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01 February 2016

Indian Armenian Records in English

This story is brought to you with the support of the
AGBU UK Trust.

There are many people interested in their Indian Armenian heritage.  I am often asked if there are any birth, marriage and death records in English available relating to Armenians in India. This post is for those currently searching, as well future researchers who are seeking their elusive Armenian ancestors with a connection to India.

In 2005 recognising the significance and historical importance of these hitherto publicly unseen records, and with the blessing and consent of the Armenian Church Committee Chair, Mrs. Sonia John, I was granted permission to photograph the whole of the early baptism register held at the Armenian Holy Church of Nazareth, Kolkata. 
The first page of the baptism register starts at 1793

This particular set of records date from between 1793 and 1859. Written only in the Armenian language I spent many months trying to find someone who would help with the translation work.  I finally found Dr. Reuben Khachaturyan, he was interested in the Armenian community of India and was actively tracing his own family connections. Although he was working in the Yemen he still found time to help with the translations and transcriptions. I would send him the images and he returned the results each week in an excel document.  It took just over two years to successfully complete the translations and for me to check any queries.  Once I was happy with the end result I wanted to make sure that I was able to share this very valuable and unique information completely free to the wider public.

I approached the Families in British India Society who are “a self-help organisation devoted to members researching their British India family history and the background against which their ancestors led their lives in India under British rule.”

I enquired whether they would be interested in hosting this information on their website. They confirmed that this data would indeed prove to be a very valuable asset for their members and visitors and were more than happy to take the newly translated information and add it to their fast growing database.

This was the first time that the early Armenian baptism register had been fully transcribed and translated into English in its entirety. Reuben and I undertook this project without any financial help or institutional or organisational assistance or support.  Over 1200 records have subsequently been ‘unlocked’ and since their release to FIBIS, they have helped many thousands of people around the world who previously had no chance of being able to break down their family history brick wall.

Alternatively, go to the main site and explore from there.

Are you trying to locate an Armenian grave of a family member or ancestor?

You may also find my dedicated website worth a visit. It contains images of the vast majority of Armenian graves and tombstones in India, and it is fully searchable. Give it a try, it’s completely free.

If you have any questions regarding your Indian Armenian family history, please use the contact form on the right and I will do my best to try to help you.