Of the Greek Family name "Combis"

from the Island of Kythera (Ionian Islands)                      

This Greek family name resides almost exclusively on Kythera which is the southmost of the Ionian Islands. In a long period, (1363-1797) these Islands form part of the Venetian Republic. From 1797 to 1814 they change hands between the French and the Russians. From 1814 until 1864 under British protection. In 1864 annexed to Greece.

This research follows the MALE descendants from Theodore = Θεόδωρος (1701-1771) to our days. My ambition is to find and link to the tree all the living Combis descending from the above, whether in Greece, in U.S.A or Australia.

The name Combis = Κομπής  appears in the Venetian documents as <Combi>.


The last Will of 

Theodore Combis 1701-1771.



Combis brothers

"Honoring the Greek Name 

in the USA..." c.1909


Panagiotis (Peter) Combis

in St Louis Missouri 1872


1829. Loan contract between

Theodore Combis 1772-1854

and John Combis 1777-1837


Paris 1914

Costas Combis 1893-1968

with friends



Obituary to

Vretos Combis 1736-1800


St Louis1920, 

Consular Passport 

of John Combis 1853-1927


Dimitra Apostolides

in Brussa (Asia Minor)1897


An Introduction to

The Family Tree of Combis

Or a Voyage from Kythera...

Amongst the piles of papers my father left when he passed away, there was a bulky folder containing various old documents that looked like wills and deeds, of times long bygone.  The people mentioned in these documents carried our name and were undoubtedly ancestors. I knew that my father was proud of his family collection, but for some reason he had never attempted to show me these papers or get into details. There was a challenge for me now to search and establish the accurate line of relationship to them. This sparkle set me off to an expedition that ultimately took me much farther.


             Unlike most genealogists, I worked down instead of upwards, commencing from the oldest person of which I had already significant information in my hands. This individual was Theodore Combis.


             Theodore Combis was born in the year 1701 and died on the 13th of June 1771. Just to get an idea of the period, one should remember that this is  the time of reign of Louis XIV and Louis XV in France. As Kythera, the island where Theodore was born, was under Venetian rule, we can as well visualize the Doges of that period, like the illustrious Giovanni Corner or Aloisius Mocenigo.


              My exploration through archives, vital records, deeds and a wealth of Venetian documents provided the essential information to build an, accurate as possible, tree of the descendants of Theodore Combis to our days. In this process I have been tracking only the male members of the family, in other words I followed the name. View Root Tree


               It is amazing to see how fast a family grows in numbers. From this one particular individual in early 1700's, I have counted no less than 100 Combis's living in the middle of 1800's. From then on, the number declines for reasons I will explain here. Observing the census figures of the Venetians first and the British later, one notices a remarkable increase of the population on the island. In some villages the population grew 8fold between 1750 and 1850. As it is expected the same goods had now to be shared amongst a far larger community and this lead inevitably to poverty. And then the exodus started. 


              At the beginning the destination was, ironically, Smyrna and Asia Minor and later America and Australia. Between the years 1870 and 1925 huge numbers of Kythereans left their homeland in pursuit of better life, among which, the oldest brother of my grandfather who, as early as 1872, left to St. Louis in Missouri on a one way ticket...


             Nowadays, a vast number of Combis's are scattered across the USA and Australia, compared to the few that are remaining in Greece. Some of them, may not even be aware of their ancestry, many others I am sure, know of their origins and may even possess  documents or information  that could contribute to the name history.


April 2003