Athena ParatheonFor the past year I have been working with a committee in planning the first Hellenic Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Those on the committee are Carol Kostakos Peteranek, Georgia Keilman-Stryker and our advisor Bob Curtis and myself.

This is turning out to be just an amazing experience!  The Hellenic Council has graciously allowed us to use their cultural center for the conference.  This center will accomadate many more people than most of the other places we could have chosen.  And enough good cannot be said about Jon Peazly and the other members of the council who have been so gracious.

I have not had other family members really interested in doing genealogy work but have found this conference has brought several cousins to the fore front in this project.  We are descended from Stamata Harami of Kremasti and Dimitri Thymaras of Spetses.

Our grandfather Georgios Thymaras immigrated to the United States and was the only family member to do so.  Because of this, and  not knowing family members in Greece, it has definitely piqued my interest in genealogy and our beginnings.

It seems this conference is almost turning into a family reunion for our family.  Besides myself being involved, my cousins are catering it which include Stephanie Thayer, Christina Lopez, Laurie and Jennifer Spetsas.  (The name our grandfather changed his sir name to when immigrating to the USA)  Also another cousin Randy Kroll will do the still photography and a niece to me and great great grandaughter to Georgios will also help with the conference in different aspects.

What a great plus to the conference, to be able to spend time with living family members while learning how to research those who came before us.

The sign up page for the conference is at https://hellenicgenealogyconference.wordpress.com/conference/t


Spetses, Greece

I often wonder what life has been like now and in the past for those family members and friends who live in Greece, compared to my life here in the states.  It is my hope that we will be able to provide some information here that will give us some understanding as to how our ancestors may have lived.  Many thanks to Alix Carmen for the picture to the left of our cousins home in Spetses, Greece.

Spetses is the small tourist island in which many of our family came from.  They were from Xania  (pronounced Chania if you are English speaking)prior to that time.  According to family legend, Georgios Thymaras owned much of the island at one time, but never thought it would be of any value, so he began giving land away to others.  He was originally from Xhania and the family name was Christakis.  Due to circumstances at that time in history, it became necessary for him to flee from Xania and he went to Spetses.  The people advised him to take on the name of “Thymaras” as there were many people by this name and he could get lost in the crowds.

What do you know about your own history that you can document and help to preserve the history?   Older living family members are a great resource for preservations of one’s history, documenting where you can.