TN 31 (08-05)

GN 00307.521 Other Greek Evidence

A. Kinds of Other Evidence

The following sections describe some other evidence available in Greece and give general information on its reliability.

1. Demotologian Records

This is a family record of vital statistics events kept at the local level. A married woman may be entered under both her father's and her husband's name. Few demotologians were created before 1914. Since they are frequently copied, few are the original records made at or near the date of an event. Entries can be added or changed at later dates.

Their accuracy varies widely among communities and within individual communities. Certifications from these records can be misleading especially about recordation dates.

An extract from these records is called a “pistopiitiko” and is the “birth certificate” generally used by Greeks.

2. Italian Records in the Dodecanese Islands

The records kept by the Italians from 1912-1947, when they administered these islands, vary in age and reliability. A census was taken in 1938 but later administrations made no attempt to control or properly maintain the Italian census cards. Thus, many have been altered or changed. Blank census cards left by the Italians were also fraudulently completed by officials at much later dates.

The census cards were often used as basis for mitroon arrenon and demotologian records created after annexation in 1947.

3. Turkish Records for Ethnic Greeks

Civil records for ethnic Greeks who were born in Turkey and left before 1923 have been largely destroyed. However, some records of Greek communities in Turkey were saved and are in the Greek Government Archives in Athens. Although information from them is not available to the public, FBU can get it.

The following is a list of the communities for which records exist for events after 1900. The Turkish Government has changed some community names but these are the names by which ethnic Greeks would know them.








Ganohora (Ganou-Hora)


Iraklia &Redestos




Makra Gefyra






Neveshir (Nev Sehir)



Poros (Ikonion area)


Redestos (see Iraklia)








Tzemil Zaleli


4. Marriage Records

Marriages are recorded in the Greek Orthodox diocese in which they occurred or in the lixiarchika vivlia. These records are reliable evidence of marriage but not of age.

5. School Records

There are two types of school records: the Mathetologion (Roll of Students) and the Genikos Elenhos (General Grade Book). The first is more reliable. Both show the student's name, father's first name, school year, student's age, grade attended and month and day of registration.

Ages on school records are believed to have been given as of the age reached in the calendar year of registration (the school year began in September).

Although 7 was normally the correct age for entering the first grade, many entered as early as 5 or as late as 9. If a child entered before the minimum age (7), a fictitious age (7) was often shown until the minimum age was met. In some cases, the first grade may have meant a preschool class. Thus, for a variety of reasons, school records may show 2-3 years attendance in the first grade.

If both a year of birth and age are shown, the year is more reliable.

B. Policy

1. Demotologian Records

SSA uses these records as evidence of age only if the:

  1. a. 

    Certification was issued at least 5 years before the first application for benefits was filed and it shows the specific date on which the entry was made in the source record; or

  2. b. 

    Source record was examined by FBU.

EXCEPTION: Since these records were not established in the Dodecanese Islands until 1950, no assumption can be made about the date and basis of entries for events prior to 1950.

2. Italian Records in the Dodecanese Islands

FBU must verify certifications based on Italian census records before they can be used as evidence of a factor of entitlement.

3. School Records

If just the month and day of registration is shown, SSA assumes the year of registration is the year in which the school year began.

4. Employment Records

SSA uses certifications of employment records from Greece as evidence of a factor of entitlement only if verified by FBU.

5. Passports and Identity Cards

SSA accepts these documents at face value if they appear to be genuine and unaltered. SSA assumes the records were based on the individual's statement at the time of issue. SSA does not make any assumption about the information shown on a prior record if the document is a replacement or a duplicate.

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GN 00307.521 - Other Greek Evidence - 08/26/2005
Batch run: 08/20/2018