Preserving the Records of Greek Orthodox Parishes in America

19 September 2020

Greek Ancestry and EMBCA (Eastern Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance) are pleased to announce a groundbreaking initiative to preserve birth, marriage and death records of the earliest Greek communities in America. These documents are rich, untapped primary sources that will significantly augment historical, sociological, cultural and genealogical studies.

The 1880’s-1920’s witnessed an unprecedented exodus of thousands of Greeks to America in search of economic opportunities.  Generally, emigrants from the same region settled together in communities, and the establishment of a Greek Orthodox Church -the center of life in their homeland- was always a priority. Records of these first Orthodox churches, where the immigrants would get married, baptize their children and mourn their dead, provide members’ original surnames and villages of origin, crucial information generally not found in other U.S. documents.

The goal of this preservation initiative is to digitize the records of these earliest immigrant churches, create name indexes, and provide copies at no cost to the churches. Images and indexes will be made accessible and searchable through Greek Ancestry.  

We anticipate that this project will bolster early Greek migration and immigration studies by providing information not currently available. In addition, Greek-American descendants will have access to accurate source data about their family history and origins.

To learn more about this initiative and to be kept apprised of upcoming projects, please subscribe below or contact Greek Ancestry.

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