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A census is a count and description of the population. Censuses have been taken by the government of Greece as well as governments that ruled the region prior to Greek independence. These were taken for population studies, taxation, and military purposes. However, the census records from Greece have not been made available to the public so it is not certain what types of genealogical information are contained in them.
Some early censuses were taken in different places and for different purposes. A census of Crete from 1644 and census records from some areas of Peloponnesus prior to 1820 taken during Venetian rule are located in Venice, Italy. Turkish rulers took frequent censuses, including one in the late 1600s, 1718, 1719, and others through 1798. In its early years of self-rule, Greece took a census in 1828 and 1830. A department of national statistics was established in 1834. A yearly census was taken from 1836–1845 and in 1848, 1853, and 1856. Later on, a census was taken in 1861, 1870, 1879, 1889, 1896, 1907, 1920, 1928, 1940, 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981, and 1991. With the addition of new territory, a special census of newly acquired areas was taken in 1865, 1881, 1900, 1913, and 1947. A special, voluntary census of refugees from Asia Minor was taken in 1923.
The location of the above census records may be in the Department of National Statistics. Some census statistics have been published; however, these do not list personal information helpful for genealogical research.
Census records available through the Family History Library include some giving more family information than others:
- 1840–1844, 1848, 1851, 1879 and other census records filmed at Nauplion, which includes statistics from the country of Greece and the county Argolidos
- 1835, 1838–1839 census and 1857–1881, 1889 town registers from county of Argolidos.
Census records were also taken of the Armenian minority in Greece and are on microfilm as follows:
- 1923 census of Armenians in Greece.
- 1948 census of Armenians in Thessaloniki and regions of Macedonia and Thrace in northern Greece.
- 1953 census of Armenians in Greece.
Searching Census Records
Census records are in the Greek language for most of the years.
When searching census records, it’s important to remember the following:
- Information may be incorrect.
- Accept the ages with caution.
- Given names may not always be the same as the name recorded in vital records.
- Place names may be misspelled.
- If your family is not at the suspected address, search the surrounding area.
- When you find your family in one census, search that same location in the earlier and later census records for additional family members.