Rhodope County, Greece Genealogy
Guide to Rhodope County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
|Greece Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Municipalities
- 4 Municipal Archives
- 5 Greek National Archives and Rodopi (Rhodope) Archives
- 6 Greek Orthodox Church Records
- 7 How to Read the Records
History[edit | edit source]
Rhodope is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace. Its name is derived from the Rhodope Mountains, which cover the northern part of its territory. Together with the regional units Evros and Xanthi, it forms the geographical region of Western Thrace. The capital of the prefecture is the city of Komotini.
Most of the Muslims of Thrace, the only officially recognized minority in Greece, are settled in this area, where they form around half of the population.
Rhodope was established as a prefecture in 1930, when the former Thrace Prefecture was divided into the Rhodope and Evros prefectures. In 1944 Xanthi Prefecture was created from the western part of Rhodope Prefecture. Since the 1990s Rhodope cooperated with Evros in the Rhodope-Evros Super-prefecture.
As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was transformed into a regional unit within the East Macedonia and Thrace region, with no change in its boundaries.
Geography[edit | edit source]
Rhodope borders on the regional unit Xanthi to the west and Evros to the east, and on Bulgaria's Kardzhali Province to the north. The Aegean Sea lies to the south. The eastern Rhodope Mountains cover the northern part of the regional unit. Apart from the mountainous areas, the territory consists mainly of farmland, forests and grasslands. The southern and the central part have a mainly Mediterranean climate, and the northern part a mainly continental climate with cold winters.
Municipalities[edit | edit source]
Most of the research you do will be at the municipality level, by contacting the Mayor's Office of the municipality.
Villages[edit | edit source]
Municipal Archives[edit | edit source]
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.
- Modern Birth, Marriage, and Death Registers
- Male Registers (Mitroon Arrenon)
- Town (Resident) Registers (Dimotologion)
Writing to Municipal Archives[edit | edit source]
- Municipality addresses for Rodopi (Rhodope) County
- Form Letters to the Mayor of a Municipality
- Asking for a Birth record
- Asking for a Death record
- Asking for Family Structure (Dimitologion)
- Follow up Thank You letter
Greek National Archives and Rodopi (Rhodope) 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.
General State Archives (GSC)
Rodopi Archives[edit | edit source]
Fax. : 25310-33357
Writing to the Greek National Archives (GAK) or the Rodopi Office of the GAK[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.
- Form Letters to the Greek National Archives (GAK)
- Requesting Birth information
- Requesting Marriage information
- Requesting information about the family structure and death of an ancestor
- Follow up Thank You letter
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:
- Form Letter to a Diocese
- Asking for a Marriage record
- Follow up Thank You letter
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!
- Greece Handwriting and Text will teach you the alphabet in print and handwriting and give you some computer translation tools.
- The article, This simple Greek Word List, features a short list of key terms. You should learn to recognize these.
- Other words will be used on a "look it up when you come to it" basis. For this, more thorough word lists can be found at :