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Family history

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


           As it happens with all clans, some of their branches change their name and adopt as a surname the diminutive of an ancestor (nickname). The various families formed through this process are aware of their common roots and origin.
This also happened to our clan as well.
           In Kalliazi, according to the tradition, among the numerous members of the clan there were three brothers. Two of these brothers used different nicknames in order to signify the difference between them, as it happens even nowadays.
These brothers used the following names:

  • Patsouros
  • Menoudos, from the Greek verb "μένω - live" and the suffix "-ούδας", which means "ground", i.e. the man who lives on the ground, at a certain place, the native.
  • Xanthos (i.e. blond), was named after the color of his hair/complexion.

Today, their descendants are named:

The first Patsouros who went to Skamnaki around 1450 had five sons with the following nicknames:

  • Karatzalis, from "κάρα ="κεφάλι" (head) and "ζάλη" (dizziness)
  • Grimbilis, from "γρεμπενής", which means "cock"
  • Kotsos, i.e. "Κωνσταντίνος - Konstantine"
  • Kouros, i.e. "male child"  
  • Patsouros

For the sake of differentiation among the members of "Patsourianoi" clan, the descendants of the first four members of the clan were named as follows:

           There are families today bearing these surnames and their members are aware of their common origin and descent and their strong relation, which is more like a spiritual bond; moreover, in smaller areas relatives feel more connected, despite their minor differences.    
           Out of the five sons of the aforementioned first Patsouros who came to Skamnaki, his sons Karatzalis and Grimbilis did not stay in Skamnaki; they followed and stayed near to the other members of the clan.
           In 1550, one member of the Patsouros family from Konakia, son of Menoudos, was nicknamed "Katounas", which means "landowner", on account of his large land property in our village Konakia.
           In 1550 another Patsouros from the same clan, son of Xanthos, was nicknamed "Zervoulias", from the name "σερβούλης - servoulis", which means "he who wears shoes - (τσαρούχια - tsarouchia)". Nowadays, his descendants have the surname "Zervoulakos".

           According to tradition, the explanation for this nickname goes as follows:
           This Patsouros, son of Xanthos, was wearing, like all of his fellow-villagers, shoes (tsarouchia) made of pig skin, called "σερβούλια - servoulia". Once, when returning after a long and tiresome walk during one of the numerous at that time military expeditions, his feet were swollen as his laces were very tight. When he arrived home totally worn out, he fell unconscious. His relatives thought he had passed away and began to mourn over his dead body. Women wanted to clean his body. First, they took off his shoes called "σερβούλια - servoulia" to wash his feet. However, after rubbing his feet, he recovered and "resurrected". Since then, he was given the nickname "σερβούλης - servoulis" by his fellow-countrymen. However, the Greek letter "σ"(i.e. the Latin letter "s") in the dialect of the inhabitants of Manisounds like "ζ" (i.e. the Latin letter "z"), thus he was named "Zervoulias".
           The practice of giving such nicknames was very usual in small villages.
           Menoudos and one of his sons named Katounas, as well as Xanthos and one of his sons named Zervoulias, were given the nickname "Moustafas" by their fellow villagers for the following reasons:
           Since their names derived from ancient Greek words - "μενούδος" from the Greek verb "μένω" (i.e. live) and suffix "-ούδας", i.e. ground, as mentioned above - or from words not so common in the local dialect of the inhabitants of Mani, they seemed strange to other members of the clan. Moreover, in a mocking mood and in order to tease them, as well as in order to amuse themselves at times of war, they used to call them using this nickname "Moustafas".

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

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