Getting Started

This is the home village of three of my grandparents.

This is my first post on my new blog! My name is Carol Harriet Kostakos Petranek, and I am of Greek-American ancestry. I was baptized Hariklia Kostakou (Χαρικλια Κοστακου) after the traditional Greek naming patterns: as the first child, I named after my father’s mother, Hariklia (Aridas) Kostakos. Although Hariklia is a beautiful Greek name, my mother was not enamoured of its English translation, Harriet. I had the good fortune of being born on Christmas Eve which gave my mother the opportunity to name me Carol. However, my dear grandparents called me Hariklia until the day they died.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and lived in a predominantly Greek neighborhood. My grandparents and other family members were within walking distance, and my earliest years were spent surrounded by family. When I was five, we moved to a small town in New Jersey and when I was 13, we moved to a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. I have always felt a strong love for family and this has manifested in a passion for genealogical research.

My purpose in writing this blog is to preserve a path of my Greek genealogical research, and to share what I have learned with others. This is not an easy road to follow. Records are not readily available and the Greek language can be a barrier to many people. However, we can keep learning and progressing, one step at a time, in reaching a worthy goal — to discover, preserve and share our family history with others.

Please join me on this exciting journey! And don’t hesitate to contact me at anytime. I’m looking forward to making many new friends, and — hopefully — finding many new family members!