Astrid Aghajanian survived the Armenian Genocide

June 14, 2012

When we focus on the number, 1,500,000 massacred in the Armenian Genocide, it is easy to lose sight of the individual lives touched by this man-made tragedy. Learning the stories of individuals is a meaningful way to come to know history.

The UK’s Independent published this powerful obituary which honors the life of Helen Astrid ‘Astghig’ Aghajanian, nee Gaidzakian:

Astrid Aghajanian: Survivor of the Armenian genocide who narrowly escaped death
June 14, 2012 |

Helen (Astghig/Astrid) Gaidzakian was born in Albistan, Turkey, March 28, 1913. She survived the deportation and massacre of the Armenians during the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. In 1942, she married Gaspar Aghajanian. The Aghajanians had two daughters. Widowed in 2007, Mrs. Aghajanian died in Gloucester May 11, 2012. Read about her life.

Surpouhi Torosian — Grandma Suzi: An American from the heartland shares his late mother-in-law’s Armenian Genocide legacy

May 7, 2010

David Cartter: Ancestor survived Armenian genocide
Wisconsin State Journal | May 6, 2010

My Uncle Jack was born to Armenian Genocide survivors

January 2, 2010

Today I’ll be visiting my uncle Jack. He is in his late 80’s. He was born in Egypt to parents who lost their families in the Armenian Genocide. He came to the US as an infant, with his parents and my grandfather, on one of the many ships bringing Armenians (and other ethnic Christians who were able to survive and flee from Turkey). First stop Ellis Island. The Ellis Island archives contain oral histories of Armenian Genocide survivors. The passenger manifests of ships arriving at Ellis Island list a disproportionate number of Armenian surnames during the years surrounding the massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks (before, during and after 1915). Since the current Turkish Government denies the Armenian Genocide, why do they think so many Armenians left their homes?

Shogher Abraham Tonoyan’s Armenian Genocide History

December 31, 2009

Please read the testimony of Shogher Abraham Tonoyan (from

Shogher Abraham Tonoyan’s Armenian Genocide History

The is dedicated to remembrance of the victims of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Empire. For more testimonials, be sure to visit that blog and share it with others.

If you know about other Armenian Genocide-related websites and blogs, please share their addresses via a comment or email. (Beware of the many false sites sponsored by parties spreading disinformation and propaganda.)

The story of Edward Harrison (Baydarian)

November 24, 2009

“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]

Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

November 9, 2009

Renowned artist and Armenian Genocide survivor, Arshile Gorky exhibit
Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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