My friend and Greek genealogist, Gregory Kontos, prepared some excellent handouts for the Hellenic Genealogy Conference in Salt Lake City on September 26, 2015.
This is a sample of a Dimotologion Koinothtos, or Town Register. It is similar to a U.S. census record as it lists the families in the villages, with parents and children’s names, birthdates, birth places, and other relevant information. These records were created in the 1900’s. The oldest families will have parents born in the late 1800’s, with their children born in the early-mid 1900’s. To my knowledge, there is no such record collection dated earlier than this timeframe, which is unfortunate as we cannot go back to find a father or a mother in this record, when he/she is listed as a child in their parents’ family.
This is page 1 of 2.
Here is an example of the 1st page of the Dimotologion, with an entry translated into English.
This is page 2 of a Dimotologion. It gives additional information about each person in the family.
This is a Mitroon Arrenon, or Male Register. It is a record of every male born in a village. It was kept by the government for military draft purposes, and is considered an official register of birth.
These two record sets are the backbone of genealogy research in Greece. The regional offices of the General State Archives of Greece (GAK) have books with these record collections for the villages over which they have jurisdiction.
A list of the Regional GAK offices can be found here: http://www.gak.gr/Cont/cont-py-00.html. The page can be translated into English using Google translate. If you write for information, include whatever you know about the family you are searching. It is especially important to know the spelling of the original surname in Greek (e.g., Papagiannakos, not just Pappas). You must also know the exact village and its location because there are many villages with the same name (e.g., not just Agios Ioannis, but Agios Ioannis Sparta).