Double Date

No, this is not a post about two couples going out for dinner or a movie date. It is, however, a description of something important that I learned this past weekend.

On Saturday, at the Greek Genealogy Conference held in Tarpon Springs, Florida, I taught a class entitled, “Using U.S. Records to Begin Greek Research.” In this presentation, I used numerous examples of records that may have information to help  find the original name of an ancestor (such as Papadopoulos, not just Pappas), and also the village of birth (very important, as records in Greece are cataloged by location).

I emphasized the importance of finding every record that could have possibly been created in the U.S. for an ancestor. The reason is that each document may have new or different information. When documents for a direct ancestor are hard to find, look for documents of siblings or other family members, and do your best to locate every piece of paper on which they could possibly be listed.

As an illustration, I used both civil and church marriage records for my maternal grandparents. This is the State of New York Certificate and Record of Marriage for Ilias Papagiannakos and Angelina Eftaxias; note that the date is May 10, 1914:

New York State Certificate and Record of Marriage, Ilias Papagianakos and Angelina Eftaxias

State of New York: Civil Marriage Record Louis Papagianakos and Angelina Eftaxia GROOM: age 32; occupation: oyster dealer; birthplace: Greece; father’s name: Panagiotis; mother’s maiden name: Caterina Eliopoulis BRIDE: age 20; birthplace: Greece; father: Constantinos; mother’s maiden name: Stafia Zaharopoulo. Joined in marriage at 358 West 44th Street, Manhattan on 10th of MAY 1914

This is the Greek Orthodox Marriage Certificate from Holy Trinity Church in New York for the same grandparents. Note that the date of marriage is:  27/10 April, 1914.


Greek Orthodox Marriage Record; Holy Trinity Church.   Of Agios Ioannis, Sparta, Ilias Panag. Papagiannakos and of Mistra Aggeliki Kon. Eftaxia married on 27/10 APRIL 1914 Best man: Christos Aridas FATHERS: Panagiotis Papagiannakos KON [Konstandinos] Eftaxias

As I described the differences between the civil and the church marriage records, I mentioned that I was puzzled by the “double date” on the church record. I did not understand the discrepancy between the two dates and what 27/10 April was referring to.

After the presentation, Adamantia Klotsa, Consul General of Greece, approached me and solved the mystery. She explained that the “double date” on the Greek certificate referred to the dates as they were calculated by both the Julian Calendar (27 April) and the Gregorian Calendar (May 10). There is a 13-day difference between the dates in these calendars, and the Greek record reflected both because Greece used the Julian calendar until 1922. With this marriage occurring in 1914, it now makes sense as to the correctness of the date as noted on the Greek Orthodox Marriage Record–the difference between April 27 and May 10 is exactly thirteen days.

Genealogy is never boring–there is always something new to learn!