Extensive investigation into the interpretation of the origin of surnames has resulted in the belief that surname origin is connected to both historical and socio-economic events that occurred on the island of Crete in the 19th century.
From the beginning of the 19th century to the first two decades of the 20th, a movement of local populations to new local settlements is observed. The main reasons for this phenomenon are the Revolution of 1821 and the Cretan Rising of 1866-1869, but also a series of events that affected social and economic conditions in that era, forcing locals to abandon their homes and settle in other areas to escape danger.
For example, these events included acts of retribution against those who had taken part in the Revolution of 1821, the fear of abduction of women by locals or Turkish people, and the “vendetta” which often threatened to eliminate whole families. Unlawful acts, animal theft, seeking job opportunities, better living conditions and sons-in-law who left their preferred surroundings for their in-laws’ place of residence were all reasons for temporary and permanent settlement in another area. The place of origin of these people defined their identity. The majority acquired surnames derived from their place of origin. In particular, these people made for themselves surnames derived from their place of origin by adding suffixes. For example, those who came from Chania changed their names to Chaniotakis, those from Mesara changed their names to Mesaritakis, from Rethymnon to Rethymniotakis, from Pediada to Pediaditis or Pediaditakis, from Sfakia to Sfakianakis, from Lasithi to Lasithiotakis and so on.
Those surnames were made official during the first registration that took place before the elections and were used for the electoral rolls in the period of the Cretan State (“Creton politeia”) and later at the union of Crete with the rest of mainland Greece in December 1913.