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Σάββατο, 7 Μαρτίου 2020

DNA Revelations: Tsempelis and Katsampis folk of Karitsa may be one and the same clan

DNA testing for Family Trees of Southern Parnon carried out by the genomics and biotechnology company 23andMe provides some startling new revelations about two of the traditional clans of Karitsa. 

It is now highly likely that these two clans, until now believed to be quite separate and distinct, may indeed be one and the same; they have the same paternal marker (haplotide) meaning they share a common male ancestor.

All this came to light when the DNA of Dimitris and Phillip Katsampis from Adelaide, Australia, and the DNA of two Tsempelis men, Nicholas Jebeles from Alabama in the US, an ancestor from Karitsa, and Evan Tsembelis, an ancestor from Peleta, all were shown to share the same paternal marker E-V13.

The Tsempelis clan along with Malavazos folk have long been considered among the original Karitsiotes. According to local folklore, Karitsa was built by these two large clans with the line of demarcation being the Likorema, a creek that cuts through the tilling fields of the village. Tsempelis folk cultivated lands west of the creek and Malavazos on the eastern side. The name Tsempelis is possibly of Turkish derivation, meaning window maker. The first of the Tsempelis clan was said to be an overseer for the Turks who was reputedly rewarded with a great deal of land on the lowlands west of Likorema including Xerokampi, Vranika, and Pano Logos.

Though in the village Tsempelis families were told apart by nicknames including Kaletourkos, Farmakis, Bikos, Kefetzis, and Lordos, they can all be traced to a Vasilis Tsempelis born around 1730. 


You can find Vasilis Tsempelis entered in the Family Trees of Southern Parnon at:
https://karitsa.tribalpages.com/tribe/browse?userid=karitsa&view=0&pid=5164&ver=107043#moreinfo_

The Katsampis clan is also very large and is differentiated by nicknames like Markos, Ntavelis, Pofolos, Giannes, Kasidis, and Vatsouras. But unlike the Tsempelis clan, it has proved more difficult to arrive, beyond doubt, at a common ancestor. Research by Stelios Chagias, the coordinator of Family Trees of Southern Parnon, suggests that a Georgios Katsampis born around 1730 may be the common ancestor of all Katsampis families. The purported origin of their surname, real or imagined, is quite interesting. It is said that their first forefather, perhaps Georgios, would often try to ingratiate himself with the local Ottoman governor by inviting him to sit and rest. “Katse Bei mou!” he’d beseech. Hence the genesis of a moniker that over time evolved into the present form of the surname Katsampis. On circumstantial evidence, it is postulated by Stelios that Georgios’ birth name was Tsempelis and he was possibly the brother of Vasileios Tsempelis. 

You can find Georgios Katsampis entered in the Family Trees of Southern Parnon at:
https://karitsa.tribalpages.com/tribe/browse?userid=karitsa&view=0&pid=5148&ver=107043

While these conclusions are the result of decades of research gleaned from old church records, electoral rolls, testimony from old-timers as well as circumstantial evidence, the DNA work by Family Trees of Southern Parnon and “23andMe” provides scientific verification that these two families share a common lineage and that somewhere in time can be traced to a common forefather almost certain carrying the surname Tsempelis. As to when and the circumstances under which the Katsampis offshoot arose remains an open question.


Text: Dimitris E. Katsampis

The Family Trees of Southern Parnon are sponsored by the Pan-Laconian Society of South Australia and the Karitsa Community of South Australia.

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