YEREVAN, ARMENIA — The fifth Armenian Genealogy Conference will be held in Armenia this fall.
Since 2016, four conferences devoted to Armenian genealogy have been held in the United States. As was the case with so many events worldwide, the global pandemic required postponement of the conference for over two years. This year, for the first time ever, the Armenian Genealogy Conference will be hosting its annual assembly in Armenia. The conference is cosponsored by the Hamazkayin Cultural Association and the American University of Armenia (AUA) during the weekend of September 23 to 25.
Building on the foundation set by previous conferences, the program will consist of sessions devoted to the genealogy of Armenians from different regions. The resources available to Armenians tend to be very geographic specific, and thus, experts are generally regionally focused. The sessions will be informative as well as pragmatic, providing practical tools for all genealogists, regardless of their level of experience. The working languages of the conference will be Armenian, English and Russian. Simultaneous interpretation will be available.
“AUA is incredibly excited to co-host and organize the fifth Armenian Genealogy Conference, especially as the University is launching an undergraduate course on genetics in the fall of 2022,” said Dr. Sharistan Melkonian, AUA’s dean of General Education. “We look forward to welcoming participants to explore their family histories as well as the extensive research available in tracing lineages.”
Conference presenters include Dr. Haroutune Armenian, Dr. Sonya Mirzoyan, Dr. Rafael Abrahamyan, Dr. Hayk Hakobyan and George Aghjayan.
Dr. Armenian has had a long and distinguished career in academia, including over 10 years as president of AUA (1997-2009). He will speak about the Armenian parish microfilm collection of the Latter-day Saints Family History Library. Dr. Armenian was one of the first to research this underutilized material in the study of infant mortality, widowhood and other patterns of mortality.
Dr. Abrahamyan is chairman of the Armenian Historical and Genealogical Society and one of the primary initiators of the first journal devoted to Armenian genealogy (whose first volume was published this year). His published articles touch on both medieval and modern Armenian genealogy. He will present on the genealogy of Artsakh: sources, methodology and the history of its study.
Dr. Hakobyan is a senior researcher at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan specializing in epigraphy, theology, Caucasian studies and codicology. While genealogical research during medieval times is thought to predominantly focus on aristocracy, Dr. Hakobyan notes that the phenomena of remembering family trees and ancestors were typical of medieval Armenians. His presentation will aim to rediscover the role of lithographs and memoirs in the field of Armenian genealogical studies.
Dr. Mirzoyan has been working in the Armenian National Archives for over 30 years, over 10 of which she spent as director. The Armenian National Archive is largely an untapped, yet indispensable, resource for genealogists. Her presentation will cover the photographs, official documents and memoirs contained in the archives.
Aghjayan is the founder of the Armenian Genealogy Conference and has been involved in the planning of each of the previous conferences. He writes frequently for The Armenian Weekly and Houshamadyan on various aspects of Armenian genealogy and the demographics of Western Armenia. Aghjayan will present on Ottoman population registers and their usage and value in Armenian genealogical research.
Additional speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Registration for the fifth Armenian Genealogy Conference is open and available to the public on the conference website.