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Descendants of Zohrab of the Manuchariants

Family Trees of the Zohrab / Zorab Family

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The First Family Tree

According to the book by Armèn Joseph, the first known family tree of any part of the Zohrab family was contained in a letter dated 1st May 1831 from Catholicos-Patriarch Yeprem (1809-1835) to melik Manuchar and his brothers.  That letter informed them that their ancestral father was "the famous melik Mangkasar",  the first melik of Yerevan of their family.  Previously, in 1780, the Catholicos-Patriarch Lucas (1780-1799) had confirmed in a letter to "Marcar Manuk, a great-grandson of Zohrab I in the male line" (whose descendants are the topic of this website), that he was a descendant of the noble family of the Manuchariants. 


According to the book by Armèn Joseph:

In the pre-Napoleonic period all marriages, births and deaths in the Christian world were registered in the parish churches only.  The public registrar was instituted by Napoleon.  Initial consultations of the church registers are required for making a genealogical tree or for any information regarding a person.  Generally speaking, the Armenian Apostollic Church is still the registrar in Armenian circles.



Here are excerpts from the book by Armèn Joseph about meliks:


This Islamic-Persian word is the same as the Hebrew melek which means crowned king.  However, melik in Persian is king only.

In the old Persian Empire, the government was based on feudal tribal and clan systems.  The largest administrative unit of the Persian State seems to have been the khanate under a Persian khan, comparable to a vice-regent.  He was a civil servant appointed by the Persian Shah, and a tribal chieftain.

A subjugated nation - a so-called ethnic group - in a khanate was governed by a civil servant from that ethnic group, called melik.  The melik was a member of the landed gentry of that ethnic group, comparable to high commissioner or governor-general, appointed by the Shah. 

Armenia, Hayastan in Armenian, was comprised of four khanates; Yerevan (Erivan), Karabagh, Nakhidjewan and Ganje (Gandz).

It often happened that several generations of one noble family were appointed to the high office of melik successively.  His responsibilities were (1) finance (taxation), (2) administration and (3) justice, except death penalty.

Depending on the khan and the personality of the melik, it often occurred that the latter behaved himself like an uncrowned king.

Various desendants (sic) of melik Mangkasar received phirmans of appointment from Shah Seffi (1629 - 1642), Shah Abbas II (1642 -1666), Shah Suleiman (1666 - 1694) and Nadir Shah (1736 - 1747).  Certificates of nobility were issued to them by Pannu khan of Karabagh, Ibrahim khan of Karabagh (about 1800) and Mehdi khan of Yerevan (1805). 


Later Family Trees

The credit for having written the first family tree about Zohrab's descendants ("the first Zohrab tree") should be given to Peter Thomas Henry Gordon Zohrab. His tree must have been written between about 1851 and 1881, since it is addressed to his children, his eldest child was born in 1841, and Peter died in 1881. The copy I have of it was made in 1919. According to Maureen Kelly's book, the children of Peter's son Constantine (in New Zealand) recited the family tree every night at bedtime. This family tree was in Heading-plus-Paragraph (text, rather than graphic) format, and only covered the descendants of Peter's grandfather, Constantine.

The second known Zohrab family tree was drawn up in Armenian by Aviet (Avetick) Carapiet Zohrabyants in 1919 (Aviet's Tree). He says in his "Annotations as to the genealogy of Zorabian lineage" that his grandfather, Mackertich Zorabian, had created a "Zorabian genealogy" in 1820, so maybe that was in fact the earliest tree. The year 1919 is significant, in that that was also the year in which a copy/copies were made of the earlier family tree. Perhaps both these developments were stimulated by the Armenian genocide (by the Turks) in 1915.

A Roman alphabet version of this tree was drawn by Judge Edgar Zorab over five pages of a book (Edgar's Tree), of which Peter Douglas Zohrab was sent two versions -- one by Edward van Put and one by Kelvin Pollock.  Of these two versions, which differ in some respects, the former seems to be more authentic, being a photocopy of the original, whereas the latter appears to be merely a hand-drawn copy, which is unclear in some respects. 

The first of the various Zohrab family trees that the New Zealand branch of the family ever saw was probably that which was drawn up by Dr Phillip Zorab (1 x A3 page) on the basis of of Edgar's Tree, and of research carried out in Iran and Armenia by Judge Edgar Zorab (Phillip's Tree).

A much larger (7 x A3 pages) tree was drawn up by Mr. and Mrs. Kelvin & Rosemary Pollock in the late 20th Century (Kelvin's Tree).

Peter Douglas Zohrab, in the first decade of the 21st Century, put a searchable text version of the family tree up onto the World-Wide Web (Peter's Tree) -- based largely on Kelvin's Tree, but also on Edgar's Tree, and also on input from various other sources (see Notes).


Peter's Tree


Typed Family Tree Generations 1-5, Bottom Half

Typed Family Tree Generations 5-8, Bottom Half

Typed Family Tree Generations 8-10, Bottom Half

Typed Family Tree Generations 10-12, Bottom Half

Typed Family Tree Generations 12-15, Bottom Half








Family Tree

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Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

11 October 2015