Obsessed with details, I have spent hours recently adding more dates and fine-tuning names, knowing that there is still more work to be done. What are my relatives actual/correct Greek names? Is your name Vasiliki -- or Bessie or Betty or Bella? I'd like to get my hands on whoever turned the name Kostantinos into Gus! (That names were changed on Ellis Island is pure myth. The staff of many languages did their best to preserve original names, only to have those names changed later and obscured by the need to blend in.)
Finishing up organizing what I have so far for the main branches of our Family Tree (Skopos, Naousa, Kyparissi, and Koroni) -- and wanting publish it somehow. Not on the Internet, someone warned -- even though that's how families find each other on Ancestry.com or MyHeritage.com. But publish them I will, primarily in hard copies -- because this information should be circulated, savored, and then saved right along with other important family documents.
There is no end actually, but I am hitting the pause button for now -- at least until I go back to Greece in February to continue unraveling the story of my Papou Xanthoulis Xanthopoulos. Will I ever know when exactly he left Eastern Macedonia (then Ottoman Empire/now Turkey) and with whom, just before his town of Skopos got caught up in the so-called "Armenian Genocide" circa 1915 that spared no Christians?
|Yiayia Pauline's cousin Elisavoudha Lala Milona|
and her daughter Kostanza ("Dina")
My mission/responsibility now is to make sure that family members have their share of the Family Tree, and, if so inclined, they can help me fill in any gaps -- to help ensure that the info is passed on to future generations, so they don't have to start from Square One like I did. And some of us won't be here to answer the many questions.
Family Trees will soon be arriving in designated mailboxes, maybe yours. Kali Hronia!
(Published in The Greek American Herald, December 2015)