Dodecanese region, Greece Genealogy

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Guide to Dodecanese ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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History[edit | edit source]

Geography[edit | edit source]

The Dodecanese (Greek: Δωδεκάνησα) are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea, off the coast of Asia Minor (Turkey), of which 26 are inhabited. The Dodecanese Prefecture was one of the prefectures of Greece. As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis reform, the prefecture was abolished, and its territory was divided into four regional units, within the South Aegean administrative region:

  • Kalymnos
  • Karpathos
  • Kos
  • Rhodes

Municipalities[edit | edit source]

The former prefecture was subdivided into the following municipalities and communities. These have been reorganized at the 2011 Kallikratis reform as well.

  • Afantou
  • Archangelos
  • Astypalaia
  • Attavyros
  • Chalki
  • Dikaio
  • Ialysos
  • Irakleides
  • Kallithea
  • Kalymnos
  • Kameiros
  • Karpathos
  • Kasos
  • Kos
  • Leipsoi
  • Leros
  • Lindos
  • Kastellorizo
  • Nisyros
  • Patmos
  • Petaloudes
  • Rhodes
  • South Rhodes
  • Symi
  • Tilos

Dodecanese, Wikipedia

Villages[edit | edit source]

Municipal Archives[edit | edit source]

Most of the research you do will be at the municipality level, by contacting the Mayor's Office of the municipality. Quite comprehensive records for your family, perhaps for several generations, are kept by the mayor's office of each municipality. Civil registers of birth, marriage, and death since 1925 are kept there. In addition, an important record, unique to Greece, the Dimologion is similar to a "family group record". Census records, contracts, and other records can be found.

Information About Important Records in Municipality Archives[edit | edit source]

Click on the links for an explanation on the types of records you will look for at the municipality level.

Writing to Municipal Archives[edit | edit source]

Greek National Archives, and County Archives[edit | edit source]

  • The Greek National Archives (GAK or GSA) has a central office in Athens, and local offices throughout Greece. These offices have copies of Male Registers, Town (Resident) Registers, School Records, and other documents of interest to family historians. Civil registers are not preserved in the Central Service (CS). Some records are online. Others are not online, but the staff will search them for you upon request.

Central Archives[edit | edit source]

General State Archives (GSC)
Dafni 61
15452 Psychiko

Phone:+30 210-6782200
FAX:+30 210-6782215

County Archives[edit | edit source]

GAK Dodecanese
Aristotle 1
85100 Rodos

Phone:22410-23055, 35473
Fax: 22410-23055

Nomos Leros
Platanos Leros
85400 Leros

Phone: 22470-28129

Writing to Archives[edit | edit source]

Again, not all records will be online. You can write and request searches for records. Instructions, form letters, and their translations are found here.

Greek Orthodox Church Records[edit | edit source]

Important Church Records[edit | edit source]

  • Book of Births: date of birth, place of birth, gender, name, surname, father’s name, date of baptism, godfather and priest, notes
  • Book of Marriages: date of marriage, groom’s name, groom’s age, groom’s father’s name, groom’s mother’s name, bride’s name, bride’s age, bride’s father’s name, bride’s mother’s name, priest, place of birth, notes
  • Book of Deaths: date of death, name of the deceased, father’s name, age, notes

Writing to a Diocese[edit | edit source]

Records may be either at the diocese archives or still at the local parish church. Usually only the most recent records are still at the parish.

Information on addressing the letter, enclosing money, and a form letter in Greek, with its English translation are found in this .pdf:

How to Read the Records[edit | edit source]

You do not have to be fluent in Greek to read and understand these records! Only a few vocabulary words are involved. True, the alphabet is different. But you learned one alphabet, and you can learn another alphabet!