Home > Notes > Meta-Genealogical Musings

Official Zohrab/Zorab Family Badge

Descendants of Zohrab of the Manuchariants

Meta-Genealogical Musings

Home Page Family Trees Biographical Details Bibliography
Notes Site-Map Index of Names Genetic Prehistory


This is a page where the Webmaster can make comments and ask questions (even if rhetorical) about family history, the process of making decisions about what to put onto the family tree, and this website in general. This sort of page used to be called a "weblog", which then became known as a "blog", and then changed into a general page about absolutely anything, so this page cannot be called a weblog any more.


  • Various versions of the family tree differ from each other for unknown reasons.

  • Various people have decided that previous genealogists (people interested in Zohrab/Zorab family history) have made mistakes, and have therefore made "corrections".

  • What the webmaster, Peter Douglas Zohrab, wanted to try to do is (a) trace and record these decisions as much as possible, and (b) leave a record of many of his own decisions, so that they can be understood and undone, if that is thought necessary.

  • Various branches of the family have at various times been in contact with each other, and have gathered genealogical information from other branches. For example, the then webmaster (of the Zohrab branch, New Zealand), awas once looking at an appendix to a transcription (by Dr. John Zorab, in England) of Judge Edgar Zorab's notes (Zorab branch, Holland), which consists of a 1923 letter from Reverend James Kayll (Zohrab branch, New Zealand), who the transcription says signs himself "Jamal", to Mr. Seth Zorab, in Surabaya (Dutch East Indies), which mentions correspondence with Lady Blunt (Zohrab branch, then in Malta), and an attempt by James Kayll's cousin, Edward Goodwin Fortescue Zohrab (a shipowner in New Zealand), to contact Mr. Seth Zorab with a view to starting up trade with Seth Zorab in Java sugar!

  • If there is a conflict between what one branch of the family says about its ancestors and what another branch says about those same ancestors, then we would expect the branch which is reporting on its own ancestors to be the more accurate -- other things being equal.

  • Lady Patricia Maddocks says in her book that she went to New Julfa (Isfahan) in 1975 and found a lot of Zohrabs in the telephone directory (was there an English version of the telephone directory?), but that she did not contact any of them, because at that stage she knew very little about her Zohrab ancestors.

  • Using the telephone directory in London, she got into contact with the Zorab branch, including Dr. Edward Zorab, and acquired a copy of their version of the wider Zohrab/Zorab family tree. Prior to that, she had known almost nothing about the family, apart from her own ancestors.

  • Later, other people (including Mark Donoghue) have used her book as an authority.

  • Mark Donoghue has also used the then webmaster as an authority.

  • People are not always referred to in the standard way. Surnames were a late invention in human history -- developped by governments to aid tax-gathering, apparently -- and in some countries it may not have been clear, in the 19th century, what a surname was, or which of a foreigner's many names to use. For example, the French wife of General Edward Zohrab is referred to as "the grand-daughter of a General Armandl" but according to the French Service historique de la Défense that there has never been a French general of that name. Edward's mother is also described as the "daughter of Dr. Dominique", whereas "Dominique" is typically a French first name, rather than a surname.








Family Tree

Facts & Photographs



Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

13 October 2015