Armenian Weekly Publishes Baptism Records from Gesaria (1914-15)

The Sourp Krikor Lusavorich Church in Gesaria (Photo by George Aghjayan)


As I write this (Dec. 11, 2013), we now stand 500 days from April 24, 2015. One hundred years ago, babies were born, couples married, and there was no idea that life in Western Armenia would change forever in 500 days.

Some may say it ended, but that implies the presence of Armenians on those lands will never return. I do not believe that.

As far as I know, only records from one Armenian Apostolic church outside of Istanbul exist from the pre-genocide period: the records of Sourp Krikor Lusavorich in Gesaria (Kayseri). Beginning with this issue in the Armenian Weekly, a counter indicating the number of days remaining to April 24, 2015 and a list of those children baptized in this church during the same week 100 years ago, will be posted.

I wished to provide some additional information about the families of these children baptized a century ago in Gesaria. Unfortunately, the few sources I have do not offer such stories. It will have to wait for either another week or maybe for some reader that has such information.

Regardless, it is appropriate to reflect not on dry statistics but on the children born into a tempest and the trauma they and their families were about to endure.

I only ask that you turn that reflection into action!

The list of baptisms can be viewed at the Armenian Weekly.

Every month, we will update the list of baptisms with ones that occurred a hundred years ago on that same month.


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  1. Raffi Bairamian said:

    Great Job and May God Bless you Mr Aghjayan. My family is from Kayseri and my late father Daniel Bairamian was born in Kayseri on 1907 , and he passed away in March 2000 in Beirut Lebanon . We the survivors of the Genocide have lands and properties in Western Armenia which are occupied now by the turks. One day we will return to our holy land ,Western Armenia, and get back all our rights .

  2. George Aghjayan said:

    Dear Raffi,

    I have just checked and found your father’s baptismal record. He was baptized Sp. Krikor Lusavorich on 20 July 1907. It states his father as Parsegh Bayramian and his godfather as Vahan Bayramian. The officiating priest was Der Peniamin. That is all the information supplied at that time.

    George Aghjayan

    • Raffi Bairamian said:

      Sirely George, Many thanks for this valuable information , is there a site which I can visit and get records before 1914 ? I had already passed the results of your research to the members of the ” Kayseri Armenian Association in Beirut”. Vartsket Guadar & God Bless You

  3. Sylva Keshishian said:

    My grandfather, Harutyun (Artin) Keshishian was born c. 1899/1900 in Gesaria. His family were wealthy textile/rug merchants and bastr’ma makers. When his parents died he was raised by his uncles. Around the time of the 1915 genocide, he fled to Egypt and lived with his photographer brother. From there he moved to Cyprus and married. He fled Cyprus in 1964 during the civil war and lived in London till his death in 1974. Can you find any church records of my grandfather’s existence? I think his parents might have been called Garabed and Repeka Keshishian, but I’m really not sure. One of his uncles was Misak Keshishian, who apparently died in 1962. Can you help?