Those people of Greek origin may find my first name rather unusual. Even though, as a surname, "Rizos" is not infrequent in Greece (especially in the Epirus area) as a first name it is. I can tell you for sure though that I am not the only Rizos around!

Family tradition has it that Rizos was originally the surname of the male ancestors in the family line. For unclear reasons, possibly some time in the 18th century, one of those persons became known with his religious title (Sakellarios: an old officium of the Eastern Orthodox church, partly in use still today, whose origin can be traced back to the church - and imperial - administration structures of the 6th century - if not earlier - Eastern Roman Empire, commonly known as Byzantine Empire. Literally, Sakellarios is the person taking care of the sakelle, the latter word being used for treasury). Thus, Rizos made its way to the next generations as a first name (following the Greek custom of naming grandchildren after their grandparents) and Sakellarios as a surname (gradually changing to its genitive form). I should add, however, that there are strong indications, from various sources, that 'Rizos' might not have been so uncommon as a first name around the 17th-18th century in areas of what is today Central Greece.

If you know about occurrences of Rizos as a first name or, even more, if you are another person (one of the few!) whose first name is Rizos, I would love to hear from you; in particular, what area of Greece your name is coming from. I'd be also interested in any information on possible connections between the greek Rizos (etymology is most likely clear), the italian Rizzo - common in the south of Italy I think -, the albanian/slavic names Rizo, or even the spanish surname Rizos. I suspect that in some of these cases the similarity is just a coincidence, but I am not sure if this is true in all cases.

PS: As part of my family research, I am looking for information related to the following:

If you are connected or have any info, feel free to drop a note.

PPS: Reference to my great-great-great-great-grandfather (this is 6 generations ago) in the paternal line, from a 1789 manuscript:

Reference to my great-great-great-great-grandfather in the paternal line from a 1789 manuscript

PPPS: The first time that someone in my ancestral line was mentioned in a scientific article: one of my great-great-grandfathers in a 1894 article published in Virchows Archiv (still published by Springer today). The reason? According to the article, he died 115 years old!