As I continue to review the Wills and Inventories of the various Armenian legacies and bequests left in India, a large and complex story is developing on some all-but-forgotten Catholic Armenians. In this short blog post I will refer only to a small branch of a much larger family tree only because I am still working on the larger family tree and have yet to get to the British Library to research first hand. There is nothing quite like getting into original source material and although a nice selection of British Library documentation can be found on-line, there is MUCH more that isn’t available to the internet user and a trip to London is always nice.
This is a delightful little find. Maria Margarita Gonsalves nee Eyoob [apologies: originally I posted she was nee Simeon which is incorrect.] from a Catholic Armenian family in Serampore (with connections to the Armenian Catholics of Bombay, Surat and Madras) appears to have purchased a Catholic Church at Chandernagore as can be seen from this extract from the Will of Mary Theresa Simeon, Maria’s niece, dated 1911
The same paragraph is repeated in the Will of John Simeon, Mary’s brother. The siblings died within 3 months of each other, John in March 1918 and Mary in June of that year. They both wanted to ensure the future and continuation of the church at Chandernagore.
The Chapel was established in 1720 by the Roman Catholic Clergymen of Tibet mission. In 1869, the Chapel was presented to the Sisters of St Joseph’s Convent by Mrs Gonsalves. The massive entrance door has the date 1720 inscribed on its metal framework."
|The doors into the chapel|
|Front view of the chapel|
|Looking into the chapel|
|First paragraph of Rose Nesbitt's Will|
|St. Raphael's Church, Kingston, Surrey|