Greece Naturalization and Citizenship
Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship privileges and responsibilities to residents. Greek citizenship was generally extended by individual cities to certain of their inhabitants and did not pertain to the country as a whole. Until the twentieth century, only males of the middle or upper classes were granted citizenship. A citizen had privileges that included:
- Rights to engage in business in a city
- Protections under the law
- Permission to reside in a city without being expelled
Citizenship records include information about the citizen, including names, ages, social and economic status, occupation and training, and, sometimes, birthplaces and relationships. The original citizenship books are generally kept by the city and may be found in city archives or city halls. Citizenship records from the GAK in Athens have been filmed:
- Naturalization of Immigrants and Surname 'Changes 1844–1899'''. Athens, Greece: National Historical Archives (Genika Archeia tou Kratous - GAK), n.f. (On 39 FHL films beginning with 1038686 items 2–4).
Naturalization records in the United States may be an excellent source for determining the specific town or city where your ancestor was born, especially records after 1906. (See the “Naturalization and Citizenship” section of the United States Research Outline.