Abram Azarian (1865-1941)
BORN: Sivas, Turkey
DIED: New York City



A compilation of various records indicates that Apraham Melkon Hagop Azarian, AKA Abram, Apram, was born on April 7, 1865 in Sebastia (Sivas), Turkey, the son of Melkon Azarian and Gadar (Catherine). According to his death record his mother's maiden name was Hagopian. However, I suspect this is not correct and it is highly likely her maiden name was Birijian. See Other Azarians

According to family sources, his siblings were: Mary, Heghine, Gadar and Artin. However, it is highly likely that he had a siblings named, Tabougi (or something close to that) and Haroutian. See Other Azarians

As a young student in the 1950s Lucille Iorio, the daughter of Mary Azarian and the granddaughter of Abraham and Lucy Azarian, wrote a brief family history with information supplied by Abraham and Lucy's daughter, Christine Azarian Pace. The following is a transcription of Lucille's written report.

" History of Family Prior to Birth (Azarian)

My grandfather came from a little town in Asia Minor, where the traits of the people were red hair and tallness. My grandfather too, had red hair and was tall.1

He belonged to the Catholic religion.2 In the town, where he lived, they said mass in their native tongue.3 The people would not use the Latin language because they believed that had founded the Catholic religion first.

There is a legend that a prince was pass- (sic) though a mountain town and met a beautiful girl. He married this girl and they both founded a little town. All the people, who came from that town, are descendants of them; which of course includes grandpa.4

At the age of twenty, grandpa went to Istanbul and he became a purchaser for the French lines. Istanbul was the city in which he married; and, also, it was the city where seven children were born.5

After World War I, when most of his family had been killed by the Turks in the massacre, he and his family immigrated to America. In 1923 grandma died after living two years in Union City. Grandpa finished raising the children. A few months after I was born grandpa died."6

1 Unfortunately, the fact that Abraham Azarian was tall with red hair is probably NOT true. The only other description of him, his immigration information, says he was 5 foot 3 inches with brown hair. Photographs show him not much taller than his daughters who were not noted for their tallness.

2 Records show that he was married and his children were baptized in the Armenian Catholic Church in Constantinople.

3 Eastern Rite Churches, including Armenian Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Greek Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox do not say their masses in Latin, but in their mother tongue.

4 The old "descended from royalty" story. Lovely, but most likely not true. Abraham did come from the mountain town of Sivas in Eastern Anatolia, which existed at least as long ago as Roman times when it was known as Sebastia. HOWEVER, the word Pacradouni has been associated with the history of the family. A Google search for Pacradouni/Pakradouni/Bagrasouni Armenia several years ago revealed several sites that give the history of the Pacradouni. However, some of them are no longer up on the web.

History of Armenia . Thanks to Ilda Restrepo Pace for this tip.

Armen Gurekian says: "You can find a brief historry about Pakradouni on: ARMENIAN CONTINUING HISTORY The Period of Transition Until Pakradounis' Kingdom Event (690-855 A.D.) and ARMENIAN CONTINUING HISTORY Gagik I, Brother of Sempad II The Conqueror, on the Throne of Pakradounis. He was The Right Man Who Reigned For Thirty Years (A.D. 990-1020)

The Pacradouni story is connected to the village of Perkinik where Abram's wife, Lucy Arevian/Hagopian was born. The Armenian Catholic Archbishop, Hovhannes Tcholakian, told Tom and I in May 2008 that the Azarians of the Armenian Catholic congregation in Istanbul were from Pirkinik.

5The second part of the paragraph is true. Abraham was married and had his children in Istanbul. There were actually eight, but one died as a child. Is the first part of the paragraph true? Possibly. There is enough confirmable information in this little report, to lend credence to the possibility that Abraham went to Istanbul circa 1885 at age twenty and worked as a "purchaser for the French lines". I believe that his parents were in Istanbul by 1890. There is a baptismal record for a child of Melcon and Catherine Azarian born in Istanbul in 1890. See Azarian

6 The last paragraph is true.

All of the known records agree that Abraham's parents were Melkon and Catherine Azarian. In addition, traditional naming patterns reaffirm the names, Melkon and Catherine, as the names of his parents. His first daughter was named Catherine and his first and only son was named Melcon.

The place of Abraham's birth and his age are taken from the information he supplied on his immigration in 1920. His death record listed him at age 80 in 1941, which would mean he was born 1861.

Sebastia, AKA Sepastia and Sevastia, is known in modern Turkey as Sivas. Sivas is both a Turkish villayet (province) a sanjak (a subdivision or state of a villayet) and a city in eastern Anatolia. The town of Sivas is located at 4,183 ft above sea level on the north side of the Kizil (Red) (Kizilamk) River. The climate in the area includes, short hot summers and long, cold and "harsh' winters. Rain and snowfall are minimal and the resulting dry climate causes the area to be predominately steppe or prairie vegetation.

Robert H. Hewsen in Armenia, A Historical Atlas says,

"In the sanjak of Sivas, there were approximately twenty- six Armenia villages, the local peasants being engaged in agriculture and handicrafts.

In the town, the Armenians were the merchants, traders, and artisans but were also involved in money changing and money lending and most of the rather extensive trade of the province was in their hands."

Under the city of Sivas he says,
" Altogether the city contained 30 mosques. The Apostolic Armenians possessed four churches, the cathedral built in 1840 being the largest. There were also an Armenian Catholic church, a Catholic chapel attached to the Jesuit mission, and a single Greek Orthodox church."
"There was a Roman Catholic "college" in Sivas, and the city possessed an American mission hospital."
Hewsen further says that there was a Armenian Catholic "bishopric" established in Sivas in 1858

Hewsen quotes the Viscount Bryce, 1916.

"This province is less mountainous and much richer than its eastern neighbors. Agriculture is flourishing, the nomad shepherd is comparatively rare, and there are a number of populous towns with the beginnings of local Manufacture. "
This area of Turkey is a semi-arid intermountain plateau with few trees, hot summers, and cold harsh winters.

See Sivas and Pirkinik


Family stories, as told to me by Alice Azarian Blanck and to George Parnegian by his mother, Catherine Azarian Parnegian, relate that Abraham and Lucy eloped to Constantinople because Abraham was supposed to go into the priesthood and their families did not approve of their union. While it makes a very romantic story, I am skeptical. Given the strict cultural isolation of the women in that part of the world at the time of their marriage, elopement all the way from Sivas to Constantinople would have been out of the question. Furthermore I believe that they were both living in Constantinople at the time of their marriage. The clincher, is that they were married by a bishop. It seems highly unlikely that the bishop would have married a nineteen or twenty year old woman without her parents permission. Therefore, I believe that their marriage was fully approved by their parents (or at least hers).

Stories of romance are very common in all societies. My Irish great grandmother and great grandfather were supposed to have met on the ship coming over from Ireland. The only problem is that she immigrated in 1890 and he immigrated in 1894.

The records indicate that there were Azarians living in Constantinople in the 1830s and Hagopians and Arevians by the 1890s. It is my understanding, however, that Azarian is a common Armenian name, so it is possible that some of these Azarians in Constantinople were not related.

There are indications that Abraham was living in Constantinople by 1890.

It is highly likely, given the customs of the time, that the marriage between Abraham and Lucy was arranged. It is also possible that Lucy was a relative of Abraham's mother. Both Abraham's mother's maiden name and Lucy's maiden name have been listed as Hagopian.

The Marriage Record

Abraham Azarian, the son of Melkoni (Melkon) Azarian, married Ezisabet Hagopian, daughter of Hagovpas (Hagop) Hagopian, on May 25, 1895. The marriage was performed by Bishop Abigian. The witness was, Matos Dezetsian, place of residence, Ho Prgiz.

The marriage record was taken from LDS microfilm # 1037106, records for Surp Savour, Armenian Catholic Church, Beyoghle, Constantinople, Turkey.

Clearly, either Abraham or Lucy had connections, since they were married by the bishop.


Ezisabet would transliterate as Elizabeth. In all other records she was known as either Lucy or some variation of Lucy. There is no question that this is the correct record as the records for the Armenian Catholic Churches in Constantinople are very limited.
If Lucy's date of birth as listed on her immigration record and her death record are correct, it would mean she was close to 20 years old at the time of her marriage. This strikes me as on the "oldish" side for a first marriage in the culture of the time and place. The slightly older age at marriage may reflect European influences on the family.

See Lucy Hagopian/Arevian


Abram and Lucy had:

  1. Catherine AKA Gadarine.

    Gadarine Azarian, the daughter of Abraham Azarian and Lousia Hagopian, born October 3, 1896, Galatia, priest, Bishop Abigian, godfather, Avitis Hagopian, church------, baptized October 6, 1896. LDS film #1037106, Surp Savour, Beyoghle, Istanbul.

    Note: Avitis Hagopian was also the godfather of:

    • Christine Azarian, the daughter of Abraham and Lucy Azarian in 1899
    • Anna Arevian, the daughter of Batist Arevian, in 1909.
  2. Christine

    Kristine Azarian, the daughter of Abraham Azarian and "Liousi" Arevian, born March 8, 1899, baptized on March 28, 1899, priest, Bishop Gomitas, godfather, Avitis Hagopian. LDS film #1037106, Holy Trinity Church, Beyoghle, Istanbul.


    • The records that include the baptism of Christine are a little odd, in that there are two sets of records for this church. Both include the baptism of Christine in 1899 and contain the same information which does not include the place of residence.
    • There were no other records in Holy Trinity for any Azarians, Arevians or Hagopians

    Family history says that Lucy had a sister named Christine.

  3. Melcon

    "Milkon" Azarian, the son of Abraham Azarian and Lousia Hagopian, of Galatia, born March 1, 1901, baptized on March 17, 1901, priest, Father Nourijian, godfather, Stepan Gougoujian place of residence, Ho Prgiz. LDS film #1037106, Surp Savour, Beyoghle, Istanbul.


    • Melkon was named for Abraham's father.
    • Gouchujian was the maiden name of Batist Arevian's wife, Elizabeth.
  4. Zabel

    Zabel Azarian, the daughter of Abraham Azarian and Louzia Arevian, born ---4, 1903, baptized, October 5, 1903, priest Haroutini -----, godfather, Martiz Margosian. LDS film #1037108, Church of Surp Ohannes, Vosgeperan, Taksim, Istanbul.


    • Zabel must have died as a child because Zabel (Alice) was born in 1915. I could not find the death record.
    • Who was Zabel named for? None of the siblings of either Abraham or Lucy were listed in the family history as being named Zabel.
  5. Virginia, AKA Ermina and Eftik

    Ermina Marta Azarian, the daughter of Apraham Melcon Jacob Azarian and Louzia Arevian, born September 15, 1905, baptized on December 4, 1905, Priest------, godfather, Anton Aslanian. LDS microfilm #1037108, Surp Ohannes, Vosgeperan, Taksim, Istanbul.


    • There were no other Azarian, Arevian or Hagopian baptisms recorded in Surp Ohannes.
    • None of the siblings of either Abraham of Lucy were listed in the family history as being named Ermine.
  6. Anna, AKA Annik

    Anna Azarian, the daughter of Abraham Azarian and Lousia Hagopian, Galatia, born March 25, 1908, baptized May 18, 1908, priest, Ekmekjian, godfather, Tibalti Arevian, place of residence, Ho Prgiz. LDS microfilm #1037106, Surp Savour, Beyoghle, Istanbul.

    Eileen Claveloux, the granddaughter of Anna Azarian Claveloux, gave me a copy of a baptismal certificate that Anna Azarian Claveloux obtained from the Armenian Catholic Church in Istanbul in 1969. It reads:

    " Acte de Naissance et de Bapteme

    L'Archeveche Armenien Catholique d'Istanbul declare et certifie que Anna (Annik) Azarian, fille des epoux legitimes Abraham Azarian et Lucie (Nee Agopian), est nee a Galata (Istanbul) le 25 Mars 1908 et qu'ell e ete baptizee et confirmee, selon le reit Armenien Catholique le 18 Mai de la meme annee par Monsiur l'Abbe Raphael Ekmekdjian en eglise paroissiale du Saint Sauveur a Galata, ayant eu pour parrain Monsieur Stepan (Etienne) Tibaldi.

    En foi de quoi le present certificat e (can't read two words) pour servir et valoir ce que de droit.

    Fait a Istanbul, le 20 Aout 1969


    "Certificate of birth and baptism. The archives of the Armenian Catholic Church of Istanbul declares and certifies that Anna (Annik) Azarian the legitimate daughter of Abraham Azarian and Lucie nee Agopian, was born at Galatia (Istanbul) on March 25, 1908 and was baptized and confirmed according to the Armenian Catholic rite on May 18 of the same year by the Abbot Raphael Ekmekdjian in the parish church of Saint Savior at Galatia and her godfather was Stepan (Etienne) Tibaldi.

    This certificate will serve as proof.

    Istanbul August 20, 1969."

    The godfather's name in the church records was given as Tibalti Arevian and in the 1969 certificate as Stepan (Etienne) Tibaldi.

  7. Mary AKA Hephine and Helen.

    Heghine Miriam Arevian Azarian, the daughter of Abraham Azarian and "Linsi" Hagopian, born September 22, 1910, baptized on ----21 1910, priest "Ekmikjian", godfather, Batist Arevian, place of residence, Chechtik (?) Galatia". LDS film #1037106, Surp Savour, Vosgeperan, Taksim, Istanbul.


    Family history says that Abraham had a sisters named both Mary and Heghine.
  8. Alice AKA Eranin Zabel

    Eranin Zabel Azarian, the daughter of Abraham Azarian and Lousia Hagopian born December 9, 1914, baptized on December 27, 1914, priest, Jakob Mazarian, Godfather, Haroutias Azarian, residence Galatia (there are two other words written here that I don't understand). LDS film #1037106, Surp Savour, Vosgeperan, Taksim, Istanbul.


    Alice told me that her name was changed by her school teacher.

1891 Annuaire Oriental (ancien Indicateur oriental) du commerce, de l'industrie, de l'administration et de la magistrature... 10e annee, 1891)

In July 2012 Catherine Saiko graciously sent me the internet connection to the Annuaire Oriental 1891 which contained the following listings for the names AGOPIAN, AREVIAN and AZARIAN

1891 Annuaire Oriental

  1. Page 525 3me Rue Boyouk Parmak Capou)

    105 Agopian, (Micael) Negociant

    107 Azarian (Antonine), banquier

    107 Azarian (G.) employe a la banque ott


    Mgr Etienne Pierre X. Azarian,. Patriarche de Cilicie.

    Azarian (Ant.), banquier, Grande Rue de Pera, 107. Azarian (Aristakes p.226 (3) AZAR - page 226 Azarian (Stepan), broderies, Kezabdjioflou. Han, 24, S. Azarian (Vit.), miroitier, Kurkdji Han, 11, 19, S. Azarian (Vit.), marchand, R. Djelel, 7, P.

    Azarian Pere et Fils, et negociants, R. Perchembe Bazar, 22, G.

    Azarian (St.), Kezapdjioglou Han, 24, S.

    Azarian (Vit.), Kurkdji Han,11, 12,39

    Azarian (Antoine); banquier.

    Azarian (G.), employe a la banque ott.

    Azarian (Yitchen), marchand. 9.

    Azarian (Bedros). Avocats : Ismail Hakki Effendi.

    and more, but no Abram

In 1891 Rue Luledji Hendik La 21 e a gauche dans la Grande Rue de Pera (No 697 a la rue Bit Bazar listed Nos. 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 28, 30, 31, 33, 32, 70, 72, 87, 93, 98, 100, 101, 104, 106, 112, 117, 121, 123, 124, 125, 126, 128, 130. No Azarian. No Arevian

S. Hassan Ahmed, merceries, R. Luledji Hendek, 2S, S. Rebabdjian (Gar.), merceries, R. Luledji Hendek, 95, S. Loum (G.), vins etmastique, R. Luledji,7

Annuaire Oriental 1895

In July 2012 Catherine Saiko graciously sent me a copy of two pages of the Annuaire Oriental 1895 which contained the following listings for the name AZARIAN.

Azarian, peintre-artisle [painter-??], R. Meche, 12 P

Azarian (Gregorie), R. Syra, Selvi, 55 P

Azarian (Ant.), Dde de Pera, 107

Azarian (Aristakes Effendi), de la maison Azarian Pere et Fils, president de la chambre de commerce de Constantinople.- Dom: a Bouyoukdere.

Azarian (Bedros A.) de la maison Azarian Pere et Fils - Dom: a Bouboukdere

Azarian (Bog.) bijoutier [jeweler], Zindjirli Han 6, s.

Azarian (Jos.), de la maison Azarian Pere et Fils, R. Arslan 15, P.

Azarian (Joseph A.) de la maison Azarian Pere et Fils - Dom: a Bouboukdere

Azarian (M.) forgeron [smith], R. Calafat -yere 85, G.

Azarian (Mgr Etienne) catolicos de Cilicie, patriarche des armeniens catholiques, R. Sakyz Agatch, P.

Azarian Pere et Fils banquiers et negociants; fondes de pouvoirs de la Cle d'assurance Alliance (Voir) annonce page 1315). Maison fondee en 1835 par Ohannes Azarian sous la firme actuelle. Proprietaires actuels Aristakes Azarian et Joseph fils de Ohannes Azarian, Bedros A et Joseph A. fils de Aristakes Azarian president de la chambre de commerce de Constantinople depuis sa fondation R. Perchembe Bazar, 22. G.

Azarian (Pouzik), caissier [cashier] a la Cle des Quais

Azarian (Step), [designer], Djedid yarem Ilan 23, S.

Azarian (Vit.) miroitier [glazier], Kurkdji Han 11, 19 et R Mahmoud Pacha 95. S. Com: R. Pancaldi 199 Pera. He was listed as retired in the 1914 Annuaire Oriental.

No Melcon, no Apram

Annuaire Oriental 1914

In July 2012 Catherine Saiko graciously sent me a copy of two pages of the Annuaire Oriental 1914 which contained the following listings for the name AZARIAN.

  1. Azarian et Cie, negociants, Bouyonk Achir Effedni Han, 28, P.

    [Azarian & Co. traders]

  2. Azarian (Apram), employe, R. Luledji Hendek, 113 G. (see below)


  3. Azarian (Aristagues), banquier, Imp. Lorando, 2, P.

    [banker, importer?]

  4. Azarian Effendi, senateur, Grand Rue de Pera, 77


  5. Azarian (A. T.) et Fils, draps, R. Elma-Dagh, 10, Panc

    [and sons, draper/linens]

  6. Azarian (Azarik), negociant, R. Elma-Dagh, 10, Panc.


  7. Azarian (Boghos), joaillier, R. Gul-Soudjou, 11 S.


  8. Azarian, (Carnik), chef de section a la division de la comptabilite centreal de la dette publique --tomane, R Avanos, 9, P.

    [section head of accounting division central public dept]

  9. Azarian (Garabad), tailleur, R. Tchailar, 13, P.


  10. Azarian (G.) commissionnaire, Whittal Ban. 10, S. Dom: R Pancaldi, 201, appart. Azarian, 3.


  11. Azarian (Gregoire), rentier, R. Nicahn-Tache 9, P.


  12. Azarian (Hratchie), mercier, R. Tachailac 84, P.


  13. Azarian (Joseph A.), banquier, Boul, Ayaz Pacha, 77, P.


  14. Azarian (K.), fournit, pr. tailleurs, Grand Rue de Pera, 608

    [provides (pr.) tailoring]

  15. Azarian Pere et Fils ---, banquiers et negociants, fondes de pouvoirs de la Cie d'assurances Alliance, Maison fondee en 1835, R. Perchembe Bazar, 22, G.

    [Bankers and merchants, officers of the Alliance Insurance Co.]

  16. Azarian (Setrak), pharmacien, R. Elma Dagh, 41, Panc


  17. Azarian (Stephan) , Djedid Yaren Han, 26, S.

    [linen printer]

  18. Azarian (Vitehen), rentier, R. Pancaldi, 201, appart, Azarian, 3


G.=Galata, P.=Pera, S=??

Numbers 1., 3., 13. and 15. are related to the Azarian Brothers, the sons of Hovhannes Jean Azarian (1795-1864) and Anna Kovhovmjian (Kouyouomdjian) (1801-1896) from Perkenik.

Numbers 5., 6. and possibly 16. have the Elma Dagh address in common.

Numbers 10. and 18. have an address in common.

"The senator" was Mr. Manouk AZARIAN. See Gregor and Manouk Azarian above.

Apram Azarian is my husband's grandfather.

Catherine Saiko also sent me a copy of the page showing the inhabitants of Luleji Hendek Street in Galata.
LULEDJI HENDEK (rue), Galata. (1)

La No. 21 a gauche dans la Grand Rue de Pera (No. 697), a la rue Bit Bazar [ 21 to the left of the Grand Rued de Pera (no. 697) to Bit Bazaar Street.]


  1. Azarian (Apram), employe.
  2. Mamon (Georges), bombotes
  3. Zarzavasakis (Dim), vins et mast.
  4. Arevian (Baptiste), proprietaire
  5. Mosquee Hodja Ali

The Ali Hoca Cami [Ali Hodja Mosque] is still at the corner of Hoca Ali Sk and Luleci Hendek Cd. Luleci Hendek sokak

Map collection Maggie Land Blanck, July 2012

This is a German Map so street names vary from English, French and Turkish. My additions:

  1. Galata Tower
  2. Rue Luledji Hendek the location of the Hoca Ali Mosque hence near the Arevian Appartement
  3. Holy Savior (Saint Sauveur de Galata) Armenian Catholic Church
Apparently apartment living in Turkey was a relatively new concept in the mid to late 1800s. It was considered more modern and more western. Most of the residents in the new apartments buildings around the Galata tower were in the high or middle high income strada.


Other on Luledji Hendek (Luleci Hendek [current spelling])

  1. Ali Hoca Cami (mosque)

  2. C. Godins de Souhesmes (Chevalier Gaston des), publiciste, chevalier de l'O. de S. Sylvestre, off. du Nichamlftikar, decore de la croix Pro Ecclesia et Pontifies; des Soc. d'arch. Lorraine, d'Emul. des Vosges, Philomathique de Verdun, d'Etudes econ. de Paris, etc.; - rue Luledji Hendek, 87, Constantinople-Galata (Turquie). Annuaire du Conseil heraldique de France 1890 and 19892
  3. Church of St Benoit Luledji Hendek no. 3, 1893

  4. Francaise L. MOURKlDES, printer, Luledji Hendek St., 125 Tel. Pera 321 St. Yuksek Caldirim, Robert College 1913

  5. 1920/21 Maison du Marin, rue Luledji-Hendek, pres de la Tour - Galata, est un Cercle pour les matrins et soldats cantonnes a Constantinople. (Bulletin du Diocese de Reims 1920) At the Marin House rue Luledji-Hendek near the tower a circle for sailors and soldiers stationed in Constantinople.

Annuaire Oriental 1914 shared by Catherine Saiko, 2012

The occupations of people on Luledji Hendik in 1914 included: employees, jeweler, director adjunct at the Red cross, shoemaker, several merchants, ?? at the greek school Christo in Galata, commissioner, director of the Tiring house in Galata, ?? of the Barbalegou-Magou house, captain, furrier, wines & mastic, printer & book binder, smith, grocery, charcoal maker, can & carton maker, repasseur, tailor, collector at the Coq Rouge, employee of the lawyer Maurer, fish merchant, employee of the state tobacco, trunks, another captain, dairy (milk shop?), cafe, another repasseur, another tailor, another tobacco related job, painter & varnisher, another grocer, 2 carpenters, vegetables & fruit vender and a butcher. The majority of the names were Greek. Several were possibly Jewish. The only Armenian names were Azarian and Arevian (they were related to one another).

A large edifice on the Rue Luledji Henkek was/is the French school Saint Benoit and St. Benoit

I do not know when the Azerians moved to Rue Luledji Hendik or how long they stayed there. Mary (born in 1910 and Zabel (Alice) were baptized at a church in Taxim, a distance form Rue Luledji Handek. When Mike Azarian emigrated in February 1020 he listed his relative in Constantinople as Batiste Arevian 71 Havier Han.

Photos of Luledji Hendek (Luleci Hendek [current spelling])

Photo Ed Land, 2012

The green building on the right is the Ali Hoca Mosque. The banner is an ad for the City Museum in commemoration of the opening of the Beyoglu Tunnel and 155 years of the Beyoglu community.

Photo Ed Land, 2012

Photo Ed Land, 2012

The green building is the Ali Hoca Mosque.

Photo Ed Land, 2012

Photo Ed Land, 2012

The green building is the Ali Hoca Mosque.

Immigration to the United States

Abraam Azarian a 55-year-old, married, worker from Constantinople and his daughter, Eftek, age 15 years, scholar, arrived in New York on October 26, 1920 on the S.S. Pannonia from Piraeus, Greece. They were listed as having paid their own passage. Abraam listed his next of kin in Turkey as his wife, "Soutnik Asarian" of Galatia, Constantinople. Relative or friend in the US was his "brother in law" Artin Sermergian at 245 30th St. New York. They are both listed as able to read and write Armenian. Abraam was listed as 5ft. 3in. tall, brown hair and brown eyes, in good health. His place of place of birth was listed as Sebastia, Turkey. Eftek's height was listed as 5ft. 2in. tall, brown hair and brown eyes, in good health. Her place of birth was listed as Sebastia, Turkey. There was a notation "spec exam" over the entry for Abram.

This information is taken from the manifest of the S.S. Pannonia available at the National Archives Records Administration, NYC Branch.

Note: "Artin Sermergian" (Harry Semerjian) later became Virginia's husband. See Virginia

Who was born in Sivas?

The ship's manifests that listed the immigration of Abraham and Eftik in 1920 and Annik, Heghine, and Zabel in 1921 state that all of them were born in Sivas. See Anna, Mary and Alice

Could this be true?

Sivas was more than 500 miles from Constantinople over mountainous terrain. It is an established fact that Eftik, Annik, Heghine, and Zabel were baptized in Constantinople. It is hard to believe that they would have been born in Sivas and baptized in Constantinople. Clearly they must have been born in Constantinople. Technically, this puts into question whether Abraham was born in Sivas. There may not be any way to resolve that question definitively, since there are no remaining records for the Armenian churches in Anatolia. It is clear that Abraham and Lucy had strong ties to Sivas, and it is highly likely that Abraham was born there.

There is the possibility that they listed Sivas as a place of birth for immigration reasons. Before the First World Was immigration policy into the United States had been fairly lenient. However, things tightened up around 1920/21 when there was a big influx of refuges from countries that had been affected by the war. Before the war, no documents were necessary for immigration. After the war various documents were required. While there had always been a trickle of Armenian immigration to the United States, it increased dramatically after the atrocities in 1900-1915. Post war Armenian immigration was very high. In 1921 the United States government instituted an immigration quota of three percent a year for each nationality. Lucy and her daughter, Anna, Mary and Alice arrived in May of 1921, after the quota had been established. Immigration to the United States virtually closed to Armenians by 1924. I do not really know what the situation for the Armenian population in Constantinople was during the genocide and WWI. However, the real atrocities occurred in the Armenian communities in Anatolia. Sivas and Harput were towns from which the Armenian population had been rounded up by the Turks and marched into the desert. It may have been easier to get the necessary immigration documents coming from Sivas than coming from Constantinople.

Abraham and Lucy obviously communicated with people in Sivas. In 1920, their daughter Eftik (Virginia) had an arranged marriage with Harry Semerjian an Armenian from Sivas who had been living in New York for eleven years.

Abraham Azarian in the 1929 Directory in Union City, N. J.

Abr Azarian Residence Year: 1929 Street Address: 424 17th Residence Place: Union City, New Jersey Publication Title: Union City, New Jersey, City Directory, 1929

Abraham Azarian in the 1930 Census

Abraham Azarian was listed in the 1930 census in Union City with his son, Melcon, and two of his daughters, Mary and Alice. Go to The Azarians in the 1930 Census

Abraham Azarian in the 1940 Census

Bronx, Azarian, Abraham age 80 widowed, father, born Turkey no occupation. No of household in order 82 C, page 18. He should have been listed with Melcon and his wife but was added on a separate page. Page 7, house hold no 82, 825 Eagle Ave Bronx, Azarian, Melco, head, age 34, born Turkey, salesman, dry cleaners, Vera, age 29, born Massachusetts, Methune, right next to St Ann's Ave Church (maybe St Peter and Paul), near 3rd Ave.


Abraham Azarian died on May 6, 1941 of post-operative broncho-pneumonia. The operation was for a prostatectomy for a hypertrophies prostate. He was in Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx for 18 days prior to death. Addition information: usual address, 825 Eagle Avenue Bronx, length of residence in NYC, 10 years, age 80, widowed, parents, Melcon Azarian and Catherine Hagopian, both parents born in Turkey, profession, none. The information was provided by his son, Melkon Azarian.

Abraham was buried on May 9, 1941 at Grove Church Cemetery in North Bergen, New Jersey. Funeral Director: NY Funeral Service Co. 148 E 7; 4th St. Permit Number 2383.

The above information was taken from the death certificate of Abraham Azarian, filed in the Borough of the Bronx, and available on microfilm from the New York City Archives, certificate #4509.


His parent's names, as listed on the death certificate, were the same as Abraham supplied for the names of Lucy's parents on her death certificate in 1923.
No will listed by the New Jersey State Archives, August 2008.

Miscellaneous Information

Louie Claveloux told me that Abram and his son, Mike Azarian, had dry cleaning businesses in New York somewhere (either the Bronx or Manhattan).

Avo Azarian is the only marriage listed for the name in the Bronx (1931 cert #4612). There is no apparent relationship to Abram and family.

Photos of Abram Azarian

Unfortunately this photo is out of focus, making it hard to see most of the faces clearly.

It is the only known photo of Abram and Lucy together. Lucy is seated next to Abram.

The other people are not known. The location is not known.

Collection of Lucille Iorio Gaudelli.

Again parts of this photo is out of focus, making it difficult to be certain who the two girls are. The men are clearly Mike and Abram. The girls are probably Alice and Mary.
Collection of Lucille Ioio Gaudelli.

Abram Azarian and Mike Azarian
Collection of Lucille Ioio Gaudelli.

Collection of Lucille Ioio Gaudelli.
Mary and Alice's Communion. Mary and Alice made their communion at St Anthony's in Union City on January 22, 1924.

From the left, Anna, Mike, Alice, Abram, Mary, Christine, Unknown

Lucy And Abraham Azarian were buried in Grove Church Cemetery, North Bergen, New Jersey, Section 9, Row T, Grave 21. There is no marker. The red arrow marks the approximate grave site.

Photo by Maggie Land Blanck

Alice Azarian Blanck gave this medal to her son, Tom. She told him that the medal was given to Abraham Azarian in commemoration of a rescue from drowning of the son of an important Turkish official. The medal is a Mejidie Order.

Photo by Maggie Land Blanck

Mejidie Order (Mecidi Nishani) - Established in 1852 by Sultan Abdulmejid I, this order became the quintessential decoration of the Ottoman Empire. The order came in five classes, with the highest class limited to 50 members, and the lowest class limited to 6,000. This limitation did not apply to foreign recipients, however, and many examples were awarded to foreign diplomats, heads of state, and British, French, and German military personnel.The Mejidie order could be awarded to women.

Most of the medals and orders issued by the Ottoman government were struck at the "Darphane Amire" or National Mint in Istanbul. Although medals did not carry the mint's mark, most orders produced in the last 20 to 30 years of the Ottoman Empire carry a mint mark. One exception is the Osmanie Order badge, which is enameled on both sides, but breast stars of the order usually bear the mark on the reverse. The image below shows the circular mark, with the words "Darphane Amire" contained in a crescent.

Just above the mint mark is a smaller mark, which is a silver hallmark that is occasionally found on Ottoman orders. This smaller mark is merely a circular cartouche with the word "Sah" (Pure)."

Medals, Orders and Decorations of the Ottoman Empire

The impression at the ceter of the above medal is of the "Darphane Amire" or National Mint Istanbul seal.

If you have any suggestions, corrections, information, copies of documents, or photos that you would like to share with this page, please contact me at maggie@maggieblanck.com

Sivas, the birth place of Abram and Lucy Azarian

Lucy Other Azarians
Armenians in Turkey The Genocide
Sivas Pirkinik

If you wish to use any of the images or information on this page please feel free to do so provided that you give proper acknowledgement to this web site and include the same acknowledgments that I have made to the provenience of the image or information. Thanks, Maggie

© Maggie Land Blanck - Page created 2004 - Latest update, April 2015