Greek family history and genealogy an endeavor accessible to everyone interested!

My goal is to make Greek family history and genealogy an endeavor accessible to everyone interested! It is for this very reason that “Yiayia and Me” was launched: Greek Ancestry’s databases and educational initiatives are now complemented by a platform whose content flexibility will bring Greek heritage to all audiences, and in particular to the younger generations of the Greek diaspora.

These being said, Alexandra and I would like to welcome you on board this new family history journey: articles, stories, photographs, maps, recipes and many more are awaiting us!