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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Genealogy

We often receive inquiries on genealogy-related issues. Such research in Greece remains a very difficult matter, mostly because of the lack of comprehensive records in an easily accesible (electronic) form.

This problem will eventually be solved through the efforts made by several local authorities & prefectures that are now making their presence on the internet (see You can also locate municipalities through the Ministry of the Interior webpages (

Similarly, the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently developing an electronic database for citizens of greek citizenship or descent, and this may also be of some help in the future.

It may also be of value to explore the Hellenic Telecommunication Organization's (OTE) on-line directory of White and Yellow Pages for possible name matches that may provide an initial lead for your search, especially if a search can be narrowed down to one geographical region (one area code). You could then contact any matched names either by phone or through regular mail using the addresses listed in the directory.

Greek Legacy, Inc. is dedicated to connecting people of Greek descent throughout the world and features genealogy databases (passenger ship records, census records, etc) books, links to organizations, diaspora communities, history and culture.

Finally, using "genealogy" as a key word with the Alta Vista Search engine, one can retrieved several relevant web sites - you may wish to browse through them, since some appear to have potentially useful databases.

Additional Resources

When searching in the USA, the following tips could provide some help. We are greatful to Litsa Kyrelis-Scheiner ( for making this information available to our readers. [For more information: The GreekAmerican - Litsa Kyrellis: Putting Greek Families Back Together]

At the Switchboard Site, under 'people'...put in the last name you're searching for, leave all else blank, and see what you come up with.

Similar search engines are listed under this page.

One could also look into US social security records, immigration records, church and county marriage records to get more leads on lineage.

To check for military service records you need to call the various Armed Forces and pick their brains as to where you can retrieve such old records. Knowing the US's meticulous record-keeping, you will eventually find what you're looking for.

You will need some info to arm yourself with when they ask you questions. A social security number will be very important to you, but the online records only go back to 1939.

Office of Central Records Operation
FOI Work Group
4-M-7 South Block (SB)
300 North Greene Street
Toll free number: 1-800-772-1213 (don't call when you're pressed for time!)

The on-line FAQ addresses questions about searches and genealogy.

A related site for geneology searches based on the Social Security Number is the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). For more details, check out the introduction to the site.

More information on SSDI can be found here too.

A breakdown of how Social Security Numbers are assigned can be found here (original). The first 3 numbers tell you which state the SS# was issued.

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