Bournias from Koroni and Kalamata Messinia

2017 was an interesting year in Greek genealogy as I was able to meet members of the Bournias family from Koroni and Kalamata Messinia, and discovered an unknown brother or cousin to Antonios A. Bournias.

I have known for some time that there were family members in the area of Koroni and Kalamata but I did not have the opportunity to do the research there.  During 2017 I was able to meet with a family member who I had already had information about in my database of the descendant chart that I created with information provided by another member of the Bournias family from Texas.

Receiving information from a "foreign" language source (English) is helpful but when performing research for records in Greek it is always better to be able to know what the real names of people are because in general those who immigrated to other countries such as the USA, or Australia, or elsewhere may have modified their names and sometimes even their surnames to coexist within the social structure of the country.

While many members of the Bournias family think that they know their ancestry, they don't.  Many think that they are not related at all with those from the island of Chios but I have been able to piece together the majority of the ancestors and descendants from various sources of information that I have discovered for both Greece and Asia Minor.

Members of the Bournias family that are currently located in other areas of Greece other than Chios and Evia moved there for economic and work reasons, or because in the case of some families when they married they received a dowry of either land or a home or both.  This was the most logical and practical choice during the later part of the 1800's and early 1900's.

Asia Minor was a prosperous area where many Greek families lived among other races and therefore found opportunities to create businesses until the catastrophe took place.

For many families, this resulted in major losses of wealth, property, and lives, and those who survived were forced to escape by traveling to areas of Greece such as Mytilini (Lesvos), Samos, and even Crete.

During a research trip to the municipality of Koroni, I came across a family member in the records that had changed his surname to Bourniadakis.  It was interesting to find this because the surname is a combination of Bournias and "akis" which is an ending associated with people from Crete.

While many of them wanted to return to the origins of the families, Chios or Evia, they were assigned by the Greek government to other areas such as Drama, the Peloponnese, and Piraeus.

These were very hard times and those who did not want to begin a life of poverty in the slow growth of Greece and so they ventured to other countries of the world.

My second most interesting discovery was that of Ioannis Bournias.  I found a record that showed that a Ioannis Bournias had moved from Chios to the island of Syros during the period of Ottoman rule in the 1800's.

On the 15th of May 1844, Ioannis Bournias made an application to request to attain his natural citizenship as a Greek so that he could move to Syros.

I mentioned in the beginning that Ioannis may be a brother or cousin to Antonios A. Bournias because the copy of the document was not very clear and I will have to journey to Syros to see the original in order to determine what the first name of the father of Ioannis was.

This discovery is an added piece of the puzzle that will link other Bournias family members that I have information about.

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