Beyond the Basics: Φ.Ε.Κ. The Official Newspaper of the Government of Greece

[Note: this article has been updated from a previous version published on Spartan Roots on November 3, 2018.]

Φ.Ε.Κ. or the Government Gazette, is the official newspaper of the Greek Government, and as such, is recognized as the only governmental form through which all laws, decrees, appointments and judgments are published. The first issue was printed on February 16, 1833 and was called the Newspaper of the Government of the Kingdom of Greece  (at that time, Greece was ruled by King Otto). Until June 1835 the paper was published in two columns; the left in Greek and the right in German. Some issues after 1835 are in Greek and French.

The newspaper has been published weekly from1833 to present. The website of the National Printing Office of Greece has digitized and uploaded Φ.Ε.Κ. issues at http://www.et.gr.  This link will take you to the search page:  http://www.et.gr/SearchFek.

Following are instructions to access this site. NOTE: I have used a Google Chrome browser extension to translate these pages into English. If you do not use a translating extension, the pages will be in Greek.

The URL http://www.et.gr/SearchFek will take you to the following page. Click on the down arrow next to: Επιλέξτε έτος- τεύχος (select year – issue).  (outlined in red below)

A drop down box will list the years of the newspaper, beginning with the current year. Clicking on the down arrow will reveal all years that the paper was published. To access the earliest issues, click on the number 30 at the bottom which will take you to the first year of publication in 1833. 
The issues of the year chosen will be listed (in this example, the year is 1833). You can click on the paper icon to view the first page only, or click on the arrow to download the entire issue to your computer.The number to the left of the paper icon indicates the number of pages in that issue.

The letters A, B, etc. next to each year designate various issues of the newspaper. From 1833-1930, there is only the letter “A.” After 1930, additional letters appear. This link goes to the page which explains the various letters and what they mean.

Below is page one of the first issue, dated February 16, 1833. There are four pages of this issue. Start on page one and scroll through, to understand the layout of the newspaper.

I initially became interested in exploring the Φ.Ε.Κ. when I found FamilySearch microfilms  which had  lists of men being called for military duty or appointed as jurors.* These lists were printed by region, then prefecture, then village, then men’s names. The following image is an 1849 list of men from Sparta who were called as jurors. 

FamilySearch microfilm #1038846, item 6, image 27: 2 November 1849 Sparta list of jurors

When I went to the Φ.Ε.Κ. website to look for this issue (2 November 1849), I could not understand why the online issue for that date did not contain this information. I learned that these lists were supplements to the newspaper and were published separately at later dates. 

Another source to find issues for the years 1826-1864 can be found online at Google Books. The Bavarian State Library had bound volumes of Φ.Ε.Κ. under the title Ephēmeris tēs Kybernēseōs tu Basileiu tēs Hellados. All of the issues for an individual year were bound into one volume for that year. Click on this link for free access.You will need to be logged into Google to add the books to your Google Play library. 

You never know what you will find. Here is a page from the Google Book Φ.Ε.Κ. series, volume 1860, 1862 which has numerous charts for all the prefectures of Greece with a variety of data. This is a chart of marriages, births and deaths for four villages in Lakonia.

Statistics of Hellas, 1860 (1862), page 8

Searching through issues of Φ.Ε.Κ. can be tedious, but consider it a treasure hunt. You may find new and interesting information which will make it worthwhile!


*In the 1980’s, FamilySeach filmed over 5,000 thousand rolls of microfilm under a contract signed with the General State Archives of Greece (GAK).  A list is found in the FamilySearch Catalog under Greek microfilms. In addition, a pdf document listing all Greek films can be downloaded here. I found Juror’s  lists from Laconia in film numbers:  1038847 and 1039000 and 08053376. I found Military Lists for Laconia-Messinia in film number 1462001 and 1462002. Although these microfilms are now digitized, contractual restrictions do not allow them to be openly published on the internet. They can, however, be viewed at any Family History Center or affiliate library.

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3 thoughts on “Beyond the Basics: Φ.Ε.Κ. The Official Newspaper of the Government of Greece

  1. Pingback: Beyond the Basics: Juror’s Lists | Spartan Roots (Σπαρτιατικές Ρίζες)

  2. Pingback: Jurors from Agios Ioannis – Agios Ioannis – 'Αγιος Ιωάννης, Sparta

  3. Pingback: Beyond the Basics: Parish Voter Lists | Spartan Roots (Σπαρτιατικές Ρίζες)

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