Village History Projects Initiative (VHPI): Update

By Carol Kostakos Petranek

On the third day of the International Greek Ancestry Conference (Jan. 29-31), Gregory Kontos of Greek Ancestry announced a new innovative program, the Village History Projects Initiative, whose purpose is to encourage researchers to share family and/or village histories with people who also have ties to that name or location. Since the VHPI’s announcement, many diverse and unique projects have been submitted. These projects are important. They are gathering places for people with ancestral ties to the same community, as they focus beyond a specific surname to include all identifiable people residing in a specific village for an extended period of time. In this way, they fill gaps caused by record loss and scattered families; they preserve village histories and honor their residents!

We are very excited to see peoples’ enthusiasm to share what they have learned about their families and their ancestral roots. At the same time, we are exploring ways to recognize, encourage and publicize those projects that are limited to specific family trees or were focused on communities settled by Greeks in the Diaspora.

The first group of Greek Village History Projects (websites, family trees, ebooks) are listed below. A link and sponsor’s contact information accompany all projects on Greek Ancestry’s VHPI page.

  • Family Trees of Pagrati, Achaia
  • Amykles Villages – Χωριά των Αμυκλών History Project
  • Family Histories of the Villages of Kourtsouna(Vasiliki) and Agrianoi, Lakonia
  • Artifacts – Dafni of Laconia, Greece / Αντικείμενα – Δαφνί Λακωνίας, Ελλὰδα
  • Plessa-Amygdalia, Phocis-ΠΛΕΣΣΑ-ΑΜΥΓΔΑΛΙΑ, ΦΩΚΙΔΟΣ, History and Family Tree of the Village
  • Maniatika – Μανιάτικα, Mani, Lakonia
  • Korsos Family of Logkaniko, Lakonia
  • The Family Histories of Palaio Irakleio, Attica (Παλαιό Ηράκλειο Αττικής): The Original Bavarian Colonists and their Descendants
  • Kyriopoulos Kids from Messinia: Growing Up Greek in Utah 
  • Agios Ioannis – Άγιος Ιωάννης Σπάρτης, Lakonia
  • Family Trees of Southern Parnon

The VHPI is funded by revenue from the sale of the Greek Genealogy Guide. Projects are eligible for support such as:

  • purchase books relevant to the project
  • DNA kit(s)
  • payment to a subscription website (such as MyHeritage.com)

Every three months we will choose one of the projects that have requested help, based on the project’s innovation, relevance and need for support. The first “grant recipient” will be announced on April 5!

The recipient will be interviewed about his/her project and featured in a post published by Greek Ancestry. Remember that all projects admitted into the VHPI are eligible to a discount on records purchased from Greek Ancestry, depending on volume: 25-50 records: 30%, 51-70: 40%, 71-100: 45%, 100+: 55%

If you are working on a project or contemplating starting one, please let us know by completing this form. We want to share your good work and see how we can help.