Sunday, October 18, 2009

Corsican Maniots

St. Spyridon greek orthodox church of Cargese - SkyscraperCity

Corsican Maniots are descendants of Maniots (Mani is a region in south Peloponnese , Greece) , who migrated to the Corsican region during the 400 year Ottoman rule over Greece. To this day the Cargèse region of Corsica is referred to as Cargèse la Grecque (Cargèse, the Greek). [1] The origins of the Greek Maniots community in Corsica dates back to the 17th century, when Greece was then under Ottoman Turk rule and there was a flow of Greek exitance from the Byzantine Empire towards countries in Western Europe. Particularly severe was Turkish rule towards the Maniots, some of the most resilient mountain clans throughout the Ottoman Empire, in the region of the Mani area, Laconia, south-east of Peloponnese, near the ancient city of Sparta. Adding to the tensions in the Mani region was long vendettas between some of the more powerful Maniots families which included; the Stefanopoulos family (descentants of Comnene Dynasty from the Empire of Trebizond, kin to the Kalomeros).[2][3]), the Mavromichalis, the Mourtzinos (claim descent from the Palaeologus Dynasty) and the Yatrianon, also know as Yatrians (the Medici Family is descentant from them). Hundreds of Greeks decided to emigrate and in 1663 his Grace Parthenios Calcandis, the Greek Catholic Bishop of Vitylo, negotiated with the Republic of Genoa, then ruling Corsica, for asylum. The Genoan administration promised to grant the Greeks the territory of Paomia for a small fee to Genoa and to recognize the religious authority of the Pope. On June 25, 1665 the Genoa government granted the request of the Greeks but it took another ten years for the migration to take place. The Greek names of the emigrants were Italianized before they left for Corsica: for instance, Papadakis was changed to Papadacci. In five years the colonists built a village, Paomia where they were engaged in agriculture and weavery. Within one year, the Greeks built the five hamlets of Pancone, Corone, Rondolini, Salici and Monte Rosso, transformed the area in one of the wealthiest agricultural lands in Corsica and lived in peace with their Corsican neighbours. When the Maniots refused to help the Corsicans in a local uprising against the Genoa clashes between the two began, they were forced to leave their village and move to another one, to Aiaccio. After Corsica was sold to France, the Maniots returned to their original area and George Stephanopoli, nicknamed Capitan Giorgio, who was a maternal relative of Laure Junot, duchess d'Abrantès,[4] accepted on behalf of the Maniots, France's offer to settle in the new village of Cargese, where they have lived since then alongside their Corsican neighbors.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

MONI TSINGOU or Monastery Petrouliano

Tsingou monastery Μονή Τσίγκου is just north of Itilos in Mani, Lakonia. The website has an extract in Greek from the book of Michael Gr. Μπατσινίλα «ΟΛΕΣ ΟΙ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΟΙΤΥΛΟΥ». Batsinila 'ALL THE CHURCHES OITYLOY. When using the Google translater there is one line " The monastery was occupied previously by the Tsigkianous Stephanopoulos, however, unknown how and why the expelled and went to the Nyfi Prosiliakis Mani and now with the surname Tsigakou. "

My relative Panayiota Tsingou from Glykovrissi/Athens has told me that the Tsingos family in Kremasti originates from someone by the name of Tsigakos who fled Mani either from Turks or Vendetta around the time of the Greek War of Independence 1830s. The family had a kinship with the family Stefanopoulos.Katagontan both from Byzantium. At the end of the 15th century Nicephorus Comnenus, who was the son of the Emperor of Trebizond went to Mani with the relative of General Tsingou. The grandson of Stephen Komninos was πρωτόγερος region (commanding the region). The descendants of Stephen Komninos Stephanopoulos named, so they had 2 names Stephanopoulos-Komninos. In the second half of the 17th century some of their descendants left the Mani, after conflict between families.Manis.Merikoi Stephanopoulos went to Corsica and the family went elsewhere.
There are two other threads.
One confirms this flight to Corsica. According to 800 residents left Itilios for Corsica,Italy in the late 1600's. The arrangement was negotiated by a Stephanopoulos (name tied to the Monastery). Where they lived on and assimilated into the population. However their was striff which leads to:
A Tsingos contact from Australia whose family originates in Ampelona (Greek/Albanian Border area) has a relative who theorizes that the Tsingos' there were Greeks who came from Italy after troubles there.
Could there be a link between Tsingos' fleeing Mani to Corsica, and Tsingos' fleeing Italy to Northern Greece?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spetses 1868 National Guard Panel

The website contains a list of over 3470 men aged 18-60 from the island of Spetses. There are 9 Kompogiorgas' and 3 Tsigkos' (see list below).

Last Name Father First Name Age Occupation Married? Children Other Family
Τσίγκος - Νικόλαος 54 Εμποροπλοίαρχος (Merchant) - - -
Τσίγκου Αναστ. Λεωνίδας 42 Ναύτης (sailor) ναι 4 1
Τσίγκου Αναστ. Εμμ. 47 Αλιεύς (fisherman) ναι 3 1
Κομπόγιωργας Δ. Νικόλαος 30 Ονηλάτης ναι 1 1
Κομπόγιωργας Δ. Αθανάσιος 32 Ονηλάτης ναι 2 1
Κομπόγιωργας Α. Πάνος 47 Ονιλάτης ναι 6 2
Κομπόγιωργας Α. Θεόδωρος 42 Μυλωνάς (Miller) ναι 6 1
Κομπόγιωργας Α. Ιωάννης 56 Μυλωνάς (Miller) ναι 5 1
Κομπόγιωργας Ι. Αθανάσιος 28 Ναύτης (Sailor) όχι 0 6
Κομπόγιωργας Ι. Δημήτριος 26 Ναύτης (Sailor) όχι 0 6
Κομπόγιωργας Ι. Αδριανός 24 Ναύτης (Sailor) όχι 0 6
Κομπόγιωργας Ι. Δημήτριος 28 Ναύτης (Sailor) - - -

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lekas & Drivas 17 Roosevelt St. New York, NY

Many of the Kremastiotes and Lakonian immigrants coming to New York City list their destination as 17 Roosevelt Street. This was the site of Lekas & Drivas an import export business. According to "The Greek Community of New York City: Early Years to 1910" by Michael Contopoulos. "The firm Lekas & Drivas, established in 1892, became the foundation of a large food products enterprise. Its headquarters were situated at No. 17 Roosevelt Street." According to "Greeks in America.." by Thomas Burgess. "The first importing house to be established was that of Lekas & Drivas, at 17 Roosevelt Street, New York, the identical place where ten years before was started that little restaurant, the first rendezvous of the early immigrant." I'm interested in learning more about the early history of this business and its founders.