The story of Edward Harrison (Baydarian)

“Hi Sheri. Well, I don’t have specific towns and dates, but I can tell you that my grandfather survived the Armenian genocide. His family owned a shoe factory and they lived in Armenia. He was a young boy and watched his family be killed before his own eyes. He was on the death march and was saved by a Turkish family. They took him in and wanted him to work in their household. My grandfather ran away 5 times and the last time, was a success. He hid in a well for days and the Red Cross found him. He was taken to an orphanage in Corfu, Greece.

He had two brothers that also survived. Stephen lived in France and died of an illness, before my grandfather could meet up with him. His older brother, Bob, lived in Detroit. After leaving the orphanage, my grandfather was a boxer in Cuba. He saved money to join his brother Bob in Detroit. He came to the USA and got a job at Ford Motor Company. When he came to this country, US customs suggested changing his name to make it more Americanized. He agreed to the name of Edward Harrison. His original last name was Baydarian. He went to school through Ford Motor Company and learned the English language. He went on to marry my grandmother, Marie Rose Narsisian and they had 4 sons. My father is their youngest son, Glenn Anthony Harrison.”

[NOTE: I received this family history from Raechel Harrison Schultz. It is the story of her grandfather Edward Harrison. Raechel found my posting on Facebook and took the time to write. Thank you, Raechel, for giving me permission to share your grandfather’s history. I hope more and more Armenians will share their stories and this website with the world. For more information, send your email to]

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