Greece Notarial Records
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In Greece, all legal transactions are recorded by notary offices (Symvolaiografeion). Notaries kept records such as dowry and marriage contracts (proikoa), wills (diathiki), land transfer contracts, and mortgage, business, and property records.
Notary records contain useful information linking families, proving relationships, and providing some marriage and death information. Because these records exist from the 1400s, they are a valuable source for the pre-church register and pre-municipal record time period.
Some notary offices have files of contracts dating as early as 1400.
Dowry Contracts (Proikoa)
© Greg Kontos 2015
Wills usually list the name of the deceased, names of heirs and relationship (usually wife, children and their spouses), family's status and wealth, and details of distribution of the property.
Land Transfer Contracts
© Greg Kontos 2015
Other Contracts (Symvolaia)
Other contracts will list the names of the parties involved, such as land owners, lenders, debtors, and so forth.
Accessing the Records
- These records are kept in private notary offices (symvolaiografeion).
- Notarial offices will not give any information unless relationship is proven and fees are paid.
- If a notary has died or discontinued practice without someone taking over the notary office, these records may be found in the General Archives of Greece (Genika Archeia tou Kratous).
- Land records may also be found in a government land ownership office (ypothikofylakeion). These offices can be accessed only by attorneys.
- The only notary records that are available at the Family History Library are for the town of Argos, Argolidos, Greece from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
GAK Greek National Archives
See, How to Navigate the Greek National Archives. There are two types of records available online for many counties: 1) indexes to actual notary records that you can then write for, and 2) in a few cases, digitized copies of the notary records themselves. To see what is available for your county, go to Links and addresses for county archives. After you choose a county, you will see "File Notary" clearly marked. For each file you select, clicking the "Contents" tab will give you sub-listings. Continue to work down through the sub-listings until you find a file of interest. When the "digital copies" tab changes from gray to black, you will be able to see the actual records.