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Problems of genealogy in Cyprus

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Author Problems of genealogy in Cyprus
Posted Monday, August 9, 2004 - Post #7655
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I have to admit that I really envy those of you who live in places where records have been kept for centuries regarding births etc. As an amateur genealogist in Cyprus, I face two serious problems:

(1) Such registers are very recent, recent enough to be no more useful than word of mouth among relatives is.
(2) The adoption of family surnames is also very recent in Cyprus. Until 2-3 generations ago individuals were known as "<first name"> of <father's first name>". In many cases this was the case for up to the generation right before mine, the father's first name taking the place of the individual's surname.

The combination of the above two is quasi-lethal. I have no idea how my father (whose work constitutes the core of my tree) collected data going up to 6-7 generations back (maximum). It may sound poor depth of time for many, but I still find it a miracle.

What helps in Cyprus is information from (close or distant) relatives, who are quite easy to locate because of the traditional family links and the occasional crowded extended-family gatherings (particularly in weddings - our big Greek fat weddings). The only problem is that in this way the family tree tends to get very long horizontally (very, very long!) but not impressively long vertically. An additional help is a connection to historical figures, for whom historians sometimes provide genealogical data.

I would be interested to hear from any of you with regard to practising genealogy research in your country/region, problems and particularities, as well interesting experiences you had.
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005 - Post #7656
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The first thing I would do is to contact each of the very many relatives. Perhaps one or more has done similar research, and can save you tremendous time.

Next, I would look at official or semi-official data, such as birth / burial records. Churches often have records of members. Census and immigration records are also useful.

If anyone authored a book that is over 100 years old, there is sometimes mention of family relationship in the forward.

Next comes the hard part, old graveyards sometimes have family plots, where if you find one tombstone, frequently another family member was buried nearby.

Famous people in the tree often have something recorded about them in newspapers or other concurrent publications. These are a rich lode, once you find a thread.

Good luck and happy hunting. The work is hard and tedious, but every so often somthing comes up that makes you pleased with all the effort you put in.


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