25 November 2004

Order bestowed on ancestor?

Family lore on the paternal side has it that my great-grandfather, George Koyzis, who is variously reported to have lived between 110 and 118 years, was created a member of the Order of St Michael and St George. If he lived as long as he is reputed to have lived, then he may have been around 50 years old when Cyprus came under British control in 1878. The Order was created in 1818 to mark the cession of the Ionian Islands to the United Kingdom. After these were ceded to Greece in 1864, eligibility for the honour was expanded to include prominent colonials elsewhere within the Empire and later Commonwealth.

The Royal Collection
© 2004, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Badge of the Order of St. Michael and St. George

I would love to know whether there is an archive containing a master list of all the recipients of the Order. Perhaps it is possible to write to someone -- in London presumably -- and request such information. This would enable me to prove or disprove the rumour. The fact that only 1,750 persons can hold the Order at the lowest level at any one time leads me to doubt its veracity. I have difficulty believing that my great-grandfather would have been significant enough to make it into such a small company of notables.

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