Friday, May 15, 2015

Papou Xanthoulis Xanthopoulos' Naturalization Papers -- and some more questions...

‎Preparing to go to Greece, I have been organizing my family tree info so that I can fill in the proverbial blanks -- and there a quite a few as regard my Papou Xanthoulis Xanthopulos' pre-Naousa life. Recently my search to confirm his birthplace had me looking towards E. Thrace on the Turkish side. Now I have confirmed that he was from Skopos (now known as Uskup), a town in Turkey a few miles from Sarranda Ekklisies (now known as Kirklareli). 
Hints came from my Aunt Soula in Athens -- whom I love dearly, and will see soon -- and the very last column on a ship's passenger list which had been a mere online squiggle at first.  A 1930 census form revealed that my Papou and his 2 kids Efstatheos and Theopiste were naturalized by then!
Naturalization Petitions and the ancillary documents -- which I got from the National Archives regional branch in San Bruno, CA* --  are some of the best sources of immigrant info, as they are filled out and sworn to by the subject. And signed. I was thrilled to see my grandfather's signature on documents.

Xanthoulis & Theopeste
(Stockton, 1937)
Xanthoulis Xanthopoulos died of cancer in 1941 before I was born. He was born in "Skopo, Turkey (Greek Parents)" he declared in 1925. Along with renouncing foreign governments, he also swore that he was not an anarchist or polygamist. And 3 years later -- it took 2 years for the issuance of a "Certificate of Arrival" from the Dept. of Labor -- he was made a citizen along with 2 minor children  who were not even here until1929.‎ (Unfortunately the official papers from their journey from Naousa to San Francisco along with any birth certificates have disappeared.)
Were both my father Steve and Aunt Faith actually born in Naousa, where they lived 1920-29? And Aunt Soula says she remembers Theopeste going to Thessaloniki or thereabouts to visit an aunt. Who are those people?
*There are various online sources for genealogy info online, some free like and others by subscription like On the latter I searched the naturalization records, finding the Index Card for Xanttoles Xanttopoulos (later signed "Xanthules") with Declaration and Petition numbers.The approval was given by the US District Court of SF in1928. I emailed the  San Bruno archive with that info/request and within a week they replied. Paid $10 fee by phone, and 2 hours later the 5 scanned pages were in my email box. Place of birth confirmed, no real surprises except 2 unknown to me witnesses from Stockton for a man ("hat cleaner") living in SF...

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network.


  1. Have a great time in Greece, especially KY! Thank you for listing the additional resources, very helpful. Best of luck with your search!

  2. Have a great time in Greece, especially KY! Thank you for listing the additional resources, very helpful. Best of luck with your search!

    1. Visit Neos Skopos, Serras. We have published a book this year honoring the 100 yr anniversary of the Skopinon community in the US. We are presenting on it tomorrow, May 24, in Thessaloniki.

  3. Check out the Facebook site Demos Skopos. My grandmother was born in Skopos, family Anadolis.