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How to Work with the Greek National Archives to Research Your Greek Roots

Tracing your Greek heritage can be an exciting and rewarding journey. Whether you are of Greek descent or simply have an interest in Greek history and culture, researching your ancestry at the Greek National Archives can provide valuable insights into your family history and personal identity. In this guide, we will explore the resources and services available at the Greek National Archives, as well as tips and strategies for conducting effective research. We will also discuss some of the genealogical web resources that are available to help you in your research. What is the Greek National Archives? The Greek National Archives, also known as the Central Archives of Modern Records, is a government-funded institution responsible for preserving and making available important historical documents and records related to modern Greece. The archives are located in Athens, Greece and holds records from the late 18th century to present day. The collection includes documents related to various areas of society such as politics, economy, education, culture, and more. The Greek National Archives is considered as one of the most important institutions for genealogy research for people of Greek descent, it holds a wealth of information that can help you uncover your family history and learn more about your ancestors. What resources are available at the Greek National Archives? The Greek National Archives houses a wide variety of resources that can be used to research your Greek heritage. These include: • Census records: These records provide valuable information about the population of Greece during specific time periods, including names, ages, occupations, and other demographic data. The census records are a great place to start your research, they can help you determine the location of your ancestors and provide you with a general idea of the time period they lived in. • Military records: These records can provide information about the military service of your ancestors, including enlistment and discharge dates, ranks, and other details. If your ancestor served in the military, it is a good idea to check these records as they can provide a wealth of information about their life and experiences. • Church records: Many Greek Orthodox churches have kept records of baptisms, marriages, and burials. These records can provide valuable information about your ancestors' religious practices and affiliations. Church records are also a great way to learn more about your ancestors' social connections and relationships. • Immigration records: If your ancestors immigrated to Greece from another country, you may be able to find records of their journey and arrival in the Greek National Archives. These records can help you understand the reasons behind your ancestors' migration and provide you with valuable information about their lives before they arrived in Greece. • Civil registration records: These records can provide information about births, marriages, and deaths in Greece. The civil registration records are important as they can provide you with the exact dates of important events in your ancestors' lives, as well as information about their parents, children, and other relatives. • Court records: The Greek National Archives also holds court records, which can provide information about legal disputes and criminal proceedings involving your ancestors. These records can be particularly useful if your ancestors were involved in any legal issues during their lifetime. • Property records: The Greek National Archives also holds property records, which can provide information about the ownership and transfer of land and property. These records can be particularly useful if you are trying to trace your family's land and property ownership over time. How to access the Greek National Archives The Greek National Archives are open to the public, and anyone can access the records held there. However, there are certain procedures and regulations that must be followed in order to conduct research. To access the Greek National Archives, you will need to complete an application form and provide identification. You can find the application form on the Greek National Archives website, and it will need to be submitted in person or via mail. Along with the application, you will need to provide a photocopy of your ID and proof of payment of the research fee. Once your application is approved, you will be given access to the archives and be able to conduct research. The archive has a reading room where you can access the records, and you will be provided with the necessary tools such as microfilm readers and scanners. The staff at the archives are also available to assist you with your research, and can help you navigate the collections and find the information you need. Tips for Conducting Research at the Greek National Archives 1. Start with what you know: Before you begin your research, it's important to have as much information as possible about your ancestors. This will help you narrow down your search and make it more efficient. Gather information such as full names, dates of birth and death, and locations of where they lived. This will help you focus your search and make it more efficient. 2. Be specific: When searching for records, be as specific as possible. For example, instead of searching for "John Smith," search for "John Smith born in Greece in 1875." This will help you find the exact records you are looking for and save time in your research. 3. Be patient: Researching your Greek heritage can be a slow process. Be prepared to spend a lot of time at the archives, and be patient as you sift through the records. It may take several visits to the archives to find all the information you need. 4. Use online resources: There are many online resources available that can help you research your Greek heritage, such as the website of the Greek National Archives and various genealogy websites like Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, and MyHeritage. These resources can provide you with additional information and context to help you understand your ancestors' lives and experiences. 5. Consider hiring a professional researcher: If you are having difficulty finding the information you need, or if you are unable to travel to Greece to conduct your research, consider hiring a professional researcher. Engaging a Professional Genealogist Employing a professional genealogist can be a wise choice for those who wish to research their Greek roots and ensure they have the most accurate and comprehensive information. A professional genealogist can guide you through the research process, help you gain access to records at the Greek National Archives, and translate documents for you. They can also provide you with insights on where to find additional resources and historical context to better understand your ancestors' lives in Greece. One of the greatest benefits of hiring a professional genealogist is that they possess the knowledge and experience to uncover and interpret records that may be hard for an amateur researcher to find. They understand the different types of records available at the Greek National Archives, and can help you navigate the complex procedures and regulations required to access them. They also have the skills to read and understand the information contained within the records, which can be in Greek language, and provide guidance on how to navigate the language barriers. Additionally, professional genealogists have access to records that are not available to the general public, such as those held in private collections or archives that are hard to reach. They can also provide you with an expert opinion on the authenticity and reliability of the records you find. This is especially critical when researching Greek ancestors, as many records were destroyed during various historical events. Furthermore, professional genealogists can also provide guidance on how to organize and preserve the records and information you find at the Greek National Archives. They can help you create a family tree or other genealogical charts, which will assist you in understanding the connections between family members and identify any missing pieces of information that need to be researched. Conclusion Tracing your Greek heritage can be a rewarding and enlightening experience. The Greek National Archives is a valuable resource for those looking to research their ancestry and learn more about their family history. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can make the most of your research and uncover the story of your ancestors' lives in Greece. Remember to be patient and persistent in your search, and don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it. With the right approach and resources, you can discover a wealth of information about your family's history and heritage in Greece. By utilizing online genealogical resources, you can further expand your research and gain deeper understanding of your family history. It's important to also remember that research is ongoing process and always new information can be found as well as new resources can be discovered so keep exploring and don't give up. Additional online resources for Greek Genealogy research: -The Greek National Archives (https://www.gak.gr/en/) -The Greek Heritage Society (https://www.hellenicheritage.net/) Researching your Greek ancestry can be made easier by utilizing online resources that provide access to a wide range of records including census, military, church, immigration, civil registration, court and property records. These resources can also connect you with other researchers and genealogy enthusiasts who may have helpful information and expertise. Furthermore, these resources can provide access to information that may not be available to the general public, such as records held in private collections or archives which can make the research process more efficient and time-saving.