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.


  1. I see many members of my family in this picture. :)

    Lisa Neshanian

  2. Chooljians. My grandmother was Astig Chooljian Murachanian

  3. What are you parents' names? I'd like to add you to the family tree. You can e-mail me at

  4. My grandfather Archie Mekealiian. I have a copy of this picture.

  5. That's great! I have you and your mother in the family tree. Do you or your mother have any siblings? If you have a spouse or children for me to add to the tree you may email me at