Discover your Greek ancestors
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Once in Athens, my sister and I were embraced by loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and various other family members. Everywhere we went in Europe, we enthused, we encountered Greece.
Interview: Carol Kostakos Petranek with Fotini Kaklamanou Greek Ancestry is pleased to introduce Fotini Kaklamanou’s project, Thracian Genealogy in Kozani, as the latest beneficiary of the Village History Project Initiative. Fotini is passionate about researching the...
Our identity is not a matter of place, customs, or traditions but of an ideal.
By George Zimmar In 1953, my parents purchased a luncheonette on the corner of 75th and South Park Avenue (later named Martin Luther King Drive) in Chicago for about $7000. Actually, for the residents in the neighborhood it was a more than just a place to eat: It was...
Maybe Aspasia or her descendants are among the readers of this article. Maybe not. What is certain is that this archival material gives hope to anyone trying to discover more about family members and ancestors who were abducted during the dark times of the Second World War.
Two hundred years have passed since twenty-year-old Anagnostis Zymaras, my great, great grandfather, joined the company of Kapetan Kostas Katsikas along with other peasants to overthrow the Ottoman tyranny in Peloponnesus. Little did Anagnosis envision that two centuries later the eminent historian of the Balkans, Mark Mazower, would chronicle the revolution that followed, concluding that the independence of Greece had far-reaching effects on nationalist movements throughout Europe.
Raise your glasses! Long live Greece! Long live the allies!
By George P. Zimmar for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans, 3,23 Shortly after WWII ended, Greek immigration to the United States reopened, especially to those without communist sympathies. After Winston Churchill’s March 5, 1946 Iron Curtain...
By George Zimmar When we think of a pilgrimage, like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a spiritual journey comes to mind. My grandfather Georgios Zymaras (or Zoumaras), made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1900, where he prayed before the tomb of Christ, and earned Hadji...
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Καλωσήρθες! Welcome to the Greek Genealogy Guide!
Here you can learn everything you need to know about Greek genealogy and family history.
Carol Kostakos Petranek
Hellenic ancestry is a source of extraordinary pride and unique identity. Learning the country’s history and understanding the life of its people is a continual journey of knowledge and discovery. Perhaps this is most evident in pursuing the study of one’s Greek family history. Fostering a connectedness to family can stretch beyond the living to include the departed, but only when information about them can be ascertained. What were the names of our second or third great-grandparents? How many children did they have? What were their occupations? And, most important—how do I even begin to access records about them?
Prior to now, answering these questions has been challenging. But the doors of Greek genealogy have now opened to reveal a new era in research. The work being done by Gregory Kontos of Greek Ancestry is groundbreaking and exciting. With the advent of online translated, name-indexed and searchable records from Greece, finding one’s ancestors is not only possible—it is highly probable!
By consulting this Guide, one can navigate the complexities of Greek genealogy and find the correct resources to both access and request relevant documentation for his or her ancestors. It is the beginning of an exciting journey of discovery—and love.
Carol Kostakos Petranek
January 31, 2021