The Ionian Legacy of Haralambos Halkiopoulos
Existing Family Records:Finding the origins of my Halkiopoulos family has become a Greek labyrinth. Family documents have pointed me to a number of places to research. They all center around Andreas Halkiopoulos and his wife and three children. Here is what I have:
Seal from |
a Santorini Document
Seal from |
under British Occupation
Kefalonian Seal showing|
Ulyses being recognized
by his dog upon return
It seems that after 1929 there was a reluctance to specify Kefalonia (or Cephalonia) as the place of origin. Kefalonia was consistently mentioned as a place of origin before 1930. Either Santorini and Smyrna became places of origin other than Kefalonia or that field iswas simply left blank on the form! For some reason Andreas needed to hide his origins, most likely to some political entrigue occuring in Egypt at the time, as the Egyptians were attempting to free them selves from the British Occupation.
I had the opportunity several years ago to do some investigating on the island of Santorini (Thira). The Demarxia would not look in the registers unless I knew the village in which Andreas was born. At that point, I made a quick guess and chose the largest of the Santorini villages, Fira, to increase the probability of turning up some results. They found a birth certificate for an Andreas to a Haralambos Halikiopoulos in 1880. Becasue the mother was not listed, I cannot confirm whether this is the same Andreas as the one I am researching.
In Fira, though, I also came across a library, where I discovered a book by Dimitrios L. Sakki, entitled, Anekdota Keimera-Piges Neoellinikis Historia, H Paideia Etin Eparia Thira Kata Thn Othoniki, Periodo 1833-1848, (Athens)1998. Pages 50-52 give data on school children, 10 year old Nikolaos Halkiopoulos and 6 year old Ioannis Halkiopoulos, during the period of 1843. The two pupils made good progress in school. These people might have been related to Haralambos, Andreas' father and might have accounted for spending time on Thira, particularly with the 19th century revolutionary events against the Turks taking place on Crete. The father of these children was a shoe maker and would have been proud of his possible descendent, Virginia, who had collected many pairs of shoes from all over the world!
Not mentioned in any of the above records is Crete. Andreas' son, Haralambos (Harry), investigated property near herakleon which had been owned by the family, but at some time abandoned. He found the records and visited the site, which consisted of a disheveled building and occupied by non-family members. He made no effort to claim the land. He preferred to leave the occupants in peace. The property was not worth a court battle. This story, then, presents the possiblity that their might have been yet another origin to Haralambos Halkiopoulos' family.
Family History Center Documents:Fortunately, the Family History Center of the Church of Latter Day Saints has recorded many vital documents from the Ionian islands, though not to records from the rest of Greece. I am working on listing specific film sources from the FHC that I have examined and that I have listed at the bottom of this page.
The records I have examined are civil registration documents and church baptism, marriage and death records that are kept in the archives on each of the islands and filmed by the FHC missionaries. They are written by hand in cursive and in paragraphs usually; some are in tables.
Though many of the available records are too early to find Haralambos' or Andreas' Halkiopoulos' birth or marriage records, I had hoped to find some evidence of Haralambos and his of his family on Kefalonia. The manuscripts were in poor shape, often water stained, torn and ink smudged. The writing is often illegible. The cursive script in Greek is very difficult for the uninitiated to decifer or to transliterate to anglo text. It is also written in the Katharevousa (Purified) Greek, rather than the present day Demotic language, offering additional challenges in translatingfor even Greek speaking people. Never-the-less, surnames are fairly easy to spot.
> The list below is not complete, so please bear with me as I compile the material. There are records from some of the other Ionian islands, from nearby Patras on the Pelloponesis, from the port Napflion on the southeastern edge of the Pelloponesis and from Crete, all of which have many Halkiopoulos families. There are also Catholic (Venetian) records from Thira, in which no Halkiopoulos records seem to exist. A large concentration of Halkiopoulos family records exist in the Church of the Pantocrator records in Lefkas City on Lefkada Island (Leukas or Leukada in the FHC catalog). A well known musician named Halkiopoulos was buried at that church. To my knowledge, however, there was no reason why Lefkada might have been considered part of Kefalonia in name, as the island of Ithaka was when it shared the same county as Kefalinia. In that case people from Ithaka might have said that they came from Kefalonia, meaning Kefalinia county (eparxia). From what I can find, this could not have been the case on Lefkada.
Kefalonia (FHC spelling is Kefallinias) 1770-1846
In the following pages I have traced the origins of the name Halkiopoulos and occurances of the name in literature in order to unravel further clues about the origins of my grandfather's family. The labyrinth grows...
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