Conferences on Armenian genealogy have been held annually for the last three years (in Watertown, Mass. in 2016; in Detroit, Mich. in 2017; and in Mahwah, N.J. earlier this year). These conferences have been the culmination of almost 40 years of effort. In fact, exactly 40 years ago, in 1978, three individuals, Nephi Kezerian, George Aposhian, and Audrey Megerian, took the groundbreaking step of forming a corporation with the purpose of gathering genealogical records to assist Armenians researching their family histories. Initially called the Armenian Genealogical Records Search Foundation, it would later become known as the Armenian Genealogy Society.
The majority of Armenians are under the mistaken belief that all pre-genocide Armenian records have been destroyed and that little can be learned about their personal ancestry beyond what has been handed down through oral tradition. It is undoubtedly true that most pre-1915 Armenian church records were destroyed either during the genocide or in the years since. In addition, few genocide survivors were able or willing to recount their experiences or their family lineage. But that is not the complete story.
The first task for this small group of dedicated Armenians was to identify the existing records, their location and condition. Megerian undertook a ten-week fact-finding trip. As I read through her account, it is interesting to see her sentiments mirror those I continue to possess. She stated, “Although we cannot resurrect or replace what is lost, we can gather and lovingly preserve what exists as rapidly as possible.” She had found “records crumbling from excessive moisture, eaten by worms, or consumed by other forces.”
Megerian also understood the risks to critically important records located in conflict regions around the world. There was an acute sense of urgency to the effort at preservation. In the years that followed, records from around the world were microfilmed and stored in the Granite Mountains Records Vault owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). To date, these records have been underutilized. In addition, there remain important records that are not part of the collection either because they were inaccessible at the time or unknown.
In 1991, there was a failed attempt to create the Armenian Family Heritage Society along with a family tree project. This was a project of the Armenian Genealogy Society and the American Armenian International College. A wide range of leadership in the community supported the project, including religious leaders from the U.S. and around the world. My certificate of membership is numbered 12. The effort never took hold, perhaps being an idea before its time.
While there are some individuals and families that have spent decades researching their Armenian roots, the great majority of Armenians dispersed around the world have only recently realized the vast potential of the information available as well as the technological advances of the past two decades. The Armenian Genealogy Facebook group now numbers almost 10,000 members!
Two early pioneers that broadened their own research to include information that would be of general interest were Linda Avakian and Mark Arslan. In 1996, Avakian published “Armenian Immigrants: Boston 1891-1901 New York 1880-1897.” This was at a time before ship manifests were readily available. Avakian painstakingly went through rolls of microfilm identifying each Armenian who had come to the United States through the ports of New York and Boston for periods that had not been indexed as yet.
Arslan began his family research many years ago. Eventually he would expand his focus to all Armenian immigrants from the region of Kghi/Keghi and then to all Armenians. His work has grown to become the Armenian Immigration Project website which includes ship manifests, census records, military records and even the ads from the Hairenik placed in the aftermath of the genocide in hopes of learning the whereabouts of relatives. It is the single most important source on Armenians who immigrated to the United States.
While there have been various websites and other resources specific to particular families or villages, that is not the purpose of this article. Much important work has been done to date, but the amount still to be done is even greater as we try to repair the rupture in our family histories resulting from the genocide. This aspect of genocide is little talked about. While focusing on those murdered and the wealth stolen, both monetary and cultural, we have neglected to discuss the theft of knowledge of our origins or the forced global disbursement of our families. The magnitude of the crime committed against our people is difficult to comprehend and impossible to quantify.
My objective here is to detail some of the available source records. In a number of articles in the Armenian Weekly and on Houshamadyan.org, I have only touched on some of these sources. I would like to expand on those initial articles. The obvious question remains, what records exist but are undocumented, where can the be accessed, and how can they be similarly preserved?
The first of this series will examine records from Syria, including those found in the LDS Family History Library and the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul.
The Syrian-Armenian community is important not only as the major way station for those surviving the genocide, but also as an economic hub attracting Armenians throughout the Euphrates river valley throughout the 19th century and most likely for centuries prior to that as well.
The available records from Syria contained in the LDS archives are limited. As I understand it, the filming of records in 1988 was stopped after completing only one roll. In addition, restrictions were placed by Armenian church officials limiting usage of the records to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Given the ongoing tragedy in Syria, one wonders what is the condition of the records that have not been filmed and the ability to access them.
What is available include baptism records beginning in 1843 and continuing through 1937. Marriage records from Holy Forty Martyrs church are only available for the period 1878-1900. The early baptism records supply sparse information, even the date is lacking (e.g. the first baptism recorded is for Boghos, son of Ilias Tahan Kalpakju). Linking a baptism to a known person is complicated by the lack of uniform surnames. Occupation, birthplace, etc. are the only form of identification. The month of baptism was added in 1851 and the day of the month in 1854. In 1873, the godfather and officiating priest were included. It was only after 1900 that the mother’s name appears.
In addition to these records, there is at least one Ottoman population register for non-Muslims in the district of Aleppo. The register dates from 1848-9 and is found in the T.C. Başbakanlık Devlet Arşivleri Genel Müdürlüğü (Ottoman Archives) in Istanbul. Only men were recorded and, again, the lack of standardized surnames is problematic in identification. The following information is contained in the register for each male: income level (high, low, middle), height (tall, short, medium), color and style of facial hair (beard, mustache, clean-shaven), occupation, and age.
Thus far, these records have primarily been used by families from the Chmshgadzak and Arapgir regions, as well as those from Sasun. The transcription of these various records into databases would greatly increase their accessibility and use.
Thank you for this, bless everyone…
I’m interested to know about my grandparents who entered syria but were directed to iraq ,
Mariam JEYRANIAN hampartsoomian from Besni , she claimed at the border of turkey after 3 years of surviving the desert, survivors were loaded into the trains by the allied forces , but somehow the train carriages were divided and all her surviving relatives went to syria and she ended up in iraq . She had 5 or seven brothers , not sure since they were rounded up before the march , thought to be dead one landed in syria and the other escaped towards Iran
My grandfather Manoog hampartoomian from gesaria , not sure about his name because he used his father”s first name Hampartsoum , after he escaped the Turkish army . All i know that he had a blind , childless aunt who owned a pharmacy ,and her brother Hampartsoum, sent my grandfather to help out his aunt in the pharmacy and deliver medicine , his long escape story is related to those deliveries. I’ll tell it another time .
Je viens de découvrir avec joie votre site, et vous en félicite. Peut-être pourriez-vous m’aider. Je suis a la recherche de tous renseignements sur mes grands-parents maternels, Dikran Kantardjian et Nevarte Kantardjian, née Kurkjian. Ils vivaient a Istamboul, quartier Kadi-keuy. Mon père Garabet Kantardjian a fréquenté le collège Français St Joseph (vers 1913…). Après le décès de mon grand-père, ma grand mère a quitté définitivement Istamboul en 1923, avec ses enfants.
Je vous remercie de votre attention.
George Aghjayan has been very helpful in finding information about my ancestors. Since they were prominent in the history of Dicranagerd (Diyarbakir) and Mardin, there is much written of them and their 1915 demise in history publications. He is very knowledgeable.
My relative’s surname was Kazazian and they lived in Mardin. I was wondering how to get in touch with George Aghjayan. I would like to ask him more about Mardin and what he has found.
Hi George, my paternal grandparents (Donabet kassabian born 1878) my grandmother Nazli Asdzian born 1900 ADANA) went to Greece during Genocide , my father & siblings were born in Greece lived & studied, I would like to know more about my family if they were registered with any municipality in Greece, place of birth,if anyone knew my family , thank you.
My paternal grandparents are from Yozgat and Sepastia. Maternal grandparents from Harput.
My paternal great grandfather was an attorney in Sepastia and was among the unfortunate prominent members of the community who the Turks hung in the town square at the start of the 1915 genocide.
I wonder if any records of him exist?
I do not know his first name but his last is Kasarjian.
Thank you so much for all you are doing!
My father was born in Izmir, Turkey in 1914. Name Sahug Korajian, (not sure of spelling). His mother was Sultana and father was Badrik. Daddy was baptized on October 1, 1914. We never knew his actual birthdate.
Dear Reader,I would like to know if my grandma (Khatoun Balian) is from the famous Balian family.Thanks in advance.
Greetings, I am searching for my family other than my grandparents which I know. SOme went to Armenian, some were mascaraed and some went to Istanbul:
Paternal side:P Antranik Kazazyan (became Kazaz) from Sivas originally.
Maternal side: Suren Buculyan (also Karabulut for a time) from Adapazar
That is all I know.. your help0 will be appreciated
Katya Agavni Petersen (Kazaz)
I got records from this Turkish census up for Chimishgezak. The Sohigian familly and the the early familly males that go back to 1800
Are you planning on a presentation in Southern California in the near future?
I have traced my family to Maras (now Kharamanmaraş) in the mid-late 1890s in what was then the vilayet of Aleppo, an administrative district of the Ottoman Empire. The story I have been told is that my great-great grandfather was mayor of Maras at that time. The surname is Bairamian. His son Douros was tipped off by a patient ‘high up in the government’ that there was going to be violence. Douros, his wife Azniv/Elizabeth and at least one child, Barkev, fled immediately to Cyprus where my grandfather Vahé was born in 1900. Any information on the family while there were in Maras would be very gratefully received – or a pointer as to where I should search next.
If you haven’t already, search Ancestry.com for Douros Bairamian. You’ll find a family tree (Bairamian/Douro/Wardle) which was created by someone named Christine Wardle. In that tree you’ll see photos of Douros, his wife, your grandfather and other members of your family.
My maternal grandmother of Armenian origin was born in Aleppo, Syria on February 21, 1886. Her name was Terefanda Issiyan (or Essayan). Her father died when she was still a child and her mother, Jawhariya, remarried and carried the name of her second husband Nahas.
Is it possible to find out who her father was from her date of birth record or baptismal record?
Do you have access to any records that would lead us to know everything about her ? Your help is highly appreciated. Thank you.
Im hoping I could find my grandfather’s brothers ( i have picture includes my grandfather and his two brothers taken in 1917 in Boston, Massachusetts). My granfather Kamalyan Arshak and his brothers migrated to Boston, after a few years my grandfather found out that his parents are in Yerevan so he decided to go to them. As a result, he lost contact with his brothers in Boston. I would very much like to get to know my grandfather’s relatives and family that are still in Boston.
Im hoping I could find my grandfather’s brothers ( this picture includes my grandfather and his two brothers taken in 1917 in Boston, Massachusetts). My granfather and his brothers migrated to Boston, after a few years my grandfather found out that his parents are in Yerevan so he decided to go to them. As a result, he lost contact with his brothers in Boston. I would very much like to get to know my grandfather’s relatives and family that are still in Boston.
I am searching for the Arakchinjian family (Hovannes) born abt 1855 in or near Diyarbakir. He was married to Mariam Boyajian. Mariam came to the US in 1923 and listed “w” on her manifest. I don’t know if Hovannes ever came to the USA. His son Housef was born on or about 1 March 1887 in Diyarbakir. Would anyone know how I could research the family in Diyarbakir? Thank you very much for any and all assistance!
Trying find my dad father that was Armenian born in 1900 and was called Zare Matzitian moved to Greece and changed to Nikolaos Nicolaou died Athens 1938… was married in leondio Greece
I think I am from Armenian descent because my last name is arpayan and our family migrated from somewhere and went to little Armenia in Hollywood and all records of my ancestors have been lost when they were moving from somewhere my family split to being arpayan and arpallan and I’m trying to trace back my origins
Greetings from NZ ..I am a result of bond between my father Alexander Shooshan and Ofa Batty NZ ,, He was in the US Marines in !943 …she kept me for 4 months waithing for his return…working in an orphanage..I was adopted by a Maori family elderly…My Ancestry Dna results just received state 47% Armenian Turkish and 3% Mid East .. I uunderstand my maternal side ass I met my birth mother.i have plotted family from Worcester where alex wsa born and found his death 1983 in Mexico.. some other family names are Tenekjian Nalbardian…
I am hoping Im not running out of time as i am so excited in hopefully meeting some kin and already attribute some of my traits to having this amazing ethnicity..Any help you can suggest is so appreciated…John
Hi John I too am from NZ and wonder if you made any progress……….
My mother was ARMENIAN Istanbul born married an NZ soldier in Cairo where she lived during WW2.
My grandfather, Mkrtchyan Avanes Girkorovich was born in Sivas in 1889. Died in Baku in 1959.
I’d like to know if we have any relatives.
my grandfather was named Gilbert Kroubalkian. He was born in Turkey in either 1901 or 1902 – I think 1902. He came to America in 1919. He had one sister named Adrian Kantor who had a son named Raymond. Both men were highly educated and Christians. I have no idea about my grandfather’s family. it would be great if you could set me in that direction.
My grandmother was half armenian half lebanese. She got married to a syrian in the early 1900’s and moved to syria gave birth to my Mom and lived there. Unfortunatly both passed away 10 years ago successively 3 months in between. Im trying to get in touch with my armenian part in syria but i have no information about my grandmother’s name except that her name is Kamelia.
I need to know about my family tree fernezlian
Hello, I am doing some research for my family and I ended up in this page. Fernez is a tool for sponge collecting which used by divers. -li is a suffix in Turkish gives the word with… meaning. -ian or-yan is another suffix means son of… Your surname means Sons of the ones with fernez. It says a lot about family, like they lived in sea side and they once was sponge divers. This is all I can help as a linguistic. Good luck.
Hoping to find more information on my grandparents Sirarpi Agopian formerly Damadian and Levon Agopian. Levon Agopian was born March 14, 1899 in Tarsus, Turkey. Sirarpi Damadian was born in Istanbul, Turkey I do not know the date. Both fled to Bucharest, Romania where they met. I have several old photos of them and it looks like Sirarpi had at least two older brothers and her mother’s maiden name could have been Kevorkian. It is possible that Levon had one brother. I have heard stories from my dad who said that he had uncles that did not survive the genocide and some of his family fled to Russia. Just trying to figure out more information about my fathers side.
I am desperate to find information about my paternal grandmother, Marie Postalgian, who lived in Halab, Aleppo, Syria (born 1899) or thereabouts)with her mother (Miriam Born 1874 in Halab), brother Ohaness and her four children: Anahid Nahas (born 1918), Angel Nahas (born 1921), Yagop (born 1925) and George (born 1927). The name Nahas was the name of her then husband Abou, whom I believe was also Armenian. He left her in the early 1930’s and went to Brazil, I believe. I have had no success in locating any documents or records of their life in Syria or their migration records to Egypt around 1935/6. I’d be most grateful for any hints about where I can look. Thank you.
My name is Nadya Apelyan. i found my mother’s uncle’s letter from Armenia whos name was Baruir Partamian. I had no information that we had relatives in Armenia. Now looking for any members from Partamian family. The adress on theletter is Alaverdi rue Engels. I do notknow if this street is stiil exist.I was born in istanbul/Turkey now leaving in Canada.Please contact me if you know any information.
My last name is “ Masis”, do I have Armenian roots ?
I am trying to find information on my paternal grandparents Paul Pashigian and Elizabeth Bonjukian-Pashigian. The story goes that they escaped Ankara during the genocide of 1915. not sure of all my facts. Part of the family resided in Troy, New York according to family and my father and his immigrant parents ended up in Malden, Massachusetts. How can I find information. Most of my Armenian relatives that I know are deceased. I’m sure there are more relatives out there and I’d like to find out about them. My father’s name was Vasken Pashigian. Any information would be helpful.
Genealogy expert & the director of our historical archives George Aghjayan sent you an email this evening with information on your ancestors…We hope it is helpful to you…
I was not aware of my Armenian heritage until approximately 6 months ago, and I am 62! I am trying to identify my Armenian birth father. Info I have via DNA analysis leads me to the Surname HAGOOSIAN, and the city of Worcester. Mass. where I was born and where my mother graduated from The Worcester State Teachers’ College in 1957. I would like to ID the HAGOOSIAN male who is my father. I am running into difficulties communicating with the HAGOOSIAN family members. Is this common? Are children born outside of marriage condsidered a family shame in Armenian culture? Any information or next steps to take would be greatly appreciated as this is 1/2 of my ancestry.
Any info on the last names Jubian and Hagoubian? My great grand parents never would speak of Armenia…they took refuge in Egypt and could never speak Armenian or reveal their true ethnicity for fear of being murdered. I am trying to figure out where in Armenia we are from and what route they took to escape.
I was told that my family, ‘Leon’, came to the Christian valley in Syria from Armenia 500 years ago and later founded the Zwaitini village. They had farmed it and later the St George Monastery later deeded the land to them. The Syrians couldn’t say ‘Leon’ so the name morphed into ‘Layoun’, and later the agents at Ellis Island in 1912 lopped off ‘Layoun’ and gave my grandparents my great-grandfather’s first name as their last name ‘Charles’. My paternal grandparents spoke Aramaic. Any help will be appreciated.
Can someone point me in the right direction I’m interested in learning more about where my last name (Arathoon) comes from and more of my families history. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Hello I am looking for my grandmothers family. She was born in 1931-32 switching orphanages as a baby they had written two different years. We know she had a brother and her mother had died (I think if what she was told is true) so her father took her and her brother to orphanage. When she was older and had 7 children she thought she has found her brother but when he had came with his wife , the wife said no you don’t look a like even though they did and he even hugged her and started crying. He was a wealthy man and my grandmother wasn’t so the wife didn’t want him in her life. He would secretly send groceries to my grandmothers house through people but never showed up again and eventually the groceries stopped coming. I would love to know where she came from and what happened to him or if her father went on to have a family with kids. From what my mother remembers her name was on her original birth certificate Rima Manukyan or Rima hakopyan
My mothers family name is Guderian-Youderian is this name Armenian?
Hi i just found out from my dad that we are actually from Armenia but have been moved to turkey years back i don’t have a lot of information and my dad doesn’t know much too so don’t even know were to start from.
I would suggest to start through ancestry.com because they have a lot of access! And easy to build up a family tree.
My mother was born and raised in Iran. Her father, Matavous Shahanian (later changed to Iskandarian/Eskandari through a third cousin for unknown reasons) was most likely born in 1920 (died in 1967) in Teheran, Iran. His mother’s name was Salbi. Now my mother’s mother’s name is Parinaz Eisajani (born 1933 in Teheran, Iran). That is as much as I know since a lot of family history and information has been neglected through out the years. I want to know more but find it so hard to find anything!
Hi. Wonderful site. I am trying to find info on my grandfather’s family. He was Gannon Kharpootlian, known in the U.S as Harry Harpootlian. His father was Nation KHarpootlian. He left Malatia (now Malatya) and arrived in New York 1911, sponsored by his brother in Franklin, Mass., Krickor Kharpootlian. We understand through oral history that he had a wife and child who were to follow but were caught up in the holocaust and either were transported to Syria or were murdered. They disappeared. He did identify himself as married on the ship’s manifest.
He married Florence West in 1922 and had 6 children, my mother being one.
I’m starting to search for any records of his wife and child and any help as to a direction would be appreciated.
My maternal grandfather, Gilbert Kroubalkian, was born in Turkey in September 1904. He came to the United States – not sure of the year. His sister Adrian was allowed to visit us but unable to live here. Her son Raymond Kantor emigrated here in 1950-1960’s. My grandfather was very well educated and earned a good living in the typewriter business. They have all passed away and there is nowhere for me to turn to learn more about his history, his parents, family, etc.
Where can I look to find Armenian family roots going back 500 years when my ancestor migrated to Syria and founded their village in Zwaitini, Homs, Syria?
Looking for the names of the 5 Armenian brothers named SHOOSHAN who came to America in the 1890;2 and landed in New York Mr Grandfather later moved to Worcester, MA and had a successful ice cream business there. I had found some information at one time but when the computer crashed so did the information I have bee unable to locate the source sine. His name was either Kazar Manoog or Manoog Kazar Shooshan. He married Eva Parent, from Worcester, MA, and they had two children – Kazar Manoog and Eva Mabel
Rita K. Bodily,
You can reach George Aghjayan by email at: email@example.com
My family were also originally from Mardin. It is possible that we are related.
I would like to trace my paternal grandmothers Armenian family roots. The family resided in Constantinople in the early 1900s and their surname was Zacarian. Some of the family fled to Greece settling in Drama. My grandmother married a Maltese man who was in the British navy and were meant to travel to live in America, but stayed in Malta when the ship docked there. Eugenia Zacarian was my late grandmothers name and I would like to know anything about her life before she was married at 15 years of age and living in Constantinople. Thank you
My name is Alan Ouzoonian and I’ve been doing Armenian Genealogy for 49 years. I would like to offer you my resume attached here in the event your readers would be interested in having their family researched.
Armenian Genealogist with nearly 50 years of experience in researching Armenian family history and immigration to the U.S. In-depth understanding of where immigrants arrived in America and who they were meeting has given me a 98% success rate in locating individuals. Tracking more than 200 of my family’s relatives has given me the experience and insight into Armenian immigrant travels to and from the U.S.
Research covering all Armenian immigration for major U.S. ports from 1618-1959. Expert in determining the name used by the immigrant upon arrival, configurations of the last name, spelling of the name, English translations used and person intended to meet.
Collection of the first 750 Armenians who immigrated to America by decade, name, birthdate, naturalization date and census data (if applicable) from 1618-1885.
U.S. Census Records
Covering from 1850-1940, from the first Armenians recorded in census records through 1940
PowerPoint Family Tree System
Creator of the PowerPoint Family Tree, a unique binder ready family tree using PowerPoint as the basis tool, utilizing my family’s long held philosophy that photographs, documents and family trees should all be in bookshelf binder format for ease of viewing, preservation and organization. (Each page is laid end to end to create any size family tree with each generation lining up precisely across all generations)
Ancestral family tree chart design up to 40” x 48”.
Able to establish the birthdate of those who did not immigrate to America within 2 years as well as estimating death dates before or at the time of the Genocide.
Ability to date photographs within 2-3 years whether taken in Armenia or the U.S.
Traced and recorded a compilation of brief histories on the first 14 known Armenians in photography in America (which includes my paternal grandfather).
Armenian translations available (cost is separate from project cost).
Certificates can be provided if actual date and location is known (cost is separate from project cost).
Map of Kharput and surrounding Villages
Map showing all villages surrounding the province of Kharpet prior to 1915.
Map of Old Armenian Town in Fresno
Map showing Armenians and where they lived between 1915-1939
List of Armenian Population, Churches and Schools, prior to 1915
List showing historical data on some Armenian villages
Armenian Apostolic Churches in Western Armenian, prior to 1915
List of many Churches by village in Western Armenia
Rates are very reasonable; please contact me for a free quote at—-firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello, I am search for ancestors who I believe are Angelo Caruana married Francesca Giuseppa (Josepha) Fortunata Alessandra Mamo around 1837. Josepha’s parents were Vincenzo Mamo and Gratia Buttigieg. Her daughter was Maria Dolores Aloysia Caruana born in Malta in 1839. Any assistance to find these family members and other relatives would be greatly appreciated.
Hello, I am seeking info about my father’s great grandparents. I’ve been searching for weeks and it seems there is little to nothing about them. I cannot read, speak or write Hayseren. This is the precious little I have. My great grandmother Alisabet Voskerichian, along with her sister Hackig (or Hakig) escaped death in the genocide and came to America. Alisabet married my great grandpa Yeghizar Antranikian Ohanesian, the changed her first name to Alice Elizabeth. Her sister Hackig married a man named Aramian and beyond that, I know nothing. During my life, the only 2 people who talked to me about the genocide were my dad and grandpa Armen Ohanesian (Alice and Yeghizar’s son). He told me that Alice and Hackig saw their baby brother beheaded by gendarmes. Alice died when I was only 9. Armen, my amazing grandpa and one of my best friends, died when I was 16. But he told me what I could handle as a child. I’ve heard only recently that Alice and Hackig’s mother, who everyone says was named Mary, survived and came to America too. She was born in 1870, they say, and spent her childhood in orphnages. Nobody remembers her maiden name. The father’s name might have been Garobet, Garo, or Garabed Voskerichian. And in keeping with the tradition of those days, there’s a story that they might have altered the name to Oskerichian. I’ve spoken to the last of the children, who is now 96 and hard of hearing. She regrets not asking her mother (Alice) more questions about the horrors they witnessed, but none of the children could imagine that. They were born in America. I am desperate to find Mary, whose married name I can assume was Voskerichian. She was born around 1870 somewhere in Ottoman Turkiye, and her husband, whose name was Voskerichian, Vosgerichian, Vosgueritchian, Oskerichian or one of countless variations. I never heard stories about him, nor his or Mary’s names. The name Garobet popped up on my sister in law’s ancestry tree, but no hints about his life. Sorry about the novella, but I am frustrated, amongst other emotions.
Ma family is originally from small town near Ankara. They were merchants and were very rich. After they moved to Smyrna. Antoine was born 1839 in that small town near Ankara, and we don’t know the name of that small town. In Smyrna family had ships for trading and two mansions. Antoine graduated pharmacology in Paris and after graduating he came as Turkish officer in Bosnia. Here he got married and then returned to Smyrna and after birth of his children he came back to Bosnia where he lived till the end of his days. So the families Ballian that live in Bosnia and Croatia are direct descendants of him.