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With the advent of the internet I knew it was only time before contact would be made with distant Castellorizian cousins overseas. In the meanwhile I searched the internet during the 1990's and sent out various emails to people with surnames of Karasavas, Xanthis or Malaxos being seemingly uncommon Greek surnames. My only other great grandparent surname was Komninos but this name was obviously quite common in usage.

I initially received quite poor feedback from these ramdom emails, with most not even answering. With the Karasavas surname I did receive a few replies from USA but all spoke of ancestry that came from Cyprus. One reply did come from Canada claiming ancestry from Rhodes so I tried to continue the thread but the person did not answer followup emails from me. The Xanthis surname brought a response from a Sylvia Hathaway in USA who was attempting to identify the ancestry of her grandfather, Anthony Xanthis, who came from Turkey to USA. We corresponded but no known connection could be established between our families. However my grandmother's Xanthis family also lived in Turkey as stated previously in this article, so there may indeed be a connection between the families.

Then success came for the Malaxos surname. Contact was made with a Leo Malaxos of Sweden whose family came from Lebanon and formerly from Alexandria Egypt, but whose ancestry stemmed from Castellorizo. Although a direct family connection was not made with this Malaxos family the christian names in his family seemed to resemble many of the names from my mother's cousin Despo's husband family, that of George Malaxos, here in Perth. But what was more exciting was that Leo then put me in email contact with a Bill Malaxos of USA who immediately connected with my great grandmother Maria Karasavas (nee Malaxos) family. His grandfather and my great grandmother were brother and sister. He had bits and pieces of my Malaxos side whilst I had likewise of his, passed down in stories by the family. He has kindly provided his ancestry and it is detailed on my genealogy pages.

Later whilst communicating with Nicholas George Papas of Sydney, the author of Castellorizo - An Illustrated History of the Island and its Conquers and many other wonderful books I suddenly became aware that Nicholas was the great great grandson of Nicolis Malaxos, another of Maria's brothers. Also this was the same Nicolis who my mother and her parents stayed with in Port Said awaiting a ship to migrate to Australia. Nicholas Papas kindly made me aware of additional info on the Malaxos family and assisted to correct various mistakes in information that had been passed down through word of mouth.

Author Nicholas Papas

Photograph courtesy Nicholas Papas

Nicholas also made me aware of cousin Nicholas Malaxos who lived in Sydney who likewise was searching the Malaxos family ancestry. I contacted Nicholas Malaxos and he was a great help in supplying additional details on the New South Wales side of the family. Nicholas also descends from Nicolis Malaxos of Port Said and is his grandson. Also Nicholas Papas supplied some wonderful photographs of the Malaxos and Karasavas family (Agapitos family in NSW) from Castellorizo, Port Said, Rhodes and Russia. Additionally he forwarded the dowry contract for my grandparents marriages in 1911 and transcribed it for me into English.

Dowry Contract

Between Agapitos Spyros Karasavas and Anastasia Xanthi

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In Castellorizo today the 11th day of February 1911, Friday, and at 11.00am, there appeared personally in the offices of the Demogerontia, on the one hand, Agapitos Spyr. Karasavas and, on the other hand, Agapitos Z Xanthis and before me the Municipal Secretary, having paid all municipal dues, the Parish Priest and the subscribing witnesses, they agreed as follows:-

The said Agapitos, having a sister at the age of marriage named Anastasia and wishing to give her in legal marriage to the said Agapitos, with whom she has been validly betrothed, promises to him by way of dowry the following:-

  • A completed house to the west of the house of Vasilios Piperoglou in the neighbourhood known as Kavoulaki.
  • A plot of land located next to the house of Tzorzi in the neighbourhood known as Pasa.
  • 150 English pounds which have been counted into the hands of the groom.
  • A gold bracelet in the Castellorizian style.
  • A necklace in the Castellorizian style and the usual clothes, mattresses and copperware etc.

It was agreed that the wedding would take place on 13 February 1911.

He who contravenes the terms of this dowry is liable to pay a penalty of 6000 grosia.

Having agreed accordingly, the parties hereby executed this document in front of the honourable witnesses, the Parish Priest and the Municipal Secretary.

Parish Priest [blank]

The witnesses Tsikos V Galettis [sgd]    S F Touloutzas [sgd]

The contracting parties Agapitos Z Xanthis [sgd] Agapitos S Karasavas [sgd]

The Municipal Secretary    I Sotiriou [sgd]

Then in 2004 email contact was made with a Karasavas family in Adelaide who are related to our family. In 1923, and one year before Agapitos travelled for the first time to Australia, Maria (also known as Marigo) Carasava came to Australia with her younger brother, Michele (Michael). Maria was betrothed to Peter Athanasios and she married him that year in Port Pirie. Michael later married a Maria Hadjigeorgiou in Adelaide and it was with his daughters, Elizabeth and Moskovia, that contact was made. Maria and Michael who came to Australia were the children of Agapitos Savas Karasavas who is my grandfather's first cousin. Their parents, Savvas and Spiro were brothers. Photographs and family details are included for this family in the genealogy section.

Marriage of Arete Athanasios to Peter Galantomos in South Australia

Arete (Rita) is the only child of Maria (Marigo) Karasavas who married Peter Athanasios

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Photograph courtesy Elizabeth Philippou 

Michael Agapitos Karasavas South Australia

Photograph courtesy Elizabeth Philippou 

Then in 2006 contact has been made with Spyros and George Xanthis of Piraeus, who are the sons of Zafiris Xanthis and the grandsons of my grandmother's half brother, George Xanthis, who lived and died in Perth.

This website and article will hopefully bring further contacts with cousins thoughout the world in the near future, and assist in adding to the knowledge of our family who came from Castellorizo.

Galantomos/Athanasios Family South Australia

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Photograph courtesy Elizabeth Philippou