This pamphlet contains the names and approximate dates of a very proud klan, the "Nahotiss". This family tree gave great satisfaction to the wirter after it was finally completed. It never would have been possible to gather all the information back to the beginning of the nineteenth century had it not been for the cooperation of so many scattered over the universe.
The geographical background takes us to a small town, called Ioannina, situated in the northeastern and moutainous region of Epiros, Greece. As time progressed, numerous marriages were consumated between antives of Ioannina and neighboring villages thus involving other towns inour tree. These include Arta, Trikalla, Preveza, Thessolonik, Velou, Fillpyatha, Monistir, Smyrna, Istanbul, Castoria, Athens, Chanakalli and many many more too numerous to mention.
It is said that of all the towns referred to above, the town of Ioannina is the youngest as history goes. Arta, is one of the oldest on record. It is said that the inhabitants of Arta were the most orthodox and learned in Judiasm. Incidentally if you will recall some years ago there was a lovable man nicknamed "Effendi" the shamas of our congregation and a most learned man of Judiasm who migrated here from Arta.
On the subject of "where does the Matza come from" I have been asked from time to time. It is said that our descendents, who bear the name of Matza today immigrated originally from Italy. At that time there was an era of anti-semitism prevailing at the time, and from the pulpits all over the land reference to our brethern as "Matza-Christ", an expression in Italian meaning "Christ killer". It seems that ever since the name stuck.
In 1897, a war broke out between Greece and Turkey and unrest prevailed among our people all over the land. When the war was over, Turkey, the victor, claimed a good portion of Greece as bounty and again our people became uneasy ever careful not to offend the conquering Turks or the conquered Greeks. Another was in 1912 and Greece, the victor this time, regained most of the land she had lost, plus. In the intervening years this turmoil aroused our people to finally seek a new land and so began the migration to America in 1900.
A major incident occured around the change of the century in the town of Ioannina. A catastrophic fire had engulfed the entire town, threatening to completly obliterate it. Besides many buildings burned to the gound was the city hall of records, which housed all of the birth data. This mishap later on caused a good deal of unnecessary confusion to our people as they landed on the shores of America. Arriving in Ellis Island they were forced to take pot luck in declaring their proper ages.
In September of 1967, the writer paid a visit to the birthplace of our fathers. It was the culmination of a life long dream. Sadly, it was discovered that of the nineteen hundred Jewish inhabitants living in Ioannina prior to "Hitler" only a mere handful now remain. There are only three families of "Nahotiss" in Ioannina today. The balance have been exterminated by Hitler or migrated to Israel.
5 years later in September 1972, I revisited beautiful Greece. Aside from one week spent with our very dear friends in Ioannina, the entire balance or our stay in our parents birthland was used to travelling and discovering Greece all over again. Travelling by car throughtout, I would mention that the roads, constructed by the Junta, the present government, are comparable to the United States. The fine roads that are there, are such because of the following. Our army engineers, who are stationed throughtout the various sections of the land helped advise the Greek engineers how to properly construct to modern methods. Of course financial assistance from the good old USA gave a little hand also.
The car we rented in Athens, helped tremendously to corner the narrow and very twisty mountain roads Greece are known for. The first day, dri