Andritsakis—A huge family from Goritsa that according to oral
tradition came from Crete and perhaps before that from the island of
Malta. Other branches of this family settled in Monemvasia and at Tolos
near Nauplion in addition to Tsintzina before 1800. During the
nineteenth century, the Andritsakis family in Tsintzina shrank in size
due to death (malaria) and substantial migration to Egypt where several
members became quite wealthy as cotton merchants. A few migrated to
America primarily after 1900, settling in Dayton, Ohio, Minneapolis,
Minnesota, and Butler, Pennsylvania. Some of the descendants of these
American Andritsakis adopted the name “Anderson” and are now hard to
locate due to intermarriage and assimilation.
Atsalas—A small family from Zoupena. One named John Atsalas
settled in Ypsilanti, Michigan and died there without descendants. His
first cousin, Peter G. Atsalas, was extremely well-known as an active
participant in the Jamestown conventions of the 1920s and 1930s. Peter,
born in 1871, started in Glen Falls, New York, and settled in New York
1917 after dabbling in the movie theater business in Youngstown, Ohio.
Successful as a supplier of equipment for restaurants and candy stores,
Peter’s two sons now deceased, George and Theodore, graduated from
Columbia University in the 1930s but they never married. Their sister,
Maude Atsalas, is still living in New York City and is the last to carry
the family name in this country.
Benekos—An old Tsintzinian family dating back at least to
1638. Family name can be found in both Zoupena and Goritsa although
those from the former village are more numerous. Elias I. Benekos and
his brother Nicholas from Goritsa settled in Oneonta, New York, in the
1920s. Other large clusters from Zoupena settled in Chicago, Illinois,
Franklin, Pennsylvania, and the Cambridge and Barnesville area in Ohio.
The earliest Zoupenean in America with the family name was Nikolaos
Benekos, most likely a brother-in-law to Barba Christos Tsakonas.
Benekos was one of the first five Tsintzinians Tsakonas brought to
America in September 1875.
Camarinos—A small family from Goritsa that founded the Greek
colony in the Hawaiian Islands in the early 1880s and the first Greek
society in San Francisco in 1888. The founders, Demitrios and Panayiotis,
were sons of George Kamarinos, operator of a grain mill in Goritsa in
the mid-1800s. Another brother, Ioannis, was a well-known mathematics
teacher for years in the Sparta high school. Demitrios and Panayiotis
died as bachelors. Three sisters married in the Andreou, Chronis, and
Roumanis familes and bore sons who went to work for their two uncles in
Honolulu, Hawaii. The Camarinos name, which is of Spanish origin,
survives today with close relatives who settled in Williamsport and
Canellos—Originally from Chios which probably explains the
Italian sound to this family name since this island was ruled by the
Genoese for centuries. Arrival in Tsintzina is not certain but a
Konstantine and Stamatis Kanellos fought in the GreeI~ Revolution of
1821 under the leadership of Nikolaos Gerasimos the Tsintzinian captain.
Another Konstantine Kanellos, probably a grandson, left Goritsa for
America in 1882. He in turn brought six sons to this country and several
lived in Syracuse and Coney Island, New York, for many years.
Caravasos—The name sometimes appears in America as Caravasios.
Many Greek family names begin with “Kara” which is the Turkish word for
black. Another possible link might be to the Italian family name
“Caravaggio.” The Caravasos name among the Tsintzinians is found only in
the village of Zoupena. It is a sizable family with three branches in
America. The Morgantown, West Virginia group is from Konstantine
Karavasos (1867-1919) who married a niece of the famous “Barba’ Christos
Tsakonas. Another branch of three brothers with the paratsoukli
“Petroulias” settled in Wheeling, West Virginia, and Cambridge, Ohio.
This group and a third branch in Morgantown, West Virginia, intermarried
with the Georgitsos family The Caravasos family is spread out today with
several in Florida and Washington, D.C.
Chronis—An old Tsintzinian family that dates back to at least
the early 1900s. All the Chronis in America evidently are descended from
two brothers, Nikolaos and Konstantine, who fought in the Greek
Revolution of 1821. After the conflict, Konstantine settled in Zoupena
and his paratsoukli (nickname) Tsouturas became a new family name.
Nikolaos died in the tarnous battle against the Turks at Dervenaki in
1823. Several of Nikolaus’ grandsons from Goritsa were the first Greeks
in Los Angeles, California, in the 1880s. Other descendants, primarily
great-grandsons, settled in Honolulu, Hawaii, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
and Syracuse, New York. Dr. Leonidas Chronis, a president of the
Tsintzinian Society for many years, was from this family. The Tsouturas
name appears to have died out in America although there were a few men
with this name living in upstate New York in the 1920s and 1930s.
Constantakis—Only two old Tsintzinian pioneers in this country
carried this name, the brothers, James and John, who operated a
confectionary in Gouverneur, New York, during the 1920s. The family name
probably originated in Crete. The Constantakis family is from Goritsa
but actually originated in a nearby village named Agriannos.
Constas—A Goritsa family with three or four branches in this
country. Three brothers, Harry, John, and Constantine (C.N.), were in
the candy business in Syracuse, New York, in the mid-1920s. A few
distant cousins could be found in Chicago, Illinois, Youngstown, Ohio,
and Ann Arbor, Michigan during the same period. Not much is known about
this family though a “Konstantis Konstas” did fight in the Greek
Revolution in 1821.
Costiannis—Often as Costianes in America. A sizable family
found in both Goritsa and Zoupena. Origins unknown but genealogical
research suggests that in the mid-1800s there were two sets of four
brothers in each village. Their fathers were probably brothers or first
cousins. The Costianes were among the earliest Tsintzinians in America.
Demitrios I. Costianis from Zoupena, arrived in Chicago in 1882, along
with more than 80 other Tsintzinians that year. Costianes in the 1920s
could be found in Philadelphia, Greenville and Chester, Pennsylvania,
Chicago, Illinois, Albion, Michigan, Batavia, Middletown and Port
Jervis, New York, Cambridge, Ohio, and Okema, Oklahoma. John D.
Costianes of Batavia was president of the Tsintzinian Society in
Coumuntzis—Several variations on the spelling of this family
name which was sometimes changed to “Cummings” in America. A huge family
from Zoupena that dates back to at least 1500. Among the earliest to
follow Christos Tsakonas to Chicago in the 1880s. The most famous,
Christoforos Coumountzis, helped found the first Greek society in
America, the Therapnean Society in Chicago, Illinois, in 1887. There
were at least eleven branches of this large family in this country and
the Jamestown yearbooks from the mid-1920s list nearly 25 males with
this last name: they could be found in Chicago, Illinois, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and assorted small town in Ohio and other parts of
Dikaios—A small family in Goritsa which, according to
tradition, originally came from the Messinian family that produced
“Papaflessas”—a major hero in the Greek Revolution of 1821. The first
Dikaios in Goritsa was Panaylotis N. Dikaios who was for a time a
fugitive after killing a Turkish tax collector near Kalamata before
1821. He used the tax money to become a very rich landholder after
marrying a woman from a Tsintzinian family (Liakos). Three of his
grandsons followed Tsakonas to America Miltiades to Chicago, Illinois,
Demetrios to California and Nikolaos to Phoenix, Arizona. None of these
brothers had families or were active in the Tsintzinian Society, though
their nephew George Dickson who lived in Mount Vernon, Ohio, was
involved for many years.
relatively small family from Goritsa.
family's name goes back to Albanian
mercenaries who were hired by the Turks to
suppress a rebellion in southern Greece in
1770-1771. These Albanians were known as “tosk”
or “toskas,” which eventually became
the family name “Doskas” in Greek. There were three distinct
branches to the family in the late 1800s.
Ioannis Paraskevas Doskas (1867) migrated to
Australia in the 1880s and raised a
distinguished family there. Six brothers, Gus,
Nick, John, Peter, Paul, and Spiros, settled in
various American towns such as Watertown, New
York, Cambridge Springs, Ohio, Erie and
Titusville, Pennsylvania, and Jackson
Mississippi. Their first cousins, Basilios and
George, also settled in the Watertown and
Canton, New York area.
Economikis—Sometimes as Conomikcs in America. Members of this
family fought in the 1821 Revolution as Tsintzinians but the original
family name was Economakis which suggests the family roots are in Crete.
Genealogical research suggests that there were several brothers and
close cousins with this last name in Goritsa in the mid-1800s. Thus, all
who came to America in the late 1800s were fairly close relatives. They
could be found in the 1920s in such towns as Franklin, Pennsylvania,
Glen Falls, Ithaca, Marathon, and Canastota, New York and larger cities
such as Washington, D.C. where a Nick Conomikes had a flower shop at the
old Union Depot. Marcos Economikes of Franklin, Pennsylvania, was
president of the Tsintzinian Society from 1931-35.
Economou—Another small Goritsa family hard to trace in this
country. One old-timer, Nicholas I. Economis, came to America about
1888, at the tender age of 10-11. He lived for a time in Utica, New
York. He and perhaps a brother, George, migrated down to Roanoke,
Virginia, in the 1930s. Nothing further known.
Farmakis—The -akis ending suggests that this family name has
its roots in Crete. The name is found in a variety of places on the
Greek mainland but in Tsintzina it may go back into the early 16th
century. The Farmakis came from Zoupena and Goritsa. The family tree in
the 1800s seems to go back to one man, Ioannis M. Farmakis, who fought
in the Greek Revolution. One group of his grandsons, five brothers, came
to America and settled in Clarksburg, West Virginia and Portsmouth,
Virginia. Another group of grandsons settled in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and later Oneonta, New York. Lastly, a third grandson was
John D. Farmakis (1866-1939) who became extremely rich in the candy
store and hotel business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He and his first
cousin, John F Farmikis, were the founders of the Greek community in
Philadelphia in the1880s and 1890s.
Gazetos—A small family from Goritsa whose historkal origins
are unclear. In America, there were two branches to family. Four
brothers, Evangelos, Athanasios, Basilios, and loannis, came early to
this country and were living in Philadeip Pennsylvania, in the
mid-1920s. A Nick Gazetos (a cousin) also came early in 1891 and settled
in Butler, Pennsylvania. married into the Andritsakis family that had
also settled in Butler. Little is known about descendants of this.
Georgitsos—A large family that may have originally been from
another village north of Sparta called “Georgitsi.” Branc of this family
found in both Goritsa and Zoupena. Two distinct families from Goritsa
changed the name to “Georgets and settled in Olean, New York, Port
Alleghey and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Georgitsos from Zoupena were
lark clustered in Oneonta, New York and Cambridge and Cleveland, Ohio.
The Georgitsos were among the first to follow Chri Tsakonas to Chicago,
Illinois, in the 1880s. Indeed, the first Greek woman in Chicago appears
to have been Ioanna “Ma Georgitsos in 1882. We all owe a great debt to
George Georgetson, Olean, New York, who as editor of the old Tsintzina
convention yearbooks helped to record the historical achievements of
these Greek Pilgrims.
Gerasimos—Certainly the most prominent family during the Greek
Revolution because Nikolaos Gerasimos was the leader of those from
Tsintzina who fought against the Turks. Origin of the family name is not
clear though Gerasimos is the patron saint of the island of Cephallonia.
A large family with one small branch in Zoupena and several more in
Goritsa. Those from Zoupena settled primarily in Chicago, Illinois and
Washington, Pennsylvania. One large group from Goritsa settled in
Warren, Pennsylvania, where Barba Georgi Gerasimos operated and later
owned one of the original stores in Christos Tsako chain of stores.
Barba Georgi was one of the leaders behind the decision to hold
Tsintzinian conventions on an annual basis.
Gianios—A small family from Goritsa that is hard to trace.
Only two men with this name appear in the Tsintzinian convention
yearbooks from the 1920s. Konstantine I. Gianios was living in
Youngstown, Ohio, at that time and a (first cousin?) Nick Gianios was in
Chicago, Illinois. Research in the ship registers suggest that it was
Nick’s father, George, who was among the more than 80 Tsintzinians who
migrated to Chicago, Illinois, in 1882. Living descendants are hard to
find though apparently some attended the 1988 Jamestown convention.
Gianoukos—A small family from Zoupena that appears to go back
to one man named Demitrakis Gianoukos who fought the Greek Revolution in
1821. This man had two grandsons Demitrios (1864) and Stavros (1870). It
is not clear that either came to America but Stavros’ son, John, settled
in Potsdam, New York. Demitrios’ son, Peter, was the famous “King of
Apple” in Chicago where he made a fortune in the wholesale fruit
business. Peter was also a nephew of Chris Coumountzis who along with
John Procos helped the early Greeks in Chicago, Illinois, in the 1890s
take over the fruit business from Italians.
Gregoris—Not a great deal is known about this fairly large
family from Goritsa though a Konstantis Grergoris fought inGreek
Revolution in 1821. The family tree is complete with many branches.
Gregoris in the 1920s could be found in Chicago, Illinois, New York
City, Olean, New York, Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey, Shelby, Ohio,
Warren and State College, Pennsylvania, and Okema, Oklahoma. George J.
Gregory, from State College, Pennsylvania, was probably the best known
as a Tsintzinian activist who served as president in 1935-36.
Heos—See Chios, the island from which this family came.
Kapetenakos—This family name is a nickname (paratsoukli) for
one branch of the Gerasimos family in Goritsa. Konstan Gerasimos, one of
the sons of the famous leader of the Tsintzinians in 1821, carried this
nickname because it pin-pointed him as a “son of the Captain.”
Konstantine had three sons but it is not certain if they came to America
in the early years with Christos Tsakonas. However, four of
Konstantine’s grandsons were established in Erie, Pennsylvania, by the
early 1920s. This small family was concentrated in this one town at that
time. Some descendants have shortened the name to Kapetan.
Kapsalis—Evidence suggests that this family migrated to
Tsintzina from the island of Kithera where there is both a town and cape
on the coastline called “Kapsali.” A Georgios Kapsalis fought in 1821
with other Tsintzinians, and all the succeeding people with this family
name are his descendants. In America in the 1920s, there were three
branches. Polychronis Kapsalis was in Chicago, Illinois. John D.
Kapsalis was in San Francisco and his brother, Peter, was in
Minneapolis, Minnesota. The third branch were the children of a George
Kapsalis. Speros living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Peter, who
eventually settled in the Wheeling, West Virginia area, and their sister
who married A.D. Chacona of Oil City, Pennsylvania.
Katsaros—This is a very small family from Goritsa that may
have died out at least in America. A George Katsaros born in 1854 was
part of the large Tsintzinian exodus to Chicago, Illinois, in 1882. A
Peter Katsaros who was working in the 1920s at a florist shop at Union
Depot may have been George’s son. A James J. Katsaros (George’s nephew?)
was also living in Chicago, Illinois, at this same time. Both men were
last listed in the 1939 Jamestown Convention yearbook.
Kostolambros—A small family from Goritsa. Four brothers,
Konstantine, Nicholas, Marinos, and George, all came to Chicago in the
1880s. Nick opened a fruit store there in 1888 but returned to Greece to
raise a family. George married a sister to A.D. Chacona, of Oil City,
Pennsylvania, and was well-known as the operator of the first
Tsintzinian fruit and candy store in Franklin, Pennsylvania. George had
no family and Marinos does not appear to have had one either.
Konstantine’s two sons, Peter and George, stayed in Chicago, Illinois,
but had no families.
Lambros—A family with two branches from Zoupena and one from
Goritsa. Three brothers, Bill, John, and Anastasios (Harry), started out
in Chicago, Illinois, before 1900. Harry moved to Oneonta, New York in
the 1920s and had four children. John D. Lambros from Zoupena, possibly
a first cousin, settled in Jamestown, New York, after 1900 and took over
the first Tsintzinian fruit and candy store originally established there
in the early 1890s. The Lambros from Goritsa consist of four brothers,
Peter, Nick, Konstantine, and John, could he found in the mid-1920s in
three western Pennsylvania towns: Union City, Waynesboro, and
Vandergrift. Peter Lambros, who lived in Jamestown, New York, near the
Tsintzinian clubhouse is the son of Nick Lambros of Union City,
Lascaris—An old name that has deep roots in the Sparta region
dating back to the late Byzantine period. Found both as a family and as
a Christian (first) name as evidenced in the famous “House of Lascaris”
at Mistra where a Byzantine noble lived. The Lascaris were present in
Tsintiina as early as 1530 and could he found in both Goritsa and
Zoupena after the move to the Evrotas Valley in the 1820s. A large
number came to America, with the 1925 Jamestown yearbook listing 22 with
the Lascaris name. Virtually all of them by this time had settled in
small towns in Pennsylvania and upstate New York. Those from the Goritsa
branch were concentrated in Albany and Syracuse, New York, with some
using the nickname “Prites.” The more numerous Lascaris from Zoupena
could he found in Union City, Oil City, and Lewistown, Pennsylvania,
Wilmington, Delaware, and Elmira and Oneonta, New York.
Limberakis—A sizable family found in both Goritsa and Zoupena.
Ending of the name clearly suggests family roots are in Crete as is the
case with several other Tsintzinian families (Andritsakis and Vournakis).
Difficult to trace this family even though a Ioannis and Limberis
Limberakis were part of the large Tsintzinian group that arrived in
Chicago in 1882. These men were apparently from Zoupena. Those listed in
the Jamestown yearbooks in the 1920s seem to be from Goritsa living in
such towns as Austin, Texas, Fort Edward, New York and Dubois and
Lourpas—A small family from Zoupena that may have been a
branch of the Nikolaides family. Three men with this name, John, Bill,
and George, appear in the Jamestown convention yearbooks from the early
1920s. They do not appear to have been brothers. They moved around a
great deal during this period among the towns of Fairmont, West Virginia
and Oil City and Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania. The family name of Lourpas is
no longer found in the Jametown yearbooks after 1949.
Manos—See Voulomanos which is the full Greek family name.
Marinos—The original name was Marinakos which suggests that
this family came from the Mani region south of Sparta. According to
tradition, the original village was Gorani, a small village on the
slopes of the Taygetus mountains between Sparta and Githion. There seem
to be two branches to this family. Two brothers, John and Speros, and
their first cousin, Christos, were in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, in the
1920s. Another more distant (second?) counsin was Anastasios (Harry) who
was associated with the “Candyland” in Ithaca, New York, in the 1920s
Nestopoulos—Origin of this small Goritsa family is not clear
but the name means probably the “son of Nestor.” Two brothers, John
(1873) and Nicholas (1883) probably came to America before 1900 and were
living together in Philadelphia until the mid-1930s. However, the only
person with this family name in the Jamestown yearbooks after 1940 was
Gus Nestopoulos (1897-1989) who lived in Auburn, New York, for years.
His nephews Demos and Nick of Ithaca, New York, and Pavlos of Auburn,
New York carry the family name.
Nikolaides—Not an old or large Tsintzinian family but
certainly among the most interesting. The -ides ending signifies that
this family originated in Asia Minor or from an Aegean island. In fact,
the first Nikolaides in Tsintzina was a soldier named George who had
fought with Kolokotronis in the Greek Revolution of 1821. He was either
from Crete or Myteline (formerly Lesbos) and after the revolution he
settled in Zoupena where he had three sons, John, Demitrios, and
Panayiotis in the 1840s. John’s descendants in America settled in
Cambridge and Barnesville, Ohio, and Middletown, New York. One daughter
married George P. Chacona of Erie, Pennsylvania. Panayiotis had six sons
some of whom started out in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the 1890s.
Demetrios had at least two sons, Harry and George, who came to this
country. All these men changed their name to Nickles.
Nikolakis—Another family that probably came from Crete. There
was a Panayiotis Nikolakis who fought with the Tsintzinians in the Greek
Revolution of 1821. All the Nikolakis probably go back to this one man
since the family was quite small. In America, this family was only to be
found in Cambridge, Ohio. John and James were brothers and the former
came to America in 1891. Their first cousin, Peter, also settled in
Cambridge, Ohio. Jim Nikolakis was the largest contributor to help build
the beautiful church in Zoupena in the early 1950s.
Nohos—A very old Tsintzinian family that dates back to at
least 1636. A large family that settled in Goritsa, it had many branches
in the early 1800s. For some mysterious reason, only one person with
this last name appears in the old Jamestown yearbooks, Peter Nohos
working as a florist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This man was probably
closely related to the Tsakonas (Chaconas) from Goritsa who claim that
their original name was actually Nohos. The small Tsakonas family from
Zoupena (Barba Christos’ family) do not claim this. Tsakonas as a last
name is not uncommon in the Sparta region. It refers to the area around
Tsintzina, the Parnon mountain range, which historically is called
Papadopoulos—Probably the most common name in Greece because
it means simply “son of the priest.” Those among the Tsintzinians in
America with this name go back to a Panayiotis Papadopoulos who had four
sons, Georgios, Ioannis, Konstantine, and Demitrios, in the 1840s and
1850s. The sons of Konstantine (Peter, James, and Leonidas) settled in
Greenville, Pennsylvania and changed their name to “Poolos.” The sons of
Georgios, James, Peter, and John, were all old-timers in Chicago,
Illinois, and changed their name to “Bullat” for some reason. The
Papadopoulos family’ as a whole is quite large and intermarried with
many other Tsintzinian families in both Greece and America.
Papageorgiou—A name found in Tsintzina as early as 1503. The
earliest person from this family in America was Konstan tine Papageorge
who apparently opened a saloon in Chicago, Illinois, in the 1880s on
North Dearborn Street across from John Procos’ wholesale fruit business.
Konstantine returned to Greece in 1912 but his sons John, George, and
Peter came to America. They shortened the name to Pappas which is not
unusual. Peter Papas who lived in Ithaca, New York, was the best known.
George lived in Oneonta, New York, and was killed in action during World
War II. A few other Tsintzinians with the name Pappas appear in the
Jamestown convention yearbooks from the 1920s but it is not certain they
are all from the Papageorge family.
Papapoulos—A small family from Goritsa that evidently took its
name from Panayiotis Papapoulos (1832-1907) who was himself a priest in
the village for many years. His three sons, Socrates, Pericles, and
Leonidas, founded the first Tsintzinian fruit store in Sharon,
Pennsylvania, about 1891. They shortened their name to “Poulos.” Their
sister, Hariklia, was the wife of Konstantine Papadopoulos, the father
of the three Poolos brothers who settled in Greenville, Pennsylvania.
Confusing, isn’t it? One son, Leonidas K. Poolos of Greenville,
Pennsylvania, was among the most highly regarded Tsintzinians for
Papayanakos—Literally, this name means “son of Papa Yanni.”
This small Zoupenean family probably came originally from the Mani
region given the -akos ending. In America, the family is heavily
concentrated in upstate New York. Three brothers, Peter, Louis, and
John, settled in Ithaca, New York, in the mid-1920s. John appears to
have come the earliest in the late 1880s. Other men with this family
name were James, of Watertown and Governeur, New York and Harry of
Potsdam and Governeur, New York.
Peliouras—A small family from Zoupena whose origins are
unknown. Basically, there were three old-timers from this family.
Athanasios, who lived in Peekskill, New York, and had a son, Agamemnon.
Athanasios’ brother, Panayiotis, who owned Peliouras’ Brothers in
Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1920s. And lastly, a George Peliouras living
in Youngstown, Ohio, during the same period. George seems to have had a
son named James who worked at a place called the Sugar Bowl in the same
town in the late 1920s. In the late 1930s, there was a fourth Peliouras
(another Athanasios?) in Memphis, Tennessee.
Politis—An old and possibly the largest Tsintzinian family.
The name in Greek means “citizen” or member of the polis (city). In
Tsintzina, this family goes back to at least the year 1500. Politis are
found in large numbers in both Goritsa and Zoupena, The family tree is
so large and complex. The first Jamestown convention yearbook in 1923
lists 29 men with this last name in America. They were among the first
to come with Christos Tsakonas. A Nikolaos Politis, from Zoupena, came
with “Barba Christos” to Chicago in September 1875. Furthermore, George
J. Politis also from Zoupena, was a dynamo behind the creation of the
chain of candy stores in the 1880s from Jamestown, New York to
Poulos—This is another Goritsa family that must not be
confused with the Papadopoulos brothers from Greenville, Pennsylvania,
who shortened their name to “Poolos.” The Poulos family was always just
Poulos which usually is a suffix meaning “son of.” In Auburn, New York
there were three brothers, Demetrios, Nick, and George K., who came in
the late 1880s. The Poulos family in Ithaca, New York, is another branch
descended from a John J. Poulos who came before 1913.
Prokos—A very well-known family from Goritsa whose name became
famous in the early years of Greek-American history given the success of
John Procos with his nationwide wholesale fruit business. Procos started
his enterprise in 1889 in Chicago where he arrived with other
Tsintzinians in the early 1880s. Procos with others such as Christoforos
Coumountzis formed the first exclusively Greek society the Eteria
Therapnon in America in 1887. Procos who died on ship while returning to
Greece in 1919 was a grandson of Ioannis Prokos who fought in the 1821
Revolution. All those from this family appear to go back to this one
soldier even the family dates back in Tsintzina to at least 1684. John
Procos of Chicago fame had a large family niany members of which took an
active interest in the events in Jamestown.
Psychoyios—A small Goritsa family carrying a name that is also
found in neighboring villages such as Hrisifa. Sometimes rendered as
Psichogios or Peterson in America. Leonidas Elias Psychoyios was
virtually the only one present in America before 1900. He was born in
1887 and attended the first large Tsintzinian gathering in Franklin,
Pennsylvania, in 1905. He had four children, Markos, Helen, Leo, and
George. Leonidas appears to have had a cousin named Nikolaos (1893) in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later Santa Cruz, California, who is hard
to trace now.
Roumanis—A Goritsa family interesting because of its
connection to Hawaiian colony established by the Camarinos brothers in
the 1880s. John P. Roumanis (1876) arid his brother Panayiotis (1890)
migrated to Honolulu because their mother was sister to the Camarinos
brothers. John never married but Konstantine’s wife, Ekaterini Economou,
is still living in Honolulu. There was also a first cousin, Paul
Rounianis, who settled and died in Oneonta, New York, in 1952. Paul
fought in France in World War I. Paul was quite a gambler but usually
lost. According to tradition, he once won $5,000 at cards hut had a hard
time sleeping after winning. He promptly returned to the table where he
soon lost it all for the peace of mind. Paul had no children and only
one nephew, loannis Panos Rounianis, a lawyer in Athens, who is the last
to carry the family name.
Seferlis—The origins of this family are not clear hut it is a
sizable family from Goritsa that pre-dates the Revolution of 1821.
Almost all those who came to America at the turn of the century had
settled in small towns in upstate New York such as Cortland, Plattsburg,
and Granville by the mid-1920s. However, their names begin to disappear
from the Jamestown convention yearbooks in the late 1930s, making it
extremely difficult to trace their descendants. There is a Seferlis
family living in Syracuse, New York.
Serafis—A family name from Zoupena that has died out but which
is extremely important in historical terms because of the close
connection to Barba Christos Tsakonas. Tsakonas’ sister, Antonia,
married Demitrios Serafis. Their son, Christos Serafis, was one of the
five original Tsintzinians that Tsakonas brought to America in September
1875. Barba Christos put his little nine year old nephew in the Chicago
public schools from which he graduated as an excellent English speaker.
Later, the young man made nine round trips across the Atlantic to assist
other Tsintzinians on their journey. Serafis in turn had three daughters
and his only brother never married so the name has disappeared in both
America and Greece.
Sperides—A Goritsa family that may have originated many years
earlier in Asia Minor where the -ides ending is common. There were
several branches to the family in Goritsa prior to 1840. Two men,
Nikolaos and Spiridon Sperides, were part of the large exodus of
Tsintzinians to Chicago in 1882. However, the Jamestown convention
yearbooks after 1920 rarely refer to any one with this family name
except for three brothers, John, Harry, and Nick, who lived in Erie,
Pennsylvania, through the 1940s. Nick’s son is still living there.
Stratakos—The name means “son of the soldier” and the -akos
ending is common for families from the Mani region. The family is small
and in Goritsa in the mid-1800s we find only one man named loannis
Stratakos with four chidren, Kyriakoulis, Panayiotis, Helen, and
Konstantine. Kyriakoulis (1885) is an interesting figure because he was
quite an aviator, reputedly the first Greek in America to own his own
airplane. He lived in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he dabbled in local
politics and took the name “Frank Murphy.” Konstantine and Helen
followed their brother to America.
Treiris—A Goritsa family that may have been descended from one
man named Ioannis Treiris. Though it is not yet proven, five men,
Diamantis, Elias, Georgios, Nikolaos, and Antonios, born in Goritsa in
the mid-1880s, may all be the sons of this Ioannis. Elias’ son, Ioannis,
came to America and settled in South Fork, Pennsylvania. Georgios’ son
also named Ioannis settled in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Lastly, a son of
Nikolaos named Diamantis lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He
sometimes was called “Diamond” or Diamond Jim and had the paratsoukli “Karnavis.”
He had no family but his close relatives in South Fork and Lock Haven,
Pennsylvania, did and they still carry the original family name.
Tsakonas—Without a doubt the most celebrated name in Greek
American history in view of the central role Christos isakonas played in
luring nearly 1000 young Spartans to Chicago, Illinois, between
1875-1891. An almost mythical figure, he and his young band laid the
foundations for the Greek Community in Hawaii, Chicago, Illinois, and
the Ohio River Valley. The family name among Tsintzinians is of
relatively recent origin and is found in other villages in the region of
“Tsakonia.” The Tsakonas from Goritsa say their original name was Nohos
and those that came to America in the late 1800s were all close
relatives, brothers and first cousins. They settled in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, Erie and Sayre, Pennsylvania, and Ithaca and Syracuse, New
York. The Tsakonas from Zoupena are a much smaller branch presumably
from the same family though this is not absolutely certain. Barba
Christos was from this Zoupena branch and his nephews and nieces came to
America and settled in Oil City and Franklin, Pennsylvania, Morgantown,
West Virginia, and Topeka, Kansas. The name “Chacona” survived in the
Oil City branch whose patriarch was A.D. Chacona, nephew of Barba
Tselekis—Among the oldest Tsintzinian families dating back to
at least 1506, the Tselekis or Chelekis are primarily from Zoupena. A
Nikolaos Tselekis was one of the first five young men Tsakonas brought
to America in 1875. Two Tselekis brothers, Vasilios and Demitrios, got
their start in Tsakonas’ first store in Youngstown, Ohio in the 1880s.
In addition to the large Chelekis group in Youngstown, Ohio, there were
other related families in Cambridge, Ohio, Ithaca and Watertown, New
York, by the 1920s. Vasilios Chelekis from the Youngstown branch was a
major figure in launching the annual Tsintzinian conventions in 1915.
Tsetseris—A Zoupena family whose origins are not known but
whose members were among the first to follow Christos Tsakonas to
Chicago in the late 1870s and early 1880s. In fact, some Tsetseris were
close cousins to Barba Christos. loannis D. Tsetseris accompanied him in
1875 to America and was a life long business partner in their chain or
candy stores called the Greek-American Fruit Company. Ioannis N.
Tsetseris donated about $200,000 to improve the life in Zoupena in the
1920s. A tall clock tower was built with his money during this period.
In America, the Tsetseris name was changed to “Chechery” and in the
1920s could be found in such diverse places as Chicago, Illinois,
Detroit, Michigan, Meadville and Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania, Oneonta and
Jamestown, New York. The family is now hard to trace due to assimilation
Tsoumos—Originally was “Tsoumouris” and dates back in
Tsintzina to at least 1632. Konstantine Tsoumos (1869) married Maria
Tsakonas, a niece of Barba Christos, and settled in Topeka, Kansas. They
had one or two sons and this was the extent of this family in America
and though no descendants are known the name may still survive in
Tsuturas/Soutouras — A nickname (paratsoukli) for Chronis from
Zoupena. Two brothers — James and Nicholas — immigrated to New York
about 1910. Nicholas settled first in Ashtabula, Ohio, and moved to
Westfield, New York, in the early 1920s. He left New York in 1924 and
returned to Greece where he died. James settled in Youngstown, Ohio.
Vamvalis—An old Tsintzinian family name that dates back to at
least 1632. Mike Vamvalis (1857-1928) from Goritsa settled in Hawaii
where he worked for the Lycourgos and Roumanis familes for many years.
He apparently had one son, Demosthenes. Mike also had three (nephews?)
Nick, Anastasios (Harry), and George, who lived in Erie, Pennsylvania,
and later Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Only Nick had a family in this
country in the town of Hudson Falls, New York.
Varlas—Another old Goritsa family that dates back in Tsintzina
to at least 1518. However, only a few came to America. A George Varlas (Barlas)
born in 1865 was in business in Washington, D.C. for 30 years until his
death in 1939. His nephews, Peter and Louis, were in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, in 1925. Nothing is known about the fate of this family.
Vlahos—Vlahos is a common name found in many parts of Greece
because it is the word for “shepherd.” The family name could he found in
both Zoupena and Goritsa. Three brothers, Peter, Nick and Louie, worked
at the Chelekis Lunch Room in Youngstown, Ohio, in the mid-1920s. These
three brothers whose father was Ioannis had first cousins in America at
this time. These cousins were James Anastasios Vlahos and his brother
Peter A. Vlahos. James also worked with the Chelekis in Youngstown,
Ohio, while Peter was in business in Rochester, Pennsylvania. Another
James Vlachos was in the candy business in Dunkirk, New York, for many
Vlahothanasis—Only one Tsintzinian pioneer carried this family
name from Zoupena. He was George Nikolaos Vlahothanasis born in 1875 and
a long-time resident of Bridgeport, Ohio, on the river bank opposite
Wheeling, West Virginia. He married Georgia Caravasos who was a sister
to the three Caravasos brothers living in Wheeling, West Virginia.
George had several children who have continued to live in the Wheeling
area to this day.
Voulomanos—The largest Tsintzinian family with the possible
exception of the Politis. The 1923 Jamestown yearbook lists 31 men with
the Voulomanos name in America. However, in all cases, the name had
already been shortened to “Manos.” These men were scattered throughout
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York. They could also be found in
Chicago, Illinois, St. Joseph, Missouri, Austin, Texas and Palmeto,
Florida, in the 1920s. It would take years to sort out the family tree.
However, the most famous Voulomanos is the mysterious Spiros Voulomanos
who according to legend was the first Tsintzinian to arrive in America,
perhaps as early as 1857. Spiros who used his paratsoukli “Bazounos” as
his last name is credited with opening the first Greek restaurant in
America, the “Peloponnesos” on Roosevelt Street on the lower east side
of Manhattan near the Brooklyn Bridge sometime before 1890. All the
Voulomanos are from Goritsa. They may have come from some other part of
Greece because there is no record of them fighting in the Greek
Revolution in 1821 with the other Tsintzinians.
Vournakis—Another Tsintzinian family from Goritsa that
probably has its roots in Crete where the -akis ending is common in last
names. All the Vournakis appear to be descendants from one or two men
who probably settled in Tsintzina in the early 1800s. Several Vournakis
came to America as early as 1890-91 and perhaps earlier. There are four
main branches to this family and they could be found in diverse
locations in America in the 1920s: Albion, Michigan, Bellaire, Ohio,
Trenton, New Jersey, Wellsburg, West Virginia, and Wilmington, Delaware.
Voutsanessis—An old Tsintzinian family whose name appears in
an old document as “Vourizanesis” in 1632. Only three brothers from this
family, John, James and Nick, came to America in the early years and
they all used the anglicized name “Vanson.” John settled in Chicago,
Illinois, where he arrived with other Tsintzinians in the early 1880s.
Nick lived in Syracuse, New York in the 1920s and had one son, George,
who later became an interpreter at Ellis Island. James had settled in
Oneonta, New York, in the 1920s but nothing is known about his fate. The
Vansons are last mentioned in the 1948 Jamestown yearbook.
Zacharias-Zachariou—A sizable family from Goritsa that
shortened the name to Zaharis. The largest branch in America was
composed of five brothers, Michael, Diamantis, Evangelos, Peter, and
George. These brothers in the 1920s had settled in Susquehanna,
Pennsylvania, and Ogdensburg and Binghamton, New York. Other distant
cousins could be found with the Zaharis name in Cortland and Syracuse,
New York, and in Rochester, Pennsylvania, during this same period. Last
but not least, one distinct branch carried the name “Zachariou” in
Greece and America. The best known was Ioannis L. Zachariou who became
famous for operating a catering service in Athens from the 1870s to the
late 1920s. The family store located at 19 Stadious Street provided
cheese, caviar, and other delicacies for the Royal Palace and Embassies.
The Zachariou store was the gathering place for all Tsintzinians passing
through Athens on their way to America for over four decades. loannis
Zachariou provided invaluable assistance to prepare the Tsintzinian
pioneers for their long journey to the New World. He never came to
America but two of his sons, Nicholas and Demosthenes, lived in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the 1920s. Nick was talented as a poet
and it was his poem in the 1922 Jamestown convention yearbook that
praised Barba Christos Chacona as the pivotal figure who laid the
foundation for the Greek community.