Greece Civil Registration- Vital Records

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Research in Greece: Using Civil and Church Records, by Gregory Kontos
This presentation covers Civil Records found in Town Halls, records at the General Archives of Greece (GAK) and Church records. Learn about each record collection, what they contain and how to access them.


Civil registration consists of vital records made by the government. Records of births, marriages, and deaths are commonly referred to as vital records because they refer to critical events in a person’s life. Civil registration records are an excellent source for accurate information on names, dates, and places of births, marriages, and deaths.

Time Coverage

Greece's civil registers mostly cover the 1840s–1940s. Beginning about the 1840s, civil registration was formally established, requiring that separate records of birth, marriage, and death be kept by the local government. A separate record-keeping administration, Lixiarheion, was not fully established until 1925, when a national department for government registration of vital records was established. Even then, the practice of civil registration was not fully established in all areas until 1931.

Information Recorded in Civil Registers

Modern Birth, Marriage, and Death Registers

The most important civil records for genealogical research are birth, marriage, and death registers. Contemporary civil registration records usually contain the following information.


Birth records generally give the child’s name; date the birth was reported; place of birth; hour, date, and day of the week of birth; date, place, and parish of baptism; the father’s name, occupation, religion, citizenship, and residence; the mother’s name; and the godparents’ names.

  • Click here to see a visual example of a birth certificate and its translation.


Civil officials recorded the marriages in registers, usually preprinted forms bound in a book and kept in the civil office. Marriage registers give the date of the marriage, the names of the bride and groom, their ages, their places of birth, their residences, their occupations, their citizenship, their religion, whether this is their first or a subsequent marriage, and their parents’ names.

  • Click here for a visual example of a marriage certificate and its translation.


Death records are helpful because they may provide important information on a person’s birth, spouse, and parents. Death records generally give the name of the deceased person; date recorded; time, date, and day of the week of the death; place and cause of death; birthplace; age; residence; occupation; religion; citizenship; marital status; spouse’s name; father’s name; and mother’s name. Women’s maiden names are not mentioned in death records. Civil death records often exist for individuals for whom there are no birth or marriage records.

  • Greece death certificate.png

© Greg Kontos 2015

  • Click here for another visual example of a death certificate and its translation.

Important Civil Records Unique to Greece

Male Registers (Mitroon Arrenon)

When Greece became an independent state, communities began keeping registers of males (Mitroon Arrenon), which list all the males born in a particular community. They were kept for voting and military purposes. Male registers were created for all communities in Greece. As new areas became part of Greece, their communities also began keeping male registers. In some areas, male registers were reconstructed from other records back to 1825. (Source: Greg Kontos, Research in Greece Using Civil and Church Records, HELLENIC GENEALOGY CONFERENCE. Video


© Greg Kontos 2015


Female Registers (Mitroon Thilaion)

Some areas also kept a female register (Mitroon Thilaion), which usually started at a later date than the male register. These registers were created retrospectively and therefore may be missing some people. Male and female registers give the following information: name of the person, father’s name, year of birth (later registers list full date of birth), place of birth, and mother’s given name. The entries are listed chronologically by the date of birth.

Town (Resident) Registers (Dimotologion)

Town (resident) registers are lists of family groups living in a particular locality. For communities where these registers exist, the registers start by at least 1887. They list the given name, age, and occupation for each individual. Once a resident register was compiled, it was kept current by adding new information such as marriage, death, and immigration dates. These records can be found in the municipal archives. (Source: Greg Kontos, Research in Greece Using Civil and Church Records, HELLENIC GENEALOGY CONFERENCE. Video


© Greg Kontos 2015


© Greg Kontos 2015

Family Status (Oikogeneiaki Katastasis)

This is a certificate that can be provided by the archives, taking the data from the dimitologion. Information includes: family number, date of registration, name of individuals in family, their birth date and place, religion, citizenship, and other notations.

Accessing the Records

1. The records are in the local (municipal) mayor’s office.

  1. Click on a region.
  2. Click on a prefecture.
  3. Click on a municipality.

Writing to the Mayor of a Municipality

Information on addressing the letter, enclosing money, and a form letter in Greek, with its English translation are found in this .pdf:

2. Copies may also be found in the county archives (Nomarhia).

These provinces have full birth, marriage, and death records online:

3. Some records are collected by the General State Archives of Greece (GAK)

The Archives of Greece has a central office in Athens, and local offices throughout Greece. These offices have copies of Male Registers, Town (Resident) Registers, School Records, and other documents of interest to family historians. Civil registers are not preserved in the Central Service (CS)

See, How to Navigate the Greek National Archives.

Some records are online. Others are not online, but the staff will search them for you upon request.

Writing to the Greek National Archives (GAK or GSA)

Information on addressing the letter, enclosing money, and a form letter in Greek, with its English translation are found in this .pdf:

4. The records may be available on microfilm in FamilySearch Records

  • GREEK MICROFILMS:Comprehensive list of microfilms by counties.
  • Records of the Lixiarheion (civil registry offices) have been filmed for the cities of
  • Athinai (Athens)
  • Copies from various town halls and city archives have been filmed from the counties of
  • The Library’s collection continues to grow as new records are microfilmed and added to the collection from numerous sources. Don’t give up if records are not available yet. Check Places within Greece in the FamilySearch Catalog from time to time to see if new records have been acquired from your area of Greece.