The scattering of the Hovsepians

The Hovsepians of Suedia were silkworm farmers. As Nana's story is told, we learn fairly well what happened to most of them. Most of this came to her either through her Uncle George, or through letters from her mother.

Elias Hovsepian, her father, died during a pogrom against the Armenians in the Musa Dagh region in March, 1909. The pogroms extended down from Adana, where the local governor carried out orders from Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Grandfather's family had felt Abdul Hamid's wrath in an earlier pogrom around Malatia in 1895.

Mariam (Boyajian) Hovsepian survived and held her family together as best she could. Uncle George had helped her place Nana and her sister Violet (born 1905) in the Beirut orphanage. Joseph (born 1903) went to an orphanage (I do not know where) and but left that and eventually came to Cairo and Uncle George.

Mariam's oldest daughter, Sarah (born 1896), went to work for a Greek family as a housekeeper. She married a Turkish man, who was injured as a soldier during World War I. They had a baby, who bore the same name as that of her baby brother, Movses (born 1908). Sarah and her mother lived with Sarah's husband and the two Movses in Antakya. During the war, Mariam's Movses died, probably of complications of malnutrition. I believe the date of Movses' death was 1917, but I cannot be sure. Sarah subsequently left her husband in Antakya and moved east to Yerevan. She married again. Our best guess is that she died in the early 1990s there. We know Nana received a letter from her in 1990, at which point Sarah would have been 94 years old.

{To come -- rest of the story for Violet and Joseph.}