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Cemetery records in Greece are generally not a good source for genealogical research. The custom in Greece is to bury a person for only 3–5 years, after which the remains are exhumed and placed in an ossuary (osteofylakeion) in a building at the cemetery. In larger cities some families owned a family plot where the remains of all of the family members were placed and where there may be a gravestone with information about people buried there.
There are two major types of cemetery records in Greece:
- Information recorded on gravestones, called monumental inscriptions, which include transcripts of this information. These are available only for family grave plots in larger cities.
- Information recorded by cemetery officials or caretakers, including sexton’s records, public (municipal) cemetery records, churchyard records, burial ground records, and grave books. These books are generally not available to the public.
Cemetery records may include the name of the deceased, age, date of death or burial, date or year of birth, birthplace, father or husband’s name (maiden names for females not included), and sometimes marriage information. The only cemetery records currently available from Greece at the Family History Library include cemetery records listing British soldiers who died there in World War II, and two short books by Ioannes Typaldos-Laskaratos of monuments and coat-of-arms from Catholic and Anglican cemeteries in Kerkyra (Corfu) and in Kefallinia (Cephalonia).