The Meaning Of The Boldewahn Name

What’s in a name?  Those odd immigrant names really took a beating in the US. Our German great-grand-father’s name was “Boldewahn” But it was spelled:


My favorites are:
and Baltimore

To be fair, the name was often spelled in the German church books as Bolduan. The Nagel family think that these spelling variations are due to how  cursive writing was taught in Germany before the 1940s. The script was stylized and ornate and is hard for many of us today to read. It was called the “Sütterlin Schreibschrift”. After WW2 the modern “Latin” script was taught that most of us are familiar with here in the USA.

William Baltimore 1884

Baltimore, 1884 Oshkosh City Directory)


William Bolderwack 1920
Bolderwhack (1920 Oshkosh Rural Address Book)
Oldewahn Wedding Anniversary 1930
Oldewahn (1930 Oshkosh, WI newspaper)


Boltewsku 1930 Census
Boltewahn or Boltewsku (1930 US Census)


Bolduan (German Church Register 1851, Gruenwald, Kreis Neustettin, Pommern)


So what is the origin of the name?

In this 1903 book about the origins of German and Jewish names  you can find the family name listed under  the “Bold” entry
Gotish (East Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths):  balths
Old High German ( 700 to 1050  AD): pald, bald

Middle High German ( 1050 and 1350 AD):   balt or kühn (audacious)

The origin of the Italian word: baldo
Baldevin – Old High German variant of Baldewin (“Bald” and “Vin”)
Vin means “friend”

Ancient Germanic *-winiz = ‘friend’ 

Old Norse – vinr = ‘friend’
Swedish – vän = ‘friend’
Danish – ven = ‘friend’ 
Old High German – wini = ‘friend’
Old English –  wine = ‘friend’  or wini = ‘friend’ 
Boldewan (17th Century)
CONCLUSION: Boldewahn means “Bold” “Friend”


The best way to search for the name is to use “wildcard” symbols 
Ex: B*ld*w**n
Will capture:

When Greek Immigrants Were Welcomed

Greek immigrants have faced many hardships in America. From the attacks by the Klu Klux Klan, to the massacres by private militia during mining strikes to mob attacks in Nebraska,  the Greek American has faced racism, hatred and violence.

Greek Immigration – Reception, Racism and The Path To Whiteness (9-3-2017)

But it has not always been so. Here is a random collection of articles written during the brief periods when America welcomed refugees and immigrants, when we aspired to be true to our ideals and beliefs.  May we once day embrace them …and our fellow immigrants…..again.

Arranged in chronological order

Star Tribune, Sun Aug 20, 1916
The Minneapolis Star Jun 22, 1925


The Winona Daily News Tue Aug 7, 1951

Greeks In Minneapolis – Part 2 (10/22/2018)

After working on the railroads in the 1910s and 1920s, many Greeks settled in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Below are three newspaper articles written by or about some of the Greeks who settled in Minneapolis. You can download full size copies here

  1. James Demos (Dimitropulos/Nikolakopulos)
  2. Markos Janavaras
  3. Gus Spanos
James Demos 1955


Markos Janavaras, 1998

Gus Spanos, 1986


Excerpts from the Memoirs of Greek Immigrants – Part 3 – Journey To America (7-27-2018)

Front Cover

In 2011,  John J. Zeazeas wrote a short book about  his “Uncle Jim” who emigrated from Greece to the US in 1903. The book can still be purchased for $1 here.    Excerpts are below, with additional links added based on my ongoing research.

On the last day of January of 1903, Uncle Jim left the steps of the family home with a small parcel of personal belongings and food. From the village, the boys walked to the Port of Patras, nearly a hundred miles to the north. Before the end of the first day, they had traveled beyond everything familiar to them.

They had heavy blankets and slept in the open. On the 8th day of foot travel, they arrived at Patras. At the shipping terminal, other young men were coming together from other villages to await the arrival of a steamer that would take them on the first stage of their journey to France, where they would board another ship to America. They were stacked into a dormitory to await transport for 10 days. During the day, they roamed the waterfront to pass time. By night, they talked with other boys and men from other villages – seeking out any information they could about America.

On February 19th, 1903 they boarded ship for Le Havre, France, arriving on or about March 1 st. A few days before the sailing date to America, they were required to submit to document examination and screening by agents of the steamship company. If they didn’t successfully complete the screening process, they were sent back – nothing any immigrant wanted to experience.

On March 14th Uncle Jim boarded ship for the voyage to New York. The ship landed at an Ellis Island moorage near the Statue of Liberty in New York City on March 23rd, 1903. He was
nearly 19 years of age. Aboard ship, they underwent medical examinations by U. S. Public Health officials. If they didn’t pass, they were not allowed ashore at Ellis Island and could be deported. Thereafter, he went by ferry to the Ellis Island Receiving Center, where he underwent more examinations and questioning. Immigration inspectors looked for inconsistencies in answers. But he knew this, passed the inspections and was issued a Landing Card.

[Read about another Greek immigrant’s journey to America in My Grandfather’s Trip from Agios Petros, Greece to NYC – 1906” by Spyro (2017)]


Part 1 – The Village Life

Part 2 – The American Dream

1851 – Legal Tribunals and Medals of Honor (7/27/2018)

The following are translated excerpts from a book published in 1851: “The Gift”  written by Giorgos E. Kapsalis.

“Some 30 years after the Greek War of Independence, the Fokidas and Doridos regions continued to struggle with roving bands of bandits and robbers. In addition, there was growing dissatisfaction from the men who had fought in the 1821 War  and who felt they were not rewarded for their sacrifice  and who often joined in uprisings.

In 1849 and 1850, the Municipalities  in the area had the following populations:

1849                        1850

Aegiou          3,988                       4,018

Tolophon     2,323                       2.290

Krokilio           5,500                      5,470

Potidania     4,096                       4,133

TOTAL           15,907                       15,911

In 1851, the government created local tribunals to litigate cases and solicited names of possible jurors. Below is a partial listing of names submitted by a few  of the villages.  This information was published in Giorgos E. Kapsalis book “The Gift”. The book is remarkable as it offers not only geographical and political information, but also  population counts (see above) along with names and ages of individuals, their occupation and their annual incomes.

To see the complete list of all the villages in the original Greek go here:

 Alternate link:

The info contained in the book has been transcribed by the Lidoriki Blog.   A translated version of the blog page is here (Note:  since last names  on the Lidoriki Blog website are separated by spaces – ex. K A N I O S – the automatic translators may not translate names and they will appear as blank spots).

All names are listed as: [Family Name/Surname] followed by [First Name].

Ex: Georgiou Giannis = Giannis (first name)  Georgiou (last name)

If a name says “of” they are referring to the father.   Ex: Koutroukis Dimitris of Ioannou  = Dimitris Koutroukis, son of Ioannou Koutroukis.

PLESIA (part of the Tolofon District)

The population of Plesia increased triple-fold almost immediately after the war of Independence and has reached 423 residents (75 families). Before the war the village had 175 residents.

It is located one and a half hours north of Vitrinitsa, and produces wheat, barley, corn and cheese.

The following jury members have been proposed:

  • Georgiou Giannis, municipal councilor, 59 years old, with an income of 2,000 drachmas/year.
  • Karanasios Kostas, a stockman, 58, with a fortune of 6,000 drachmas.
  • Manetas A., a 49-year-old justice of the peace, with an income of 2000 drachmas per year.
  • Manetas P., landowner, 43 years old, with an income of 2,000 drachmas per year.

Also important are:

  • Ioannou Giorgos, landowner, 55 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Kamoutsis Stavros, landowner, 60 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Kanios Panagiotis, landowner. (Independence Fighter).
  • Karamantzalos Kostas, landowner, 51 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Kokmotos Mihos, landowner, 55 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Kotrótsosi  or Kordelási  or Kordalá Andreas, 50 years old landowner. (Independence Fighter).
  • Koutsomichos Christos, landowner, 55 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Bounon Plesias Giannis, landowner, 55 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Chrysanthakis Kostas, 32-year-old landowner.

At the edge of Vela’s closed valley, two hours from the Lidoriki to the south, is Vraila, with lots of grain and corn,  barley and wine.

The population declined after 1821. Before the war, there were 21 families within the Turkish district  of  Kazah Malarin’s”, and the village had  16 families with 80 inhabitants.  After the war there are now only 12 families with 45 inhabitants.

Nominated Vrailites are

  • Kontomíchos  George, a farmer. (Independence Fighter).
  • Malakasis Panagiotis, agro-cultivator. (Independence Fighter).
  • Chimekas Thanasis, agronomist. (Independence Fighter).
  • Tsimekas Giannis, agro-cultivator, 61 years old. (Independence Fighter).

Malandrino is two and a half hours south from Lidoriki and is similar to Vraila, which, as we said, produces: corn, wheat, barley, wine, cheese, and wool.

Its population has fallen from the 350 inhabitants that they had before 1821 – most of them Ottomans – and the current number is 236 (54 families).

At the time of the Turkish occupation the village was given the name of the second administrative district of the province, “Kazas Malandrinos.”

In 1843, by royal decree, the village fell under the jurisdiction of the Doridos County Court.

Proposed Malandrinians are:

  • Karagiannopoulos Thanasis, a farmer. (Independence Fighter).
  • Katrapas Zacharias, agro-farmer, 56 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Stamatopoulos Diamantostamatopoulos Thymios, agro-farmer, 50 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Triantafyllou Yannis, farmer, 54 years old (Independence Fighter).

Two hours away from Lidoriki is Strouza, near ruins that seem to belong to Aegitio, from which the village was named. Situated on the Pleseva ridge (Pyrinos  Mountain range), the site contains 35 families – 219 inhabitants – and supports itself by grazing and cultivating barley, corn and vines.

Proposed jurors from Strouza are:

  • Vasilodimitris Nikos, farmer. (Independence Fighter).
  • Gólfis (Nkólfis) Thanassis, agro-farmer, 55 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Gólfis (Nkólfis), agro-farmer, 60 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Bakas Panagiotis, agro-cultivator, 70 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Bolotas Andreas, agro-farmer, 48 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Strouzas Panagiotis, agro-farmer, 53 years old. (Independence Fighter).

In one hour, from Lidoriki, Skaloula contains 26 families and 134 souls, while before the war it was only 5  families with 25 inhabitants.

The village is poor, and produces wheat, barley, corn and wine.

Important Skaliótes  are:

  • Yiannakopoulos Giorgos, 50 years old farmer. (Independence Fighter).
  • Giannakopoulos Nikos, agronomist, aged 55, (Independence Fighter).
  • Stamatopoulos Theoharis, agronomist, 51 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Tzathas Stavros, agro-farmer, 71 years old. (Independence Fighter).

The Municipality of Tolofonos stretches from the beaches in Galaxidi to Nafpaktos.  During the Turkish regime the district of  “Kazas Malandrino” had the same geographic boundaries as the Municipality of Tolofonos.


The capital of the Municipality, Vitrinitsa – near the ancient Tolofon – is located four hours south of the village of Lidoriki. It is a large village, with a Second Class Primary School and a customs station on its beach – Chania (Fokidos) and  has 531 inhabitants (125 families). Before the 1821 Revolution it had 300 inhabitants.

The policeman are Lampros Giannakos,  Papadimitaris Kolantzis, 65-years-old, and Papaspyros Schoinas, 60 years old.

The following jury members have been proposed:

  • Georgiou Kontogiorgopoulos Vitrinitsa Drosos, a landowner, 61, with an income of 2,500 drachmas per year. (Independence Fighter).
  • Gikas Giorgos, landowner, 41 years old, with a fortune of 6,000 drachmas.
  • Dragos Thanasis, landowner, 59 years old, with an income of 1,500 drachmas per year.
  • Dragos Giannis, landlord, 50 years old, with a fortune of 6,000 drachmas.
  • Karabelas Giorgos, a 48-year-old landowner, with an income of 1,000 drachmas per year.
  • Katsoulis Giannis, 47-year-old landowner, with an income of 2,500 drachmas per year (Independence Fighter).
  • Kontos Loucas, a merchant, 59, with an income of 2,500 drachmas per year.
  • Polítis Andreas of Drosos, a 48-year-old landowner, with a fortune of 6,000 drachmas,
  • Chloros Andreas, a 51-year-old landowner, with an income of 1,000 drachmas per year.

Significant Vitrinians are:

  • Vorgias Kostas, 33-year-old landowner.
  • Georgakopoulos Giannis, landowner, 31 years old.
  • Katsikapis Thodoros of A. Landowner, 20 years old.
  • Katsikapis Giannis, landowner, 51 years old.
  • Kolantzis Drosos, landowner, 51 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Kontolatis Anagnóstis, landowner, 55 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Kontopoulos Charalambis of the Landowner, 20 years old.
  • Papadimitriou Karnavos G. merchant, 36 years old.
  • Politis Giorgos of P., landowner, 40 years old.
  • Stamatopoulos Giorgos,
  • Stamatopoulos D. Landowner, 45 years old.
  • Stavros Stathis, merchant, 47 years old.
  • Stavros Thodoros, merchant, 33 years old.
  • Chloros Giorgos, landowner, 47 years old.
  • Chloros Thomas, landowner, 21 years old.

An hour and a half northwest of Vitrinitsa, situated up high, overlooking four coastal ports, is the Xylogydara, with 55 families and 254 inhabitants (Before the war, it was 150 inhabitants). Sheep and goats are grazed on the surrounding ridges, and corn, wheat, wine and olive oil are produced.

Candidate jury members:

  • Grilanos Anagnóstis , 55-year old assistant/deputy judge, with an income of 1,500 drachmas a year (Independence Fighter).
  • Darais Giannakopoulos Dimitris of Ioannou, a 49-year-old landowner, with an income of 1,500 drachmas per year. (Independence Fighter).
  • Zoytos Karampinis Dimitris, a 60-year-old landowner, with an income of 2,500 drachmas per year. (Independence Fighter).
  • Katharakis Giannis, landowner, 69, with an income of 2,500 drachmas per year (Independence Fighter).
  • Koutrofoukis Giannakis, municipal councilor – landowner, 63 years old, with an income of 2,500 drachmas per year. (Famous Independence Fighter).
  • Konstantinis Konstantinos Ilias, 40-year-old landowner, with an income of 1,500 drachmas per year.

Also known are:

  • Vavatsikos Thanasis, (Independence Fighter).
  • Koutouzas or Koutatzis Anagnóstis, landowner, 51 years old. (Independence Fighter)
  • Koutroukis Dimitris of Ioannou, 30 years old merchant.
  • Koutrofoukis Panagiotis of Ioannou, 22 years old.

Velenikos is located close to Xylogydara, two hours northwest of Vitrinitsa

The town touches the Corinthian Gulf with two ports. The fruitful soil gives  corn, wine and oil, enough to provide for its 132 souls – 28 families. Prior to 1821, the town belonged to the Turkish sector  ‘Kazasa Lidokorikou’ and had 75 inhabitants.

The following jury members have been proposed:

  • Stamagiannis Giannis of A., municipal councilor, 50 years old, with an income of 1,500 drachmas per year. (Independence Fighter).
  • Dimitris Tsamis, landowner, 69, with an income of 1,500 drachmas per year.

Also worthy of consideration:

  • Georgakopoulos Andreas, landlord, 50 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Koutsoumbakis or Koutsoubanis Giorgos, landowner, 50 years old.
  • (Independence Fighter).
  • Konstantinos Mahairas Dimitris of Konstantinos, (Independence Fighter).
  • Sideropoulos Thanasis, landowner, 30 years old.
  • Stamatogianni Giorgos, landowner, 58 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Stamatogianni Thymios of A., landowner, 39 years old.


Marazia is located two and a half hours northwest  of Vitrinitsa, producing the same as the surrounding villages: wheat, corn, wine, oil.

Today their inhabitants reach 232 – 45 families – while pre-war there were 135 inhabitants, of which 35 were within Marazia.

Candidates are:

  • Mítis  A. Officer, 64, with an income of 1,500 drachmas per year.
  • Papatheoharis Anagnóstis, landowner, 59 years old, with an income of 2,000 drachmas. the year.

The following are also distinguished:

  • Kathis Antonis, landowner (Independence Fighter).
  • Kapsokolos Nikos, landowner, 48 years old. (Independence Fighter).

Surrounded by the sea is Troizonia, an island with houses and a cemetery where you can find many 1821 Independence Fighters buried who died during the ferocious battles in the area.

Here, at the end of the last century (1790s?), the village was transferred under the control of the Lidoriki Turkish ruler.


An hour and a half northwest of Vitrinitsa is Makrisi, with a small stream and a piece of forest.

With 24 families and 111 inhabitants (pre-war it had 150 inhabitants) the village produces wine, legumes, corn and a little bit of wheat.

The following jury members have been proposed:

  • Gikas Anagnostis, landowner, 49, with an income of 1,500 drachmas per year.
  • Drosopoulos Andreas, landowner, 54 years old with income of 1,500 drachmas the year.
  • This is also Béskos  George, a 33-year-old landowner.

“Militsa is on the cliff,” says the song, and Milia is situated on cliffs and forested slopes with 36 families, 178 inhabitants (pre-war it had 150 inhabitants) – and cheap vineyards.

Juror candidate is Koumotós  or Kokmotos Dimitris, municipal councilor, 42, with an income of 2,000 drachmas. the year.

Other important Milliaotes include:

  • Vasilopoulos Thanasis, landowner, 51 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Vassilopoulos Dimitris of , landowner, 51 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Botinis Giannis, landowner, 56 years old (Independence Fighter).
  • Botinis Kostas, landowner, 48 years old (Independence Fighter).
  • Dalakas Margaritis Giannis, landowner, 56 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Papadimitrios Kostas, landowner, 46 years old. (Independence Fighter).
  • Papadimitrios Charalambis, landowner, 33 years old.
  • Tambartzis Giorgos, landowner, 52 years old. (Independence Fighter).

Two-and-a-half hours drive northwest of Vitrinitsa, Sotaina has 71 residents – 15 families – making a living with goats and sheep and some corn, barley and wheat.

A well-known Sotieniotis is Sylladavos Thanassis, landowner (Independence Fighter).


Durovitsa, now pillaged, had pre-war, 25 inhabitants.


East of Vitrinitsa, two hours, is Vidavi (now Agii Pantes) with 423 inhabitants – before ’21 it had 75 people. Against the sea, it opens into two good harbors and produces wine, oil, wheat and barley.

Candidates that have been nominated:
*Galanis Nikos, a landowner, 64 years old, with an income of 1,500 acres per year. (Independence Fighter).
*Mantzos Nikos, a 33-year-old justice of the peace, with an income of 1,500 drachmas a year.


The last village of the Municipality of Tolofonos, Kiselis (now Panormos), which is one hour from Vitrinitsa and produces wheat, corn, barley, rye, legumes, cotton, raisins.

On a hillside, the town has two marvelous harbors and contains 47 families and 216 inhabitants – 150 of which are pre-war.

Jury members that have been proposed:
*Despotopoulos G. , Officer, 63 years old, with an income of 2,000 euros per year.
*Leos Thanasis, Officer, 56 years old, with an income of 2,000 drachmas a year.
*Lecos Antonis, 53-year-old landowner, with an income of 2,000 drachmas per year.
*Lecos Giorgos, landowner, 59 years old, with an income of 1,800 drachmas a year.

Other worthwhile Kiselliotes are:
*Athanasiadis Anagnóstis, landowner, 29 years old.
*Dromazos Thymios, a merchant, 31 years old.
*Dromazos Panayiotis, landowner, 30 years old.
*Krikos Loucas of Pan. landowner (Independence Fighter).
*Lego Nikos, landowner, 20 years old.


Prior to the tribunals being formed,  provincial councilors were selected in 1847:

From the Municipality of Aegiou came

  • Karadimas Nikos,
  • Karandra Dimos,
  • Karachalios Thanasis and
  • Tsagournos Yannis.

From the Municipality of Krokilio  came

  • Kavikis Giannis,
  • Kontosis Anagnostis,
  • Kotaris Adritsos and
  • Haris Panagiotis.

From the Municipality of Tolofonos came

  • Karandrea Dimitris,
  • Plesotogiannis Giannis,
  • Stamatopoulos Giannis, and
  • Chello Nikos.

From the Municipality of Potidania  came,

  • Kefala Yannis,
  • Panias Thanasis and
  • Holevas Giorgos.

Doridos offered much during the struggle for independence, both people, livestock and food.

In a decision of the Supreme Court, which was archived, we get a picture of the sacrifices made by the region’s residents.

List of medals awarded  in each province.

Lidoriki                   2,000

Malandrino              1,000

Salona (Amfissa)  3,000

Patratziki (Ypati ) 1,500

Out of the total  awarded nationwide of 24,500 = 30%

Total population in the region was 15,000 which means that 50% of the population was recognized for their contributions.




Τριπλασιασμένη , σχεδόν ,μετά την απελευθέρωση , η Πλέσια , έφτασε τους 423 κατοίκους – 75 οικογένειες – ενώ πριν είχε 175 . 

Μιάμιση ώρα βορεινά της Βιτρινίτσας , βγάζει στάρι , κριθάρι , καλαμπόκι και τυρί υπέροχο .

Γιά ένορκοι έχουν προταθή οι :

Γεωργίου Γιάννης , δημοτικός σύμβουλος , 59 χρονών , με εισόδημα 2,000 δρχ . το χρόνο .

Καρανάσιος Κώστας , κτηνοτρόφος , 58 χρονών , με περιουσία 6.000 δρχ .

Μανέτας Αν. , ειρηνοδικειακός πάρεδρος , 49 χρονών , με εισόδημα 2000 δρχ το χρόνο .

Μανέτας Π., κτηματίας , 43 χρονών , με εισόδημα 2.000 δρχ το χρόνο .

Σημαντικοί είναι επίσης και οι :

Ιωάννου Γιώργος , κτηματίας , 55 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Καμουτσής Σταύρος , κτηματίας , 60 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Κανιός Παναγιώτης , κτηματίας . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Καραμάντζαλος Κώστας , κτηματίας , 51 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Κοκμοτός Μίχος , κτηματίας , 55 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Κοτρότσοςη Κορδελάςη Κορδαλάς Αντρέας , κτηματίας , 50 χρονών .

( Αγωνιστής ) .

Κουτσομίχος Χρήστος , κτηματίας , 55 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Μπούνοςη Πλέσιας Γιάννης , κτηματίας , 55 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Χρυσανθάκης Κώστας , κτηματίας , 32 χρονών .





Στην άκρη της κλειστής κοιλάδας της Βελάς , δυό ώρες απ’ το Λοιδωρίκι προς τα νότια , βρίσκεται η Βραίλα η Μπραίλα , με αρκετά γιδοπρόβατα και κύρια σοδήματα το καλαμπόκι , το στάρι , το κριθάρι και το κρασί . 


Οι άνθρωποί της λιγόστεψαν ,κι ‘ενώ πριν το ’21 – που υπαγόταν στον Καζά Μαλαντρίνου – μετριώνταν 16 οικογένειες με 80 νομάτους , τώρα έχει 12 με 45 . 


Γνωστοί Μπραιλιώτες είναι οι : 

Κ ο ν τ ο μίχος Γιώργος , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος . (Αγωνιστής ) . 

Μαλακάσης Παναγιώτης , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος . ( Αγωνιστής ) . 

Τσιμέκας Θανάσης , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος . ( Αγωνιστής ) . 

Τσιμέκας Γιάννης , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος , 61 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .





Το Μαλαντρίνο – δυόμιση ώρες απ’ το Λοιδωρίκι , προς τα νότια – έχει τα ίδια με τη Βραίλα , που είπαμε , προιόντα : Καλαμπόκι ,στάρι , κριθάρι , κρασί , τυρί , μαλλιά . 

Οι κάτοικοί της μειώθηκαν κι’ από 350 που είχε πριν το’21 – οι πιό πολλοί ήταν Οθωμανοί – τώρα έχει 236 ( 54 οικογένειες ) . 


Την εποχή των Τούρκων είχε βαφτιστεί με τ’ όνομά του το δεύτερο διοικητικό διαμέρισμα της Επαρχίας , ο Καζάς Μαλαντρίνου . 






Δυό ώρες μακρυά ,απ’ το Λοιδωρίκι είναι η Στρούζα , κοντά σ’ ερείπια που φαίνεται πως ανήκουν στο Αιγίτιο , απ’όπου πήρε τ’όνομα κι’ο Δήμος.  Σφαλισμένος  πάνω στην Πλέσιβα, τόπος κρατάει 35 οικογένειες – 219 κάτοικοι – που τρέφουν γιδοπρόβατα και καλλιεργούν κριθάρια , καλαμπόκια κι’ αμπέλια . 


Απ’ τη Στρούζα είναι οι: 

Βασιλοδημήτρης Νίκος , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος . ( Αγωνιστής ). 

Γκόλφης Θανάσης , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος , 55 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) . 

Γκόλφης Γιάννης , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος , 60 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) . 

Μπάκας Παναγιώτης , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος , 70 χρονών. ( Αγωνιστής ) . 

Μπολότας Αντρέας , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος , 48 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) . 

Στρούζας Παναγιώτης , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος , 53 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .





Σε μιά ώρα , απ’ το Λοιδωρίκι , απαντιέται η Σκαλούλα , με 26 οικογένειες και 134 ψυχές , ενώ πριν τον πόλεμο είχε μονάχα 5 με 25 .


Φτωχότοπος , παράγει στάρι , κριθάρι , καλαμπόκι και κρασί .


Σημαντικοί Σκαλιώτες είναι οι :

Γιαννακόπουλος Γιώργος , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος , 50 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Γιαννακόπουλος Νίκος ,γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος , 55 χρονών , ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Σταματόπουλος Θεοχάρης , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος , 51 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Τζάθας Σταύρος , γεωργοκτηνοτρόφος , 71 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής



Για να κλείσει η Δωρίδα , μένει ο Δήμος Τολοφώνος , που πιάνει όλη την παραλία από το Γαλαξείδι ως κοντά τη Ναύπακτο . Παλιά , απλωνόταν ο Καζάς Μαλαντρίνου στα ίδια όρια .



Πρωτεύουσα του Δήμου , η Βιτρινίτσα – κοντά στην αρχαία Τολοφώνα – απέχει τέσσερις ώρες απ’ το Λοιδωρίκι, προς το νότο .

Ριζωμένη σε θέση καλή, μ’ένα άχρηστο ρέμα , έχει μπροστά την καρπερή πεδιάδα που γεννάει στάρι,  όσπρια, μπαμπάκι, λάδι, κρασί, σταφίδα.

Γερό χωριό, με Δημοτικό Σχολείο Β’ τάξεως και τελωνειακό σταθμό στην παραλία της – τα Χάνια – βαστάει 531 κατοίκους ( 125 οικογένειες ), ενώ προπολεμικί είχε 300 .

Αστυνόμος είναι ο Λάμπρος Γιαννακού και παπάδες οι Αγωνιστές Παπαδη- μήταρης Κολαντζής, 65 χρονών, και Παπασπύρος Σχοινάς, 60 χρονών.


Για ένορκοι έχουν προταθή οι :

Γεωργίουη Κοντογιωργόπουλοςη Βιτρινίτσας Δρόσος, κτηματίας, 61 χρονών, με εισόδημα 2.500 δρχ .το χρόνο . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Γκίκας Γιώργος, κτηματίας, 41 χρονών, με περιουσία 6.000 δρχ.

Δραγώτης Θανάσης, κτηματίας, 59 χρονών, με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ. το χρόνο.

Δραγώτης Γιάννης , κτηματίας , 50 χρονών, με περιουσία 6.000 δρχ.

Καράμπελας Γιώργος, κτηματίας, 48 χρονών, με εισόδημα 1.000 δρχ. το χρόνο.

Κατσούλης Γιάννης, κτηματίας, 47 χρονών, με εισόδημα 2.500 δρχ το χρόνο

( Αγωνιστής ).

Κοντός Λουκάς, έμπορας, 59 χρονών, με εισόδημα 2.500 δρχ. το χρόνο.

Πολίτης Αντρέας του Δρόσου, κτηματίας, 48 χρονών, με περιουσία 6.000 δρχ.

Χλωρός Αντρέας, κτηματίας , 51 χρονών, με εισόδημα 1.000 δρχ. το χρόνο .


Σημαντικοί Βιτρινιτσιώτες είναι ακόμα και οι :

Βοργιάς Κώστας, κτηματίας, 33 χρονών.

Γεωργακόπουλος Γιάννης, κτηματίας, 31 χρονών.

Κατσικαπής Θόδωρος του Α. κτηματίας, 20 χρονών.

Κατσικαπής  Γιάννης, κτηματίας, 51 χρονών.

Κολαντζή ς Δρόσος, κτηματίας, 51 χρονών. (Αγωνιστής ).

Κοντολάτης Αναγνώστης , κτηματίας, 55 χρονών. (Αγωνιστής ).

Κοντόπουλος Χαραλάμπης του Λ. κτηματίας, 20 χρονών.

Παπαδημητρίουη Καρναβός Γ. έμπορας, 36 χρονών .

Πολίτης Γιώργος του Π., κτηματίας ,40 χρονών .

Σταματόπουλος Γιώργος, κτηματίας.

Σταματόπουλος  Δ. κτηματίας, 45 χρονών.

Σταύρου Στάθης, έμπορας, 47 χρονών.

Σταύρου  Θόδωρος, έμπορας, 33 χρονών.

Χλωρός Γιώργος, κτηματίας, 47 χρονών.

Χλωρός Θωμάς, κτηματίας, 21 χρονών.



Μιάμιση ώρα βορειοδυτικά της Βιτρινίτσας , σαν νάναι κρεμασμένη ψηλά , με θέα προς τη θάλασσα , όπου ανοίγονται τέσσερα λιμάνια , είναι η Ξυλογαιδάρα ,με 55 φαμελιές και 254 κατοίκους .( Πριν τον πόλεμο μέτραγε 150 νομάτους ) . Στις γύρω ράχες τρέφονται γιδοπρόβατα και στις άπλες της παράγονται καλαμπόκι , στάρι , κρασί και λάδι υπέροχο .


Υποψήφιοι ένορκοι γράφτηκαν οι :

Γριλάνοςη Γκιρλάνος Αναγνώστης, ειρηνοδικειακός πάρεδρος, 55 χρονών, με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ. το χρόνο ( Αγωνιστής ).

Δάραςη Γιαννακόπουλος Δημήτρης του Ιωάννου, κτηματίας, 49 χρονών, με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ. το χρόνο. ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Ζωιτόςη Καραμπίνης Δημήτρης, κτηματίας, 60 χρονών, με εισόδημα 2.500 δρχ. το χρόνο. ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Καθαράκης Γιάννης, κτηματίας, 69 χρονών, με εισόδημα 2.500 δρχ. το χρόνο.

(Αγωνιστής ) .

Κουτρούκης Γιαννάκης, δημοτικός σύμβουλος – κτηματίας, 63 χρονών, με εισόδημα 2.500 δρχ. το χρόνο. (Αγωνιστής από τους ξακουστούς ) .

Κωνσταντίνουη Κωνσταντέλλος Ηλίας, κτηματίας, 40 χρονών, με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ. το χρόνο.


Γνωστοί είναι, επίσης, και οι:

Βαβάτσικος Θανάσης, κτηματίας. ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Κουτούτζαςη Κουτάτζης Αναγνώστης, κτηματίας, 51 χρονών. ( Αγωνιστής)

Κουτρούκης Δημήτρης του Ιωάννου, έμπορας, 30 χρονών.

Κουτρούκης  Παναγιώτης του Ιωάννου, κτηματίας, 22 χρονών .



Κοντά στην Ξυλογαιδάρα , δυό ώρες βορειοδυτικά της Βιτρινίτσας , βρίσκεται ο Βελενίκος .


Ριζωμένος κι’αυτός μέσα, αγγίζει τον Κορινθιακό με δυό λιμάνια. Το χώμα του το καρπερό δίνει στάρι, καλαμπόκι, κρασί και λάδι, αρκετά για να ζήσουν οι 132 ψυχές του – 28 οικογένειες. Πριν το ’21 υπαγόταν στον Καζά Λοιδωρικίου – είχε 75 κατοίκους.


Για ένορκοι έχουν προταθή οι :

Σταματογιάννης Γιάννης του Α., δημοτικός σύμβουλος, 50 χρονών, με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ. το χρόνο. ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Τσάμης Δημήτρης, κτηματίας, 69 χρονών, με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ. το χρόνο.


Άξιοι είναι και οι:

Γεωργακόπουλος Αντρέας, κτηματίας, 50 χρονών. ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Κουτσουμπάκηςη Κουτσουμπάνης Γιώργος, κτηματίας, 50 χρονών.

( Αγωνιστής ) .

Κωνσταντίνουη Μαχαίρας Δημήτρης του Κωνσταντίνου, κτηματίας.

( Αγωνιστής ) .

Σιδερόπουλος Θανάσης, κτηματίας, 30 χρονών.

Σταματογιάννη  Γιώργος, κτηματίας, 58 χρονών. ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Σταματογιάννη  Θύμιος του Α, κτηματίας, 39 χρονών.



Τα Μαραζιά απέχουν δυόμιση ώρες από τη Βιτρινίτσα , βορειοδυτικά , και παράγουν τα ίδια με τα γύρω : στάρι , καλαμπόκι , κρασί , λάδι .


Σήμερα , οι κάτοικοί τους φτάνουν τους 232 – 45 οικογένειες – ενώ προπολεμικά είχαν 135 , από τους οποίους οι 35 μέναν στ’απάνω Μαραζιά .


Υποψήφιοι ένορκοι είναι οι :

Μπίτης Α. Αξιωματικός , 64 χρονών , με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ. το χρόνο .

Παπαθεοχάρης Αναγνώστης, κτηματίας , 59 χρονών , με εισόδημα 2.000 δρχ . το χρόνο .


Ξεχωρίζουν , πάλι , και οι :

Κατής Αντώνης , κτηματίας .( Αγωνιστής ) .

Καψόκολος Νίκος , κτηματίας , 48 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .



Αγκαλιασμένα απ’ τη θάλασσα τα Τροιζώνια , νησί με σπίτια και νεκροταφείο , που βρίσκονται θαμμένοι πολλοί Αγωνιστές του ’21 , που έπεσαν στις άγριες μάχες τις περιοχής .


Εδώ , στο τέλος του περασμένου αιώνα , ήθελε να μεταφέρει την έδρα του ο Δεσπότης του Λοιδωρικίου .



Μιάμιση ώρα βορειοδυτικά της Βιτρινίτσας , είναι η Μάκρυση , μ’ένα ρέμα μικρό και κομμάτι δάσους .


Με 24 φαμελιές και 111 νομάτους – προπολεμικά είχε 150 – παράγει κρασί , όσπρια , καλαμπόκι και λίγο στάρι .


Για ένορκοι έχουν προταθή οι :

Γκίκας Αναγνώστης , κτηματίας , 49 χρονών , με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ. το χρόνο.

Δροσόπουλος Αντρέας , κτηματίας , 54 χρονών με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ . το χρόνο .

Από δω επίσης είναι και ο Μπέσκος Γιώργος , κτηματίας , 33 χρονών .



« Μηλίτσα πούσαι στον γκρεμνό » , λέει το τργούδι , κι’η Μηλιά μέσα σε γκρεμούς και σάρες είναι , μ’ένα δασάκι , 36 οικογένειες , 178 κατοίκους – προπολεμικά είχε 150 – και τα φτηνά αμπελοχώραφα .


Υποψήφιος ένορκος είναι ο Κουμοτός η Κοκμοτός Δημήτρης ,δημοτικός σύμβουλος , 42 χρονών , με εισόδημα 2.000 δρχ . το χρόνο .


Στους σημαντικούς Μηλιώτες περιλαμβάνονται και οι :

Βασιλόπουλος Θανάσης , κτηματίας , 51 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Βασιλόπουλος  Δημήτρης του Κ., κτηματίας , 51 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Μποτίνης Γιάννης , κτηματίας ,56 χρονών .( Αγωνιστής ) .

Μποτίνης  Κώστας , κτηματίας , 48 χρονών .( Αγωνιστής ) .

Νταλάκαςη Μαργαρίτης Γιάννης , κτηματίας , 56 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Παπαδημητρίο υ Κώστας , κτηματίας , 46 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Παπαδημητρίο  Χαραλάμπης , κτηματίας , 33 χρονών .

Ταμπρατζής Γιώργος , κτηματίας , 52 χρονών . ( Αγωνιστής ) .



Σε δυόμιση ώρες δρόμο , βορειδυτικά ,της Βιτρινίτσας , συναντιέται η Σώταινα , με 71 κατοίκους – 15 οικογένειες – που ζουν απ’ό,τι δίνουν τα γιδοπρόβατα που τρέφουν και λίγα καλαμπόκια , στάρια και κριθάρια .


Γνωστός Σωταινιώτης είναι ο Συλλάνταβος Θανάσης , κτηματίας .( Αγωνιστής ) .



Η Ντοβροβίτσα , ρημαγμένη τώρα , είχε προπολεμικά , 25 νομάτους .





Ανατολικά της Βιτρινίτσας , δυό ώρες , είναι η Βίδαβη με 423 κατοίκους – πριν το ’21 είχε 75 . Ακουμπισμένη ως τη θάλασσα , ανοίγει δυό καλά λιμάνια και παράγει κρασί , λάδι , στάρι και κριθάρι .

Υποψήφιοι ένορκοι έχουν προταθή οι :

Γαλάνης Νίκος , κτηματίας , 64 χρονών , με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ.το χρόνο .

(Αγωνιστής ) .

Μαντζόρος Νίκος , ειρηνοδικειακός πάρεδρος , 33 χρονών , με εισόδημα 1.500 δρχ το χρόνο .



Τελευταίο χωριό του Δήμου Τολοφώνος η Κίσελη , που απέχει μιά ώρα απ’τη Βιτρινίτσα και βγάζει στάρι , καλαμπόκι , κριθάρι , σίκαλη , όσπρια , μπαμπάκι , σταφίδα .


Σε πλαγιά χτισμένη , έχει δυό θαυμάσια λιμάνια , 47 φαμελιές και 216 κατοίκους – προπολεμικά είχς 150 .


Γιά ένορκοι έχουν προταθή οι:

Δεσποτόπουλος Γ. Αξιωματικός , 63 χρονών , με εισόδημα 2.000 χρχ το χρόνο .

Λέκος Θανάσης , αξιωματικός , 56 χρονών , με εισόδημα 2.000 δρχ , το χρόνο .

Λέκος  Αντώνης , κτηματίας , 53 χρονών , με εισόδημα 2.000 δρχ. το χρόνο .

Λέκος  Γιώργος , κτηματίας , 59 χρονών , με εισόδημα 1.800 δρχ. το χρόνο .


Άξιοι ακόμα Κισελιώτες είναι οι :

Αθανασιάδης Αναγνώστης , κτηματίας , 29 χρονών .

Δρομάζος Θύμιος , έμπορας , 31 χρονών .

Δρομάζος Παναγιώτης , κτηματίας , 30 χρονών .

Κρίκος Λουκάς του Π. Κτηματίας . ( Αγωνιστής ) .

Λέκος Νίκος , κτηματίας , 20 χρονών .

























Vlachs – A Follow-Up To Aromanian/Arvanite Post (7-28-2018)

Regarding the Vlachs…..
“They are the nomadic breeders of the Peloponnese …. In the various books and documents…… they are referred to as “the defeated”or “the shepherds”.  They themselves … identify themselves as ‘Vlach Nomads‘.
As a place of origin, they mention Pindos (Syrrako, Agrafa), where they left at the beginning of the 19th century, chased by the Ali Pasha … In the revolution of 1821 they contributed significantly to the struggle by selling livestock and food to the resistance, so Ibrahim made his Corinthian forces their primary goal to destroy the Vlachs livestock on Mount Ziria
At the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century ‘the Vlach Nomads’ were at the height of their glory. Flocks with thousands of horses, hundreds of horses, countless children and grandchildren and thousands of pounds that will allow them to make big purchases later. In the 1920s, the state, trying to curb robbery and desertion, forced them to register with the communities in order to be able to rent a lot. In addition, they began buying houses and meadows in the mountainous communities of Achaia and Corinth, whose inhabitants had already begun to emigrate to the coast of the Corinthian Gulf from the late 19th century …
In the 1930s they began to be tentatively engaged with the cultivation of land.    Laws prohibiting the over-grazing of forests also played a decisive role. The war of 1940 and later the civil war caused great losses of lives, animals, and money and marked the end of nomadic life. They began to abandon livestock farming, abolished inter-marriage,  abandoned their native clothing, and settled, as farmers, on the coastal sites. Today, only 25% are engaged in livestock farming, 50% in agriculture and 25% in other professions, mainly butchers, barbecues and dairy shops.   Most of the Vlachs’ tents are located in Corinthia (50%), Achaia (20%), Argolida (10%), Ilia (15%) and (5%) Megara and Salamina.”
Source:  Leonidas V. Petrou: Moraites, Nomads, Breeders (Karagounides, Karakatsanides, Roumeliotes), Aegio 2007
You can read more about the Vlachs:

The “Classics” From Fokidos (7/23/2018)

The oldest known photo of Plessa villagers comes to us courtsey  of Plessa Photo Safe/Spyros Chryssanthakis.  It was taken in the 1880s and shows Konstantinos Georgios Chryssanthakis (Χρυσανθάκη) (1823–1899) and his wife Aikaterini Ioannis Georgious (Γεωργίου) (1835–1920).  Konstatinos’ mother was Anthoula Kamoutsi (Καμουτσή) (1805–1850)

Konstantinos Georgios Chryssanthakis (Χρυσανθάκη) (1823–1899) and his wife Aikaterini Ioannis Georgious (Γεωργίου) (1835–1920)

Next up: two men who emigrated from the Fokidos region to Minnesota (USA) and who both lived past 100.

Age 104 – Nick Haidos  (born in Milea, Fokidos). You can read newspaper articles here.

Age 103 – James Efstathios Kotonias (Dimitrios Efstathios Koutonias). He arrived at Ellis Island on  24 Mar 1907 at age  24.

In his book, The History of Plessa, A. Manetas writes:

“Σε κασσέτα, που υπάρχει σε μουσείο του Hibbing Minesota των ΗΠΑ, είναι αποτυπωμένη η φωνή του παλαιού μετανάστη συγχωριανού μας Δημητράκη Ευσταθίου Κουτονιά (γ. 1882) ο οποίος απεβίωσε σε ηλικία 104 ετών, που διηγείται τη ζωή των μεταναστών τα παλαιότερα χρόνια καθώς και παλαιά περιστατικά της περιοχής εκείνης.”

( “In a tape, which exists in a museum of the US Hibbing Minesota, is the voice of the old immigrant villager  Dimitrakis Efstathiou Koutonias (c. 1882) who died at the age of 104 years, where he talks about the life of immigrants in the older years and old incidents of that area. “)

An excerpt of that recording has been set to this video slideshow by his grandson James Kotonias.


James E Kotonias (born 1882)




Greeks In Minneapolis – Part 1 (11-13-2017)

After working on the railroads in the 1910s and 1920s, many Greeks settled in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Below are three newspaper articles written by or about some of the Greeks who settled in Minneapolis. You can download full size copies here

St Cloud Times, April 1950


Nick Haidos from Miliea, Phocis, Nov 1986, page 1


page 2


Nick Haidos Aug 1993 page 1





Plessa (Amygdalia) Emigrants – Spreadsheet (UPDATED 11-11-2017)

A few years back, Plessa (Amygdalia) had a website. Someone went through the United States Ellis Island records and pulled the names of 200+ villagers who came to America for work.  The website is gone, but I still have the spreadsheet and have uploaded a copy here.    Amygdalia-Plessa Variations Immigration

Plessa Ellis Island Lite

Generated by wpDataTables

In the intervening years, I’ve created my own spreadsheet and added much more content- the names of the ships, who they were traveling to, who they left behind. This is not completed, but  I have also uploaded the most current copy.  I will update it as it changes.

Copy dated 11-11-2017  AMYGDALIA IMMIGRANTS With Details PUBLIC

Plessa Detailed Ellis Island

Generated by wpDataTables

Last, don’t forget to check out the many different family names and variations.

Greek Immigration – Reception, Racism and The Path To Whiteness (9-3-2017)

The Daily Missoulian, Feb 22, 1909

In his essay The Greeks In AmericaDan Georgakas describes the struggle of Greek immigrants in finding safety and acceptance in America and  how their descendants today often lack an understanding  of that struggle:

“Few Greek Americans of the post-war generations are aware that the pioneer Greek immigrants were among America’s most despised minorities, considered to be unruly and unpatriotic quasi- Europeans who frequently resorted to violent means to settle personal—and political—disputes.

While aware that Greek immigrants served as strikebreakers, Greek Americans are usually not aware that, subsequently, those same workers were often leaders in American trade union struggles. Greek Americans who identified automatically with white America during the civil rights turmoil of the 1960s did not know that the first wave of Greeks had often fought, gun-in-hand, against the Ku Klux Klan and state militias in order to establish their political rights. A group of Greeks in the 1920s even went so far as to burn an American flag as a gesture of political outrage.’

“Dirty Greek”

Clip from "No Rats, No Greeks, All American"   a documentary by Stelios Kouloglou, from "Reportage Without Borders". If the video does not appear above, click on this link to watch. On some phones, the video will only play from the beginning. Go to 5 minutes 34 seconds for the clip.
Kansas Leavenworth Post Nov 29, 1907
Kansas Leavenworth Post Nov 29, 1907

On racial prejudice against Greek immigrants

A racial factor spurred the organizational fervor of the Greeks. As far as most Americans were concerned, the Greeks were the scum of Europe. Consequently, Greeks were often barred from labor camps for “whites” and were forced to bivouac with racial minorities. Frequent neighbors in mining camps were the Japanese, a group with whom Greeks also shared dangerous dynamiting assignments. The two groups became quite cordial with one another, an affinity enhanced by their joint fondness for gambling and wrestling.

…… The racial antagonism toward Greeks was omnipresent. Among the most well-documented incidents were the burning of the Greek section in South Omaha, Nebraska, in 1909, 21 and the expulsion by boat of Greek lumber workers from Gray’s Harbor, Washington in 1912. More common were city ordinances which discriminated against Greeks, blacks, and Mexicans. In Pocatella, Idaho, for example, Greeks were restricted to segregated seating in theaters and could not live in most neighborhoods. Greeks early in the century had already begun to make inroads into the California restaurant industry; the reaction of many native-born Americans was expressed in a sign displayed in one restaurant window: “Pure American. No Rats. No Greeks.”‘

Greeks inadvertently fed anti-Greek passions with their un- willingness to learn English or accept Americanization. For most, the time spent in America was to be a brief interlude during which they accumulated cash for prosperity in Greece. In the Utah of 1910 there were only ten females among 4,072 Greek inhabitants. Americans justly asserted that the nomadic Greeks were much more interested in unredeemed Greece than in the United States. Some 20,000 Greeks from the United States went back to fight in the Balkan Wars, and at least 40,000 fought in the First World War and the subsequent campaign in Asia Minor. Americans were upset when Greeks refused to volunteer for the American army until promises were made about the future of Greek areas still under foreign rule. Nor could Americans fathom Greek music, or the habits of males so traditional that they often arrived with foustanelas, headbands, and sashes in their bags.”    Source: The Greeks In America, Dan Georgakas.

America as the “unrestricted dumping ground”. This cartoon depicts Greeks and other Eastern Europeans as rats.


Greeks quickly moved from strikebreakers to activists:

The first wave of Greek immigrants to Chicago had been greatly influenced by Jane Addams and her Hull House staff; as a result, Greeks felt free to make political demands on local and state governments, and they passed into the trade union movement as a matter of course.  Source: The Greeks In America, Dan Georgakas.

In his essay “Undesirable” Muslims of Today Were Yesteryear’s Greeks: “Pure American. No Rats, No Greeks”  Gregory Pappas  explains how Greeks were seen as an inferior race:

As early as 1894 a group of men from Harvard University founded the Immigration Restriction League (IRL), proponents of a United States that should be populated with “British, German and Scandinavian stock” and not by “inferior races.” Their biggest targets were Greeks and Italians and the group had a powerful influence with the general public and leaders in the U.S. government in their efforts to keep “undesirables” out of America.

“You Come Back, We Shoot You”

Clip from "No Rats, No Greeks, All American"   a documentary by Stelios Kouloglou, from "Reportage Without Borders" If the video does not appear above, click on this link to watch. On some phones the video will be stuck at the beginning. Go to 12 minutes 27 seconds to hear the clip.

Greeks faced resistance on many levels, both economic and social, leading up to a horrific attack on the Greek community in Omaha, Nebraska in 1909:

Chicago Greeks arriving during this wave started selling food from pushcarts and lunch wagons in the busy city streets. The Greeks were met with fierce resistance and discrimination— even at an official level. Under the administration of Mayor Carter H. Harrison II, bowing to pressure from “native” Americans, the city passed an ordinance targeted 100% against the Greek food merchants, prohibiting the sale of food on the streets and effectively shutting down thousands of small Greek-immigrant-run businesses.

In South Omaha, Nebraska in February 1909— three thousand Greek families fled their homes in that city’s Greektown neighborhood after an organized community-wide effort to burn down Greek homes and businesses engulfed the city.


A Greek man was arrested and involved in a deadly altercation with a “white” police officer. His charge— being in the company of a “white” woman who was teaching him English. The destruction that followed— tens of millions of dollars in damage to property— and an entire ethnic community banished— disappeared, fleeing for their lives overnight— has gone down as one of the ugliest racist and discriminatory incidents in all of American history.

The New York Times carried an article about the riot stating that 3,000 “American” men looted Greek homes and businesses, beat Greek men, women and children, and burnt down every building in the area. The entire population of Greeks in South Omaha were warned to leave the city within one day, or risk the ongoing wrath of the mob. Within a few days, all the Greeks living in South Omaha fled the city, moving to Council Bluffs, Sioux City and Salt Lake City.

Source:  “Undesirable” Muslims of Today Were Yesteryear’s Greeks: “Pure American. No Rats, No Greeks”  by Gregory Pappas

It did not help that the crowd was inflamed by speeches made by elected officials and the former city attorney. In fact, the role they played in egging on the riot was noted in various newspaper reports at the time.

Omaha Daily Bee, Mon Feb 22, 1909
Omaha Daily Bee, Mon Feb 22, 1909
TimesMachine February 22 1909
February 22 1909 NY Times
Omaha Daily Bee, Feb 26, 1909


Those Greeks who fled the riots into nearby towns, found themselves rounded up once again,  their weapons confiscated and detained overnight.

Nebraska State Journal Feb 23, 1909

The harassment did not end there. Townspeople went to the meat packing yards where Greeks were employed and demanded that they be fired. The business suggested that rather than firing the Greeks, they should send them to work on the railroads in areas where there were not enough “white” people to form a lynch mob. And they rationalized, the job transfer would not harm the business bottom line as most Greeks were “not the equal of other men” or workers.

Omaha Daily Bee, Feb 24, 1909
Nebraska State Journal, Feb 23, 1909

Even their railroad jobs were not safe.

Nebraska State Journal, Wed Feb 24, 1909

Not everyone in Omaha sided with the mob. As one newspaper byline pointed out:

Omaha Daily Bee March 1, 1909

“Pure Americans, No Rats” 

In the west, numerous restaurants owned by native born Americans posted signs in their windows that said ‘Operated by an American” or “Pure American. No Rats, No Greeks.”

In places such as Idaho, Greeks could not live in certain neighborhoods and were restricted from using public parks…..

Source:  “Undesirable” Muslims of Today Were Yesteryear’s Greeks: “Pure American. No Rats, No Greeks”  by Gregory Pappas

 The Ludlow Mining Massacre

“They Wanted To Be Treated As Fellow Human Beings”

Palikari - Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre, directed by Nikos Ventouras and produced by Lamprini Thoma. If the video does not appear above, click on this link to watch.


 The Ludlow Mining Massacre

In his book Greek Americans Struggle and Success”,  Peter C. Moskos, outlines how the Ludlow Colorado Mining Massacre was just one example of the contributions and sacrifices of Greek Americans to the American labor struggle. Imagine having to strike to force a corporation to allow you to pick your own doctor or the right to live and work where you choose. And then to be murdered for demanding for those rights.

Greek Americans Struggle and Success Peter C. Moskos Google Books18-1
Greek Americans Struggle and Success Peter C. Moskos Google Books18b


Greek Americans Struggle and Success Peter C. Moskos Google Books19

Greek Americans Struggle and Success Peter C. Moskos Google Books19b

Tikas was not the only casualty. Even more horrifically, 2 women and 11 children were asphyxiated and burned to death when the National Guard set fire to the miner’s tents. Source: Wikipedia

After a strike leader was killed while attempting to negotiate a truce, the strikers feared the attack would intensify. To stay safe from gunfire, women and children took cover in pits dug beneath the tents. At dusk, guardsmen moved down from the hills and set the tent colony on fire with torches, shooting at the families as they fled into the hills. The true carnage, however, was not discovered until the next day, when a telephone linesman discovered a pit under one of the tents filled with the burned remains of 11 children and 2 women.

Although the “Ludlow Massacre” outraged many Americans, the tragedy did little to help the beleaguered Colorado miners and their families. Additional federal troops crushed the coal-miners’ strike, and the miners failed to achieve recognition of their union or any significant improvement in their wages and working conditions. Sixty-six men, women, and children died during the strike, but not a single militiaman or private detective was charged with any crime.”  Source: April 20, This Day In History.

A History of Abuse and Victimization In The US

In his 2012 thesis “AHEPA vs. the KKK Greek-Americans on the Path to Whiteness”  Steven Gerontakis writes:

“….. the heritage of Greek-Americans is littered with stark episodes of abuse and victimization. In 1909, a lynch mob of some 3000 citizens rampaged through “Greek Town” in Omaha, Nebraska – prompting the entire Greek community of over 1000 to flee the city en masse.

Greek men were flogged in Florida and Oklahoma for dating ‘white’ women, stabbed in Utah for ‘stealing’ American jobs, and abducted by Klansmen to witness “lynching parties” in the South, where they were beaten and sent off with a warning to get out of town.

In 1918, thousands of Toronto citizens went “hunting Greeks” as they destroyed every downtown Greek business, and by 1922 the Greek-language press routinely featured reports on Klan threats and anti-Greek violence.

In a special feature to the Ethnikos Keryx, influential Greek-American historian Seraphim Canoutas described how: “Particularly in the South, Greeks are ordered by the Ku Klux Klan to abandon various cities. A number have been brutalized, while others have their businesses boycotted.”

Attacked by the Klu Klux Klan

“For Some Reason The Greeks Really SEEMED TO Irritate The Klan”

Clip from "No Rats, No Greeks, All American"   a documentary by Stelios Kouloglou, from "Reportage Without Borders". If the video does not appear, click on this link to watch. On some phones the video playback will be stuck at the beginning. Go to 2 minutes 56 seconds to hear the clip.

Gregory Pappas  writes:

Official movements by citizen groups and the government were bolstered by openly racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan, which specifically targeted Greeks, amongst the numerous other “undesirable” groups, including African Americans, Jews and Catholics.

In 2017, Dena Kouremetis, the daughter of one of the Greeks targeted by the KKK posted her memories after the white supremacists attack in Charlottesville, VA:

My grandfather was one of the immigrants mentioned in this [essay] — one whose front yard in Muncie, Indiana, once had a cross burned on it by men in white hoods. Our family has not let this story die. My popou owned a local shoeshine stand and when he looked down at the feet of the hooded KKK haters in his front yard, he recognized them all by their shoes, calling them by name. He then proceeded to inform them that their children played together.

He was never threatened again, but even after this era, racism continued to flourish in this little Midwestern town. Perhaps not as outwardly, but it was there just the same.

We moved there from California when I was 9 years old. By high school age, I would hear some of my classmates talking as they walked by the family dry cleaner ridiculing my uncle, who had olive skin and kinky, dark hair, calling him “Bosco” — at the time the name of a chocolate mixture you poured into milk.

I was asked by a teacher about my family and realized by the smirk on her face as she asked it that the reason I did not get chosen for the high school chorus had nothing to do with my ability to sing.

Scratchy-voiced old women would walk up to the department store layaway window where I I was employed part time and ask where the “little girl” was. I looked at them, perplexed. I was the youngest employee in that department. Then I realized they were referring to the 50+ year old light-skinned black woman I worked with.

And my father, who owned a piano business and employed a piano tuner would sometimes be told to find someone else to tune their piano because they did not want a black man in their home.

She was not alone. Elaine Semetis Primavera also commented in the same essay:

In the 1930’s my mother pretended to be French, as she was fluent in the language, because Greeks were discriminated against. In the 1950’s, my teacher said to me, in front of the class, “Greek? What’s that? What kind of food do you eat??” In my little voice I said “hamburgers” because my father was also a proud veteran of WW2, and wanted his children to live the American dream while also honoring our heritage. To this day, I can remember her look of distaste at me.

 “HEADLINE: White Woman Seen With Greek”

Clip from "No Rats, No Greeks, All American"   a documentary by Stelios Kouloglou, from "Reportage Without Borders". If the video does not appear, click on this link to watch.
On some phones the video playback will be stuck at the beginning. Go to 4 minutes 27 seconds to hear the clip.
Description of the girl who was found to be in the company of the Greek man who shot and killed an Omaha policeman which led to the 1909 anti-Greek mob. Lincoln Star, Feb 20, 1909
Description of the girl who was found to be in the company of the Greek man who shot and killed an Omaha policeman. The officers death and the inflammatory speeches by local officials led to the 1909 anti-Greek mob.  Source: Lincoln Star, Feb 20, 1909

Dan Georgakas explains that in 1922 many Greeks met the Ku Klux Klan head on:

Some 3,000 Greeks were involved in a national strike called by the UMW in 1922. During the course of the conflict, a Greek striker was killed, setting off angry demonstrations which culminated in the burning of an American flag. Such anger was linked to the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, which had identified all immigrants as inferior and placed Greeks at the top of the not-wanted list.
Greeks met the Ku Klux Klan head on. In one incident, Greeks forcibly disrobed Ku Klux Klan members in a Salt Lake City park and discovered they were prominent citizens. To protect themselves from such “respectables,” Greeks joined with Italians and Slavs to form armed defense committees. During this period in the mid-1920s, at least one black was lynched, and many Greeks believed that Mormons were using the Ku Klux Klan to intimidate labor. If the Ku Klux Klan was so being used, the tactic backfired. Greeks bonded together as never before, and forged strong links  to other ethnic groups. There were no cross burnings or whippings in their ethnic centers and, eventually, the Ku Klux Klan threat waned.
The Founding of AHEPA As Counter  To The KKK

At U.S. election polls, Klansmen passed out cards which crudely and defiantly declared:

When cotton grows on the fig tree
And alfalfa hangs on the rose
When the aliens run the United States
And the Jews grow a straight nose
When the Pope is praised by every one
In the land of Uncle Sam
And a Greek is elected President
THEN–the Ku Klux won’t be worth a damn.

Meanwhile, embattled but visionary Greek immigrant leaders met on July 26, 1922, in Atlanta to form the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, now better known as the Order of Ahepa. Not by coincidence, Atlanta was the home of the national Imperial Headquarters of the Klan.

The most important goal of the Ahepa founders was to quickly and solidly establish better relations with non-Greeks. They agreed to do this by taking the positive high road of reason emphasizing assimilation, cooperation, persuasion and unlike their marked foes, non-violence.

Their main discussion was how to best contain the wave of hostility which had almost drowned them. The ominous specters of twisted Americanism and KKK aggression spurred them to create a patriotic fraternal order espousing undivided loyalty to the United States. American citizenship, proficiency in English, active participation in the civic mainstream, economic stability, social unity and the pursuit of education. The latter was considered vital for its obvious gifts of knowledge and as the essential key to upward mobility.

The Ahepa founders were profoundly disturbed and alarmed by their bitter experiences with Klan prejudice and by reports of worse bigotry elsewhere. Even before the Klan reappeared, there had been senseless attacks on foreign-born Greeks, some fatal. However, the new Klan expertly and abrasively honed intolerance with brutal efficiency to silence and subdue all of its alleged inferiors.

Many Greek-owned confectioneries and restaurants failed financially or were sold at sacrificial prices to non-Greeks because of boycotts instigated by the Klan. Greek establishments doing as much as $500 to $1,000 a day business, especially in the South and Midwest, dropped to as little as $25 a day. The only recourse was to sell or close.

The Klan often bolstered its boycotts by openly threatening or attacking customers entering and leaving.

In his  thesis “AHEPA vs. the KKK Greek-Americans on the Path to Whiteness”  Steven Gerontakis writes:

With [the KKK’s] national reach and a broad readership running into the tens of thousands, the litany of ominous and disturbing reports in the Greek-language press amplified the escalating sense of a community in crisis that eventually led to the founding of AHEPA in Atlanta…….While most of the Klan’s ire was reserved for the far larger population of Irish, Polish, and Italian Catholics, Greeks drew no less contempt or condemnation when they featured in Klan rhetoric. Indeed, Klan publications often referred to “Catholics, Roman and Greek,” or simply swept them all into a general category of “hordes … from the shores of the Mediterranean” that had overrun America.”

The Greeks in America faced tough choices. In the deep South  they were “othered” and found themselves pushed into black spaces.

From 1910 onward, the majority of Atlanta’s Greeks resided in the industrial quarters southwest of Edgewood Avenue, the main dividing line of segregated Atlanta.   The zoning ordinances in effect between 1922 and 1924 classified these commercial blocks as neither white nor colored, with colored residential zones to either side, reinforcing for the Greeks that lived there what Roediger termed a “middleman minority” status (Map 1).   The area featured a mix of immigrant groups, including working class whites, most of the city’s “ghetto of the Sephardic Jews,” and what Fortune magazine termed “the richest Negro street in the world.

While anti-Greek sentiments preceded the reemergence of the Klan in 1915, they were not confined to the Southern states. On October 3, 1907, three Chicago policemen were charged with robbing and beating  James Kostakos,  a fruit dealer.  In July 1907,  a mob wrecked nine Greek restaurants, some of which were elaborately furnished; three Greek shoe-shining places, and two Syrian shops.  The riot was caused by a dispute about five cents between a Greek employed in the Belmont Greek restaurant on Salem Avenue and an American who went there to buy a sandwich. Nor were these attacks limited to the United States. For example, the 1918 Toronto anti-Greek riot was a three-day long race riot in TorontoOntarioCanada targeting Greek immigrants during August 2–4, 1918.  It was the largest riot in the city’s history and one of the largest anti-Greek riots in the world.    Source: Wikipedia.

The Path To Whiteness

In order to successfully counter racial discrimination, Greeks in America would not only have to assimilate, but they would also have to reshape perceptions about their ethnic status. In other words, they would have to earn their “whiteness”.

Steven Gerontakis writes:

“….the AHEPA founders had, to forge a homogeneous
identity …. [in order to do so] ….. ‘classicism’ or ‘Hellenism,’ was resurrected as a viable basis for Greek identity and assimilation. Frozen in time, the conventional image of the ancient Greek” provided the trope by which Greek immigrants pursued their claim to ‘whiteness’ within American society…………. AHEPA struggled to assimilate into an American context by embracing a Protestant morality, by defining the Greek in America as classically ‘Hellenic,’ by recreating ‘Hellenism’ as ‘Americanism’ and by claiming ‘sameness’ in a rhetoric of ‘brotherhood’ and ‘universality.’…

AHEPA adopted an emblem featuring the Statue of Liberty and the American flag. Four days later, they voted unanimously to open membership to “American born” persons of any ancestry.73 The Order was particularly eager to forge ties with non-Greeks who could provide social legitimacy, conferring honorary memberships and scoring a major publicity coup when Georgia Attorney General George Napier and Atlanta Mayor Walter Sims addressed their celebration of Greek Independence Day on April 11, 1923.  As later framed by The Ahepa magazine, the group’s membership was drawn “from a variety of racial stocks including descendants of Mayflower genealogy, but the majority are of Greek birth or American born of Greek descent.”

AHEPA accepted the principle of the ‘melting pot’ and advocated Americanization and assimilation as means of survival.”

In their eagerness to redefine themselves as “white” against a backdrop of racism, it is then not surprising that their grandchildren and great-grandchildren have forgotten this aspect of Greek American history.

The key milestones along the Greek-American path to ‘whiteness’ were comprised of ultra-Americanism, with the Second World War as a major turning point. AHEPA raised $250 million as the only civic organization designated an official Issuing Agent for U.S. War Bonds, the culmination of the Order’s meticulous courting of political officials, with Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman among its dues-paying members.

Perhaps nothing better symbolizes the triumph of this Greek-American passage than the Life magazine cover of March 26, 1965, that announced a “Historic Turning Point in the Negro’s Cause” when Greek Orthodox Archbishop Iakovos became the first “white” religious leader to join with Martin Luther King, Jr. during the March from Selma, Alabama.


Clip from "No Rats, No Greeks, All American"   a documentary by Stelios Kouloglou, from "Reportage Without Borders". If the video does not appear above, click on this link to watch.
On some phones the video playback will be stuck at the beginning. Go to 14 minutes 13 seconds to hear the clip.

Our Family History

My great-Uncle Peter E. Kamuchey was a member of AHEPA and served as district governor.   Peter attended The Fourth Supreme Convention of AHEPA in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1926 as the Minn. delegate. He also attended the Eleventh Supreme Convention in Columbus, OH in 1934.

Peter Kamuchey is sitting in the bottom row, second from the left

In Dec 1929, he gave a speech about AHEPA at their annual meeting in Mason City, Iowa. In his speech he explained that AHEPA members encouraged Greek participation in American civic and political affairs.

Click to read the see a full size copy of the article

His nephews Everett John Kamuchey and Peter John Kamuchey would also play basketball for the Milwaukee AHEPA Basketball Team, traveling from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to  Chicago, Illinois and Cicero, Illinois to  play in the United States Hellenic Basketball Tournament.

Pete and Everett Kamuchey, Chicago Tribune April 11, 1955

Additional Reading: