Text by Araxie Andréassian and S. Der-Meguerditchian
Karekin Andreassian was born in 1885 in Sivas/Sepasdia. He was a student at the local Jesuit College (Collège Saint-Joseph, known as "Forty Martyrs") in Sivas.
After a break, he returned to the college around 1895 to finally leave it in 1905, when he was about 18/20 years old and worked in a carpet factory in Sivas; later he worked in Afion Karahissar.
Between 1905 and 1907 he passed the competition to enter the service of the railway line that was under construction (Berlin, Baghdad, Basra). He succeeded in the competition in 1910 in Afion Karahissar and was appointed station chief. This was his first post.
He married Arousiag Kambourian in 1912 when he was 27 years old, she was 15 years old. Then, he worked again for the railway company and he was appointed station chief in Homs, then in Hama (currently Syria). In 1920, it is believed that he was in Adana, because his son Avedis was born in Adana. Karekin left Adana in October 1921 the latest, when the French Army started to leave the region of Cilicia leaving it to the Turkish government.
Karekin and his family arrived in Constantinople at the end of 1921. Karekin worked as an accountant at the Armenian Patriarchate in Constantinople between 1921 and 1922. His wife Arousiag, his mother in law Shamel Tungrian Kambourian and his children Robert and Avedis lived in Constantinople until 1923.
Here is the list of Karekin and Arousiag's children:
1. A first male child, died in 1913;
2. Salmart, a girl, died at 6 months in the years 1914-1915 in Sivas;
3. A little girl Araxie, who died in 1916/1917 at the age of 5 from Spanish flu in Aleppo, during the deportation;
4. Robert (1918 Aleppo - 1968 Paris);
5. Avedis (1920 Adana - 1930 Paris);
6. Alfred (date of birth unknown - 1931 Paris);
7. Jacques (1924 Paris - 2009 Paris).
Karekin left for Paris early in 1923, before the Kemalists' arrival in Constantinople. At the end of 1923, the whole family had settled in Paris. Karekin worked in the public service sector: at the Post and in the Telecommunications department (PTT); at the Social Insurance Center (at the Ministry of Labor). He also probably worked in the police prefecture.
Arousiag Kambourian was born in 1895 in Sivas. She is the eldest of 3 sisters. Her two little sisters were deported in 1915 and were kidnapped by Kurds on the road during the deportations. Since then we have no news of them.
Arousiag is the daughter of Serop Kambourian (killed in 1915 in Sivas) and Shamel Tungrian/Tenguerian (depending in which country the family found refuge - the name is written Tungrian or Tenguerian or Tengerian), both originally from Sivas (Sepasdia). Arousiag Kambourian, married in 1912 in Sivas with Karekin Andreassian at the age of 17.
Arousiag's mother, Shamel Tungrian/Tenguerian, also had two older brothers; one of them was Melkon Tenguerian (married to Takouhi Agopian) and the other, Samuel, who left for Boston around 1900.
Melkon had four children (Aghavni, born 1903, Shnorhig, born in 1905, a girl (name unknown), born in 1909, and a boy called Haig, born in 1912). Melkon was hanged by the local authorities in 1915. Takouhi, his wife, died in the deportation march, Shnorhig was kidnapped by Kurds (place unknown) and Aghavni went to work as a maid in a Turkish family (place unknown). Haig's destiny remains unknown.
The family tree made by Araxie Andréassian with the help of her uncles and aunts - clik here to see the tree in PDF format.
Samuel had two children - Tony Tungrian/Tenguerian and Samy Tungrian/Tenguerian (Samy died during WWII, on 5 January 1945 in Bastogne, in the Ardennes - Belgium). Samuel raised his niece Shnorhig (Melkon's daughter) who was found by her family and brought to the US (Boston). Shnorhig married an Armenian refugee from Sivas with the surname Zara. Aghavni (Melkon's older daughter) was found by her family and was taken to Paris (1923) to live with her aunt Shamel; later she married Levon Der-Meguerditchian from Marash and migrated to Buenos Aires (1929).
Shamel Tenguerian died in 1940, her daughter Arousiag died in 1957 in Paris.
The Andreassians' cousins, Sivas, before 1915. A family of drapers. The men in the photograph are Nchan Andreassian's and Nazareth Andreassian's sons: Levon, Mardiros, Hratch, Dikran, Mihran, Mgrditch.
Nazareth's family had a draper store in Sivas's main street. They traveled to Cyprus in 1912. They owned lands in Sivas and rented them out to be cultivated. In addition, they were moneylenders. It is said that the Andreassians financed the construction of one of the main churches of Sivas.
1. Karekin Andreassian and on his left, his wife Arousiag (née Kambourian). On his right, Armenouhi Andreassian (Bedros Messirian's wife, Nazareth Andreassian's daughter and Sirvart Andreassian's mother) 1912. Place unknown.
2. Arousiag Kambourian (right), her son Robert and Armenouhi Andreassian (left).
Karekin, Arousiag and two of their children who died at a young age.
1. Robert Andreassian, Istanbul, 1923,
2. Arousiag Andreassian (née Kambourian) with her son Robert in Istanbul, ca 1921,
3. Probably Alfred, in Paris.
Funeral in Sivas, 1910
Funeral in Sivas (before 1913). The dead woman is Vartouhi, born Achbayan (before 1913), Mardiros Andreassian's wife. In the center, seated, looking at the dead, are her two young sons Toros and Avedis. To the left of the two sons, in the first row, seated, with the white mustache is the deceased's husband - Mardiros Andreassian. First down to the right of the photo, seated, is Nazareth Andreassian, behind him, to the left, with a frown is Serop Kambourian (shot to dead with a group of Armenian men in Sivas in 1915 by the local authorities). The young child with a fez on the right corner is Barouyr Andreassian (7 or 8 years old). At the top of Mardiros Andreassian, is his nephew Minas Andreassian (1875 Sivas - 1970 Aix en Provence), Hagop Andreassian's son.
Sivas, 1923. The deceased is Meridjan Ansourian, Hayganush Andreassian's husband (Hayganush is Nazareth Andreassian's and Anassi Andreassian-Kazabashian's daughter, born in Sivas, 1890-1951).
Probably in 1920/21, Sivas. Anna Zallakian's funeral, she is Dickran Touloumdjian's first wife. In the photograph: Dickran Touloumdjian's father and Dickran and Anna's son, Azad.
In the photograph are: Thomas Der Garabedian (killed in 1915, decapitated) - Antaram Andreassian's husband - and Nvart's (born Der-Garabedian) mother (Nvart was married to Yervant Kassab Ohanian). The children: Zaruhi, the older one, and Nvart, the younger.
Aleppo 1921, 18 September, Eliza Bedikian sent this photograph to Miss. Zaruhi Bedikian. Zaruhi is the daughter of Antaram Andreassian and Thomas Der-Garabedian.