To the best of my knowledge, with the incredible research now available online, my family is the only Saridaki family (without the ‘s’ on the end!) in the United States.
My grandfather, Albert Jean Saridaki, came to the USA in August 1912 …the month he turned 18 years old. He traveled with a classmate of Le Petit Lycée Français in Salonica. This I did not learn from him, but from recent discoveries. I think when he was still alive I didn’t know the questions to ask … and now I have so many. I think he still helps me find the answers.
Albert was actually baptized Albert Oscar Edmund Saridaki on August 9th 1894, the seventh of nine children born to Jean Saridaki and Josephine Weiskopf. He changed his middle name upon entry to the US at Ellis Island, taking his father’s name.
In 2005, my French cousin, Nadia, discovered us in Florida, USA, and together we proceeded to put puzzle pieces together. I had my grandfather’s baptismal certificate from the Church of the Immaculate Conception (henceforth known as Our Church) in Salonica, and Nadia had documents from Our Church as well.
With the information Nadia had requested regarding Emmanuel Saridaki, her Great-great-great grandfather, we discovered my grandfather had an older brother named Emmanuel. This was news to me…he was twelve years older than my grandfather, and was probably away from home by the time Albert formed any lasting memories. BUT it did give us the faith that, although we had not ‘proven’ the link, that Nadia and I were really Cousins (3rd cousins, once removed!)
We believed Jean named his first born son after his father…and after our WONDERFUL fact finding trip to Thessaloniki in November 2009, we know this, for it was all documented in the Registers we poured over and photographed in Our Church. And it gave me a link to a wonderful family, full of history.
The Emmanuel Saridakis, who emigrated to Salonica from Iraklion, Crete around 1845, was my Great-great grandfather. He and his wife, Fanni Gliubich, had five children, my Great-grandfather being their fourth child, born 21 June 1856. Jean Pierre Francois Saridaki married Josephine Weiskopf, born in Kupferberg, Bohemia, daughter of Daniel Weiskopf and Theresa Kupperscmik. Although Emmanuel’s surname was Saridakis, all the children were baptized Saridaki, dropping the ‘s’ from the end of the name, and so the descendants remain.
Read about Albert during the WWI.