By Ismail Veli…….
Lurucina was a small village in the Venetian census of 1562, there were about 186 people living there, this would equate to roughly 35-40 households.
When the first Ottoman census was taken in 1572 it fell to 24 households but 27 taxpayers of which 3 were widowers and 24 were married. The difference is clear, the Latin element had fled to escape the Ottoman invasion or the wrath of the Orthodox locals who had suffered under a feudal system which was harsh at the best of times. The 1572 census is interesting in that it reflected the way of life of the villagers which were predominantly Christian. The main produce was wheat, barley and various fruit trees, these totalled 2,925 of the tithes out of a total of 4,030. The rest were small amounts of honey, olives, sheep and pigs. The population was concentrated mostly where the centre is today, and near the stream, and possibly on the Limbya road where the school is today. The oldest church Ayios Epiphanios built in the 15th century was situated on the outskirts of the village.
The 1612 census did not change the statistics very much, the only difference is that in 1612 they were recorded according to their status. These were 8 poor (ednâ) cizye tax payers, 2 medium (evsât) cizye tax payers and 15 rich(!) (a’lâ) cizye tax payers. The difference probably reflected the amount of land and tax each household paid. How much difference there was from rich to poor is not very clear, it may not have been very much, but that is not something I’m in a position to say.
For some reason while the Cypriot population in general declined from 1612 to 1643 the households in Lurucina increased to 41. The first information I found of actual names of the Christian taxpayers was in the 1672-3 Ottoman census. Sadly at time of printing this article no Muslims of that period have been found. With the Greek speakers of 1672, 1831, 1879, 1889-1905 recorded on the families of Lurucina website it’s surprising that hardly any Greek speakers have contacted me to complete their family tree which theoretically can almost (except for some gaps between 1672-1731) be traced to the start of Ottoman rule. The oldest Greek speaker in the 1831 census was recorded as born in 1731. One thing striking in all the census names is that none sound anything remotely Latin. The elusive search for any remaining Latins has so far yielded no results.
There does seem to be similarities in the Christian names of 1672-73 to the later censuses mentioned above. No doubt this is because of the custom of naming sons after their grandfathers. The 3 Kerigiko’s, Benardi, Anistas, and a 2nd Benardi, -probably 2 brothers and a son – may actually be Kiriako but misspelled by the Turkish translator. Havaf and Guril, and Snalisa Perolimo were also brothers. Havaf and Snalisa are names I’m not familiar with but as mentioned above a slight difference can occur in the translation. There are also 3 Bali’s, Petro Baba Bali, (probably the village priest) Perolimo Bali and Peneri Bali. Names like Hirbako, Petro/Pedri, Anastasi/Anistas, and Kiriako/Kerigiko figure in nearly all the Ottoman censuses of Lurucina from 1672-1905. The Lurucina 1672-73 census recorded a total of 38 cizye tax payers, slightly down from 41 in 1643. Sadly future figures in line with the Cypriot population showed a decline until the mid 1800’s when it began to pick up again.
Unfortunately, while I have managed to create family trees of all the Turkish families of Lurucina to the number of around 7-8,000 individuals recorded from the mid 1700’s to the present, all but one Greek family has been recorded in chronological order, and that being very limited This is despite the fact that the Greek speakers of Lurucina have been discovered by name as mentioned in the above censuses.
If any Greek speakers from Lurucina read this article I would please urge them to contact me on the email given on my website so that we can add them to the family trees of Lurucina. Our village history cannot be completed while an important element remains missing.
A direct link to the Ottoman census records click here
To view all records and names of the families just click on this link for my website. Families Of Lurucina