Let me go back to the beginning to make this a long story. My Aunt Mary was researching her fathers past, but every door was shut preventing her from finding anything out. They were able to place his name on the Wall of Honor on Ellis Island. The rumor was when she turned 18, she was to claim his inhertaince from Crete, but at that time the family was not able to make the trip.
Several years after my grandmother had passed away, I was watching TV and this commerical came on about Lost Treasures in Frankfort, KY. I had a strong feeling to call that number, so I called to see if her name was listed in the database. To my surprise, they had recieved a lock box one year after her death. The funny thing is NO ONE in the family knew about this box. She had hidden this box from children. The box was open after my grandfather died and it had remained open until her death.
The items found in my grandmothers lock box were her engagement ring and wedding band. A picture of his family when he was just born. He had 3 older sisters; their names and whereabouts are unknown to the family. His wallet with a picture of Aunt and my Mother when they were babies. LOTS of misc papers. The article of his death. His naturalization record, and the documentation of his name change.
In researching the Ellis Island website, I found that my grandfather was 22 years of age when he entered the United States. He boarded the ship Athinai in Piraeus, Greece in 1910 and arrived at Ellis Island, New York on July 27, 1910. In reviewing the Ellis Island manifest, it looks as if his fathers name was Sarvan Daskalakis, which could be wrong due to the hand writing is unreadable. According to the manifest, he was to contact a friend named D. Salavordi or Salavardi, who resided at 230 Central Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio.
With the help from different sources, I was given information about his name showing up in the United States Army archives. I researched this and called several agencies and found that from September 20, 1917 to August 21, 1918 my grandfather served in the United States Army, and at this time he resided at 331 Central Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio. No one in the family had prior knowledge of his services, until the years 2000-2001.
In the 1940's my grandfather married Grace Edith Sanders and they had two girls, Mary Katherin and Helen Elaine. My grandparents lived at 962 Detroit Ave, Lexington, KY and then at 416 Maple Avenue, Lexington, KY the street name was changed to Silver Maple Avenue.
The next clue I had were pay stubs. In 1946 and 1947, he worked at Manhattan Restaurant, 238 E, Main Street and in 1947 he also worked at White Spot, 103 E Main Street.
My grandfather received his naturalization on June 17, 1943 in Kentucky, and this is the same time he changed his name to Nick K. Demas.
He was an active member of the Greek Orthodox Church, Holy Trinity St. Nicholas in Ohio, which is where my Mother and Aunt were christened. He then became an active member of the Greek Orthodox Church located at 920 Tates Creek Road, Lexington, Kentucky.
At some point during 1948-49, he suffered a stroke, and was not able to provide for his family the way he wanted, which took a toll on his life. In the early morning hours of May 4, 1949, my grandmother awoke to find him not in their room. She searched for him, only to find him, at the age of 59, lying on the garage floor. He was pronounced dead by the medical examiner later that morning, and according to the autopsy report, he died from 2 gun shot wounds to the head. I have seen the autopsy report and questioned their findings as to how someone can shoot themselves twice; but at that time, they based their findings on the evidence at hand. The gun, the point of entery and a note.
My grandfather funeral arrangements were made through Kerr Brothers, 463 East Main Street Lexington, Kentucky. On May 6, 1949, he was laid to rest at the Lexington Cemetery, 833 West Main Street Lexington, Kentucky. When he was buried, my grandmother did not pay for anything, the payment for the funeral arrangements and services came from a Mr. Wallace, whereabouts unknown. He was buried without a headstone in 1949.
In the year 2007, his daughter, with the help of my Uncle, in honor of Aunt, purchased the footing for a headstone. His daughter, his granddaughter, and his great grandson, were present to watch the setting of the footing for the military headstone that he should have received in the beginning.
Talk about infromation OVER LOAD. If you have any information or other ways to track down the family history, please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading and take care.
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