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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Mining the 1865 Electoral Rolls for the TOWN OF KARYTAINA, in the Municipality of Gortynos

Since my last post, I have had many discoveries in family history research that I intend to document and share with interested family members...someday.  My weekly visits continue to my now 97 year-old father where we tease apart his memories of family, friends and his life experience that feed both his memoir and our family history.


Recently I discovered that Georgia Stryker Kellman who blogs at Hellenic Genealogy Geek at http://www.hellenicgenealogygeek.com, had translated the 1865 Electoral Rolls for the TOWN OF KARYTAINA, in the Municipality of Gortynos.  This is the birthplace of paternal grandfather.  While I had seen the list before and picked out individuals with my family names, I struggled to do any kind of analysis, because my Greek is limited.


The digitized electoral roll, in Greek can be found at this link:


I took the work that Georgia did here and here and created a spreadsheet.  This allowed me to sort by family names, identify family relationships and automatically identify the year of birth.  This  was made all the more easy because of the Greek tradition of associating a son with his father’s name.


Before I began, I knew that my great-grandfather’s name was George Palamedes and my great-grandmother was Ekaterini Nikolopoulou.  This was because my father remembered his grandparents’ names.  I also knew that the family respected the naming tradition of the eldest son, being named after the paternal grandfather.  This is why my father was named George after his grandfather.


From the electoral list, just being able to group family members together, I could deduce that my great-grandfather Georgos Palamedes was born later than 1844, as he was not old enough to be listed on the electoral list.  I could also see that my great- great-grandfather’s name was Angelis and he had at least four sons: Ilias, Panagiotis, Petros and Georgos.  As Angelis was still alive at the time,  his father’s name was Theodoros.  Theodoros either did not live in Karitena or he died before 1865, more likely died before 1865 as Angelis was already 65.


Angelis did not have any brothers who lived in the village.  I was not sure whether that meant he had moved from another village, so he may have been the only Palamidis to have children in the village or perhaps his brothers died before him, leaving no children.  There were no others with that family name in the village and it is not a very common name in Greece.  More research is required to answer that question.


150
Ilias
Palamidis
Angelis
30
1835
teacher
299
Panagiotis
Palamidis
Angelis
30
1835
landowner
300
Petros
Palamidis
Angelis
28
1837
retailer
5
Angelis
Palamidis
Theodoros
65
1800
retailer

I was then able to identify my paternal grandmother’s male family members.


183
Ioannis
Nikolopoulos
Athanasios
36
1829
landowner
270
Nikolaos
Nikolopoulos
Athanasios
40
1825
landowner
72
Vasileios
Nikolopoulos
Dimitrios
22
1843
student
215
Konstandinos
Nikolopoulos
Georgakis
35
1830
landowner
330
Panagiotis
Nikolopoulos
Georgakis
30
1835
official
73
Vasileios
Nikolopoulos
Konstandinos
45
1820
lawyer
101
Grigorios
Nikolopoulos
Konstandinos
48
1817
landowner
140
Dimitrios
Nikolopoulos
Konstandinos
60
1805
notary
265
Nikolaos
Nikolopoulos
Konstandinos
55
1810
landowner
48
Andreas
Nikolopoulos
Konstandis
45
1820
teacher
314
Panos
Nikolopoulos
Nikolakis
22
1843
student
53
Athanasios
Nikolopoulos
Nikolaos
?

landowner


Using my knowledge of naming patterns, I was able to identify the grandfather of my grandfather, Konstandinos Nikolopoulos b. 1830.  From there, I could map out the relationships of all the Nikolopoulos men who appear to be related.


Here are the new additions to my family tree on the Nikolopoulos line:




This was only the beginning.  My father and I walked through all 374 names, slowly and carefully and I recorded all his reactions.


When we got to Andreas Theodoropoulos, he remembered, he had an uncle with the name Theodoros Palamedes.


4
Andreas
Theodoropoulos
Theodoros
40
1825
landowner


Now when my father says “uncle” or “aunt” we have to dig a bit.  His notion of “uncle” and “aunt” is not restricted to the siblings of his parents or grandparents..  Quite often he will call an older cousin “uncle” or the cousin of his father or mother “uncle”.  This was and may still be, a sign of respect in Greek society, for older relatives. When I probe the specific relationship, sometimes he remembers clearly, other times he says “that was 90 years ago, I have to think” or he’ll say “you know I was little and they didn’t always explain these things to me”.  So we work with a best guess that we hope will provide us with clues to the past.


Back to Uncle Theodoros, he remembers him as the same age of his father and a blood relation to his father.  He recalled he had a “good position” and was well respected in society.  He concluded that Theodoros and Constantine Palamedes were first cousins.  With Angelis having three other sons, we were not able to figure out whether Theodoros was the son of Ilias, Petros or Panagiotis.


Then we got to this name:


9
Athanasios
Skourletis
Dimitrios
25
1840
pupil


As soon as he hit this name, my father said “ I had a very, very, very dear uncle Anastos Skourletis. Do you know that his name Anastos means the resurrection of Christ?”  It is likely his uncle was the son of the man listed on the roll.  With a little probing, I discovered that Anastos was my paternal grandfather’s cousin, the son of a sister to my great-grandfather.  


My father remembered Anastos as a kind man, who was lame, either with a short right leg, or a club foot.  He was a lawyer who became a judge of the “second court”, which I interpret to mean the “appeal court”.  


Anastos Skourletis and Professor Balis were very good friends.  Every afternoon they would visit the Neo Falerion together. Professor George Balis (1879 - 1957) was a prominent Greek lawyer who drafted the Greek Civil Code 1940.  My father, also a lawyer, was his assistant.  It was his belief, that although Professor Balis knew him to be an excellent student, it was likely because of Anastos Skourletis’ intervention that he was offered the position. 
8427933351_8b0345c337_o.jpg
         Professor George Balis  and George Palamedes March 15, 1940
     


Following that interesting diversion, we continued along the list and he had the following comments:


52
Aristeidis
Skourletis
Nikolaos
25
1840
trader


“It sounds very familiar, but I’m not sure”


72
Vasileios
Nikolopoulos
Dimitrios
22
1843
student


“I’m sure he is a relation.”


101
Grigorios
Nikolopoulos
Konstandinos
48
1817
landowner


“This might be my great-grandfather. Yes, he is a landowner!”


75
Vasileios
Charakopos
Dimitrios
30
1835
landowner


“Charakopos, this reminds me of a relative, but I can’t remember the relationship.”


78
Georgios
Tankalakis
Ioannis
35
1830
lawyer


“I knew a Tankalakis from the village, he was also a lawyer.”


As he worked down the list he would say things, like “not him, there were no tailors in the family”. He identified the following people as probable relatives, as they were family names:


103
Georgios
Deonardos
Deonardos
42
1823
landowner


151
Ilias
Skourletis
Konstandinos
30
1835
landowner


36
Andonios
Spyrakopoulos
Ioannis
27
1838
landowner
161
Theodoros
Spyrakopoulos
Dimitrios
30
1835
landowner
266
Nikolaos
Spyrakopoulos
Ioannis
28
1837
student
345
Spyridon
Spyrakopoulos
Ioannis
32
1833
landowner
179
Ioannis
Spyrakypoulos
Spyros
60
1805
landowner


71
Vasileios
Mandzouranis
Theodoros
30
1835
collector
164
Theodoros
Mandzouranis
Vasileios
75
1790
landowner
191
Ioannis
Mandzouranis
Theodoros
45
1820
landowner
227
Konstandinos
Mandzouranis
Theodoros
35
1830
landowner


235
Loukas
Skourletis
Vasileios
70
1795
landowner
305
Panagos
Skourletis
Georgios
35
1830
elementary school teacher


He was less certain of these names, but still thought they might be relations:


182
Ioannis
Dikaios
Nikitas
35
1830
landowner


191
Ioannis
Mandzouranis
Theodoros
45
1820
landowner


202
Konstandinos
Charokopos
Anagnostis
48
1817
landowner


When we got to:


196
Ioannis
Kolokotronis
Theodoros
65
1800
Lieutenant


He said “look, the hero of the Revolution!”  Sure enough, when I checked out Wikipedia, he was correct, Ioannis Kolokotronis was the hero of the Greek War of Independence (1821 -1832), a general and later the Prime Minister.  It was interesting that he identified himself as “Lieutenant” while his son Panos (#338) was a “Captain”.


Our last familial discovery was with Konstandinos Mandzouranis.  My father recalled he had an Uncle Theodoros Mandzouranis, pobably the son of this Konstandinos.  His Uncle Theodoros was probably married to a sister of his grandmother or grandfather.


227
Konstandinos
Mandzouranis
Theodoros
35
1830
landowner




 George on his 97th Birthday  
©DenaP:)


Since we had taken our exploration this far, I thought I would see what else I could extrapolate from the electoral list.  There were 367 men over 21, many ages were rounded to 5, so they likely didn’t know their exact ages.  Perhaps there were 1800 people in the town, assuming there were 4 women and children to every man of voting age.


The occupational breakdown was as follows:


bailiff
1
baker
2
blacksmith
2
bricklayer
1
butcher
2
Captain
2
carpenter
2
clerk
9
cobbler
30
coffee seller
1
coffee shop owner
2
collector
2
collector of money
1
coppersmith
1
doctor
2
elementary school teacher
1
farmer
62
goldsmith
4
gunsmith
1
landowner
89
lawyer
2
Lieutenant
1
magistrate
1
mason
2
mayor
1
military
2
miller
8
mule driver
1
not employed
3
notary
1
official
1
post office superintendent
2
postman
3
provincial secretary
1
pupil
2
retailer
24
saddle maker
2
sandal maker
1
servant
6
shepherd
5
shoe seller
4
soldier
2
solicitor
1
student
14
tailor
22
teacher
5
telegrapher
1
tinker
7
trader
31
treasurer
1


My above population estimate seems quite low, once we see how many men were involved in commerce and trade.  There were  68 men in commercial activities like retailer and tinker.  There were a surprising number of people employed at the post office, which had two supervisors.  Every occupation was represented including a baliff, magistrate and even a gunsmith.   There were 22 tailors to serve 367 men of voting age.   There was even a telegraph operator.  It was clear that at the time of the enumeration, the size of the town was considerably larger than the current 267 residents.  I can hardly imagine how different the town must have felt compared the sleepy state I observed when I visited in 2008.


2790002757_a13122493e_o.jpg
©DenaP:)
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2790801214_4f89486dbf_o.jpg
©DenaP:)

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