Donabedian family - Malatia 1895

May 31, 2023

I come from the Donabedian family and we just came across this photo. I’m not sure who provided this photo or where it came from, but we would love to get in touch to know more! It looks like there are some numbers written that we can’t quite make out that maybe identify even more family members. This is the first picture we have ever seen dating back this far in our family history!


I am glad to meet you! We discovered that picture portraying the Donabedian family in 2016 thanks to Gabriel Armutlu. It’s indeed the oldest picture portraying our family we have found so far. We don’t know about the other numbers and it shows only a part of the family since the Donabedians in Malatia reached 50 people and more. The Donabedian were important landowners in Malatia, who owned apricot orchards among other things. The family also owned a caravanserai. They owned significant lands that they had to inspect on horses. They used to travel abroad for their trade, to Middle East (Syria) and probably other countries as well.

My maternal grandfather Kevork Donabedian loved poetry, nature and history (it was his jardin secret). Kevork Donabedian wrote a book about the Malatia dialect which he gave to Armenia in the 1970’s, unfortunately his name was erased from the book credits and replaced with the names of local Soviet Armenians. We still don’t know the whereabouts of his work on Malatia Armenians.

My maternal grandfather married Hripsimé Kanseyan (Kenseyan) in France. They lived a happy life together.

As far as we know, the Donabedian’s lands in Malatia (present-day Turkey) were seized by the genocidal Young Turks and locals during the Genocide.

Five Donabedians (Kevork Donabedian, his sister and his brother Megerdich, his cousins Levon and Sirarpi) out of 50 did survive the Genocide. Kevork Donabedian was sure that another cousin had survived the Genocide but never had the chance to confirm that information.

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