Reading Greek Old Handwriting Made Easy

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

This article will help you learn how to read Greek handwritten records. It will help you become familiar with variations of handwritten letters of the Greek alphabet, and the difference of records kept in various parts of Greece. You will see the Greek alphabet typed and handwritten.

Two Lists of the Most Common Greek Words Used in Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Greek Given Names[edit | edit source]

How to Use the Handwriting Samples[edit | edit source]

Included here are samples of handwritten records of the 1800’s and 1700’s. Each record appears in two copies. One copy has over each handwritten word the word typed. The other copy has each letter typed. This will help you become familiar with the handwriting of the recorder. Some of these samples were chosen from vital records and some from electoral correspondence of the 1843-1865. This will help you become familiar with the handwriting of the person who wrote each letter, who was the clerk of a municipality acting also as recorder of vital records of the towns that belonged to this municipality.

Letters[edit | edit source]

Lesson One:Tips[edit | edit source]

  • Try to recognize one letter at a time. In the samples that follow here, over each handwritten letter has been typed its corresponding printed letter.

  • Try to find in the document something that you already know, such as the date or the name of the place where the record was created. This will help you recognize the letters of this particular writing.

  • If you do not know the date, check in other places of the document where this may appear such as at the bottom, next to the signature(s) where the date or the place are repeated; maybe they appear clearer there.

  • If you do not know the place, maybe it appears on the heading of the document where the name of the place is usually printed.

  • You may want to take note and maybe make a list of the letters that you have recognized so you can refer to this list later.

Lesson Two:[edit | edit source]

Reading Old Greek Handwriting Made Easy
This handout will teach you to read:

  • Combination of letters
  • Variation of letters
  • Abbreviation of names
  • Abbreviation of words
  • Abbreviation of months
  • Prefix of names
  • Numbers
Greek handwriting large.png

Lesson Three:[edit | edit source]

Identifying Greek Handwriting Letters
This handout will teach you to read:

  • Substitutes of letters
  • Aspiration marks
  • Words within phrases
  • Numbers

Samples of Documents: Certificates[edit | edit source]

Birth Certificate[edit | edit source]

Birth Certificate3.jpg

Marriage Certificate[edit | edit source]

Screen Shot 2020-08-17 at 11.46.25 PM.png

Death Certificate[edit | edit source]

Screen Shot 2020-08-17 at 11.46.45 PM.png

Samples of Documents: A Variety of Documents[edit | edit source]

  • Some copies of old Greek documents are used here as samples, to assist you in recognizing the Greek old handwriting. Each document appears in two copies. The first copy of the document has over each word typed the same word. The second copy of the same document has over each letter the same letter typed. This will help in recognizing each letter of this particular handwriting. The various samples that are included here, have each of them a different handwriting, and are of various periods of time. Several samples have been used because the more individual handwritings you get familiar with, the easier you will recognize another person’s handwriting.

KERKYRA BIRTH 1822 by letter

Birth Index 1860 by letter

FTHIOTIS ELECTORAL 1862 by letter

ATHENS BIRTH 1908 by letter

FTHIOTIDOS ELECTORAL 1843 by letter

MAKRAKOMIS ELECTORAL 1843 by letter

ATHENS DEATH 1884 by letter

HALKIS DEATH 1872 by letter

PTELEOS ELECTORAL 1856 by letter

HALKIS DEATH 1873 by letter

Translating the Records[edit | edit source]

For help translating the records into English, see all the help available in Family History Research in Greece, 3rd edition: Here are some important instructions and word lists.

Chapter 10 The LANGUAGE--Link[edit | edit source]

It’s All Greek to Me ............................................................................................... 127

How to Work With the Language .......................................................................... 127

The Alphabet ........................................................................................................ 128

Diacritic Marks ................................................................................................ 128

About Transliteration ............................................................................................. 129

Transliteration Chart – The Simple Transliteration System........................ 130

Pronunciation......................................................................................................... 131

Diphthongs....................................................................................................... 131
Digraphs........................................................................................................... 131

The Handwriting..................................................................................................... 132

Grammar ............................................................................................................... 132

Greek Genealogical Word List............................................................................... 133

Key Words........................................................................................................ 133
Words Indicating Relation ................................................................................ 133
Words Indicating Birth ...................................................................................... 133
Words Indicating Status of Birth ....................................................................... 133
Words Indicating Baptism ................................................................................. 134
Words Indicating Marriage ................................................................................ 134
Words Indicating Death ..................................................................................... 134
Colorful Expressions for death .......................................................................... 134
Words Indicating Burial...................................................................................... 134
Words Indicating Types of Records .................................................................. 134

General Words......................................................................................................... 135

Chapter 11 NUMBERS AND UNITS OF TIME--Link[edit | edit source]

Numbers ................................................................................................................. 139

Numbers in Numerical Order............................................................................. 139
Cardinal Numbers in Alphabetical Order .......................................................... 140
Ordinal Numbers in Alphabetical Order............................................................. 140
Numbers in Alphabetic Form............................................................................. 141

Units of Time........................................................................................................... 141

Days of the Week.............................................................................................. 141
Months............................................................................................................... 141

Appendix A GLOSSARY--Link[edit | edit source]

Greek Words........................................................................................................... 143

English Words......................................................................................................... 145

Appendix B[edit | edit source]

Appendix B GREEK GIVEN NAMES, THEIR VARIATIONS, ENGLISH EQUIVALENTS AND NAME DAYS--Link