Magdalene Dimitrios Ravanou Hirra


She was the second of six children and the only daughter of Dimitrios Yeoryios Ravanos and the first of two children to his second wife Kokitsa Konstantinos Stamouli. She was probably named after her paternal grandmother.












Sept. 14




Magdalene was born in her parents’ home which was located close to the Church of Ayïi Anaryeri in the village of Kato (Lower) Klima on the island of Skopelos, Greece.



10 yrs old

Magdalene’s mother, Kokitsa Stamoulis Ravanou, died of TB.




Magdalene’s father, Dimitrios, married his third wife Ourania Menelaos Diómi who was from Glossa.

Oct. 18



Balkan Wars  Begin

Jun. 15


14 yrs old

Magdalene’s younger brother Menelaos was born in Kato Klima. Her two other brothers from her father’s third marriage would die as young children in 1925.

Aug. 10



Balkan Wars  End



18 yrs old

Magdalene married Dimitrios Stamatios Hirras in Kato Klima, Skopelos. Her father’s name was also Dimitrios.

A home had been built along the church square that became a part of her wedding dowry. All three of her daughters were born there. It was later passed down as part of her oldest daughter Anna’s dowry in 1938.




Magdalene’s older brother Angelis married Eleni Yeoryios Balla in Glossa.

Jul. 2



Greece enters World War I

Nov. 11



World War I Ends



22 yrs old

At the age of 12, Magdalene’s younger brother Konstantinos moved to Volos after a disagreement with his father, Dimitrios.

Sept. 5


23 yrs old

Magdalene’s first daughter, Anna, was born in Kato Klima.

The couple had been without children for the first five years of their marriage. Magdalene had prayed and made a promise to Saint Anna that if she had a daughter, she would be named Anna, after the Saint. Had the child been a boy, it would have been named John.




Smyrna, Asia Minor falls to the Turks, Hellenic population is ousted from the region forever.

Jun. 3


24 yrs old

Magdalene’s second daughter, Maria, was born in Kato Klima.

Oct. 15


25 yrs old

Her father, Dimitrios Yioryios Ravanos, died. His third wife, Ourania would later remarry Yeoryios KaraYeoryios. They had no children together.

Feb. 2


26 yrs old

Magdalene’s younger brother Harilaos, from her father’s third marriage, died as a young boy.

Jun. 25



Magdalene’s younger brother Thracivoulos, from her father’s third marriage, died as a young boy.

May 20



Charles Lindbergh completes first trans-Atlantic flight

Apr. 28


31 yrs old

Magdalene’s husband Dimitrios left New York for Greece after living and working in the Bahamas.




Magdalene learned of her third pregnancy. She already had two daughters and, since daughters are considered “expensive” (in other words, in need of dowries), she had not planned for a third child. Her mother-in-law Mariyo Hirras learned of the pregnancy and paid Magdalene a visit during which she accused her of tricking Dimitrios into having another child. After the delivery, Mariyo “matiase” (placed an “evil eye” upon) Magdalene by saying, “You’ve done it again, [it’s] a girl.” Magdalene would become sick with a fever over these events.

Jul. 5


34 yrs old

Magdalene’s third daughter, Kokitsa (“Kiki”), was born in Kato Klima. Kiki was baptized by Ioannis and Magdalene Triakosa.

Dec. 4


38 yrs old

Magdalene’s father-in-law, Stamatios Dimitrios Hirras, died at sea on his cargo boat at the age of 71. His body was brought back, carried off of the boat on a ladder, and buried in Kato Klima.



40 yrs old

At the age of 17, Magdalene’s daughter Anna married Angelis Diamandis Berdanis in Kato Klima. Their koumbari were George and Alexandra Berdanis, the groom’s brother and sister-in-law. Magdalene’s husband Dimitrios left for the Bahamas three days later. In her lifetime, Magdalene would never leave Greece.




Magdalene moved to another house in Kato Klima.

1938 – 1951

Magdalene’s husband Dimitrios lived and worked in Nassau, Bahamas.



42 yrs old

Magdalene became the Godmother of her cousin Dimitrios (“Taki”) Rousseas.




Magdalene’s first grandchild, Diamandis Angelis Berdanis, was born. He died in a hospital in the city of Volos at six months of age during a surgery in which they were trying to remove a “tumor” found on the back of his neck.

Oct. 28



Greece enters  World War II with the Italian invasion into Epiros from Albania. The church bells of the island toll solemnly to inform the people.  All contact with America ceases during the war.

Apr. 28



Athens, Greece falls to Germans.



43 yrs old

Magdalene’s step-mother, Ourania Menelaos Diómi, died.




At the age of 19, Magdalene’s daughter Maria married Angeletos Ioannis Konstantakis in Kato Klima. Their koumbari were a couple from the town of Skopelos.

Magdalene’s husband Dimitrios was not present. He was still living in Nassau, Bahamas at the time.

Sept. 4


44 yrs old

Magdalene’s mother-in-law, Maria (“Mariyo”) Deddi Hirra, died in Ano Klima at the age of 68. She outlived her husband by six years. Towards the end of her life, when she was ill, her daughter-in-laws Magdalene Ravanos Hirras and Magdalene, wife of her son Philippos would take turns taking care of her. A joke developed between the two that whenever one would comment that this “seemed like the end,” Mariyo would have a miraculous recovery, earning her the fame of “the mother-in-law that wouldn’t die.”

Oct. 31



Last German troops evacuate mainland Greece in World War II, the church bells of the island rang joyfully to inform the people. Greece immediately fell into a brutal four year civil war. The island did not escape some of the trauma of these events.



48 yrs old

Magdalene moved into her mother-in-law’s old home in Ano (Upper) Klima.




Earthquake damages Kato Klima



49 yrs old

Magdalene and Dimitrios bought property in Volos to build their youngest daughter, Kokitsa (“Kiki”) a home for her dowry. While Magdalene was in Volos, she and her daughter Kiki would stay with her brother Konstantinos Ravanos and his wife Ourania (“Nina”). Magdalene would tell her daughter Kiki to never ask for food and to always say that she was not hungry whenever food was offered (a sense of family pride). Years later, Kiki admitted that she was often hungry on that trip but did not ever ask for food.




Magdalene’s husband Dimitrios moved to Greenville, MS from Nassau, Bahamas to work at the Mayflower Café.




Magdalene’s husband Dimitrios moved to Montgomery, AL from Mississippi for two and a half years before returning to Greece. He would never come back to America again.

Sept. 2



Magdalene’s daughter Kokitsa (“Kiki”) became officially engaged to Konstantinos (“Dino, Gus”) Varsamas Polizos.

Oct. 10


  2 PM


50 yrs old

At the age of 16, Magdalene’s daughter Kokitsa (“Kiki”) married Konstantinos (“Dino, Gus”) Varsamas Polizos in Ano Klima. Their koumbara was the groom’s first cousin, Ourania (“Nina”) Fivya Christou.

Dec. 18




Magdalene’s daughter Kokitsa (“Kiki”) left Skopelos and moved to Montgomery, AL with her husband. Kiki was the last daughter to leave her mother. Up until her departure, Kiki and Magdalene had done everything together. Magdalene would be greatly saddened by Kiki’s absence and cried for a long time after she first learned the news of her daughter’s quick departure. Kiki told her mother that she would soon send father Dimitrios back to Greece and also promised to return soon to visit as well. Kiki left the house at such a young age that Magdalene felt that she did not have the chance to teach her everything she needed to know about how to be a good wife. Magdalene wrote Kiki many letters on this subject.



53 yrs old

Magdalene’s husband Dimitrios returned to Greece for the last time.




Large Earthquake destroys Volos and the neighboring island of Alonissos.

Aug. 3


57 yrs old

Magdalene’s last grandchild, Magdalene Polizos, was born in Montgomery, AL. In her lifetime, Magdalene would see all of her grandchildren.



61 yrs old

Magdalene moved into her daughter Anna’s new home in the village of Loutraki, Skopelos. This was one of the only homes in Loutraki to have electricity in some of its rooms as well running water.




Magdalene’s daughter Kiki and her children Victor, Jimmy, and Magdalene visited Greece for four months, making their trip on the TSS Olympia ( This was Kiki’s first trip back to Greece following her wedding in 1948. Both Dimitrios and Magdalene travelled with Kiki and the children back to Pireas to see them off at the end of their trip. Their round-trip boat ride was on the Greek ocean liner, the Olympia.

Sept. 17


66 yrs old

Magdalene and Dimitrios bought a home in Loutraki, Skopelos.

Mar. 9



Earthquake damages Ano Klima and begins the process of moving inhabitants to the newly established village of Klima/Elios in the 1980s.




Magdalene’s daughter Kiki travelled by airplane to Greece with her children Jimmy and Magdalene. Magdalene’s son-in-law Gus and his son Victor surprised the family by making the trip later that summer. This was Gus’ first trip back to Greece since his wedding in 1948. This trip was made by jet airplane, as would all their future trips.

Mar. 7


68 yrs old

Magdalene attended the first wedding of a grandchild. Magdalene (“Litsa”) Angeletos Konstantaki married Konstantinos Hristos Zóis in Larissa. The couple moved to Düsseldorf, Germany after their wedding.

Apr. 21



Military Junta takes control of the Greek government establishing a dictatorship.

Oct. 8


69 yrs old

Magdalene attended the wedding of her oldest grandchild, Dimitrios (“Jimmy”) Angelis Berdanis to Eleni Konstantinos Orfanou in Glossa, Skopelos. The couple moved to Nassau, Bahamas after their wedding.

May 10



Magdalene’s first great-grandchild, Hristos Konstantinos Zóis, is born in Düsseldorf, Germany. Magdalene lived to see two of the four great-grandchildren born in her lifetime.

Jun. 1


70 yrs old

Magdalene’s daughter Anna died in an Athens hospital at the age of 48 of rheumatic heart disease.




Magdalene’s daughter Kiki and her children Victor and Magdalene travelled to Skopelos for the summer. Magdalene’s son-in-law Gus would later surprise the family for a two week visit. This would be the last time they would see Gus.

Jul. 20



Neil Armstrong walks on the Moon.

Aug. 18


71 yrs old

Magdalene and Dimitrios transferred ownership of their housee in Loutraki to their daughter, Kiki.



72 yrs old

Magdalene’s grandson Victor enrolled in medical school in Athens, Greece and Magdalene began to see him on a more regular basis. Victor would visit often on major holidays and long breaks.




Magdalene’s daughter Kiki and her son Dimitri visited for the summer.



74 yrs old

Magdalene’s daughter Kiki and her daughter Magdalene visited for the summer.

Oct. 7


75 yrs old

Magdalene’s husband Dimitrios fell and broke his arm getting off of a ship in Volos, en route to Larissa. Stress over the injury induced a stroke in Magdalene.





Oct. 9


75 yrs old

Magdalene died in a hospital in Volos, Greece. She was married for 57 years.



As of: August 6, 2009


Note: In the process of researching the genealogy of the Hirras family and their travels, we have chosen this Hirras spelling for use in our documentation.     We have seen Hirras also spelled as ‘Hiras, Hira, Chiros, Chira, Chiras, Cheros, and Tsiras’.


We have chosen to use the spelling Magdalene. We have also seen this spelled Magdaline and Magdalini.


We have chosen to use the spelling Dimitrios. We have also seen this spelled Demetre, Demetreos, Demetri, Demitri, and Dimitrios.