My parents never told me why Armenian was never spoken at home. Although it was spoken in front of me all the time on our weekly visits to see my grandfather, called Hairig, by everyone in the family. Perhaps they thought I would ‘integrate’ better. I now have the embarrassment of only speaking English. My grandfather, born in Smyrna in 1885, was multi-lingual, speaking Armenian, Greek, Turkish, English and French. And in his 80s, was comparing Armenian grammar with Russian! He did try to teach me the Armenian alphabet though when I was about 10.

I am now the custodian of the family bible bought nearly 200 years ago in 1820. By which time it was already fifteen years old, having been printed in Venice in 1805. Handwritten in the frontispiece are the essential details of Garabed Takvor YEGWARTIAN, born the 3rd August 1850.

Taking up the priesthood he became Der Haroutune YEGWARTIAN and became primate of the Holy Trinity Church in Manchester.

With a strong interest in family history, I have slowly put together a tree. So if anyone has knowledge of names like:

ALPIRIAN (ALPIAR) with a French connection

please contact me for help or with any information –

Mike Yegwart is one of our project contributors with an interest in genealogy