Virtual Trip through Agios Ioannis (Sparta)

My friend, Georgia Stryker Keilman, found a Google car trip through our ancestral village of Agios Ioannis. Her post on her blog, HellenicGenealogyGeek, reads as follows:

Follow this link to view the TRIP THROUGH AGIOS IOANNIS.  This is a car driving through the village’s main road with a 360 degree camera mounted on the top of the car.  You can view this in several different ways: 1) the bottom strip of photographs are highlights from the video;  2)  on the lower right side of the main picture you will see “backward and forward” symbols < > which will allow you to move forward on the road incrementally;  3) you can place your cursor on the road and drag your way forward;  4) on the bottom right side of the main picture is a red and white pointer surrounded by circular arrows which will allow you to look at a 360 degree view from any point on the road.

Georgia’s connection to Agios Ioannis is her ancestor, George Stratigakos (1859-1921). I just love to think that our families must have known each other as this is not a big village, and that our grandfathers must have passed many hours in the local kafenio talking politics and other topics. Here we are, 100 years later, reconnected in a new land. It’s all so exciting!

Georgia’s HellenicGenealogyGeek Facebook page is the go-to place for online Greek genealogy collaboration with over 6,500 members.

Thank you, Georgia, for finding and posting this virtual tour and for all you do to connect Greek researchers online!


How to Navigate the State General Archives of Greece Website for Digitized Images

The website of the General Archives of Greece has a specific area where digital images are being uploaded:  This site is not easy to navigate, but with patience and the help of an English translation button on the right side of the website, it can be done.

A pdf file with step-by-step directions can be accessed here.

As can be expected, most of the files are in Greek script. However, there is a valuable collection of Electoral Rolls from the late 1800’s which has been typewritten in Greek — and the names are easy to read. This collection contains lists of men who were eligible to vote. It is sorted by Nomos (County), then Districts and Municipalities. Instructions for accessing this collection titled “Election Materials from the Vlachogiannis Collection” is found at the end of the document. A direct link to this collection is:

A sample page of the Election Rolls is below. The Nomos is Lakonia, the village is Agios Ioannis (Sparta). The columns are:  1: line number, 2: first and last name of the voter, 3: voter’s birth year, 4: name of voter’s father, 5: voter’s occupation.

My great-grandfather, Panagiotis Papagiannakos, is on line 1975.

1872 Electoral Rolls, Agios Ioannis, Papagiannakos

1872 Electoral Rolls, Agios Ioannis, Panagiotis Papagiannakos, line 1975



Greek Microfilms at the FamilySearch Library

Various record collections from areas in Greece have been microfilmed and are available to the public through the FamilySearch Library and its more than 4,700 Family History Centers throughout the world. To locate the one closest to you, click here.

To find a Greek microfilm,  you will need to know the village, district, and county of your ancestor. The following explains the geographic divisions in Greece:

Greece is divided geographically into 9 main regions:
1.  Central Greece and Euvoia
2.  Peloponnese
3.  Ionian islands
4.  Thessaly
5.  Epirus
6.  Macedonia
7.  Thrace
8.  Aegean Islands
9.  Crete

Each of these 9 main regions is divided into “Counties” called Nomos.

Each of the nomos is divided into “Districts” called Eparhia.

Each Eparhia is divided into “Municipalities” called Dimos. A Dimos may include surrounding villages.

Prior to 1999, there was a division called “Community” or Koinotis. In 1999, all “communities” were dissolved and incorporated into the larger “Municipalities” or Dimos.

In order to determine if the FamilySearch Library has a Greek film of interest to you, you will need to identify the following information:

1.  The village
2.  The Dimos (municipality) to which the village belonged when the record was created
3.  The Eparhia (district) to which the Dimos belonged when the record was created.
4.  The Nomos (county) to which the Eparhia (municipality) belonged when the record was created.

You must also know the full, original Greek surname; for example: not Pappas, but Papadopoulos.

Records That May Give You Name & Village

  • Census (1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 ask specific immigration & naturalization questions)
  • Marriage (U.S. and Greek Church)
  • Baptismal Records (Greek Church)
  • Immigration (Passenger Ship)
  • Naturalization (Declaration of Intention & Petition for Naturalization)
  • Social Security Application (original and computerized)
  • World War I & II registration cards
  • Death Certificate (beware of informant’s possible misinformation)
  • Obituary
  • Tombstones
  • Photographs

After you have determined the original Greek surname and village, check to see if FamilySearch has a microfilm for your location. A pdf file of all Greek microfilms, compiled by Lica Catsakis, can be searched here.

If there is a film that you want to review, you can order it from the link here and it will be sent to the Family History Center that you designate.