HomeBiographical details  > Descendants of Zohrab's Son, Simon > The Manuk/Manook Branch

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Descendants of Zohrab of the Manuchariants

The Manuk/Manook Branch

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The page http://armenian.name/index.php?a=list&d=1&t=dict&w1=M states as follows:

"MANUK: From Armenian manuk "child". The corresponding surname is Manukyan."

One branch of the Zohrab family left Persia (Iran) for Turkey around 1795, in order to escape a politically-motivated massacre of the Zohrab family then being carried out by the then Shah of Persia. The "Manuk branch" of the family probably left Iran for India around 1795 -- for the same reason, or possibly for financial reasons, following the economic consequences of the Afghan invasion of Persia in 1722. The time of their departure is indicated by the fact that all five children of Manook and Hannai (Anne) were born in New Julfa (near Isfahan, Persia) before 1795 and died either in India, the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), or on the way there, after 1795.


The book by Armèn Joseph states:

One branch of this Persian clan called itself MANU(C)K (MANOOK), after a grandson of Zohrab I of that Christian name: Manuk Simon ZOHRAB, in the male line.


This is supported by Mirzaian (1966), which (on page 213) states:

Mrs Mary Arathoon was generously and vigorously assisted (i.e. in the 1854 rebuilding of the Armenian Church of St. John, in Calcutta) by her maiden sister, Miss Thagoohie Manook. The two sisters had inherited the entire wealth of their bachelor brother, Gevorg Manook....


Mary was apparently also known as Mariam.

Mirzaian (1966) also states (page 213) that the Armenian church of St. George in Surabaya (Dutch East Indies) "was constructed in the year 1927 at the entire cost of the following generous and benevolent ladies and gentlemen: Jacob Arathoon, George Manuk, Mrs. Mary Arathoon and Miss Thagoohie Manuk...." On page 215, the same book also refers to the "Manook and Arathoon School in Surabaya."

According to Judge Edgar Zorab Kevork (George) Manuk(ian) Manuchariants (nicknamed "The Millionaire"), son of Manook and grandson of Simon, was born in 1767 in New Julfa, lived in British India for a while, and died unmarried on 21.10.1827 in Batavia (now called Jakarta). When Napoleon annexed Holland, Kevork refused to assist the British in capturing the Dutch East Indies, on the grounds of his friendship with the Dutch. George and his brother Malcolm assumed the Armenian title "Asphet" (= "Knight"). His cousin Marcar, at some stage, received confirmation of his noble ancestry, so is probably no coincidence that they assumed this title.  They probably kept in contact with each other, as have other members of the family.

Armeniapedia.org (as on 18/3/2014) states as follows:

About the last quarter of the 18th century the most notable and distinguished Armenian merchant was Agha Gevorg Manuck (Zorab) Manucharian, born in Julfa in 1767, from poor and respectable parents.  He came to Java from Madras, with a substantial capital....  He imported goods from Calcutta and Madras and exported Indonesian products.  ... in 1808 the Dutch East India Company floated a loan to which he subscribed a substantial amount.  He enjoyed the full confidence ... of the Governor-General....


The late Gevorg (Zorab) Manucharian and his sisters Mrs. Mariam Arathooun and Miss Thaguhi Manuck as well as Agha Hacob Arathoon, until the present day, are held in the highest degree of veneration and reverence by the Community.  To honour their sacred and immortal memory and in grateful appreciation for their admirable, praiseworthy and charitable service to social, religious and educational institutions in Indonesia, Iran and India, the Community annually holds a memorial church requiem service on a special fixed day, for the repose of their souls.


The following information (edited by me) about Kevork's sister Takouhi (Thagoohi) was kindly supplied by Mr. Jon Metes:

The Armenian church in Singapore was built in 1835. The architect who built it was George Coleman, an Irishman. He also built a large mansion on the most prominent site in Singapore for his mistress, Takouhi Manuk, Kevork's sister. She was a generous benefactor and donated some of the church silver. Takouhi bore Coleman an illegitimate daughter, Elizabeth. Records show that the child was baptized in the Anglican Cathedral in Singapore. Coleman ultimately married one of his own kind, and Takouhi remained a spinster.


Tombs and Memorials of Manuk branch in Kolkata, India.


Anne Basil's book mentions (on page 109) that a certain Dr. S. J. Manook was in the Indian Medical Service.


On page http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/B_0125.htm is stated the following about Bangabhaban, the official residence of the President of Bangladesh:

There is still a building called Manuk House within the Bangabhaban compound. It is conjectured that it belonged to an Armenian zamindar named Manuk during British rule. Nawab khwaja abdul ghani of Dhaka bought the place from Manuk.


Other evidence that the Manuk/Manook branch of the Zohrab/Zorab family used Manuk/Manook as a surname:

  1. According to Kelvin Pollock's version of the tree, the individual identified as "Kevork (George) Manukian Manuchariants 1767-1827 unmarried" at Generation 4 of page ztbltre1.html used no real surname, as such. He used the patronymic "Manukian" (his father was called "Manook"), plus our clan name "Manuchariants".

  2. In addition, it was not clear whether the name "Manuk" at Generation 4 -- Mariam Manuk, etc.-- (in Kelvin Pollock's version of the tree) was a surname or a second Christian name.

  3. The tombstone captions for Johannes Malcum Manuk and Zohrab Malcolm Manuk (see the page: manukgra.html ), seem to fit the identities of the Johannes and Zorab individuals mentioned on the family tree at Generation 5, on the page ztbltre1.html , because:
    a. They were of approximately the correct dates for a fit;
    b. The older of the two on the tree was also the older according to the tombstones;
    c. On the tombs, they both had "Malcum/Malcolm" as their middle name, which implies that their father was called that (according to traditional Armenian naming practices), as indeed is stated on the family tree;
    d. It is plausible that the individuals on the tree used "Manuk" as a surname because that was the name of their grandfather, and because of what is stated above.
    e. And, of course, the Christian names on the tombstones match those on the family tree.








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11 October 2015