In the sea of Marmara, opposite Constantinople, are islands called "Proikonisia". One of them called Proikonisos or Prokonnessos , now known as the Island of Marmara. On this island, near the capital city also called Marmaras, is the largest settlement, Palatia. The Palatia are the place inhabiting the family of origin Gennata, shortly before the fall of Constantinople.
In the village of Palatia, was the Byzantine Church "Saint Nicholas of Gennas." , it means "Saint Nicholas of Birth" ."Genna"( Γεννα) in Greek is The Birth. .
This old church exists at the present time, and it appears to be the only Christian building that has remained from the once rich and prospering city of Marmara on Proconnesus.
The family, prior to the fall of Constantinople and the islands of the Sea of Marmara, to the Turks, in 1453, left the island and settled in Koroni, at the southwestern tip of Peloponnesus, Greece. It was part of the Venetian Republic. It is from the Church of St Nicholas of Gennas, that they took the name“Gennatas” to mark their roots. There is no information as from where they first settled in Marmara, and how long they had been there, before they immigrated to Koroni.
In Koroni the Gennatas stayed for 45 years, until 1498, that is when the strong fortresses of Koroni and Methoni fell to the Ottoman Turks. Then, in 1498, they left and settled in the Ionian Island of Kefalonia, which was also under the Republic of Venice, at the time. It appears that the patriarch of the family, Nicholas Gennatas, had excelled in some way, in the struggle of Koroni against the invading Turk. This is supported by the evidence that Nicolas Gennatas was honoured by the Venetians with a Blazon (Sketch attached) and land in the village of Agia Thekli and Atheras at the north of the region of Paliki, near the coast. In Agia Thekli they also built a small church of St Nicholas, obviously to remind them and honour the church of St.Nicholas of Gennas in Marmara.
It is in Agia Thekli where the Gennatas built their homes and the area is called to this day “Gennatata”.The Gennatas together with other families that had escaped from Koroni, at that same time, built the Monastery of Koronatou, which is just outside Lixouri. They gave the monastery the name of Koroni. They also moved there two large Byzantine Icons, which are still in the Monastery to-day.
Elias Tsitselis, in his book “Kefalliniaka Symikta” (1904), writes:
“ The family Gennatas, divided into many branches to-day, and from which also the Gennatas family in Corfu originated, immigrated to Kefalonia, after the fall of Methoni and Koroni in 1498. Land was granted to them in Atheras and around the present Lixouri, hence the place Gennatata. There is also in Agia Thekli the Church of St Nicholas, built originally in conjunction with the Avastagon, Kokkinon, Moulinon and De Bonera. In 1646 we meet the abbot of the Monastery of the Lady of Angels (Kyrias ton Angelon) in Pali, Theophani Gennatas”
The evolution of the family
In 1500, Kefalonia taken from Venetian .The island has been pillaged and destroyed by the Turks in a situation of desertification. With its transformation into Venetian Acquisition begins slowly the regeneration. During this period we have massive permissible to bring in other Venetian possessions, the first installation of many currently known Kefalonian families. Then the family of Gennatas live in St. Thekla. Some information, scattered so far, we meet for some persons of the family, such as 1652 (27 Decembi 1652) in the Venetian archives Administration (1500-1797) in the Book of Minutes of Community Council (Consiglio della Communita) for Costandi Genata ', 49 years later, in 1700, in the same file Costantin Genata ', Frank Santa Thekli and Vettor Genata', John Santa Thekli http://gennataroots.blogspot.com/2011/07/1500-1797-reggimento-di-cefalonia.html in 1646 Lays Theophanes, abbot of the monastery of Our Lady of the Angels, in Pali (H. Tsitselis).
What is certain is that scaled very hectic. Mainly ,during the 18th century (1700-1799) created many branches, where roots have many descendants today branded the family produces. A part of Gennata family in Santa Thekli migrated in Corfu and gradual emigration branches in neighboring areas of St. Theklis.During 19th century Gennatas found in areas beyond St. Thekli, Atheras, Vilatoria, Kalata (village Kominatos) Vovikes, etc. What is remarkable is that despite the large size of the family, Gennata had a solid consistency.
All of family weddings, baptisms, funerals done in family churches were priests was Gennatas . The Vilatoria, the Skinias, Agia Thekla at the Church of St. Nicholas, the Kalata (Kominata) at st Maria or St. Demetrius, which Parsons was Kominatoi-Gennata. (A habit that had other families too eg Loverdos) . Throughout the course of the 19th century, signing and issuing public documents with full double-surname (name-Gennatas-second surname), keeping always in the middle Gennatas to indicate their origin.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, significant portions of the family, due to difficult conditions and seismic shocks received by the St. Thekli and the surrounding areas, migrated to various areas. We have migrated to mainland Greece (Ilia, Peloponnese, Athens, etc.) and to various locations abroad (USA, France, Algiers, Egypt, Australia, etc).
The second surnames used by the Gennatas and now have take the place of the single surname is over 23. From data resulting from the civil status documents of the 19th century we have the surnames:
Tsimaratos (from Gennatas-Tsimaratos)
Cominatos (from Gennatas-Cominatos)
Batistatos (from Gennatas-Batistatos)
Mikelatos (from Gennatas-Mikelatos)
Ratsiatos (from Gennatas-Ratsiatos)
Linardatos (from Gennatas-Linardatos)
Thomatos (from Gennatas-Thomatos)
Meis (from Gennatas-Meis)
Octoratos (from Gennatas-Octoratos)
Coccinis (from Gennatas-Coccinis)
Floratos (from Gennatas-Floratos)
Maratos (from Gennatas-Maratos)
Mematos (from Gennatas-Mematos)
Lixoyriatos (from Gennatas-Lixoyriatos)
Andreatos (from Gennatas-Andreatos)
Efthimiatos (from Gennatas-Efthimiatos)
Lascaratos (from Gennatas-Lascaratos)
Rallatos (from Gennatas-Rallatos)
Tzanatos (from Gennatas-Tzanatos)
Filipatos (from Gennatas-Filipatos)
Tzoyloybatos (from Gennatas-Tzoyloybatos)
Scatuliaratos (from Gennatas Scatuliaratos)
Gennatas from Corfu kept Gennatas
All these names are verified by civil status documents. In many cases instead of getting the second surname the location of the first, preserved the Gennatas. ¨ For example we have members of Thomatos part of Gennata with the surname Gennatas. Also in many cases not kept the correct spelling (Gennatas , from St. Nicholas of Gennas) and surname written Genatas.
*Translation is not the better , if someone can send better it would be nice.
About Marmara island
During the reign of Constantine the Great in the 4th century notable aristocracy from Constantinople first settled on the island. By 569, many Byzantine aristocrats had built palaces on the island that they had accepted as their home. The greatest palace of this period was built by the Emperor Justinian I. With the Emperor came a large entourage of nobility, palace guards, tradesmen, and servants. Justinian also built a large convent on Marmara that is one of the earliest in recorded history. The Byzantine royal presence on the island was strongly felt through strong ties to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. During most of its history, the island was called "Proikonnesos" (island of the royal dowry).
From the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the years directly following World War I, the island was almost exclusively populated by Greek Orthodox Greeks. During World War I much of the population was forced off of the island onto the mainland. And, following the war, as a result of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, all remaining Greeks native to the island of Marmara emigrated to Greece and other locations around the globe.
In Greece, the island's Greek diaspora settled primarily in New Marmara, the island of Euboea, and in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. Still others from the island settled in the Americas, primarily in the USA, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Oregon and the Seattle/Tacoma, Washington area. As well, still others emigrated to Canada, Australia and South America.
|PALATIA AT MARMARA ISLAND|
Its name derives from the Greek μάρμαρον (marmaron) and that from μάρμαρος (marmaros), "crystalline rock", "shining stones, perhaps from the verb μαρμαίρω (marmairō), "to flash, sparkle, gleam", because it is famous for its white mar. The name "Marmara" came from the wealth of great marble deposits that are found on the island. Much of the marble used in the building of the Agia Sofia came from the marble quarries on the island