Researching your Greek ancestry can be extremely challenging, but we will leave no stone unturned as we trace your Greek ancestors.
Finding Your Greek Ancestors
The first step in researching your Greek ancestry is to determine the specific town your ancestors came from. Once you know the specific town of origin for your Greek ancestors, the next step is to determine the municipality/community, district, county, and diocese to which that town belonged at the time your ancestors lived there, and to which it belongs today. There are gazetteers available that can help with this step. Finally, it’s also important to understand the history of Greece – what parts were under foreign rule (and when), events that affected specific populations of people, immigration patterns, etc.
Using Records to Trace Greek Ancestry
When you are ready to begin research, it can take some time to learn where to find the records you need. Church records are kept by Diocese (instead of parishes like other countries are), so they will generally not be found at the local town church. Dioceses are located in larger cities – usually the capitol of each county. Other Greek genealogy records (censuses, town records, family status reports) are kept at various locations – some at the town hall, others at the district or country level, and others at specialized archives specific to their record type.
Overcoming Challenges in Greek Genealogy Research
Some difficulties with Greek research include the fact that there are hardly any records available online, and not many available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (which houses the largest collections of genealogical records in the world), so onsite research is almost always required. In order to obtain copies of documents Greek officials need to feel like they can trust you, so generally you’ll need to provide personal information about yourself, and communicating via email or phone isn’t very effective. Sometimes handwriting a letter and providing photos and details will work, but other times an onsite agent with a signed Power of Attorney that is stamped by a Greek consulate might be needed. Finally, earthquakes and wars in the 19th and 20th century caused devastating amounts of record loss, so it’s possible that despite your best efforts, records about your ancestors simply do not exist.
Our Team of Professional Genealogists Can Help
Despite these challenges, extending your Greek ancestral lines can be a very rewarding experience if the records are found, and our professionals and onsite agents are experienced in working with the various repositories. While we are not always successful (if the records don’t exist they don’t exist – and there’s nothing anyone can do!), you can be assured that we will leave no stone unturned and will pursue every possible avenue to help you learn more about your Greek heritage.