Researching Armenian Family History in Asia and Beyond. Your Portal for Armenian Graves & Tombstones in Asia

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Armenians in Rangoon

The Armenian Church of St. John the Baptist in Rangoon

Unfortunately the records for this Church were lost during World War II.  However the Armenian cemeteries in Mandalay, Syriam and Rangoon indicate that Armenians first came to India from Iran around 1608, some of them went on to Burma and settled there, playing a prominent part in the promotion of trade, especially in the three towns mentioned above.

In the 18th century they constructed the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Mandalay, on a plot of land graciously presented to them by His Majesty the King of Burma.  In this Church, divine services were held regularly until the 1920’s, when the community in Mandalay gradually moved down to Rangoon.

The Church of St. John the Baptist in Rangoon was erected by the community there in the year 1862 on land they had acquired in October 1858.  This Church was formally consecrated on the 17th July 1863 by Revd. Father Aviet Chaytor, the then resident priest.  The church was internally remodelled with a new roof during 1908-1909.

Update October 2012

I am grateful to Henri Aslanian of Hong Kong for permitting me to use photographs from his recent trip to Myanmar. I reproduce his photographs and comments with full acknowledgement and thanks to Henri.

Henri says: “….Met the only Armenian still living in Myanmar – a 86 years old Mr. Martin (Mardirossian) whose brother still lives in Bangladesh and whom I met last year in Dhaka – and visited the Armenian Church of Myanmar in Rangoon (built in 1862-exactly 150 years ago this year). The church is located in prime real estate, still standing and is under renovation. The Armenians arrived in Burma as early as 1612 and were some of the first foreigners in Burma but they left in the mid-20th century when the military government took power. They built some of the most impressive landmarks in the country including the famous Strand Hotel. Even after all these years living in Asia and travelling extensively throughout South East Asia, I am still impressed by the amazing footprints that these Armenians left in this part of the world including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and India. Part of Armenian history that many don’t know about…Very inspiring…”


Henri says: “…….The Armenian Church is truly a jewel… following a recent donation by a Russian Armenian, the Church is undergoing minor renovations but there are lots of seriously incredible pieces of Armenian religious items in the Church that are simply getting destroyed by humidity………


Armenians in Surat

Armenian Cemetery Surat

Armenian Cemetery Surat


In 1895 Mesrovb Seth wrote: “…….In Surat, the Armenians erected two churches – one in the city, which is still preserved, but is not now used; and the other which lies in ruins, in their cemetery…….”

There are traces of an Armenian settlement in the city during the 16th century.  In the Armenian cemetery at Surat, which adjoins the cemeteries of the early British and Dutch, there is a tombstone of an Armenian lady who died there in 1579 A.D.  The inscription which is in Ancient Armenian translates: “In this tomb lies buried the body of the noble lady, who was named Marinas, the wife of the priest Woskan.  She was a crown to her husband, according to the proverbs of Solomon.  She was taken to the Lord of Life, a soul-afflicting cause of sorrow to her faithful husband, in the year one thousand and twenty eight of our Armenian era, on the fifteenth day of November at the first hour of Friday, at the age of 53.  Ye who see this tomb, pray to the Lord to grant mercy”.  The year 1028 of the Armenian era is equivalent to the year 1579 A.D.  Her husband, Rev. Woskan, must have been the spiritual head of the Armenians living at Surat during the reign of Akbar, the patron of their race.

If there was an Armenian priest in Surat in 1579 then there must have been a church or a chapel.  Accordingly to an unconfirmed source, the old Armenian church at Surat was destroyed by the Mogul governor at the instigation of the Turkish merchants who came to Surat, after their pilgrimage to Mecca, for the purpose of buying goods.  However, evidence of an Armenian Church can be seen on page 297 of the English Factories in India (1661-1664) which is digitised, click to follow the link) there is a rough map of Surat, (which is reproduced below) showing the positions of the prominent buildings at the time of Sivaji’s first raid on the city, in early January 1664, in which the Armenian Church is clearly shown.

Surat rough map

Surat rough map

The Legend marked on the map is as follows.

  1. The English Factory of that time which stood in the north-western part of    the city, in what was known in 1937 as the Mullah’s Ward.

  2. The Sarai and the mosqueof Mirza Zahid still standing

  3. A building known as the Dadhimar or Racket Court.  It was originally a sarai and may have been the one in which some Armenians and Turkish merchants secured themselves and their goods during the raid.

  4. The Armenian Church

  5. Shows the position of the French factory established a little later

  6. Is the site of the subsequent English factory, near the Mullas’ Water Gate.

During the interval between destruction of the old church and the erection of a new church in 1778 dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Armenian residents of Surat held divine services at a house set apart for the purpose.

The church built in 1778 was pulled down some years later (after 1907) by the wardens of the Armenian church of Bombay, as it had fallen into disrepair and the site was later used as a playground for school children.  The Armenian scholar and writer Mesrovb J. Seth visited the church in January 1907 and observed that “it was still standing, although a portion of the roof had fallen, but the altar, the sacristies (vestries) on either side of the altar, the gallery for ladies on the west side of the church, were in a fair state of preservation, as also the priest quarters on the left side of the main gate.”  He continued “the beautiful church, with historical associations, was, in the absence of devout worshippers, found in the indisputable possession of thousands of owls, bats, crows, cats, rats, snakes and scorpions which howled, screeched, and hissed ominously when the present writer, at the risk of his life, entered the sacred edifice where his revered grandfather, Seth Mackertich Agazar Seth, had worshipped during the last quarter f the 18th century.”  Seth continues “there is a Mortuary chapel in the Armenian cemetery at Surat which is still standing and it will continue to exist as a valuable landmark of the once-flourishing Armenian colony in that historic city, because it has fortunately come under the control of the Public Works Department as a “Protected Monument” thanks to the solicitude of the late Lord Curzon for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments in India.  We could find no date, either inside or outside the beautiful chapel, showing the year of its construction, but in all probability it must have been erected during the 17th century, because there is a grave inside that chapel, with a tombstone bearing the date 1695.

Khojah Phanoos Kalandar, the “Armenian merchant of eminency”, as the English called him, was a native of Julfa (Ispahan) but had settled down at Surat, where his only son’s grave, in the mortuary chapel at the Armenian cemetery bears an inscription in classical Armenian of  which the following is a translation: “This is the tomb of Kalandar, the son of Phanoos Kalandar of Julfa who departed this life on Saturday, the 6th March 1695″”

Armenians in Ranchi

Armenian Graves in Australia

Armenians in Hyderabad

Armenians in Agra

The Armenians settle in Agra during the 17th and 18th centuries when there was a large number of them who traded in precious stones, silks and spices.  However, Mesrovb Seth wote in 1895: “…….Akbar the Great adopted the youthful and promising son of a Mr. Jacob, an Armenian merchant, whom he had met at Kashmere.  This singular adoption was made several years before Jehangeer (Akbar’s son) was born, whose birth in 1570 he attributed to the advent of the Armenians into Agra and their erection, in 1562, of an (Armenian) Christian church there at the express wish of their royal patron.”

So an Armenian Church having being built in Agra in 1562 meant there must have been a least one Armenian priest in spiritual charge of the colony from that time onward.

Agra was the capital of the then Moghul Empire.  The Armenians gained favour with Akbar, the Moghul Emperor, who was tolerant and granted them freedom of religion, language and trade.  Hence the Armenians prospered there til towards the end of the 18th century.  When the city’s commercial importance began to decline, the Armenians gradually moved from Agra to Bombay where the Armenians had already formed a commercial colony during the second part of the 17th century.

No less than seven Armenian priests are known to have worked in Agra during the lifetime of Zu’lqarnain and later, while the Jesuits were also at work in the same area.  The Armenian priests were

1614 Rev. Asatoor
1616 Rev. Mekhithar
1630 Rev. Sookias
1656 Rev. Zacharia
1668 Rev. Johanness
1671 Rev. Bagdassar
1776 Rev. Arrathoon


Taj Mahal 1790-1810

Taj Mahal 1790-1810


Agra is synonymous with the Taj Mahal, when one thinks of Agra ones mind is drawn to the beautiful Taj; built as a tribute to a wife by her loving husband.

History + Research


Strange but true facts – I:

Three Armenian Churches in India,
Calcutta, Dacca and Madras
were all built at No.2 Armenian Street.

The Armenian churches at
Calcutta, Dacca, Madras and Saidabad
were each erected on the site of an
old Armenian cemetery

The oldest Christian graves at
Surat, Agra, Calcutta, Dacca and Madras
are all Armenian

Strange but true facts – II:

In 1907  six baskets, containing a large number of Armenian manuscripts, books and pontifical bulls (Kondaks) belonging to the Armenian church at Gwalior which was erected by Colonel Jacob Petrus, were sold as waste paper for six Rupees only by a descendant of the Colonel

†The descendant told this to Mesrovb Seth in Agra in October 1919

Strange but true facts – III:

The Holy Nazareth Church had the official foundation stone laid in 1707, although a wooden chapel existed even before that.  So why do the Church registers only start at 1793?  According to Joseph Emin in his book “The Life and Adventures of Joseph Emin” published in 1792 he says that:

“At one time there were three wardens of the Calcutta church,

a dispute arose between the three,

one of them took away the records [registers] to his house

and nothing previous to 1793 has survived this most unfortunate proceeding”.

So fellow Armenian family history researchers and enthusiasts, the graves listed on THIS website will be the only comprehensive record of Armenian deaths and some births in India prior to 1793

Latter Day Saints (LDS) film numbers of Armenian records in Asia

Location Birth/Baptisms Marriages Deaths Minutes Film No.
St. Peter’s Armenian Apostolic Church
All BMD’s are on one film n/a 1359010
item 2
Vol.1: 1917-1943
Vol.2: 1944-1978
Holy Nazareth Church and
St. Gregory’s Church
n/a 1344011
1925-1933 1907-1922 1907-19333 n/a 1344012
items 1-3
Dacca 1831-1978 1836-1979 1833-1981 1831-1928 1356948
item 3
St. John’s Armenian Apostolic Church
1836-1957 1836-1957 1836-1964 n/a 1344077
item 1
Madras All BMD’s between 1829 – 1908 are on one film n/a 795841
St. John the Baptist Armenian Apostolic Church
1867-1980 1858 -1981 1857-1957 n/a 1356948
item 2
Singapore 1834-1876 1832-1879 1834-1854 n/a 1356947
Note: many frames blurred and illegible
1955-1976 1879-1927 n/a n/a 1356948
item 1 (includes confirmations in 1961)
St. George’s Armenian Apostolic Church
1927-1962 1927-1956 1928-1976 n/a 1344077
item 2
Tangra n/a n/a 1961-1976 n/a 1344012
items 4-5
Armenian College &
Philanthropic Academy
Register of Admissions and Withdrawals 1892-1979 1344010

1.  these records have been transcribed in full and are on the FIBIS database.

Armenians in Bombay

Looking down onto the church

This Holy Church was erected in the name of the holy Apostle Peter. Mr. Jacob Petrus of Hamadan in Persia, better known as Hakob Hamadanchi built St. Peter Armenian Church of Bombay which is situated in Medows Street.  The Armenian community of Bombay lived mainly in Armenian Lane a locality close to the church, where they flourished as traders and lived in opulent residences.

At the foot of the altar of the church is a square tablet with an inscription in Armenian, the translation of which is: “This holy church was erected in the name of the holy Apostle Peter, during the Patriarchate of His Holiness Lucas, the Catholicos of all the Armenians, by the munificence of Mr. Jacob of Hamadan, to the memory of his late parents, Mr. Petrus, his father, and Zanazan Khatoon his mother, the foundation-stone of which was laid by Archbishop James, who was on an evangelical tour in India on bhelaf of the Holy See of Etchmiatzin in the year of our Lord 1796, on the 14th day of Thirah (12th October)”. Another tablet, over the door of the sacristy, bears the following inscription, which says “The outside parts of this holy church with the budlings attached thereto were repaired by the munificence of Agah Jacob, son of Arratoon Thageantz, to the memory of his late mother, the noble lady Thamar, and his sister [Miss] Anna, dead in Christ.  The repairs were executed through the instrumentality of Archbishop James on the 3rd day of Shams [4th April] in the year of our Lord 1801”.

The church in Bombay was the sister church to the Armenian church at Surat.  When the Surat Church was finally closed down in 1861 because there were no Armenian community left there, the Wardens of Bombay, had all the sacred books, vessels and vestments of Surat brought to Bombay for preservation there. Amongst these was a manuscript Bible in the Armenian language which was written at Surat in 1658, there was also an old chasuble (shoorjar) belonging to the Surat Church on which the year 1782 was beautifully embroidered in gold thread.

The early Armenians in Bombay “…….wore Persian dress, and dyed their hair and whiskers with henna.  Armenian ladies passed their time either engaged in the care of their families, or in receiving and paying visits, drinking coffee or sherbet, embroidering and making delicious confections of Hulwah and various sweetmeats.  They have very considerable influence on their families, understand business admirably, and are commonly entrusted with the full control of their property.  Their condition is easy and agreeable, little restraint being placed upon their conduct, a slight degree of personal seclusion being considered honorable and dignified”.

The last person to be buried in the Armenian churchyard at Bombay, and as a mark of deep respect, was Mr. William Michael, the warden of the church for several years, who died on the 23rd July 1886, aged 55 years.

Gradually it decayed and was replaced by a new and beautiful Church in 1957.  It was designed by a well known Armenian architect of Beyrouth, Mr. M.H. Altounian and was constructed on the plot of the old church.  The blessing of the foundation stone o was performed by His Grace Archbishop Yegheshe Derderian of Jerusalem during a visit to Bombay in June 1956 in the company of Revd. Father Shahe Ajamian.  The new church was consecrated on the 14th April 1957 by His Grace Bishop Terenik Poladian.  A six storey building was erected in front of it and named “Ararat” (after Mount Ararat of Biblical times on which Noah’s Ark rested”).  The “Ararat” building is the property of the church.


Armenians in Chinsurah

Armenians settle here and flourished as businessmen during the 17th and 18th centuries.  When Chinsurah lost its commercial importance, the Armenians transferred their businesses to Calcutta towards the end of the 18th century.

The Armenian Church here is the second oldest in Bengal.  It was erected in 1695 , the foundation stone being laid by Khojah Johannes Margar.  The Church was completed in 1697 by his brother Joseph,  and dedicated to St. John the Baptist in memory of his deceased brother Johannes.  Khojah Johannes died suddenly on the 27th November 1697 and he was interred inside the church. This church is today the only remaining landmark of the once large and flourishing Armenian colony.

Joseph was the elder brother of the two and they went into partnership together in Hyderabad (Deccan) in 1666.  They started a business together in Mylapore, with a joint capital of Rs 27,550 only, the major portion of which (Rs,18,550) was deposited by Khojah Joseph Margar, whilst his younger brother Johannes  added only Rs. 9000 as his contribution to the business.

After the suddenly and untimely death of Khojah Johannes Margar in November 1697 the partnership automatically ceased and the final accounts made up.  It was found that a net profit of two million rupees had been made in 30 years on the original capital of Rs. 27,500.

The brothers were the sons of the illustrious merchant-diplomat, Margar Avag Sheenentz, known as Marcara Avanchinz, who played an important part in the French East India Company in India in the second half of the 17th century.

Although Armenians lived and died in fairly large numbers at Chinsurah between the years 1695 and 1868, there are no more than 100 graves within the church, 28 of them being inside the church itself.

Records indicate that:

between the years 1826 and 1868 sixteen marriages were solemnized in the Church.
between the years 1817 and 1867 seventy two baptisms took place, and
between the years 1817 and 1881 fifty seven burials

No records appear to exist between the years 1695 when it was built and 1817, but of course there would have been many more births, marriages and burials in that ‘lost’ 122 years.

The church was originally built without a steeple, and this was added and erected in 1822 through the generosity of Mrs. Sophia Bagram a wealthy Armenian lady from Calcutta, in memory of her husband, Simon Phanoos Bagram.

The town of Chinsurah is about 35 miles from Calcutta.  Sadly, no Armenians reside there but once a year, on the Sunday nearest to the Feast Day of St. John The Baptist, the Armenians from Calcutta go on a pilgrimage accompanied by their Priest who performs Holy Mass and offers prayers for the repose of the departed buried there.  After the service, a large community lunch is served to the congregation which is hosted by the Armenian Church, Calcutta.

Armenians in Calcutta – Holy Nazareth

List of Priests who have served at the Armenian Church, Calcutta

Early Armenian community statistics between 1811-1835

List of Armenian Advocates in of the Calcutta High Court, India 1855-1893

Benefactors who have donated to the Armenian Church, Calcutta

The first Armenian Church, a wooden structure was built by public contribution on 22nd June 1688 and was named St. John.  The East India Company for 7 years contributed £40/- per year towards the maintenance of a priest, this Church was destroyed by fire in 1707.  Three hundred years later in January 2008, a huge fire raged out of control for 5 days in Bura Bazaar very close to the current church and for many long hours the current priest, Father Oshagan Gulgulian along with the dedicated guardians of the church; the committee and wardens,  worried intently about the fire spreading to this, the Holy Church of Nazareth.  On the 5th day after the fire began, his prayers were answered and the fire was eventually put out and the church and the surrounding area was blessed and left unscathed.  It stood on the periphery of a fire ravaged scene standing tall and bright like a phoenix from a flame  Had the fire spread just a few hundred yards further, this church, due to celebrate it’s 300th anniversary this year (2008), would also have been lost in the same fashion as the first church in 1707.  Thankfully, that tragedy was averted.

St. John’s Church having been razed to the ground, The Holy Church of Nazareth was built seventeen years later in 1724 on the old burial ground of the Armenian community, by Agha Nazar and the architect was an Armenian from Iran named Mr. Levon Ghevond.  The belfry and steeple were added just 10 years later by Mr. Manual Hazarmalian in 1734.  Repaired and renovated in 1763 by Khojah Petrus Arratoon who also embellished the church and built two additional altars, one on the right hand side of the main altar, in memory of his brother Gorgin Khan, who was assassinated near Monghyr, and the other on the left side to commemorate his memory. In 1789 Agha Catchick Arakiel presented an English clock to the Church which he had ordered from the firm of Alexander Hare of London.  The clock arrived in Calcutta in 1792 and was fixed in the clock tower.  Also in 1789, he had the church compound enclosed by a substantial wall, which today is still standing as is the parsonage within the grounds.  Unfortunately, he did not see the installation of the clock as it was 2 years after Mr. Arakiel’s death which occurred on the 25th July 1790.

On the south side of the Church can be seen the oldest Christian grave in Calcutta.  The inscription reads “This is the tomb of Reza Beebeh, wife of Charitable Sookias who died on 31st July 1630”.  A little further from the south side of the church was Sookias Lane where the Sookias family lived. And today, the name Sookias is still very much associated with the Church by way of Mr. Haik Sookias Jr., who is a past Chairman of the Church Committee. A large number of prominent Armenians are buried in the churchyard.  Amongst them is a Mr. Shircore (in Persian the name means lion-eater).  It is recorded that he fought and killed a lion bare handed; but died of his wounds later.

Within the compound of the church grounds was a well stocked library.  It was made over to the wardens and commissionaires of the Holy church of Nazareth for the perusal of the Reverend Priests in Calcutta in May 1896.

Over the years, the Church has been fortunate to have received many gifts and bequests, particularly in the 18th century.  Many others by their wills have left large sums, amongst whom was the late Sir Catchick Paul Chater of Hongkong.  He was born in Calcutta in September 1846, and died in Hongkong in May 1926.  By his will he left a very substantial sum of his enormous wealth to the Armenian Church.  One of the many ways in which his legacy has been utilised is by the building of an old peoples home for the Armenian community which was named the “Sir Paul Chater Home”.  The foundation stone was laid by Mr. S.K. Sen, the Official Trustee of West Bengal on 21st November 1952.  More about Sir Catchick Paul Chater can be read here.



List of names of benefactors who left large bequests to the Armenian Church, Calcutta

Sir Catchick Paul Chater Mr. T.M. Thaddeus Mrs Sarah Chater
Mr. Z.T. Manuk John Michael and Wife
Miss Maryn and Miss Mary Gregory Apcar
Mr. Nicholas Mackertich Carapiet Mrs. Helen Moses Miss L.M. Christian
Mr. Arratoon Galoost Mrs. C. Lumbrugen Mr. Joseph Ephraim
Mr. Thomas Seth Apcar Col. S.T. Avetoom Dr. S.J. Manuk [Manook]
Joseph Paul Miss Amy Apcar Arratoon Petrus
Petrus Stephen Arratoon Apcar Senior
and Gregory Apcar Senior
Seth Arratoon Apcar
A.S. Mackertich A.G. Apcar Massey Babjab
Gevork Manuk Anna Iscar Zorab

Below is a register of names of officiating Pastors and Priests of the Armenian Holy Church of Nazareth, Calcutta, from 1793 – 1957

Date Name Date Name
1755 Padre Daniel* 1893-1897 Rev. Sylvester Hovannesian
1779 Padre Dionysius Manasser** 1892-1895 Rev. Rethevos Davidian
1793 Carapiet Margar*** 1894-1899 Rev/ {sacl Ter Hacobian
1793-1797 Rev. Hacob Ter Petrosian 1896-1900 Rev. Andrews G. Apcarian
1793-1802 Rev. Galstaun Martyrosian 1898-1901 Rev. Mesrobe C. Davidian
1794-1795 Rev. Gevork Babanian 1899-1903 Rev. Barsiegh P. Alexy
1795-1813 Rev. Hovsep Stephannosian 1900-1904 Rev. Mackertich Petrosian
1798-1802 Rev. Martyrose Davidian 1902-1905 Rev. Essai Ter S Johannes
1803-1807 Rev. Lucas Ter Gevorgian 1903-1907 Rev. Carapiet Thoomikian
1803-1804 Rev. Gabriel Ter Stephannosian 1904-1907 Rev. Psack H. Hacobian
1805-1808 Rev. Aviet Ter Minasian 1907-1912 Rev. Vardan S. Vardanian
1808-1813 Rev. Harouthiun Ter Minasian 1907-1910 Rev. Mashtotz Israelian
1808-1813 Rev. Marcar Ter Carapietian 1908-1911 Rev. Sarkies Gregorian
1812-1814 Rev. Zakaria Ter Petrosian 1912-1920 Rev. Barsegh P. Alexy
1814-1821 Rev. Aviet Ter Minasian 1912-1917 Rev. Marcar C. Davidian
1814-1822 Rev. Lucas Ter Gevorgian 1913-1917 Rev. Garegin Johannes
1821-1828 Rev. Hovsep Stephannosian 1917-1922 Rev. Essai Ter S. Johannes (Archpriest)
1821-1826 Rev. Galoost Harouthiunian 1917-1922 Rev. Carapiet Thoomikian
1822-1826 Rev. Hovsep Ter Mackertchian 1920-1926 Rev. Vahan Aghanian
1825-1829 Rev. Abraham Ter Karapietian 1922-1927 Rev. Nierses P. Paul
1826-1827 Rev. Harouthiun Ayvazian 1923-1927 Rev. Garegin Johannes
1826-1827 Rev. Catchatour Harouthiunian 1926-1929 Rev. Hambardzoom S. Vardanian
1826-1831 Rev. Anton Avagian 1927-1930 Rev. Carapiet Thoomikian
1826-1830 Rev. Hovannes Galstanian 1927-1929 Rev. Essai Ter S. Johannes
1827-1828 Rev. Hovannes Mackertchian 1929-1933 Rev. Vahan Aghanian
1830-1834 Rev. Harouthiun Eghiaian 1929-1933 Rev. Nierses P. Paul
1831-1836 Rev. Lazar Gregorian 1930-1933 Rev. Hovakim Basis
1831-1837 Rev. Hovannes Ter Avietian 1933-1935 Rev. Theodore Isaac (Archimandrite)
1836-1840 Rev. Anton Avagian 1933-1936 Rev. Vartannes Nazareth
1837-1842 Rev. David Mackertchian 1933-1936 Rev. Garegin Johannes
1838-1841 Rev. Eliazar Andreasian 1936-1942 Rev. Nierses S. David
1841-1845 Rev. Carapiet Ter Abrahamian 1936-1940 Rev. Hambardzoom S. Vardanian
1842-1843 Rev. Abraham Ter Carapietian 1940-1944 Rev. Garegin Johannes
1842-1844 Rev. Harouthiun Ter Eliazarian 1942-1949 Rev. Vardan S. Vardanian
1843-1846 Rev. Petrose Antonian 1944-1947 Rev. Hambardzoom S. Vardanian
1844-1847 Rev. Carapiet Gregorian 1948-1958 Rev. Aramais Mirzaian
1844-1847 Rev. Marcar Andreasian 1948-1953 Rev. Avetice Edgarian
1844-1872 Rev. Hovannes Khachikian (Vicar) 1953-1956 Rev. B.S. David
1845-1846 Rev. Mathevos Gregore Karibian 1957 Rev. Pogose Petrossian
1846-1849 Rev. Barsiegh Galstanian (Archpriest) 1957-1962 Bishop Asoghik Ghazarian
1846-1849 Rev. Martyrose Ter Hovakiemian 1961 Archbishop Haikazoon Abrahamian
1850-1856 Rev. Mackertich Ter C. Gregorian 1964 Archbishop Haikazoon Abrahamian
1850-1856 Rev. Mackertich H Ter Lucasian 1964-1968 Rev. Vazken Stepanian (Priest at Bombay)
1852-1854 Rev. Hovannes Galstanian 1964-1970 Rev. Fr. Kegham Zakarian
1856-1860 Rev. Harouthiun Ter S. Ter Harouthiunian 1966 Archbishop Haikazoon Abrahamian
1856-1860 Rev. Nicholaose Ter H Eghiaian (Archpriest) 1967-1968 Archbishop Haikazoon Abrahamian
1860-1863 Rev. Mackertich H. Ter Lucasian (Archpriest) 1968-1972 Archbishop Haikazoon Abrahamian
1861-1863 Rev. Sylvester Hovhannesian 1968-1974 Rev. Fr. Vazken Stephanian
1863-1865 Rev. Galstaun Nazarethian 1968 Mario Stepanian (Deacon)
1863-1867 Rev. Dyonisius Ter Eliazarian 1969 Phoghose Aratoon (Deacon)
1863-1866 Rev. Aristakes Hovannesian 1969 Sam Aviet (Deacon)
1866-1868 Rev. Retevos Davidian 1969-1970 Martyrose Aivaz (Deacon)
1866-1869 Rev. Ephiphan H. Gregorian 1972 Archbishop Haikazoon Abrahamian
1866-1869 Rev. Nicholaose Ter H. Eghiaian (Archpriest) 1972 Bishop Vahan Terian
1869-1872 Rev. Aviet Astvatsatourian 1973-1974 Very Rev. Fr. Hair Woskan Kalpakian
1870-1873 Rev. Martyrose Ter Hovakimian (Archpriest) 1974-1981 Very Rev. Fr. Vazken Tatoyan
1870-1873 Rev. Gregor Ter Marcarian 1982-1984 Rev. Fr. Hagop Guekchian
1874-1876 Rev. Nicholaose Ter H Eghiaian (Archpriest) 1985-2000 Anthony Galstaun (Deacon)
1872-1875 Rev. Gasper Ter Simonian 2000-2003 Rev. Fr. Sahak Sahakyan
1874-1875 Rev. Gregor Ter Harouthiunian 2003-2004 Very Rev. Fr. Ghevond Ghervondyan
1875-1877 Rev. Barsgh Ter Gevork Gasparian 2005-2007 Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian
1875-1878 Rev. Dyonisius Ter Eliazarian 2005-2009 Tigran Baghoumyan (Deacon)
1877-1881 Rev. Minas Barseghian 2007-2008 Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian
1878-1882 Rev. Mackertich Petrosian 2008-2009 Haroutyn Hambardzumyan (Deacon. Became Rev. Fr. Avetis below)
1880-1884 Rev. Martyrose G. Apcarian 2009-2010 Rev. Fr. Avetis Hambardzumyan (ordained a Priest in Kolkata)
1882-1885 Rev. Mesrobe C. Davidian 2010-2013 Very Rev. Fr. Khoren Hovhannisian (defrocked in 2002, refrocked 2009, defrocked again 2017)
1883-1885 Rev. Rethevos Davidian 2010-2010 Very Rev. Ignatious Malkhasyan
1885-1888 Rev. Psack H. Hacobian 2010-2015 Rev. Fr. Geghard Ghabaghyan
1885-1892 rev. Gregor Ter Marcarian 2010-2011 Samvel Harutiunian (Deacon)
1885-1889 Rev. Galstaun Ter Barseghian 2013-2016 Ver Rev. Fr. Zaven Yakichyan
1886-1891 Rev.Elisha H. Mackertoumian 2013-2015 Rev. Fr. Arsen Saroyan
1889-1893 Rev. Barsegh Ter Gevork Gasparian 2016-2021 Rev. Fr. Movses Sargsyan
2016 Varazdat Kocharyan (Deacon)

* Padre Daniel was an Armenian priest at the Armenian Holy Church of Nazareth in 1755, details extracted from the Will of Catchick Coja Maul dated 17th November 1755.

** Padre Dionysius Manasser was an Armenian priest in Calcutta in 1779, details extracted from his Will dated 2nd February 1779, Calcutta.

*** Carapiet Margar was an Armenian priest at the Armenian Holy Church of Nazareth in 1793, details extracted from the marriage register entries for 1793.


My thanks to Mario Stepanian, son of Rev. Vazken Stepanian for assistance with information and dates in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Also Very Rev. Fr. Zaven Yakichyan for updating the list in February 2014

Armenian population snapshot below.

1814 1815 1836
Male 269 272


For 1836 the adults of all ages were 313 and children 192.  The number of houses in which the 505 people resided were 101
Female 195 208 215
Total 464 480 505


Year Births Marriages Deaths
1811 10 7 12
1812 8 2 12
1813 8 4 14
1814 13 5 21
1815 9 4 21
1816 11 7 15
1817 11 3 20
1819 5 1 23
1820 11 5 17
1821 16 4 16
1822 12 5 16
1823 8 2 10
1824 7 6 21
1825 15 5 19
1826 8 3 19
1827 18 5 15
1829 12 4 15
1830 9 4 14
1831 19 3 17
1832 13 2 17
1833 13 3 23
1834 9 7 16
1835 19 4 7
Total 280 99 395


An early statistical snapshot of the Armenian community in Calcutta gives you an idea of the thriving community. The Births, Marriages and Deaths of the Armenian population of Calcutta for a 25year period from 1811 to 1835 inclusive.*


Armenian population count in Calcutta for the years*


*Taken from “Statistics of the Colonies of the British Empire 1839, From the Official Records of the Colonial Office”
By Robert Montgomery Martin.

Armenian Advocates of the Calcutta High Court from 1855-1893


Inn Names Year of Admission Appointment or Chambers
L Honorable Sir Gregory Charles Paul B.A., K.C.I.E. 1855 Advocate-General
I J.H.W. Arratoon,B.A. 1864 England
I Gasper Gregory 1868 Durbhungah
I G.J. Pogose 1869 Dacca
I Aviet Agabeg 1869 England
I Thomas Alexander Apcar 1870 11 Old Post Office Street
L Malcolm Peter Gasper* 1872 England
L Arrakiel Peter Gasper 1872 9 Old Post Office Street
L J.G. Apcar 1874 Clerk of the Crown
I John A. Apcar 1875 High Court
I A. Arathoon 1875 England
I A.A. Shircore 1875 Chittagong
I St. John Stephen, B.A., LL.B. 1880 9 Hastings Street
I J.N. Pogose 1882 Allahabad
I A.E. Gasper 1882 High Court
I A.T. Apcar, M.A., LL.B. 1883 11 Old Post Office Street
M A.A. Avetoom 1885 11 Old Post Office Street
I Osmond J. Bagram 1887 Rangoon
M M. Zorab 1889 6 Hastings Street
I Walter Gasper Gregory 1889 5 Old Post Office Street
M John George Bagram 1890 Bar Library
I G.I.M. Gregory 1890 Mozufferpore
I C.A.O.T. Gregory 1891 High Court
G.I. J. Ernest Bagram 1893 Bar Library
M John Chater Jordan 1893 N.W.P.

* Malcolm Peter Gasper was one of the leaders of the Calcutta bar.  He was a respected member of the Armenian community of Calcutta, and they paid a tribute to his memory, by erecting a marble mural tablet in the Armenian Church of St. Nazareth. Follow this link to see it


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