The family of my great-grandmother, Stathoula Zaharakis, has been an elusive mystery to me. Her photo, which is on my desk, reminds me daily to think of her as well as all those who came before me.
Her face haunts me at times. How did she feel as she sent all three of her daughters to the U.S. so they could marry and have a better life? She had no sons; who took care of her as she aged? My mother said that she died as she was preparing to come to the U.S. to visit her daughters and their families in the mid-1950’s. How heartbreaking!
When Gregory Kontos and I were at the Greek Orthodox Mitropolis in Sparta in 2014, he found the marriage record for Stathoula and Konstandinos Ioannis Eftaxias.
From this marriage record, I learned that Stathoula’s father was Dimitrios. I knew that the family lived in Theologos, Oinountos – just north of Sparta.
At the office of the General Archives of Greece in Sparta, Gregory and I digitized pages from the Dimotologion Koinothtos (Town Register) of Theologos which listed the Zaharakis families. I can’t believe that I overlooked the Male Register – a critical component to understand father/son relationships! Until I return to the Archives next summer, I have only the Dimotologia, Election Lists of 1872 & 1844, and information sent by family members to organize the structure of the Zaharakis family prior to 1940. I know the Male Registers will eventually provide missing information.
As I worked through the various resources, I learned an important detail about the 1844 Election Lists: there is an index at the beginning of each municipality. In the image below, notice two columns of numbers to the left of each name. The first number is the line number in the index; the second number is the line in the record itself. In this image on line 272 (right column, 3rd down) is Ioannis Zaharakis or Zaharakakis; the number 236 indicates the line in the record where his registration is recorded. (see next image)
This is an image of the voter registration page. Ioannis is found on line 236, which reads: Ioannis Zaharakis, age 46, farmer.
Also found on both of these pages are:
Index line 256/Record line 238 – Panagiotis Zaharakakis, age 34, farmer
Index line 273/Record line 239 – Theodoros Zaharakakis, age 32, farmer
Index line 267/Record line 250 – Georgios Zaharakis, age 42, farmer
Big important note: Thank you, Gregory Kontos, for finding these names for me. You have my undying gratitude forever! I can read records that are typewritten, but the handwritten ones are Greek to me.
I will update this post after my next trip to the Archives in Sparta in July 2016. This time I’ll have the Male Registers and I will be able to further corroborate and correct what I have documented.
If anyone has information that can shed further light on these families, or give a better translation of the handwritten Greek, I would be most grateful!
Now I can put this aside to enjoy the holidays. Merry Christmas!