Kosmas Kapsanis (Vikos) and Anezina Fardoulis - a family lost
Updated: Feb 22
A family portrait holds pride of place on a grave in Potamos cemetery. In the photograph are a husband, wife and his extended family. The young man is standing between his seated wife and father. His hand is resting on his father shoulder, obviously proud of this man. A young child is seated in a very small chair while a younger child is sitting on the lap her grandfather. His wife is holding a closed umbrella by her side.
The family is that of Theodoros Kapsanis (Vikos), but the tragedy that seemed to plague this family were his father's generation.
His father was Kosmas Kapsanis (Vikos) (born 3 May 1848 to Nicolachi Capsani and Cali Souri (Tsitsilia)) and his mother was Anezina Fardouli (born 14 January 1845 to Theodoros Fardoulis and Marouli Farouli). It is the family that share the family grave.
The grave is like a few others in Potamos cemetery. It is low to the ground and has an ornate tombstone topped with a cross. On this you find the portrait of the family and the details of Kosmas’ death: Kosmas N Kapsanis Vikos died 31 January 1929 aged 84 (he was in fact 90).
Engraved on the top of the grave are the details of other family members. This shows exactly what Kosmas and Anezina endured during their lives.
The first name on the tombstone is Anezina, wife of K. Kapsanis. She passed away on 28 September 1914, aged 68. Listed below her name are the names of her children and their ages: Nikolaos, aged 27, Dionisios, aged 21, Kaliopi, aged 21, Konstantinos, aged 21 and Panagiotis, aged three. Below this list of names is Efrsoni, wife of their son Theodoros and then some of their children.
Kosmas and Anezina outlived all but one of their children, Theodoros.
As is tradition, family members names can be engraved on a grave even if the body is not buried in it.
Nikolaos was their eldest child. He was born 18 August 1866 and was baptised on 28 August in Agia Triada church in Potamos, the same church all the children were baptised in. Nothing more is known about him.
Theodoros was the only child to outlive his parents and is the young man in the photograph. He was born 23 November 1869 and baptised on 3 December the same year. He served as a sailor in the Royal Navy on the battleship Hydra during 1891-1892 and when he returned, he married Efrosini Georgopoulos on 10 February 1894. They had seven children. Theodoros had a very unusual occupation; he ornately painted interiors of houses. He painted the walls and ceiling of his own house, the house his father built for him. The art on the almost intact ceiling still exists today. He died in Kalithea, Athens on 2 February 1954.
Panagiotis was born 23 September and baptised 8 October 1872. He died 6 March 1874 and buried the same day. He was less than two. In Kythera, a child is entering its second year on the anniversary of their births, so three on the gravestone is correct for Kythera.
Dionisios was born 23 November 1874 and baptised 6 December 1874. He died an horrific death in the explosion of the factory in Athens on 12 July 1898. He was only 23. See our previous blog for more details.
Kaliopi was born 6 July 1878 and baptised 17 July 1878. She married Stratis Baveas on 11 June 1999 and tragically died seven months later on 20 January 1900.
Konstantinos was born 16 August 1882 and baptised 23 October the same year. He married Marigo Koroneou on 20 April 1903. Even more tragically, he passed away less than five months later on 8 September 1903. He was buried on 10 September.
It is hard to imagine what Kosmas and Anezina went through, burying all but one of their children. The horrific death of their son Dionisios is probably something that would have haunted them for the rest of their lives.