Greece Historical Geography
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Evolving Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]
Greece is traditionally divided into 10 regions:
- Central Greece
- Aegian Islands
- Ionian Islands
- Mount Athos
These regions each have names in Greek, Turkish, and English. For example, Peloponnesus is known as Peloponnisos in Greek and Morias in Turkish. Although these regions are often referred to by Greeks when saying where they are from, the major administrative subdivisions in Greece are:
Greece has 53 counties (nomos), each administratively divided into several districts (eparhias). The local government is administered either by a municipality (dimos) or community (koinotis, sometimes called koinotita), depending on the size and status of the city or town. A municipality is governed by a local mayor. A community is governed by a local community president. Communities were dissolved and now there are no more community presidents, only mayors. Records are located mainly in offices of the municipality or community; however, some may be found in the offices of the county or district.
The county (nomos) is the most important subdivision to know for genealogical research. You will need to know this jurisdiction for the town your ancestor was from to find genealogical records.
An important book listing information concerning the creation and development of municipalities and communities in Greece from 1836–1939 and the changes in the governmental division of the country of Greece is:
- Alex. Th. Drakaki and Styl. I. Koundourou; Archeia peri tis Systaseos kai Exelixeos ton Dimon Kai koinotiton 1836–1939, kai tis dioikitikis diaireseos tou kratous - Records Concerning the Creation and Development of Municipalities and Communities 1836–1939, and the Administrative Division of the Country). Athinai, Greece: Grafikai Technai, 1939. (FHL book 949.5 N2d; film 1045436 item 12)