Actually it is not the most common name in Greece. However is commonly found in the Ionian Islands and more specifically in Kefallonia and Corfu.
As far as I know one scenario is that the Kourkoumelis (else Curcumelis) can be traced back to Italy and can be found in the Golden Book of Venice as a wealthy family. It appears that two brothers left Italy to settle in Corfu and Kefallonia respectively (which at the time were under strong influence from Italy, actually they were under their rule). Prior to that, the legend in the family has it that they originated from Konstantinoupoli (Istanbul).
However, I am skeptical with that genealogy since every family (as every country does) twists history and facts beyond truth to serve various purposes.
Recently, I had the luck to meet a professor of philosophy in the Ioannina University in Greece named Kourkoumelis. He specializes in the Ionian History and arts and has given me a different origin, that of the presence of Kourkoumelis in Kefallonia back at 1400a.c. and in later years some settlers in Corfu. Given his credibility and resources it is a sound scenario.
As far as Kourkoumelis in Patras usually are more recent settlers but they are supposed to come from Kefallonia.
Just for the record, a village exists in Kefallonia that is called Kourkoumelata, without that being the origin of the family.
Hope that helps a bit as a general frame. Whenever I get to talk with that professor I will post you again with info.
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