Blast From Past – Family Gallery

1847 to 1949 – 100 Years Brief Pictorial Memorial Synopsis.

Using Einstein’s General theory of relativity, let’s speed on the curvature of space-time and visit the past … to briefly examine 2 families: The Cohilla and the ‘Georgiou‘ families, both assimilated Jewish.

1) The Cohilla Family Adonis Cohillas (Κοχιλας, a variation of Kehilla קהילה) was born in a wealthy family (see image above) with extensive land holdings , eventually becoming a Banker of the Imperial Ottoman Bank of Turkey in Constantinople , he was a member of the multi-ethnic Ottoman Turkish elite, likely of partly Greek ancestry, his wife was a very well known philanthrope to the Greek community of Constantinople , she allegedly was from an old Byzantine family . Sultan Abdulaziz of the Ottoman Turkish Government contracted with British and French shareholders allowing them to establish & operate the Imperial Ottoman Bank a.k.a Osmanlı Bankası, بانق عثمانی شاهانه , Banque Impériale Ottomane. The Bank served wealthy individuals and provided loans and services to the Ottoman treasury, it also exclusively issued banknotes

Adonis Cohillas
1906 A.D. Adonis Cohilla, a tall and proud man, was employed in the Galata main branch of the Bank as an auctioneer/broker of bank assets to the wealthy. He was also a customer of the bank evidenced by the deposit custody card above. Adonis was residing in Galata Constantinople (Istanbul ‘εἰς τὴν Πόλιν’) with a summer mansion on the exclusive suburb of Bebek (called Asomaton before the fall of Constantinople) and extensive holdings on the Asia Minor side of Ottoman Turkey. His grandaughter married John (Yiannis) Georgiou In 1958 (Ιωάννης Γεωργίου)
Photo above: courtesy of the Ottoman Bank museum & Garanti BBVA
1900 Imperial Ottoman Bank – Galata Main Branch Management Areas

Photo above: courtesy of the Ottoman Bank museum & Garanti BBVA

Exchange Populations Cohilla
C. 1922 Constantinople Refugee Camp, Expropriated of their Large Wealth the Cohilla Family (not unlike the famous Onassis family) awaits Transportation to Greece as part of the exchange of populations between Turkey and Greece (A tragic and unforgivable mistake by Eleftherios Venizelos PM Greece, that cost Greeks of Turkey dearly) . Picture above: Eranthi Cohilla wife of Adonis Cohilla who had recently deceased, with her daughter Kitsa and the husband of her sister Maria in the front, Fotis and Mihalis behind next to Maria Cohilla their aunt . Even in Greece (with much of the fortune expropriated and gone) Eranthi was a determined philanthrope.
Rula Michalis Married
– c. 1934 Pirgos Thessalonike Greece, Michalis Cohillas holding what appears to be a marriage certificate and Rula (Victoria) Miliou the daughter of a wealthy land owner and oil trader, Michalis was an accountant with Mr. Miliou’s Enterprises, one of which was the famous ‘Petinos’ Olive oil brand.
Michalis received a very large dowry on his marriage to Victoria as was the custom.
He was a serial enterpreneur all his life .

c. 1883 Agathe Spiropoulos and Yanko Georgiou (Γεωργιου) in Patra Peloponnese Greece, Just Married, in their 20’s, Yanko in second Lieutenant Uniform of the Greek army.

2) The ‘Georgiou’ Family – Agatha was the daughter of Alexis (alexandros) Spiropoulos scion of an old prestigious Greek family, he was the Army Quartermaster (Καταλυματιας, equivalent to Major) a big landowner with properties famed to be from Albania to Peloponnesus Greece, and the owner of the barracks were Yianko was stationed in North Peloponnesus . Info was passed down the family

Yianko’s family (Guentzburgh?) we believe originated from Rusaki ( Russland Deutschen) ancient Rabinnic German Jews (non Ashkenazi Levi Tribe) mixed with protestants and semi assimilated.
DNA suggests a trail from Ancient Egypt to Ancient Israel then Sardinia in Italy eventually through north Italy settling in Switzerland (YDNA close matches with Schweitzer) then moving to the German Palatinates (Schwarzwald Bavaria) from there to Bohemia (continuing to seeking refuge in protestant areas apparently) then Romania and Imperial Russia – Ukraine, then Greece.

The family engaged in spice and tea trade between Assam in India, the orient and Europe based in Ukraine, (Yanko’s name is of Ukrainian origin).

Their Caravan travelled through Turkey into Iran (autosomal DNA match found with a Greek family traditionally operating a horse farm near the borders of Turkey with Iran) on the way to Assam in India, (male DNA match with individual from the priestly caste of Assam) while engaging in this trade the family mixed with Pontian Greeks who had strong family business networks both in Turkey and Ukraine… enter the Greek connection .This info is based on DNA suggestions but also military orders/medals and papers containing a Germanic name and a very long Jewish one repeating a few times the word ‘ben’ plus Jewish hat, ancient shawl and samovar briefly in our posession

Imperial Russian Orders and Medals Greece turkey
A few of the army Orders & medals received (not to size)

In Imperial Russia, Jews were at times forcebly enlisted in the army and so we assume was Yianko’s father (Pavel) and or grandfather .. An element of martial force was necessary in guiding a Caravan through foreign countries, so a voluntary entry to the Imperial Russian army is also a likely possibility, especially considering the high status and Russian nobility titles accompanying the Imperial Russian Orders received.

1853-1856 & 1877-1878 Following the Caucasus and Balkan wars we find the family in Greece. Russia successfully supported the Bulgarians against the Turks; following peace Ottoman medals were awarded to senior Russian officers including Pavel and Russian medals to senior Ottoman officers … eventually parts of Bulgaria became Greek.
This info is a bit murky, I have used the family Imperial Russian and Turkish Ottoman military orders/medals as evidence to support this story , but probably it is an incomplete one.

Guard Marshall of Corfu φρουραρχος κερκυρας Yanko Georgiou
c. 1917 Yanko (Guard Marshall of Corfu φρουραρχος κερκυρας  ) and his Son Spiros in A Greek Military prototype Vehicle.
C. 1918 Spiro, Yianko, Marge, Pavlos, Bellina, Kostas - Yianko with his children in Evripos Bidge,  Evoia, Chalkida, Greece
C. 1918 Spiro, Yianko, Marge, Pavlos, Bellina, Kostas – Yianko with his children in Evripos Bidge, Evoia, Chalkida, Greece – Just a few months before all of the men will be in 1st Asia Minor army group fighting against the Turks in the Greco-Turkish war and the subsequent battle of Polatli (near Ankara) were Pavlos was killed.

Following the Greco-Turkish war Spiro won a National scholarship contest run by the State to educate and populate their officer corps and was sent to France Paris to be educated in Aeronautics

– C. 1922 The Journe children (Huguenot Protestants) in their residence in Le Kremlin-Bicêtre Paris France, Marthe Journée on left in 1931 married Spiro Georgiou the future Chief Air Marshal.
Marthe Journee
C. 1930 Happy and lovely Marthe Journée and her pet in Paris where she met her future husband Spyro ‘Georgiou’ who was studying at the École nationale supérieure de l’aéronautique (Aeronautics University)
C. 1938 Spiro with his sister Marge and baby Yiannis . Marthe married Spyro Georgiou and moved to Greece, she died from infection a few months after giving birth to Yiannis .

Spiridon Georgiou (Σπυριδων Γεωργιου) : 1919 1st Infantry Corps of Asia Minor, 1936 Air Squadron Leader, 1948 Chief Air Marshal

Spiro received many medals and orders in his years in the army (some pictured above) including a commendation by the Greek parliament for converting airplanes to bombers during the civil war.
Following below are press articles, mentioning among other Spiro’s presentation to Greek PM Metaxas, the first in PDF format the other two are in ‘microfilm’ type image format, after download you need to zoom in to read.

This Historical recount may be amended as more information trckles in to our research team

Spyridon Georgiou - University Glasgow 1989
By Spiro