Thursday, May 5, 2022

Mirth at Los Gatos

You just never know what you will find about your family when you start searching newspapers.  The social notices or "society pages" contain great details about the lives of our ancestors.  I found this article in the San Francisco Examiner at  It was published on May 2nd, 1900, 122 years ago.  It details an outing of the Young Men's Institute, which is a Catholic men's fraternal organization founded in San Francisco in 1883. Eight members of my family are listed among those attending the event: Mrs. A Doherty (Ann), my 3rd great grandmother, her son,  J. (John) Thomas Doherty, my 2nd great-grand uncle, his sister Mrs. E (Ewen) Davidson (Eliza), my 2nd great grandmother, and her sister Mrs. L (Louis) Levenberg (Lillie), my 2nd great-grand aunt and the wife of their cousin William McKeon, Mrs. W (William) McKeon (Jeanette), along with the ladies' 3 children, Edna McKeon, age 1, Loretta Levenberg, age 2 and Claire Davidson, my great-grandmother, age 3.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

John H. Golden Stops Thieves

A recent subscription to has provided lots of entertainment as of late.  I will probably be posting lots of clipped articles, with commentary, in the coming months.  This article was printed in The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) on 15 May 1896.  The subject of the article is John Henry Golden, my great-grandfather (my mother's father's father). He was 23 years old at the time, single, and living with his sister, Winnie Dolan and her family at 511 Cherry St., Anaconda.
(Here is another post about the house.) He worked as a clerk for "Joseph Peters, clothing, boots, shoes, gents' furnished goods, hats, caps, gloves, underwear, etc. 24 Main".  I have interpreted "vag" as being short for "vagrant".  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Goldens in San Francisco, Part 2

Uncle Con Murphy, Aunt Marg Murphy, my grandfather Bob Golden, my great-grandmother Anna Murphy Golden, Dan Murphy

Last time we left off with Aunt Marg Murphy's 2 years of living in San Francisco, the first of the family to do so.  But we're supposed to be talking about Goldens in San Francisco.  During the time Aunt Marg was living there, at 846 Bush St. and later 305 23rd Ave., family lore has it that Marg's older sister Anna Murphy Golden had a spat with her husband and left Butte with the younger children.  This is confirmed by an entry in the 1928 San Francisco City Directory which lists "Golden, John H (Anna) h305 23d av" Here is what it looks like now.
And here is another bit of evidence: a photo of my grandfather, Robert E. Golden. On the back is written "May pageant, 1928. Alamo School, Robert E. Golden."  And where is Alamo School? 250 23rd Ave., San Francisco, CA  Just a 2 minute walk 305 23rd!
Bob was 10, his younger sister Margie was 7, and his brother Paul was 13.  I don't have anything to show that Paul was in San Francisco, but I assume Margie probably was, just because she was younger. How long did they stay? Not sure. The family story is that Grandpa John Henry drove out and picked up his wife and children. In the 1929 San Francisco directory, Aunt Marg is still listed as living at 305 23rd and working for Mack Truck, but there isn't a listing as clear as the 1928 one for Anna.  There are a couple of A. Goldens, and a Mrs. Annie Golden, but not at a familiar or nearby address.
By 1930 the census has everyone back in Butte, including Aunt Marg.  Well, except for John Henry, Jr., known as Jack.  He was in Washington, DC, attending Georgetown Medical school.  He boarded at 1431 Clifton St. NW which still looks like a pretty nice place to live.
This is his entry in the 1930 Domesday Book, the Georgetown yearbook.
Jack met his wife Julia Clements in Washington, DC where her father was a physician as well. Jack and Julia were married in San Francisco at St. Cecelia's Church on June 29, 1931.  So, why did they get married in San Francisco when her family was in Washington, DC?  Presumably he had starting working and she came out to join him. I think I need to do some more research before I continue with the story.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Goldens in San Francisco

I wanted to try and determine what originally brought the Goldens to San Francisco as it is quite important to our family history.  My grandparents, Bob and Betty, met in San Francisco, so really, the connection to the city is key to my existence!  I also wonder how Mame Towey figures in all of this, as she ended up in San Francisco as well, and the question is, did the Goldens already know her, or did they meet there.
So, let's meet all the players and develop a timeline.
We are talking about the family of John Henry Golden, Sr.(1873-1949) and Anna Honora Murphy Golden (1883-1958).  These are my great-grandparents.  John Henry was born in Ireland and came to the U.S. in 1889, first to Helena, Montana and then to Anaconda and eventually Butte, where he and Anna were married in 1904.  Mary Agnes "Mame" "Yonovera" Towey was a cousin/family friend/patient whose connection to the family hasn't been quite determined, but her family, the Toweys and the Goldens came from the same area of Ireland-Ballaghadereen, County Mayo (now Roscommon).
The first record I have of any of the family connection to San Francisco is actually not Mame or any Golden, it is a Murphy.  Margaret Murphy (Aunt Marg) was Anna's younger sister and in the 1920 census, she is living with John Henry and Anna in Butte at 1101 W. Broadway.  From the stories I have heard, she was a great baker.  She made the family Christmas fruitcake (a tradition still on-going) and my Mom and her cousins and siblings have memories of amazing Parker House Rolls.  Anna and Marg's sister Ellen died in 1919 at the age of 28, and their father, Michael Murphy died in April 1920.  The 1918 Butte City Directory lists Murphy, Margaret clk Heilbronner r 1101 W Bway and the 1923 directory has her there still.  But, in 1926, we find her in the San Francisco City Directory, the listing being "Murphy, Mrgt clk Mack Internatl Motor Truck Corp r46 Bush". How do we know this is the same person? Aunt Marg's obituary has details:

That just ties all the details together, doesn't it?  Her last San Francisco directory listing is in 1929, and in the 1930 census record she is back in Butte.  There is more to this story that needs uncovering though.  Family lore tells of a suitor she was not allowed to marry, and there are whisperings of a romance in San Francisco and certainly the Stock Market Crash of October 24, 1929 must have had a part in her return to Butte.  But sadly, no verifiable facts. Now, Anna and Marg's sister Christine died in Yakima, Washington in September 1929, but that doesn't seem like a reason she would return to Butte.  I also have questions on why she went to San Francisco in the first place.  It seems so far away, and I wondered what travelling there was like in 1926.
So, besides being the sister of Anna Golden, what does Aunt Marg's excursion to San Francisco have to do with the Goldens' connection to that city? Stay tuned for The Goldens in San Francisco, Part 2, coming soon!

Friday, March 17, 2017

My Irish Family in Early San Francisco

This is my great-great-great grandmother, Ann McLaughlin Doherty (1835-1915), who lived at 35 Elsie St. We believe that is the location of this photo. She is recorded at this address in the 1907 San Francisco City directory. She lived here until her death. Her son John continued to live there through the mid-1930's. Her daughter, Ann Doherty Coxe, lived next door at 33 Elsie with her husband Edgar and son William. She lived here until her death in 1921. In the 1930 census John is listed at 55 Elsie with his nephew William living next door at 53 Elsie. I am wondering if the street was re-numbered. In 1936, at the time of John's death, he was living with his sister Mrs. Elizabeth Levenberg at 55 Elsie.
Ann was born in Ireland, about 1835.  Her sister Kate also came to the United States and lived in San Francisco as well. Ann and her husband Roger Doherty had arrived in New York by 1861, for the birth of their son, William. Daughter Ann was born in New York in 1865.  Ann and Roger had four more children: Mary, Elizabeth, Lillie and John, all born in San Francisco, CA.  From at least 1880 to
after 1890 the family lived at 823 Harrison. Roger died in 1891 and was buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery, which was located between Masonic and Parker, and Geary and Turk.  He was later "removed" to Holy Cross in Colma, (no actual remains were found to re-bury).
Ann and family lived on Harriet St.; I found listings at both 17 and 45 Harriet.  After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the family relocated to the Bernal Heights neighborhood, which is the Elsie St. address shown in the picture above.
Ann's oldest grandchild was my great-grandmother, Claire Davidson Steele, a.k.a. Mammy (1897-1993).
Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my Irish family!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Paloutzian photo update

I have updated the information on the Paloutzian family photo taken at Peter Thompson's (Bedros Paloutzian) ranch in Selma, CA circa 1918.

Here is that original post: 52 Paloutzians

Friday, February 14, 2014

A 110-year-old Love Letter

Happy Valentine's Day!  The photo above is of my great grandparents, Juvar and Tatevous Paloutzian, Juvar's sister Aghavni (Dovie) Tatoian and Juvar's parents, Altoon and Giragos Tatoian.  The photo was taken c. 1905.  Juvar and Tatevous were married 30 Nov 1905, in Fresno, CA; this photo likely commemorates that event.  Juvar would have been 20, Tatevous 23, Dovie 10, Altoon 37 and Giragos 42.
Tatevous was born in Parchanj, Turkey in 1882 and came to the U.S. in 1901, when he was 18.  Juvar was also born in Parchanj, in 1884, and had come to the U.S. in 1903, just two years prior to this photo.

This is a letter that Tatevous wrote to Juvar during their courtship.  The date on the letter is May 30, 1904.  My cousin Mary Shamshoian, whose grandmother was Juvar's sister Agnes, had this letter, and I was able to scan it when we visited.  I am so thankful to her for sharing!
My friend Houri Vartanian and her mother were very kind to translate it for me.  Here is their translation:

To Miss Juvar Tatoian

My kind lovely adorable. It is night. Everybody is asleep at this moment. But me, after a hard workday, I came to write you a heartfelt letter. Once again I want to share with you my wish and dream. 

My adorable, first let me tell you about our short visit on Sunday.  Even our smallest desire went unfulfilled. My days fly by like months.  All day, even in my daily duties, you are on my mind. My whole mind is possessed by your love. I know not if I am the like in your head. 

I work so hard but I never feel tired because I have you my exceptional adorable.  Always having you in my heart I find the cure for my ailments. 

And again my wish and desire is this. For you to continue to learn because the story is in your hands. If it isn't boring, please try to learn. Endure and do so continuously. Because this is critical and important for you as it is for me.  If you love me sincerely, continue. 

Likewise you should know that my pain and your pain are both my pain. There is no difference between us. And again I beg you that every week you learn at least "forty" words. As you learn so do I.  Maybe next Sunday when I visit I will find that you have learned this much. As I have nothing else of importance to write, I grant my sincere and loving greetings to you, your father and your mother. Also, with my sincere and loving greetings, I kiss their hands. And I send my greetings to Aghavni whom I miss.  

And with a kiss to you, I finish this letter... Chained to your heart, I remain your friend. 

T. H. Paloutzian

Although your name is familiar to many, your love is a slingshot to my heart. I am the only one close to your heart. You cause the wounds of my heart to dissolve. 

This is our address
T Paloutzian
Route 6
Fresno CA

I think he must have been talking about learning English.  My father has told me that my great grandfather read newspapers in English and Armenian daily, but that his grandmother did not speak English very well, if much at all.  The 1920 census says she does not read and write (in English), but the 1930 census says she does.  I hope she read Armenian so that she could read this for herself!

Thanks so much Mary, Houri and Mrs. Vartanian!  I am so grateful!!  Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
I thought I should tell you the rest of the story. Here are Juvar and Tatevous and Dorothy and Ed's 25th wedding anniversary, in 1962. They had 5 boys; Ed, Ernie, Frank, Roy and Vern. And 12 grandchildren. And 21 great-grandchildren. And 25 great-great grandchildren. In this picture she is 77 and he is 79. They were married just shy of 60 years when grandma died, 28 Oct 1965. Grandpa lived to be 95 years old; he died 13 Feb 1978.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mariam Keshishian and Her Four Generations

This wonderful picture was taken on May 10th, 1920.  My grandmother, Dorothy Basmajian Paloutzian, is seated on the ground, third from the left.  Interesting fact:  My grandmother and her two cousins also in the photo, Zabel and Violet Zaillian, married three of the Palouztian brothers; Ed, Vern and Roy.
The writing on the bottom of the photo translates as "Mariam Keshishian and her four generations.  May 10 1920.  Fresno."  Mariam was born around 1840 in Turkey, and died in Sanger, CA on 18 July, 1925.

Front Row (Sitting):

George (Cal Jack) Basmajian; Mike Basmajian; Dorothy Basmajian Paloutzian; Erch Basmajian Kazarian; Leo Chooljian; Astig Chooljian Murachanian; Maron “Mike” Chooljian; Lilly Zaillian Bushnell; Mae Zaillian Perch (Lilly and Mae are Nishan and Hosanna Zaillian’s daughters. Their children Mary and Jim were not born at the time of this photo); Doris Kershaw Richards; Paul Kershaw; Pearl Kershaw; Albert Kershaw; Ruth Kershaw; Gladys Shishmanian Karabian; Violet Zaillian Paloutzian; Bertha Tusan Minasian; Dick Tusan. Eddie Mekealian.

Center Row (Sitting):
Nishan (George) Zaillian; Hosana Zaillian; Helen Basmajian – holding Margaret Basmajian Pashayan; Mary Badigian Basmajian; Zoren Zaillian Garabedian; Bidzar or Bidzarchali Chooljian (Sister of Nishan Chooljian); Gadar or Gadarchali Keshishian Chooljian; Susie (Susie Mama) Keshishian Zaillian; Mariam Keshishian*; Khatoun Ouzounian**; Lucia Basmajian Shishmanian; Rose Shishmanian Zaillian – holding Zabel Zaillian Paloutzian (Rose’s son, Sarkis “Ray”, was not born at the time of this photo); Roxie Shishmanian Parichan; Anna Basmajian Tusoosian; Aznive Tusoosian Mekealian; Arestakes Mekealian – holding Archie Mekealian.

Back Row (Standing):
Horine (Khoren) Basmajian; Dikran (Richard) Basmajian; Peter Garabedian; Murgrdich Chooljian; Nishan Chooljian***; Giragos Chooljian (Husband of Gadar and father of Nishan Chooljian and Bidzar Chooljian); Charles Kershaw; Paul Kershaw; Garabed (Adjam) Ouzounian; Thomas Shishmanian; Maron Zaillian (Older brother of Nishan seated at left end of center row); Harry Tusoosian and his sons Leo Tusan and Carl Tusan.

*Mariam Keshishian’s three daughters are beside her. On the left is Gadar Keshishian who was married to Giragos Chooljian, and Susie Keshishian who was married to Sarkis Zaillian. On the right is Khatoun Keshishian who was married to Kervork Basmajian, and after he died, she married Adjam Ouzounian. Mariam's sons are Paul Kershaw (he changed his name from Keshishian) and Peter Kershaw (not in photo) and Jacob Keshishian (not in photo).

**Khatoun Ouzounian’s first husband was Kervork (George) Basmajian. Her children from Kevork are Dikran Basmajian, Horine Basmajian, Lucy Shishmanian and Anna Tusoosian.

***Nishan Chooljian’s wife, Zevart, was not in the picture. Their daughter, Jessie Chooljian Garry, and their twin sons, Carl and Kenneth Chooljian, were born after the time of this photo.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mary Basmajian's obituary translated from Armenian

Mary (Mariam) Badigian Basmajian (1886-1957).
Many thanks to Arevik of who completed this translation.  The notes in brackets are mine.  Here is the original article.
Ms. Mariam T. Basmajian's death

Ms. Mariam Tigran Basmajian had a sudden death on February 25th in her Fresno apartment, surrounded by her family and doctor.
Funeral was at 10AM on February 27th at the Saint [Holy] Trinity Church, with the presence of a crowd of both genders. The casket of the deceased was covered with flowers. Church service was done by priest Der Babgen Gasparian and Senior “Sarkavag” Hrach Dzerkoyan.
Talented Ms. Henriet Devejian sang "To the upper Jerusalem". A eulogy was given by Der Hayr.
Then the casket of the deceased was transported to Ararat Cemetery, where a eulogy was given by P. Khosrov Badikian.
After the funeral the husband and children of the deceased served a requiem dinner (hokejash) for her memory in the church hall to more than 90 people.

Biography: Ms. Mariam Basmajian was born in Baghech Sultik town [Bitlis Sultanate] on January 10th, 1886 to Hovhannes and Margarit Badikian.
She came to the US with her mother and brother Vartan in 1907 and settled in Fresno.
Miss. Mariam Badikian got married to Digran Basmajian in March of 1908, creating a happy and honorable family, always fitting to the famous Badikian name of sacrifices and honesty.
She had two daughters and two sons. She was married for fifty years, being a kind and honest mother.
She was a happy and hard working person, treating her children and husband the same, often filling her eyes with tears of happiness.
The deceased Ms. Mariam was a member of Saint [Holy] Trinity Church Union of Women, Union of Baghech's Orphan care and Verashinats Union of Tigranakert.
The deceased Ms. Mariam Basmajian is leaving a kind name and a real mother's memory. Her death is being mourned by husband Digran Basmajian, sons Mihran [Mike] and George Basmajian, two daughters Ms. Aghavni Balutsian [Dorothy Paloutzian] and Ms. Yerjanik Ghazarian [Erch Kazarian], two daughter-in laws and seven grandchildren, as well as her brother and his wife Vartan and Rozi [Rose] Badikians and many relatives and friends.

A relative

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Zaillian Family Photos

I wanted to share some photos I scanned on one of my visits with Gloria Perch Attoian almost a year ago.  This first picture we believe is Susie Keshishian Zaillian, aka "Susie-Mama".  Can anyone else verify that information?  I wonder where and when this photo was taken.  Maybe in Turkey, or upon her arrival in the U.S.?  Notice she has some reading material in hand, and a watch (?) pinned to her dress.  Does anyone know Susie's Armenian first name?

We think this picture is of Hosanna Tutunjian Zaillian's mother, based of some group photos that Gloria had of Hosanna's family.  Gloria had thought this was the picture of Susie-Mama.  Isn't it interesting that she is posed writing on a tablet?  Maybe she was a teacher?

Here is Nishan (George) Zaillian as a young man, he was Susie's oldest of the three boys, Nish, Maron and Yesneak.

This is Mae Zaillian Perch, Nishan's second child and Gloria's mother.

Another photo of Mae.  I can see Gloria in this photo.

Nish and Hosanna Tutunjian Zaillian.  According to the 1930 census record, they were married in 1907.  He was 20 and she was 15.

Maron and Rose Shishmanian Zaillian.  They were married in 1911; He was 22, she was 19.  Rose was my grandmother Dorothy Basmajian Paloutzian's first cousin, and Maron was her first cousin, once removed (first cousin to my great-grandfather Dikran Basmajian, Dorothy's father).  Maron and Rose's daughters Violet and Zabel also married Paloutzians, my grandfather Ed's brothers, Roy and Vern.

Nishan George Zaillian

Monday, November 8, 2010

John Thomas Doherty

I decided to spend the rainy Sunday doing some genealogy, so I went over to to see what was new.  They are always posting new resources there, and yesterday I was in luck!  I found San Francisco Mortuary Records, scanned images of records from several San Francisco mortuaries, all indexed.  Since I have several family branches in San Francisco, I started plugging in names to see what would turn up.  I found a record for John Thomas Doherty (1876-1936). 

John was the youngest child of Roger and Ann Doherty, my great-great-great grandparents.  I did not have the date of his death, so it was great to find this record.  There is also a lot of information that I already had that is further confirmed by the same information in this record from the funeral home.  His parents' names are confirmed as Roger Doherty and Ann (McLaughlin) Doherty.  The order for the funeral was given by Mrs. Elizabeth Levenberg, John's sister, better know to us as "Peeps".  Their address is given as 55 Elsie St., San Francisco.  This is in the Bernal Heights neighborhood.
I had John's birth date from his WWI draft registration card and it is confirmed here as 18 Jun 1876.  He died at San Francisco Hospital of carcinoma of the esophagus and bronchopneumonia.  I found a record for one other relative, Blanche Davidson Rommel (1881-1949), the younger sister of Peeps' first husband (and my great-great grandfather), Ewen Davidson (1872-1898).  Ewen was Claire's (Mammy) father.  I'll keep looking!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Paloutzians and Torigians

I've been working on scrapbooking and identifying photos recently. This photo has writing on the back, in Armenian, and I requested a translation at .
The only people I can identify for sure are Goohar Paloutzian (standing at the far left), and Tatevos Paloutzian (standing 3rd from the right), and their 5 sons at the front right: Ed, Frank, Ernie, Roy and Vern. Since the name Torigian was mentioned, I have compared this photo to another picture of the Torigian family (also from Parchanj), and I think the 2nd woman on the left is Tourvanda Torigian, and the man on the far right is her husband Markar Torigian.  Can anyone identify anyone else?

The translation I received:

On the left side there is a name along the date:

Garabed Torigian - 1919 July ...

On the right side:
On July 13 participated ... Garabed Torigian ... ( I think here it says birthday, but I am not sure)

This is Markar and Tourvanda Torigian and their sons Antranig (Trigger), Madiros (Martin) and Nish, taken about 1925.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Manoug Paloutzian's Family - Photos From Cousin Bob

I connected with Bob Paloutzian (Harold Robert, son of Oscar and May, grandson of Manoug and Mary) through his granddaughter Lindsey on Facebook.  Lindsey is Ken Paloutzian's daughter.  Bob sent along some pictures of Manoug, Mary and their family.  The picture above, from left to right, Harry, Manoug, Pearl, Lucille held by Mary, and Harold.  Lucille was born in 1905, and the youngest, Oscar was born in 1907, so it is a good guess to say this picture was taken in 1906.
Here are Manoug and Mary's children a few years later, maybe 1910-11, if Oscar is 3 or 4 years old here.  In the back are Harry, Harold, Pearl, and in front are Oscar and Lucille.

This is Mary and Manoug with son Oscar.

Mary, in her 90's, with Harold, Harry and Oscar.

Here are Mary and Manoug with two of their grandchildren, Harold Robert (Bob), who sent these pictures to me, and Oscar James (Pat).  Pat and Bob are the sons of Oscar Asadoor, Mary and Manoug's youngest child.  I don't have any pictures of younger sister Betti; maybe she'd like to send me some!  This was taken about 1939-40, making Manoug about 79 years old and Mary about 69 years old.

This picture was given to my father by Paul Parvanian, who was Mary's nephew.  (Paul Parvanian was Barbara Bujulian's father, for my Bujulian cousins.) You can see the address on the house as 2045; this is on Palm Grove Ave. in Los Angeles.  Here it is on Google Maps.  Use the Street View and see that it looks pretty much the same.  It is actually a duplex I think, as Manoug and Mary's address was 2047, according to Manoug's death certificate.  Manoug and Mary are buried side by side at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, Los Angeles County.  My Mom and I got some pictures on our way to San Diego in June.

Larch Plot, C97 grave 2

Thank you cousin Bob for the pictures!  If anyone else has pictures they'd like to share, let me know!  I can help you scan them, if needed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Paul Keshishian gets married.

Paul Keshishian was born 21 Dec 1880 in Diyarbekir, Turkey, and came to the United States sometime before 20 Jun 1900 when he and his sister Suzie Zaillian (and her 3 sons) are found living in Franklin, Norfolk, Massachusetts on Chestnut Street.  Paul's occupation at that time is listed as "woolen weaver".  I have not been able to locate any immigration records for Paul, his sister Suzie, brother Jacob, or his mother, Mariam.  I do have records for Mariam's other children: Khautoon (Touma) Basmajian, Gadar Chooljian and Peter (Bedros).  I don't think that Mariam's daughter Arschalous ever came to the U.S.

I discovered Paul Keshishian and Margaret Ferguson McClary's marriage record in the Rhode Island marriage record database on  They were married on December 27, 1907 in Providence, Rhode Island by an Armenian priest.  As the on-line record only had the names and dates, I went ahead and sent for the complete record from the Rhode Island State Archives.  I was surprised to find quite a bit of information in this one document.  Some of the information confirmed what I knew, and some things were new to me.
Paul Keshishian was the youngest child of Mariam Keshishian and I didn't know his father's name, but here it is on the marriage record as Elijah.  The record shows that Paul was born in Armenia, was 28 years old and was a loom fixer.  Margaret was 27 years old, divorced and had a daughter, Esther (who ended up married to Jake Zaillian, son of Arschalous Keshishian Zaillian, Paul's sister).
So, another piece of the puzzle.  The only picture I have of Paul is in the large 5 generation picture of Mariam Keshishian's family, which I haven't been able to scan yet.  Margaret is not in that picture, but their children Doris, Paul, Pearl, Albert and Ruth are sitting in the front row.  By the second generation, all the Keshishian males were using the last name Kershaw.  Henry Keshishian (1920-2005), son of Peter, was the last in the family to use the name.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Well, at least he has a name now.

I had posted a group of old photos of my Armenian relatives awhile back.  Well, I figured they were relatives, as the photos were unidentified and we just didn't know who they were.  The pictures were in a box in the garage at my Grandma and Grandpa Paloutzian's house when it was cleaned out, in 1985 I believe, after Grandpa passed away.  Based on what I know now, I think the pictures were probably from Tatevous Paloutzian's things (my Grandpa Ed's father).
This is one of the pictures:

Recently I was contacted by my cousin, Mary Shamshoian, via Facebook (my new favorite genealogy resource!) and she had seen these pictures and had some of the same ones in her collection of family photos.  And hers had a name written on the back!!  Uncle Sahag Tatoian.  I did a quick look-up in the Dzeron Village of Parchanj book and saw that my great-grandfather Giragos Tatoian had a brother Sahag.  The book shows a + by his name, meaning deceased (at the time of publication, 1938), but also an asterisk, for which there is no explanation given.  That, plus the fact that he had his picture taken in Boston is all I know about him.  I cannot locate any records, so far.  I'll keep looking!
Giragos Tatoian and his wife Altoon had 3 daughters, Goohar (Pearl), Aghavni (Dovie) and Agnes.  Goohar, my great grandmother, married Tatevos Paloutzian; Dovie married Levon Garbedian; and Agnes married Soghomon Googooian.  Agnes was Mary Shamshoian's grandmother.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Not everything in my mailbox is a bill!

Look what I got in the mail:
This is John Henry Golden's (1873-1949) death certificate from the county of Silver Bow in the state of Montana (Click to enlarge).  Of course, it didn't just arrive in my mailbox on it's own; I did have to send for this record.  The information on death records is only as good as what the informant knows.  In this case, the informant was Paul D. Golden, son of the deceased.  The year of birth given is 1872.  I have been using 1873, as that is what John Henry wrote on his naturalization papers.  Since I haven't been able to locate his Irish birth or baptism record, I don't know that I can verify which is the correct year.
John Henry's parents' names are also given; Tom Golden and Mary Coleman, more confirmation of that information.
The cause of death listed is apoplexy due to arteriosclerosis.
Other information includes his burial at Holy Cross Cemetery in Butte on 23 June 1949.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Basmajian Easter 1984

Easter 1984 at Joann and Pete's.
From left to right:
Joann Kazarian Seeley, Auntie Vee Basmajian, Cindi Kazarian, Mark Bujulian, Auntie Erch Basmajian Kazarian, Robert Paloutzian, Tom Paloutzian, Michelle Paloutzian, Jeanne Paloutzian, Pete Seeley, Uncle George Basmajian, Tim Seeley, Auntie Arlene Paloutzian Bujulian holding Joy Paloutzian, David Kazarian, Merlin Kazarian, Adam Paloutzian, Denva Kazarian, Stacy Bujulian, Gary Kazarian, Uncle Frank Kazarian, Matthew Seeley and Uncle Harry Bujulian.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

My great grandfather, John Henry Golden (1873-1949) and his siblings were born in Drumacoo, which is a landholding outside of Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Landholders like John Henry's parents were tenant famers, or just tenants, meaning that they didn't own the property they lived on. You can see a map of the area here.
For those of you who thought the family was from Co. Mayo, the county borders changed in 1899, and what was once in Mayo is now in Roscommon. You can see on the map that Drumacoo is also very close to the border with Co. Sligo.  Martha Golden visited Drumacoo a few years back and she sent me these pictures.

If any of you are interested in buying a piece of our ancestral homeland, you might want to check out this property.

I've been trying to expand my information for the Golden family and recently searched and purchased some records from the County Roscommon Heritage & Genealogy Company .  I previously had them conduct a search for records of John Henry Golden's birth, but they didn't find anything, but suggested that there might be records on other family members.  I was able to find the church marriage record for Thomas Golden and Mary Coleman who were married on 1 Dec 1866 in the parish of Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon.  They were Roman Catholic and the witnesses were Thomas and Mary Sharkett.  No other information was recorded.  I found civil birth and church baptism records for John Henry's siblings Winifred (1867), Brigid and her twin, Patrick (1871), and Margaret (1876).  All list the parents as Thomas Golden and Mary Coleman, Roman Catholics from Drumacoo, Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon, although Drumacoo is spelled all different ways (Dremacoo, Dromachro, Drimachoo, Dremecoo); that's just the fun of genealogy!  I can't figure why John Henry doesn't have any records.  If anyone takes a trip to Ireland (or wants to send me), I have a mission for you!  I have sent for John Henry's death record to see if it has any clues. 
Winifred, Bridgid and Margaret all came to the United States, to Montana.  John Henry was listed as the destination on Margaret's ship arrival record, and Winifred, John Henry and Margaret were all living together in Anaconda in 1900.  Brigid married John Francis "Frank" O'Connell, lived in Helena, MT and moved to Oregon between 1920 and 1930.  After the 1900 census I have essentially no records for Winifred or Margaret.  I think Winifred died that year as I saw a mention about the administration of the estate of Winifred Dolan (her married name) in the Anaconda Standard in Sept. 1900.  She did have 3 daughters, Winifred, Mary and Margaret, but I don't know what became of them.  There aren't records available on-line to help figure out these mysteries.  Some library, cemetery and county record searches are the next steps.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Auntie Mary

Auntie Mary was married to my grandpa Ed Paloutzian's brother, my Uncle Ernie. I didn't see them very frequently growing up, but when I did, they always remembered me and were so kind and loving. Auntie Mary's sister, Auntie Pearl, was just as kind. Even though she wasn't really my Auntie, she greeted me like family the few times I met her. What wonderful women; they will be greatly missed.

Mary Paloutzian
We celebrate the life of Mary Paloutzian who departed peacefully into the hands of our Lord in her sleep on Thursday, February 11, 2010. She was born on August 10, 1910, in Malden, Massachusetts, with her mother, Gladys (Koobatian) Kelarjian, her father Joseph Kelarjian, her brother Andrew, and sister, Pearl. She moved to Fowler, Ca., in 1920. Raised on the family farm and being the eldest of the three siblings, she was introduced to daily chores and care for the family. She graduated from Fowler High School in 1928. In 1931, she was introduced to the love of her life, Ernest Paloutzian, and they were married on September 11, 1932, in the family home on the farm where she was raised. Our mother had a passion for loving people in many ways, especially her cooking. Her favorite thing was to entertain family and friends. She was a fantastic cook and you never left her home feeling as if you hadn't had enough to eat. She delighted in preparing all the Armenian delicacies and being sure everyone's plates were filled again and again. Family favorites were her, yalanchi, choereg, kufta, dolma, and Holland Rusk pudding. Her presence was immediately known when she walked into a room. She radiated love and warmth to her entire family and all her friends. She was very creative and artistic, even learning to play the piano by ear. Our family wishes to thank Green Gables Care Home, Susan Kazaryan and Nancy Hinds Hospice for the loving and wonderful care our mother received from them over the last five years. She is survived by her children and their spouses, Dr. Rodney Paloutzian and his wife Shari of Fresno, Judy Carmichael and her husband Frank Aguilera, of Fresno, Allan Paloutzian and his wife Sue of Oceanside, Ca.; four grandsons and their spouses, Brett and Christy, Dirk and Bonnie, Kyle and Tyler and Sheree; and 11 great grandchildren. A Memorial Service honoring her will be held at First Armenian Presbyterian Church, 430 S. First Street, Fresno, Ca. 93702 on Saturday, February 20, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to first Armenian Presbyterian Church or Nancy Hinds Hospice, 1616 W. Shaw Ave., Suite C-1, Fresno, Ca., 93711

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Golden Family Pictures

Cathie and Jay Sheldon shared some Golden family photos with me and I wanted you all to see them, too.

Walter, Robert, Tom and Jack Golden

Margie Golden, 1940 (19 years old)

John H. Golden in San Francisco, 1938

John H. and Anna Golden (my great-grandparents) about 1946.

Robert, John Henry and Paul Golden, father and sons.