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Family history

Origin of the name Begining of the clan Year 1400 1400 - 1900 1900 - today Related Families Family diagram


           Everywhere around the world, the surname of a family derives mainly from the profession of its ancestor. Thus, in our case as well, our surname originates from:
The word "pastor", which in Greek means: shepherd, leader, patriarch.
The corresponding word in Latin is "pastīr", i.e. the noun of the verb "ņascī", which means: pasture, share, benefit, enjoy and rejoice.
However, the initial origin of the word "pastor" in Greek, as well as of the corresponding word "pastor" in Latin, even of the verb "pascī", is the ancient Greek verb "pateomai", which means: taste, eat. From the above it is concluded that the word "pastor" is of a purely ancient Greek origin.  
           This was the explanation that Skarlatos D. Vyzantios, Director of "AthensCollegeofEducation", gave about the origin of our family's surname, when asked in 1862 by my grandfather Vassilios Patsourakos, son of Anargyros Patsourakos, primary-school teacher and a student of the aforementioned College.
The same view about the etymology of our family name was also expressed by Mr. K. Nestoridis who served in the Gytheio High School as Headmaster and whose pupil was my father's brother Ioannis Patsourakos.
           The word "patsor" derived from the word "pastor", i.e. from the transposition of consonants "st" to "ts"; this usually happens with words of the Dorian origin old dialect of Mani.
           If we take into consideration the fact that the old dialect of the inhabitants of Mani had a Dorian, very strong and frequently incomprehensible accent, then the Greek word "patsor" becomes "patsour", initially in the spoken and then in the written form. This is explained because one of the most common idioms in Mani is to pronounce the Greek letter "o" as "ou", a common practice until the present day because the letters "o" and "th" are not encountered at all in the dialect of the inhabitants of Mani.
           Apart from the above, it should be also noted that our clan's origin was the natural fortress of "Aghia Kyriaki", located above the fortress called "Tigani". The land property of the members of our clan was -and still is- located at the nearby village of Nomia, in Inner Mani (Mesa Mani).  
The name Nomia, derives from the Greek verb "nemomai", which means "to pasture". The names given by ancient Greeks had always a semantic meaning closely related to the properties of a specific place. The areas around the village of Nomia named "Dilikia" and "Lahos", as well as the fields to the West, beyond the area called "Lakos Nomias", are still called "Nomadia", i.e. pastures.
           The above demonstrate that the originator of our clan was called "pastor", i.e. a shepherd. The Greek word "pastor" became "patsor", to subsequently become "patsour" in the strong-accent dialect of Mani.
           The Greek suffixes "-os", "-is" and "-eas" and, after 1900, "-akos" were added to the word "patsour", which then became a surname, depending on the area of Mani which was inhabited by the members of our clan; thus, we have the following surnames: Patsour-os, Patsour-is, Patsour-eas, Patsour-akos, Patsour-akis.
(Those people with the surname "Patsouras", originating from other areas of Greece are not members of our clan).

(Extractsfromthebookto be publishedwrittenbyVassiliosPatsourakos, sonofAnargyrosPatsourakos, entitled "AClanin Mani")

Many thanks to my first cousin Tzina Nikoloudis for the translation of the text.