Παρασκευή 22 Οκτωβρίου 2010






I was born in April of 1933 and I spent my summer vacations of 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1955 in the village of Lakkoi and in Omalos of Chania, Crete, my father’s birth place.

Grandma Katina, my father’s mother, had been left behind alone, together with my aunt Erasmia. You see, my father’s brother Stamatis, had been exiled to St. Efstratios (a desert island, where they were sending the politically undesirables.)

I was sent many times to Omalos, using the horse, to bring back potatoes.
Most of the times I was going together with my first cousin Nikos Skoulas, a retired general today, who was having the same age as myself.

Well, I wanted to record some of the things I experienced and learned at the time I spent there, as well as the different facts I gathered in reference to the origin, the struggles and some of the important members of my family, for the younger relatives to learn about them and be proud of them.

It was really exciting meeting and knowing the old Lakkiotes, who were still alive at that time.

In the first part I included some general facts and information about Crete, so that there will be informed, those to whom it is addressed to.

These notes are dedicated to my children Stella and George, my grandchildren Dimitri and Vassili Karkatzo and Lila Mavrogeni and to all our family’s young children, so that they will be informed of the facts, the history and the acts of our ancestors.

Vassilis Mavrogenis Athens, Greece
Civil engineer January 2008
Electrical and Mechanical engineer


Crete one from the bigger islands on Mediterranean is found in a crossroad of three continents (Europe, Asia, Africa).
Even the name of Europe emanated from the Cretan History. (Jupiter was transformed in bull, abducted and her child her was the Minoas.) Because the place and the climate were developed very old big cultures as the Minoikos in the times of which existed in Crete hundred cities, ruins of which exist and today. Ruins of more from them have found with bases ancient texts as the work of Homer, but also descriptions of other writers. Existed however also object of claims from a lot of conquerors. Important role in the conquests they played the natural harbour of Souda, that still is also today considered strategic but also the production and her products that were always good and in big quantities. Crete is constituted by four prefectures (Chania, Rethimno, Heraklion and Lasithi, with capitals respectively Chania, the Rethimno, the Heraklion and Saint Nikolaos). I mark that the Heraklion (Kandia), in middle ages, was acquaintance for his eminent fortifications. The Turks in order to him they take from their Enetoy's him beseiged from 1625 until 1645 and they had 100.000 dead. Characteristic of Crete they are the very tall mountains that in periods of conquerors of were man of rebels. Thus we are the White mountains in Chania (2452 m.), Psiloritis (2454 m.) in Rethimno and Heraklion and Dikti (2148 m.) in Lasithi. Basic base of operations and shelter of rebels were the White mountains in the prefecture Chania, because the big extent their but also existence of plateau Omalos and the gorge of Samarias that connected the provinces of Chania through impassable passages that it was easy they are looked after by few men. In “steel doors” the rocks have distance six meters and altitude of 300 m.
In the villages that were round the roots of White Mountains they were the residences of rebels. This village never enslaved in conqueror. On the contrary their various conquerors granted privileges in order to they do not have nuisances. Many times however or because the conquerors trampled the privileges or because it woke up in this villages the national feeling became revolutions. As report the Historical most revolutions in the world all they have become in Crete. Forty and more revolutions big became on Venetian domination (1212–1645) and Ottoman domination (1645-1898).
The many from these revolutions began from their Lakki and the Sfakia. Our ancestors found to live in their Lakki, so that they have received part in all the liberation fights and they have suffered very big sacrifices.
From his only for Mayrogeni I accomplished to assemble certain cells which I mention also below.


Afterwards the Romen, the Byzantines, the Arabs, Venetians and Turks-Egyptian occupied the decline of Greek cities Crete.
Chronological the makes have as follows:
- - 1100 B.C.- 69 B.C.. HISTORICAL YEARS
- - 69 B.C. - 330 A.C. ROMEOKRATIA
(Nobleman : Fokas (they were renamed by Venetian, Kalergides), Varouhas, Skordilis, Mousouros, Gavalas, Melissinos, Arholekos, Vlastos, Hortatzis, Argyropoulos, Calafatis and Lithinos )
1204-1212 GENOYATES
1830 - 1841 EGYPTIANS
1897 Afterwards slaughter the big forces shared Crete (Chania – Italians, Rethimno – Russians, Heraklion English, Lasithi – Frenches). 1898 (9.12) PRINCE GEORGES – Supreme Commissioner (Autonomy – Cretan State)
1913 (1.12) Rise of flag of union with Greece in the entry of harbour in the castle - prison, Firka, from Hatzimihali Giannari and Anagnostis (Haralampos) Mantakas, brother of father’s, my grand mothers, Ekaterini Mantaka wife of Vassilis Mayrogeni.
At the duration of Venetian domination became 26 revolutions with mainer the following:
1205 Skordilon
1212 Agiostefaniton
1217 Skordilon and Melissinon
1230, 1234,.1261 With indication of Byzantium
1265 1271 –1272 Hortatzidon
1276 – 1292 Kalergidon
1303, 1330,.1332,.1337 Kalergidon, Psaromiligon
1341 Smyriliou
1347 Psaromiligon
1456 – 1467
1570 Kantanoleontos
1608 Sfakion
On Ottoman domination (1645-1898) became 15 revolutions with mainer the following:
1660 Morozini
1692 Mantsenigou – Morozini
1770 Daskalogianni
1821 General revolution
1833 Mouries
1841 Hereti
1858 Mavrogeni
1866 General revolution
1878 General revolution
1889 General revolution
1895 Of postwar years Committee
1897 Arrival Greeks armies.

Then we have:

1898 Arrival of Greek Commissioner and
1913 (13/12) Union with Greece.


According to the book of the French historian THEODORE BLANCARD – LES MAVROYENI, HISTOIRE D’ ORIENT (1909, two volumes, Athens National Library, a/a BEI 144), the Mavrogenis’ are the descendants of the Venetian Morozinis’, who again originated from Byzantium and their last name was MAVROGENO.
The Mavrogeni family dispersed to various places right after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. A branch of the family went to Peloponnese; another went to Euboea (Evia) and a third one went to Crete.

A great number of Venetian families originated from Byzantium and had Greek names. They changed their last names into Venetian names and later on they changed them back to Greek ones.
Something like this must have happened to the Mavrogenis’.

Also, a member of this family was Francesco Morozini (1618-1694), one of the greatest Venetian Admirals.
He landed in Peloponnese in June of 1685 and took it by storm. Two years later, in 1687, he occupied Athens, he later passed away in Euboea and was buried in Venice.
On his tombstone it is engraved…


The first historic appearance of the Mavrogeni name was in 1274, when was mentioned the name of Mario Mavrogeni or Morozini (BLANCARD B 705).
According to Blancard, the relation between the two names is strengthened by the phonetic and the orthographic resemblance of the names, as well as of the presentation on the Coat of Arms of the Mavrogeni family of the figure of the Lion of Saint Markus, the same exactly as the one appearing on the Coat of Arms of the Morozini family.
The branch of the Morozini descendants in Euboea was bearing the title of Duke of Crete.
Also, on a gravestone (1619) in the old city of Heraklion, in Crete, a sign was found, with the engraving…


Governors of Crete by the name of Morozini (Psilakis, B p. 538) are reported in 12 periods, from 1208 until 1670, when Crete was subjugated to the Turkish rule.

In the registry books of the Venetian Chania, is mentioned the name of Marco Mavrogeno (Morozini) consigliere 26/9/1625 – 29/3/1629.
(The registry books of the Venetian Aristocracy of the Chania Region
(1519 – 1640) Dimitra Pimbli, p. 252). All the above speak for some existing relation between the two names.

Blancard mentions that when the Turks occupied the entire Peloponnese in 1715 and threw the Venetians out, two Mavrogenis, Stephanos and Petros, along with their parents Demetrios and Maroussaki and their brothers and sisters (Irene, Nickolaos, Granetaki, Maria and Emmanuel), left their village of Vamvakou, Laconia, in Peloponnese and settled in the island of Paros.

They were very wealthy, especially Petros, who was vice-consul of Austria and England in the Cycladic islands and who renovated the church of Ekatondapyliani, as it appears on a sign, which exists still today.

Later, Stephanos moved to Constantinople and settled there, where, thanks to his education he became dragoman in the Sultan’s fleet, while later, Petros’ son Nickolaos, became Governor of Moldovlachia (1786 – 1790).
Nickolaos, the Governor of Moldovlachia, did a lot of works in the Aegean islands, built and established a library for the Greeks in Constantinople, while the palace in which he was living in, in Bucharest, when he was the Governor of Moldovlachia, is used today as Romania’s National Museum.

In Paros, he did a lot of works, among which there is the paving of the main street of the market. Along this street, there are three fountains he built, with the building date of 1777 and various signs.

Odysseas Elytis, the great Greek poet, was so impressed by the Mavrogenis’ fountains that he wrote in his Axion Esti “no matter where you step your foot, I cry, turn on, brothers, turn on a fountain, your fountain of Mavrogenis’!”

Inside the church of Ekatondapyliani, there are three big icons on both sides of the Sacred Gate on which there is Mavrogeni’s consecration.
He suffered though a terrible death; he was decapitated, by order of the Sultan.

Another prominent member of the family was Ioannis Mavrogeni, the nephew of the Governor of Moldovlachia, who was the most important fellow-worker of Rigas Ferraios and was marked out for minister of Foreign Affairs in an eventual Greek Government, at the time of Rigas Ferraios.
Ioannis Mavrogeni, who at the time was fluent in Greek, French, Italian and a little of German, was not arrested along with Rigas and his friends, due to the fact that he was on a mission to Paris, to meet with Napoleon and ask for his help for the liberation of Greece from the Turkish yoke.

Petro’s great granddaughter was Mando Mavrogeni, a heroine of the Greek Revolution of 1821 (she is said to have been born in Trieste between 1790 and 1796 and she passed away in 1848).

Her father Nickolaos, Great Commander in the Court of Bucharest, fled away secretly, when his uncle, the Governor of Moldovlachia was put to death by the Sultan and went to Vienna first and after 1790 he moved with his family to Trieste, where he engaged in business. He was a successful merchant and became very wealthy.

Right after her father’s death, Mando took her mother Cassandra Soutsou and her brother George and left Trieste, going first to Tinos Island and later settled in Myconos.

While in Tinos and at the age of 18, she was initiated and became a member of the Society of Friends (=Filiki Heteria).

During the Revolution of 1821, she equipped a ship at her own expense and later took an active part in many battles, as a chieftain, with her own army corps.
Indeed, she escaped certain death twice during combat by her fellow warriors, who gave their lives to save her.
Meanwhile, during the Revolution of 1821, she wrote and sent letters to prominent women in Europe, asking for their support for the liberation of Greece.

Mando Mavrogeni was educated and was fluent in English and French.
Her letters were given to European newspapers by philhellenes and their publication caused great excitement.
After the end of the Greek War of Independence and the liberation of Greece of the Turkish yoke, she settled in Nauplia and had a relationship with Demetrios Ypsilantis, Field-Marshal of West Greece at the time.
The then Minister of War, Kolletis, was certain that Mando wanted to marry Ypsilantis and push him to the Greek throne and reign with him as his queen!
So, he had her abducted and sent her to Myconos, letting her believe that it was Ypsilantis’ doing, who was suffering of a severe case of chest complaint at the time.
He persuaded her that it was all Ypsilantis’ machination!!
Mando, however, went back to Nauplia, but then again Kolletis, using Ypsilantis’ doctors, persuaded her to go back to Myconos.
Ypsilantis passed away in a short while afterwards (1832) and when Mando learnt of his death, was unconsoled.
Mando died of typhus in 1848, completely forgotten by everyone and poverty-stricken, since she had spent all her great fortune for the liberation of Greece.

Petros’ great great-grandson Alexandros Mavrogenis (1848-1929) was also the sovereign of Samos.

Various descendents of the Mavrogeni brothers settled besides Paros, in Myconos, Syphnos, Mylos, Samos, Euboea, Crete and Constantinople.

From the above mentioned brothers, the youngest one, Emmanuel, “settled in Crete, where his descendants live today” according to what Blancard wrote in 1909.

The version that the Mavrogenis of Crete are the same family with the Mavrogenis of Vamvakou is proven:
a) a) By the surname Vamvakopoulos and the Mavrogenis’ plane-tree outside the city of Chania.
b) b) By the testimony of the age-old Apostle Mavrogeni, grandson of Emm. Mavrogeni, which he gave himself to Vassilios Psilakis, writer of the History of Crete.
c) c) By the family tradition.

Other important members of the family are:

Petros: brother of Nickolaos engaged in business and farming in Paros and served as church-warden of Katopoliani.

Stephanos: brother of the abovementioned. He settled in Constantinople and he finally became Dragoman-Minister of the Sultans fleet.

Nickolaos: another brother of the above. He became head and voivod of Paros many times, as well as voivod and consul of Syros. Afterwards he became Dragoman in the Sultan’s fleet twice, opening the way to the family for higher offices.

Nickolaos: son of Petros as already mentioned, became Governor of Molthovlachia. His achievements were great.
Due to his personal efforts the Albanian anarchy in Peloponnese was repressed.
The area of Mani, in Peloponnese, acquired relative independence.
Myconos along with Psara avoided suffering the consequences for collaborating with the Russians.

Stephanos: son of Demetrios and nephew of Nickolaos became Dragoman in the Sultan’s fleet and Great Logotheti of the Patriarchates.

Nickolaos: son of the above and Mando’s father, he became Commander in Moldovlachia.

Ioannis: brother of Stephanos was mentioned previously.

Konstantinos: second son to the Governor Nickolaos, became Dragoman to the Sultan’s fleet.

Spyridon: son of Alexandros, Director of the Hospital and Professor at the University of Constantinople.

Alexandros: son of Spyridon was Private Secretary to the Sultan and Ambassador to the United States, Governor of Samos and Senator.

Recent members of the family are Emmanuel Mavrogenis from the village of Lakkoi in Crete and was head of the Revolution of 1858 and last but not least, Emmanuel Mavrogenis as well, coming from Lakkoi too, and served as General Manager to the Greek Telecommunications Organization (O.T.E.).

I should also mention another Mavrogeni, named Dionyssis, who, as I saw in a documentary on the Greek Television Network (NET), he was sort of responsible for the occupancy of the Polytechnic in November of 1973. In particular, he was a member of the presiding board of the students union of the Law School, when, during a meeting he was informed that the students took over the Polytechnic. He grabbed the microphone, informed the others and urged them to go to the Polytechnic.
They did go to the Polytechnic but found nobody, yet they decided to remain there. The Polytechnic students heard of it and they joined them as well. They soon improvised for a radio station and this is how the young students started storming in!!!
So, a piece of false information given to Dionyssis was the beginning of very important and historical events for Greece and the end of the Dictatorship!!!


Emmanuel Mavrogenis, son of Demetrios, seems to have settled in Crete later than 1715 and most probably around 1740; he is the ancestor of the Cretan branch of Mavrogenis’.

The descendants of Petros and Stefanos are mentioned in detail in the book “GRANDES FAMILLIES DE GRECE’’ written by Mikhail D. Sturtza, where it is also mentioned that they are the Morozini descendants. Emmanuel is simply mentioned without any comments.

So, the branch of the Mavrogenis’ settled in Crete, around 1740 with Emmanuel Mavrogenis as head of the family, who must have been about 25 years old at the time. The location (Psilakis, THE HISTORY OF CRETE, C p. 38, 39), (BLANCARD, B p. 706), was close to the city of Chania, and was given the name VAMVAKOPOULO, in memory of the village of the origin of the Mavrogenis’ (Vamvakou, Laconia, in Peloponnese).
In Vamvakopoulo, which is still named so today, Emmanuel Mavrogenis, son of Demetrios, planted a plane-tree which grew very big; (this plane-tree was mentioned by Blancard in 1909 and was known as Mavrogenis’ plane-tree). This plane-tree still exists today in Vamvakopoulo and it has a perimeter of 7, 50 m.
Right after Daskalogiannis’ uprising (1770), Emmanuel Mavrogenis moved up and lived in the village of Lakkoi for safety and there he married the daughter of Mandakas (BLANCARD, B p. 706); they had three (3) children, Ioannis, Antonis and Stamatis (who also had the nickname Bibos, so that the neighborhood in Lakkoi where their houses were, was and it is still today called Bibiana).

Stamatis had 12 sons!! (The legendary sons of Bibostamatis – PSILAKIS C, p.191). There is also a song about them!!

Emmanuel Mavrogenis had 32 grand-children and about 200 great grand-children. Most of them changed their last names in order to distinguish who they were and from whom they came from.

Thus, it is from them that the following surnames (nicknames) came from: Manias, Tzotzolis, Kapsalis, Velanos, Manolaris, Ksiras, Sarris, Kokkinianos, Kontentos, Kokkalas, Micheletos, Malindretos, Drakoules, Giannakos, Paraskianos, Marakianos, Pattakos, Manoles, Annezis, Bilalis, Maroulis, Kantis, Georgiakos and many others (Skoulas p. 27, 28 and BLANCARD p. 706 B). All the abovementioned are the descendants of Emmanuel Mavrogenis from Paros.

The most prominent families in the village of Lakkoi were the ones named:
Mandakas (descendants: Stamatianos, Zouridis, Malandris, Sergis, Proimis, Michelis, Pelekoudis e.t.c.).

Skoulas (descendants : Volanis, Manarolis, Giannaris, Nikoloudis, Karapatis, Ferrarolis e.t.c.).

Mavrogenis (descendants : Annezis, Georgiakos, Drakoules, Kandis, Kokkinos, Malindretos, Manias, Manolaris, Manoles, Maroulis, Micheletos, Bilalis, Ksiras, Paraskianos, Sarris, Tzotzolis, Psilis e.t.c.).

Thodorianos (a great family with descendants: Andrianis, Verivis, Kazalis, Manoussakis, Solidis e.t.c.).

According to the writings of Achilleas Skoulas, Ioannis Mavrogenis, son of Emmanuel, from the island of Paros, had three sons and a daughter, namely Stamatis, Emmanuel, Stylianos and Kyriaki.

From records I found in M. Kourmoulis’ book, titled “ A GENERATION OF ONE THOUSAND YEARS’’ and in which he speaks of the Mavrogenis Family in a romantic way, descendant of which he was himself as well, come to light important facts about Ioannis Mavrogenis, the first son of Emmanuel Mavrogenis from Vamvakou in Lakonia-Peloponnese.
So, I found the answer to my question, as how come Ioannis Mavrogenis had only four (4) children, while his other two brothers had more than ten children each!!
Well, as it is mentioned in the abovementioned book (p. 178), Ioannis or Tzannis Mavrogenis fled Crete and went to Mytilene Island (Lesbos) to hide, because he had killed a Turk, in order to save a fellow-villager from sure death.
While in Mytilene, he was a guest at the house of doctor Kondylis, who had married Maria Mavrogenis, daughter of his father Stephanos’ brother.
During his stay in Mytilene, the local agha, a lecherous old man, sent a message to Kondylis, that he should sent him his beautiful daughter Zambia for his harem, that same day!! To refuse the agha, would constitute an insult, with serious repercussions to the entire family.
During the discussions among the family members, they asked the opinion of father Lefteris, the Priest, who, in order to save Zambia, suggested the only solution!
The only solution would be for Zambia to get married, so that she should avoid going to the agha’s harem!
“And where are we going to find a groom, father Lefteris?” asked Kondylis.
“Right here is your groom!” answered father Lefteris and showed Ioannis Mavrogenis.
Ioannis explained to them that he was already married and was also related to Zambia and the marriage would be a great sin!! “I will take it upon myself; you will marry her in order to save her from the agha and we’ll see about it later!!” said father Lefteris.
So, the wedding took place and Zambia got rid of the agha. When the agha learned of the scheming, was furious, but because the Mavrogenis’ had very good connections with the Sultan, he left it at that.
As it is mentioned in Kourmoulis’ book, who was great great-grandson of Ioannis Mavrogenis, after his marriage to Zambia, Ioannis Mavrogenis went to Smyrna, where, using a letter of reference given to him by his uncle Stephanos, he was hired by the Vizier Kiapitoglou as Dragoman (1804-1816).
Ioannis Mavrogenis left Smyrna and went to Romania right after the Sultan ordered Kiapitoglou’s execution!

Ioannis Mavrogenis had ten (10) children with Zambeto (Zambia) Kondyli and their names were: Emmanuel, George, Apostle, Kyriakos, Demetrios, Eleni, Nikolaos, Konstantinos, Marigo and Michalis.

Apostle Mavrogenis was born in 1798 and died in Athens in 1904 at the age of 106 years. He was residing at 10 Arachovis str. in Athens. He studied medicine and became a doctor, serving as army doctor under Theodore Kolokotronis.
He spoke French, Italian, Turkish and Arabic, a rare thing for that time. He was a great personality of that era and as a result of that he was a frequent visitor to the Palace, invited by King Otto.
King Otto and crown prince George awarded him many medals and decorations.
His first wife was Anastasia Blezaki, with whom he had two sons, Nestoras and Alkibiades and his second marriage was with Konstantina Gezelaki.
Doctor Apostle Mavrogenis is mentioned by Blancard as well as by the writer of the History of Crete, Psilakis, (he met him in person, PSILAKIS C p.39).

Stamatis son of Ioannis Mavrogenis (1786- ), had five (5) sons: Ioannis, Emmanuel (1808-1884) head of the 1858 Revolution, Antonis,
Demetrios and Stylianos, who all moved down to villages in a plain, such as Syrili, Stalos, Galatas, Zymbragou and some other villages, while the villages were still under the Turkish occupation.

Emmanuel, son of Ioannis Mavrogenis (1788-1829) had a son named Ioannis (-1829): Stylianos, son of Ioannis Mavrogenis (1791-1829) had three sons, Ioannis in Chania, Chariton in Fourne and Stamatis who remained in Lakkoi.
Stamatis had four sons and a daughter, namely: George, Emmanuel,
Vassilis (1872-1943), Stylianos and Antonoussa.
Vassilis was my grandfather.

The abovementioned Mavrogenis’ who are reported dead in 1829, were killed April 29-1829 in a battle against the Turks, which took place in the area of Livadia (Λιβάδια).

The family-tree of the Cretan Mavrogenis branch is as follows:

Emmanuel Mavrogenis son of Demetrios:
The youngest of the brothers, who, after leaving Vamvakou/Lakonia and Paros Island, went to Crete and settled there; he had three sons (Blancard, B p. 706), namely:

a- Ioannis b- Antonis c- Stamatis

The Mavrogenis family, also known as Bibianoi, as most people in Lakkoi had nicknames, having a lot of children and thus there existed the problem of synonymity, they used nicknames usually made from their first names or their fathers’ first names as it is mentioned further bellow (Manoilis, Kokkinos,Giorgiakos,Paraskianoi, Ksirades, Maniades e.t.c.).
So, remaining with their real name of Mavrogenis were finally the descendants of Ioannis Mavrogenis.
For a while though, even our family branch was nicknamed Stylianoudianoi, but it didn’t prevail.
Descendants of Ioannis, who kept their ancestor’s last name Mavrogenis, are the grandsons of Emmanuel from Vamvakou:

a- Stamatis b- Emmanuel c- Stylianos


A1- Maria (Antonis, Demetris, George and Eleni).
A2- Ioannis (Argyri, Theocharis, Emmanuel, Maria, Aikaterini, Michail, Antonis and Chryssi).
A3- Antonis (Stamatis, Nicholaos, Ioannis, George, Styliani, Anna and Charikleia).
A4- Emmanuel, Head of the Revolution of 1858 (Nicholaos, Pantelis, George, Ioannis, Demetrios, Michail, Antonios, Anneta, Zoe, Maria, Aikaterini, Alexandros and Olga).
A5- Demetrios (Thomas, Ioannis, Charalambos).
A6- Stylianos (Ioannis, Emmanuel, Alexandros and Maria).
A7- George (Styliani-She took active part with a team of armed women in the
uprising of 1866-1869).


B1- Michail (Ioannis, Emmanuel, Stamatis, Charikleia, George, Nicholaos and Antonios).
B2- Ioannis
B3- Sophia (Emmanuel, Christodoulos, George and Maria).


C1- Ioannis (Stylianos, Maria, Argyri, Aikaterini, Calliope, Eleni and Despina).
C2- Chariton (Ioannis, Pavlos, Antonios and Maria).
C3- Stamatios (George, Emmanuel, Vassilis, Stylianos and Antonoussa).
C4- Kyriaki


C.3.1- George, Emmanuel (Gen.Manager of O.T.E.), Kleanthi Manolaraki,
Argyro, Triantafyllia Drakoulaki, Anastassia Tsiakou and Despinia).
C.3.2- Emmanuel (Vassilis, Stamatis).
C.3.3- Vassilis (Eleni Skoula, George, Emmanuel, Erasmia Volani, Stamatis).
C.3.4- Stylianos (Emmanuel, Nicholaos, Frossini Kazalaki, Eleftheria Psilaki, Anastassia Bilalaki).
C.3.5- Antonoussa Psilaki

(My grandfather was great great-grandson of Emmanuel Mavrogenis from the village of Vamvakou, while Mando Mavrogenous was great-granddaughter of Petros Mavrogenis, Emmanuel’s brother, which makes her third cousin to my great-grandfather).

Dates of births and deaths of the Mavrogenis’, of those of the direct line of my ancestors and descendants, are the following:

Demetrios Mavrogenis ( ; ) - 1725
Emanuel (1725) -( ; )
Ioannis (Bibos) (Tzannis) (1750) - 1860
Stylianos 1791 - 1829
Stamatis (Stylianoudianoi) 1829 - 1916
Vassilis 1872 - 1943
Georgios 1906 - 1994
Vassilis 1933
Georgios 1966

(The dates in brackets are by estimation).

DEMETRIOS (- 1725)
| | |
| | |
(1786 -) (1788-1829) (1791-1829)
| | |
IOANNIS MICHAIL ____________________________________
(1808-1884) (1829-1916)
| | | |
| | | |
_____________________________________________ |____________________
| | | | |
| (1906-1994) | | |
| | |
| |
________ |__________ ____|___________
| | | |
___|____ AGLAIA

The descendants of Vassilis Mavrogenis are the following:
210-6523004, Athens SOCRATIS
210-7788600, Athens
210-7788600, Athens
210-7785317, Athens GIANNIS
28210-67238 Lakkoi KELLY


28210-64064 Chania


28210-33730 Chania

210-8131777 DIMITRIS
210-8131777, Athens
GITTE Athens
210-2111940, Athens ERO MAVROGENI


210-9345122, Athens MARIA
210-9338724, Athens
210-6017731, Athens


210-6042291, Athens PANAGIOTIS



210-9415534, Athens APHRODITE STELLOUDI

210-9335470, Athens IRIANA MAVROGENI

210-6143462, Athens STAMATIS GIANNIKOS


210-2518119, Athens


Heavy is the burden we have to bear, on account of the struggles and the sacrifices of our forefathers and we are obliged to be worthy of them.

At the end of the Cretan revolution of the years 1866-1868, among the remaining heads of the revolution of the “thousand days” (Good-forsaken Crete, Pant. Prevelakis, p. 316), Chatzimichalis Giannaris, two of the Mavrogenis, two of the Mandakas, Konstantis Kriaris, Skoulas and Nikoloudis had remained fighting in the Samaria Gorge, just off Xyloskalo, where they were hounded, along with some of their men, by the Turks.
It was a heavy winter and they were short on food; their relatives were threatened by the Turks.
Chatzimichalis Giannaris, the two Mavrogenis, the two Mandakas, Skoulas, the Malindretis’ and Nikoloudis, all of them warlords from Lakkoi, heroic figures, were forced to submit to the Turks, after three years of resistance against them.( The Pasha had granted amnesty through the intervention of the Great Powers). So, they surrendered, at a place called Boubardokefala, close to the village of Lakkoi.
The Turks took them bounded in irons through the villages and put them to jail in Chania.
Passing through the streets of Chania, they were hooted and litter was thrown at them, both by Turks and Jews, (cut them up so that we can take a piece of them, were hollering the unveiled Turkish women).
Captain Kriaris (1797-1884), did not surrender with the others; instead he passed over Xyloskalo in Lynosseli, through a lot of snow, with some of his men and went to Selino (he was a native of Azogyre, a village of the region of Selinos).
After a while, in his attempt to leave for Athens, he was injured in a battle against the Turks.
The Turks had tracked him down, through betrayal.
His son George tried to help him but he denied his help and urged him instead to leave and save himself.
After a while, although he was injured, he managed to escape, too.
He went to a friend of his, who gave him shelter and hid him in the stable.
Later, he surrendered himself to the Turks, not wanting to jeopardize the life of the man who had given him shelter.
They took him first to the hospital and then to jail in Chania.
Selim agha, in whom he had surrendered to, asked him “Why, poor Konstanti, didn’t you kowtow to the Pasha, too? You wanted to fight against him?”
“It was my destiny, Selim agha. I was fighting for my country”, replied Kriaris.
Later on they were all set free, under the pressure of the Great Powers.

It is written that Kriaris was a fierce warrior and that he never yielded.
During a battle the Turks killed his brother and when they were throwing his pieces to him, screaming at him “Here Kriaris, take a piece of meat to eat”, he was replying “hey dogs, there are lads who will revenge him!!”

George, Konstantis’ son, was grandfather to my grandmother Artemisia, on my mother’s side.
Kriaris’ are descendant of Skordilis’; they were young noblemen sent by Byzantium to confront the Saracens.
Konstantis, after he was set free by the Turks went to Athens, where he spent the rest of his years as a general on active service.
Today, in a central square in the city of Chania, there is a statue of Kriaris, who died in 1884 and did not get to see the Liberation of Crete, for which he fought for 60 years.
There is a song, which among other things says the following:

Whoever goes down to Hades should not forget
To go find the Commanders Kriaris and Korkidis
To tell them both the news they wanted to know
That we were set free from tyranny
And no Turk rules any more!!

Ioannis Kriaris was the nephew of Konstantis, and he served as Minister of Justice as well as Minister of the Interior, in Athens.
Of the abovementioned revolutionaries, one of them was Emmanuel Mavrogenis, head of the Revolution of 1858, while the other one, Stamatis, was my great-grandfather on my father’s side.

Emmanuel Mavrogenis (1808-1884) was one of the most important members of the Mavrogenis’ Cretan branch and he was the head of the revolution of 1858.
The revolution of 1858 started, when Emmanuel Mavrogenis, who was living in Syrili, learned that Turkish Tax Collectors had gone to the village of Lakkoi and charged taxes on straw. He picked a team of a few men bearing arms and they went up to the village of Lakkoi, where he threw the tax-collectors out, after taking the money they had already collected and giving it back to the people who had paid it.
Afterwards, there was a gathering of 6000 armed men, in the area of Boutsounaria-Chania, who threatened the Turks and demanded the ousting of Velli Pasha and the right to keep arms in their homes.
It seems that it is since then, that the mountaineer Cretans have gotten used to keeping all sorts of arms in their homes!!
Under the pressure of those events, the Sublime Port replaced Velli Pasha of Chania with Sami Pasha who, along with the firman that he brought from the Sultan Hati Houmayioun, gave to Cretans certain privileges, which were very soon abolished.
During the Revolution of 1858, Mavrogenis had his own seal. He also had his own flag on which was written: FREEDOM OR DEATH, EMMANUEL MAVROGENIS.
He had also another flag with the inscription: EMMANUEL MAVROGENIS, FREEDOM OR DEATH and that was his flag during the uprising of 1866. There is a photo of this flag in BLANCARD’S book. Later, he had another flag with the inscription UNION OR DEATH and he is shown in the photo riding a horse, along with two of his men.

One of the two Mandakas was Marcos, my grand mother Katina’s father, the other one, his brother Anagnostis (Charalambos), was the head of many uprisings.
Anagnostis Mandakas had the privilege, at an old age, to hoist the Greek Flag for the Union with Greece, December 1st 1913 at the entrance of the harbour of Chania, in the presence of Prince George, High Commissioner of Crete.
It is said that when they told Prince George to hoist the flag, he gave the cord, as a matter of courtesy, to both Chatzimichalis and Mandakas.
There exists a marble tile in the old castle of Firka at the entrance of the harbour of Chania (Giannis Tsivis p. 288).
Brother to grand-ma Katina (son of Marcos Mandakas), was general Manolis Mandakas, who, in July 29, 1938 was the head of an unsuccessful revolt in Chania, against Metaxa’s Dictatorship and he had gone underground from 1938 till 1950 (Giannis Tsivis, Chania 1252-1940 p. 310) and (Vardis Vardinogiannis “The resistance in Selino p. 14).
The Mandakas family were royalists, because the Royal family, had made it possible for Manolis Mandakas, through a national scholarship, to study abroad, in France, in the War Academy and Marcos Mandakas, studied to be a lawyer (son of Anagnostis), who later on became a Leftist.
Manolis, a retired general, was arrested after the unsuccessful coup in Chania but was set free by 15 armed men from Lakkoi, with my father’s brother Stamatis, 21 at the time, among them.
Stamatis recounted to me that when they went to the Division and learned that Mandakas had been arrested and was held at the Headquarters building, he arrested a superior officer, took his revolver and pointing it at his head took him, along with the other armed men to the Headquarters, where they were holding Mandakas and demanded his liberation. That’s how they liberated Mandakas and as Stamatis told me, he shot and destroyed Metaxas’ photograph inside the Headquarters, at the presence of Metaxas’ men, shouting hurray for Democracy.
Here, I must point out that Mandakas had resigned his Army commission the moment Metaxas’ dictatorship was forced upon the nation in 1936.
Afterwards, Mandakas went into hiding in Varypetro, in Lakkoi, in Omalos and Sfakia.
Right after the coup d’ etat, a really funny thing happened.
Metaxas sent to Lakkoi an army company with their captain from Mani, with the order to arrest Mandakas, who, it should be noted that he had been condemned to death. The company arrived and camped outside Lakkoi during the night. They placed double sentries when suddenly they heard a strange noise coming from somewhere near the camp. They started shooting and things became quiet. It was only in the morning they discovered that they had shot and killed a…donkey!!!
The captain, making the right decision, went to Lakkoi alone and asked to see Mandakas.
“His home is over there; go find him!!” told him the people at the coffee-house. So, he went and knocked at Mandakas door. Outside the house there had gathered about 30 Lakkiotes, some of the youngsters holding their guns over their shoulders, while the elders were leaning on them, smiling and waiting to see what will happen.
Mandakas came out of the house and the captain, after saluting him, asked him respectfully to follow him, because he had orders to take him back to Chania. Mandakas replied: “Look here, I have no objection, but if I leave with you, all these people you see here, will throw stones at you and I can’t vouch for your safety!! Because I am a military man myself and I understand you, I propose instead, to ask these people to barbecue 3-4 lambs and you and your men can stay here for two-three days to rest and have a good time, while I leave for Omalos. Then, you’ll return to Chania and you’ll tell them you could not find me because I had gone to Omalos”. That’s exactly what they did; they had their fun and returned to Chania empty-handed!!
In 1943 Mandakas left Crete and went to Athens and as an active member of the G.C.P. (K.K.E.), took part in the liberation movement during the first period of the civil war.
General Mandakas was a member of the Government of the Mountain, during the German occupation and head of the ELAS of Athens during the revolt of 1944 (December).
During the second period of the civil war (1946-1948), because he disagreed, he did not take to the mountain. For this he was arrested and was exiled to Makronissos. Later on he was twice elected MP with the Left Party (EΔA).
His wife’s Marika’s brother was Vangelis Ktistakis (an important member of the KKE as well), who was executed by the Germans in Chania, in 1943.
Most of our family members went through hell, due to their relation with general Mandakas. My father was unfavourably transferred to Syros in October 1940, my grandparents were exiled to Naxos and Anafi in 1939, even Stamatis was exiled to St. Efstratios in 1946-1948.
Stamatis had previously fought as sailor during the Greek-Italian war, during which his ship sank.
During the Resistance (1942-1944) he fought at the battle of Panagaea of Chania, during which his friend, fellow-villager and of the same age, Charalambos Koutroulis, was killed right next to him.

As you may have noticed, our ancestor’s last names don’t terminate in “akis”. The ending “akis” was added to the last names of those Cretans who were living in the plains and they were enslaved by the Turks, which did not happen with the highlander Cretans.

The Mavrogenis, as I have already mentioned, left Peloponnese in 1715 (Vamvakou-Laconia) and went to the Cycladic Islands; a member of their family, Emmanuel, went to Crete (Chania-Vamvakopoulo) and right after the Daskalogiannis uprising in 1770, he moved up to the village of Lakkoi.

During the Turkish Domination, the village of Lakkoi was never enslaved by the Turks, while the Lakkiotes were the terror of the Turks.
Many a time the Turks burned the village. In 1822 and in 1866 respectively, just before the Turks set foot in the village, the Lakkiotes themselves set the village on fire and burned it down and then left it and went to Omalos.

Most of the revolutions and uprisings in Crete were starting in Lakkoi.
The great revolution of 1866-1868 lasted three whole years.
During the revolution there was a Turkish invasion to Lakkoi four times (17.9.1866, 29.11.1866, 27.1.1868 and the Turkish occupation of Omalos for the first time in 31.5.1868).
The Turks succeeded only once in the entire history to reach Omalos for a while, in 1868 during the three year unsuccessful revolution.

In 1866 there was a corps of armed women from Lakkoi, with their own flag, with Maria Mavrogeni among them, daughter of Stylianos, (first cousin to my grand-father).

During the Revolution of 1821 and specifically at 22.4.1829, in a battle at Leivadia of Chania, three Mavrogenis were killed, with my great great- grandfather Stylianos among them, (38 years old at the time).
That same year his son Stamatis was born, my great grandfather on my father’s side!

The Lakkiotes continued to participate in all the struggles and wars, after the liberation from the Turkish yoke and the Unification of Crete with Greece; they also participated voluntarily in the Macedonian struggle (my grandfather Vassilis participated in it, too).
They also fought during the battle of Crete against the German paratroopers in 1941 and afterwards with the guerrilla forces against the Germans, suffering a great number of casualties, proud of their struggles as well as of those of their ancestors.
From records included in Achilles Skoulas’ book titled “Lakkoi and Lakkiotes”, a great piece of land including the area of Lakkoi, was allotted in 1091 to Leon Moussouros, one of the twelve young noblemen from Byzantium, who had been sent to Crete by the emperor of Constantinople Alexios, to maintain law and order.
Families with the last name Moussouros existed even in 1570 (Zambelios Cretan Weddings), (Trivan Chronicles). It is named after them the famous road, which it is mentioned in the well known revolutionary song; “when is it going to be clear skies…to go down to Omalos and walk the Moussouros’ road”.
Lakkoi, with no motor road in 1920, are located 24 km away from Chania. A part of the route, about 15 km, is in the plains until the village of Fournes, while the last 9 km are half mountainous. Right after the village of Fournes, there is the dried-up stream Keritis, then follows the rooting, the Mandakas’ graveyard, the Kaprokefala, the Skordalou village, the Pramantinos’ water, the Kalogeros’ clearing, from where one can see the village of Lakkoi, down low the village of Meskla and right across Zourva.
The heroic village of Lakkoi is 520 metres above sea level. It is from this village that most Cretan revolutions and uprisings had started, even at the time of the Venetian domination.
Most of the revolutionary chieftains were from Lakkoi, such as Chatzimichalis Giannaros, Charalambos (Anagnostis) Mandakas and Emmanuel Mavrogenis, head of the revolution of 1858. Five years prior to the revolution of 1866, Chatzimichalis was imprisoned in Chania. Ishmael pasha had captured him by an act of perfidy. Chatzimichalis was so much loved by the people of the district of Kydonia, that when he was captured, everybody was dressed in black! He finally managed to cut the chains from around his feet, to open a hole on the prison wall and jump in the moat surrendering the prison. (This is mentioned in detail by Giannis Tsivis, in his book “Chania 1252-1940 p. 198). Acting in concert with one another, seventeen Lakkiotes were waiting for him on the outside and took him to Omalos with them.
In memory of this escape, the Lakkiotes built in Omalos the church of St. Panteleimon.
The fact of how great was the offer and the participation of the Lakkiotes to the struggles against the Turks, can be heard in Crete’s National Anthem, where there are mentioned equally the Lakkiotes, the inhabitants of a village, as well as the people of Selino and Sfakia, who are inhabitants of great neighbouring regions.
There are poems showing how brave and strong were the people of these areas.
It seems that the inhabitants of Lakkoi in 1583 were 60 men and 64 women, 14-16 years old. As Koumaris mentions, in 16-4-1898 the inhabitants of Lakkoi were 1307. During the annual count of Lakkoi in 1921, which included only the male inhabitants, there were 580 registered Lakkiotes in the community of Lakkoi, over the age of 8 years, (41 Volanis, 32 Mandakas, 21 Skoulas and 17 Mavrogenis).
If we keep in mind that there are those who have changed their last names, according to the recordings in Achilles Skoulas’ book, then, from the abovementioned 580 registered ones, there are 186 Mavrogenis or Mavrogenis’ descent, 151 Thodorianoi or their descendant, 128 Skoulas or their descendant and 86 Mandakas or their descendant. The rest of them are mostly 27 Koutroulis, of possibly Cypriot descent.
Today Lakkoi (with a few permanent inhabitants) as well as the villages all around, are part of the Moussouros municipality and have as head the village of Alikianou.
The Turks had granted the historic plateau of Omalos to the Lakkiotes, which is located 14, 5 km from Lakkoi and 38, 5 km from Chania.
Its 12-15 square km in extent has three entrances. One of them on the side of Lakkoi (poros= passage), where there is the Lakkiotes settlement; the second one on the side of Sfakia, where Xyloskalo is as well as the famous Samaria gorge. It is there the rotted mountain Gigilos with 2.117 alt., the summit-passage Linosseli at a very high altitude, with snow throughout the year and very cold spring water. There is also the place “Kallergis”, at a very high altitude (1680 m.), from where one can see Pahnes, the highest peak of the White Mountains at an altitude of 2.452 m.
On the other side there is the third entrance to the Selinos province and the village of St. Irene.
In the old days the distance from Lakkoi to Omalos was covered only by using animals or on foot and it was taking 2, 5 to 3 hours.
Along this route there are places well known by certain events. Such places are “the hill of Savoures” right outside the village where the Turks had built a castle in 1868 and a little further down the village Karanou; “the rocks of Kavalares”, two huge black rocks, one upon the other and my father used to say that they are meteorites, “Zoumis”, a plateau from where the village of Lakkoi can be seen, “Fokia”, a small plateau where many battles have taken place (Venetians, Turks, Germans 1941-1945, the Civil War 1944-1948), “Lapogyrisma”, “Katsoprinos’ steps”, “Neratzopora”, where there is “Vergeris’ pothole” and finally the entrance (poros) to Omalos with the Tzannis cave, a grand cave while somewhere in its depth you can hear a river running!
As regards Vergeris, it is said that he was an ungodly Venetian who had been Islamized and lived in St. Irene of Selinos (Turks never set foot in Lakkoi); he had ordered, as the custom was, the Cretan women to dance, so that he and his friends the janissaries would amuse themselves.
During those dances they used to throw peas on the floor so that the women would slip and fall down and they could see their legs and buttocks and laugh at them.
Vergeris told Giorgiakas from St. Irene to send his young and beautiful wife, (they were newly-weds), but Giorgiakas did not reply; then, as it was customary, Vergeris sent him a bullet, signifying that if he would not obey, he would kill him.
Giorgiakas sent back two bullets, took to the mountains and became a rebel (hainis). Sometime later, Giorgiakas ambushed Vergeris at Neratzopora and killed him.
In reprisal, the Turks suspecting that Lakkiotes shepherds had killed Vergeris (it had happened within their area), they arrested 17 Lakkiotes and hung them, forcing their families to pay huge fines as indemnity to Vergeris’ relatives.
There is a folk song which says, that although those arrested knew who had killed Vergeris, they did not betray him and preferred to die (would rather die, such eagles and golden eagles should not be betrayed!!).
Giorgiakas turned himself in, so that none other would be killed, and confessed the reasons that made him kill Vergeris.
The Pasha of Chania wanted to set him free, but the janissary Turks who were powerful at that time, abducted him from prison and lynched him in the streets of Chania.
It was then that the Turks granted to Lakkiotes the plateau of Omalos, in reprisal to the families of the unjustly executed Lakkiotes and out of fear for another revolution, as well as the entire mountainous region between Lakkoi and Omalos (Madares).
The inhabitants of Karanou (a village situated close to the road between Lakkoi and Omalos), were obliged to pay tax to the community of Lakkoi, for their sheep to graze at the Lakkiotikes Madares.
As a matter of fact, my great grand-mother who was from Karanou, was telling us that she was naming general Mandakas (my grand-mother’s brother) “Moussouro” mockingly, that is something like a conqueror and oppressor.
The fact that she could not graze her goat right outside her village without having to pay tax to the Lakkiotes was bothering my great grand-mother a lot, who was wife to the priest George Kavroulis (her maiden name was Providaki) from K