Gloria Korkoian put this rich family archive at Houshamadyan’s disposal during an event that took place in Dearborn, Michigan, in March 2017 which was organized in order to collect family archives and objects of memory pertaining to Ottoman Armenians. This family collection comes from Gloria’s paternal grandfather’s family - the Der Matossian family - and her maternal grandmother’s family – the Kurkjian family.
The Der Matossian family hailed from Keghi and first arrived to the United States in 1912. While the Kurkjian family originally hailed from Agn - a branch of the Kurkjian family had later moved and settled in Erzincan/Yerznga.
The Der Matossian family, Keghi. Photographer: Samuel H. Srabian. This photograph must have been taken before 1912, given that the people who are in this photograph had already immigrated to the United States in 1912. Seated: Garabed Der Matossian, wearing a fes. The lady sitting to his left, wearing a veil, is his wife Aghavni Der Matossian (born Mousheghian). Standing behind Garabed is his daughter, Khanum Der Matossian. The identities of the rest of the people in the photograph are unknown.
Garabed was born in the Chanakji/Çanakçı village in the region of Keghi in 1862. Garabed and Aghavani had 4 children: Hamazasb, Nshan, Khanum and Chester/Shavarsh; they were all born in Chanakji/Çanakçı.
The Der Matossians in Dearborn, Michigan around 1940. Standing from left to right are: Garabed Der Matossian, Chester/Shavarsh Der Matossian, Hamazasb Der Matossian and Nshan Der Matossian. Chester/Shavarsh, Hamazasb and Nshan are Garabed Der Matossian’s sons.
The Kurkjian family tree; prepared by family members.
The Kurkjian family, circa 1901. The elderly couple sitting in the center are: Krikor Kurkjian (wearing a fes) and Isgouhi Kurkjian (wearing a veil). The tall man standing between them is their son Garabed, who was married to Srpouhi (born Siseian). In this photograph, Srpouhi is sitting to her mother-in-law’s right. Garabed and Srpouhi had 7 children: Mgrdich (born in 1889, he is standing behind his mother and grandmother in the photo), Ohanness (born in 1892, he is standing behind his grandmother in the photo and had his hand on her shoulder), Youghaper (born in 1895, she is sitting on a stool right in front of her father in the photo), Isgouhi (born in 1897, she is sitting on the floor to her sister Youghaper’s right), Arshag (born in 1899, he is sitting on the floor, to his sister Youghaper’s left), Yeghishe (born in 1901, he is sitting on his mother’s lap), Norayr (born in 1902). The identity of the man wearing a fes standing to the far left is unknown.
1) Shoghagat Terzian (born Siseian) and her husband Hovsep Terzian, photographed in the United States. Shoghagat is Srpouhi Kurkjian’s (born Siseian) sister.
2) Doctor Khachig Siseian and his wife Aghavni, photographed in Erzurum/Garin. Khachig is Srpouhi Kurkjian’s (born Siseian) brother.
The Kurkjian family in Paris, France. During the time of this photograph, Garabed Kurkjian had already passed away. His children are in the photograph, from left to right are: Arshag, Isgouhi, Yeghishe and Norayr. The woman seated at the right is Garabed’s widow – Srpouhi Kurkjian (born Siseian).
1) Frances/Azadouhi Korkoian (born Jelalian) photographed in Cleveland (Ohio) or Detroit (Michigan), 1922. Frances is Gloria Korkoian’s mother. Sahag Jelalian (born in Kemakh in 1895) was Frances’s father and Youghaper Jelalian (born Kurkjian) her mother.
2) Frances/Azadouhi Korkoian (born Jelalian) photographed in 1918 in the Gedig Pasha neighborhood in Istanbul, before her family immigrated to the United States. They arrived to Ellis Island on the 31st of December, 1919.
Embroidery with the portraits of historic Armenian figures (kings, generals). 1 m x 80 cm (42 x 32 inch).
This embroidery is the work of Mary Siseian (born Kazanjian), she made it in Erzincan/Yerznga during the 1890’s. Mary is Gloria Korkoian’s great-great grandmother. Srpouhi Siseian (later Kurkjian) is Mary Siseian’s daughter, Youghaper Kurkjian (later Jelalian) is Srpouhi’s daughter, Frances/Azadouhi Jelalian (later Korkoian) is Youghaper’s daughter and Gloris Korkoian is Frances/Azadouhi’s daughter.
Mary was married to Bartev Siseian. They had two daughters: Shoghagat and Srpouhi, and two sons: Khachig and Arsen. Shoghagat was married to Hovsep Terzian. In 1895, Shoghagat and Hovsep immigrated to the United States taking the embroidery made by Mary with them. Srpouhi was married to Garabed Kurkjian; Srpouhi and Garabed are the maternal great grandparents of Gloria Korkoian, who put these materials at our disposal. In 1903, Srpouhi and Garabed would leave Erzincan/Yerznga and would settle in Istanbul. Khachig, one of Mary’s sons, was a doctor, who managed to survive the Genocide and escaped from Erzincan/Yerznga to Alexandropol (currently Gyumri). Mary and her other son, Arsen, were victims of the Genocide.