Anybody doing genealogical research on relatives who once lived in the Ottoman Empire realizes that this can be a daunting task. The records are limited, difficult to access, and generally written in Ottoman Turkish.
However, it is important to realize that there are official records that can be incredibly helpful for anybody doing genealogical research. Ottoman censuses were carried out, although not at regular intervals.
For those doing research on relatives from Efkere, author and historian Hüseyin Cömert’s 2010 publication: “Gesi Vadisi–Gesi, Efkere, Darsiyak, Nize, Balagesi, Mancusun” is well worth seeking out. This 560 page Turkish-language book does contain what would appear to be almost the entire 1840 census data for Efkere. Perhaps just as importantly, the book also contains much of the data for the 1872 property tax rolls for the village.
Sadly, the information itself is somewhat limited. The census data, for example, does not list females. Family names are generally not included, although a brief physical description of the individual usually is, along with his profession and, usually, his age. For example, household #1 of the village is described thusly:
“Medium height, gray beard Ohanes bin Andon, saddlemaker, age 65. His son-in-law is tall, brown mustache, Andon bin Agop, age 35. His unfledged young grandson Mgrditch, age 5. His other grandchild, Karabet.”
In some ways, the property tax records may be a bit more useful. For the 1872 records, neighborhoods, streets, and the homeowners and the values of the homes in these residential areas are noted. Furthermore, the shared commercial assets (*churches, fountains, etc.) are also listed. Fortunately, Cömert includes all of this information in “Gesi Vadisi.” The logbook for these property taxes are housed in the KAYTAM archives in Kayseri (Kayseri ve Yoresi Tarih Arastirmalari Merkezinde). According to Cömert, the logbook for these property tax records includes the following headers, from left to right: Property number, type of real estate, names of streets, street number, measurement, property owner, owner of rights, current value, annual income, former tax amount, new tax amount, tenant, existing assets, cession and transfer, value/bonds/considerations. For the 1872 records, the total number of properties listed is 646.
So, for example, we can go the section of the Kuzey Neighborhood of Efkere. Then, look at the listings for any of the 11 streets in that particular neighborhood (Darsiyak St., Kabriyel St., Ugurlu St., Nalbant St., Hamid Effendi St., Kayser Ogluy St., Demiricilik St., Halim Aga St., Kara Kahya St., Masat St.). Finally, each street is broken down even further. Halim Aga St., for example, has 15 properties listed, with their valuation.
Amazingly, while the Census records do not list women at all, there are rare examples of women listed on the property tax rolls.
Finally, there is another source of information–a publication released by the Municipality of Kayseri in 2000: Individuals in Kayseri Population Records, 1831-1860. I find this information much more limited, but I have included below a partial list of Armenians listed in the book as living in Efkere and registered in Ottoman records between 1831 and 1860. The list is incomplete, and I do not have details at this point as to the exact dates when these records were obtained.
If you are actively pursuing genealogical research for Efkere, I would recommend Cömert’s book for the census information and the 1872 property tax information.
Parsih, scrap tradesman, of medium height, auburn mustached, single-eye.
Mateos, son of Osep, of medium height, auburn mustache.
Hacer, son of Apkar, foundry tradesman, of medium height, auburn mustache.
Bedros, joinery tradesman, of medium height, black mustache.
Abraham, son of Babik, nail tradesman, of medium height, auburn mustache.
Ugurlu, joinery tradesman, of medium height, auburn mustache.
Avanis, son of Kalos, carpenter tradesman, of tall height, auburn mustache.
Avakim, son of Bahadir, plastery tradesman, of medium height, sparse mustache.
Benyad, son of MalHzan, of medium height, blonde mustache.
Bedros, son of Sari, of rather tall height, blonde mustache.
Tavid, son of young Mgr, of medium height, sparse mustache.
Garabed, son of Sar, of medium height, blonde mustache.
Sahak, son of Uzerlik, nail tradesman, of medium height, auburn mustache.
Zekeriya, plasterer, of medium height, blonde mustache.
Garabed, barber, of medium hight, auburn mustache.
Garabed, house painter tradesman, of medium hight, gray bearded.
Boghos, joiner, sparse mustached, son of white-bearded, of medium hight, Jeweler Medros.
Gabriel, joinery tradesman, of medium height, black mustache.
Artin, plastery tradesman, of medium height, black-mustache.
Garabed, son of Hacar, boatmanship tradesman, of medium height, auburn mustache.
Aynal Bedros, plastery tradesman, of medium height, auburn mustache.
Kazar, joinery tradesman, of medium height, black mustache.
Boghos, son of Hacar, of medium height, black mustache.
EFKERE, HAN NEIGHBORHOOD
Kayta Bedros, black mustache.
Garabed, sone of Knife smith Kei, sparse mustached. Has a son named Servi.
Garabed, son of Kaltakci, black mustached. He has a son named Sarkis.
Sarkis, son of Servi, who is son of Keskes, of medium height, sparse mustached.
EFKERE, KUZAY NEIGHBORHOOD
Garabed, son of ehrin, of tall height.
His son, ehrin, sparse mustached.
Artin, son of young Zarbar.
Medros, son of Ceran, of tall height, sparse mustache. He has a son named Sisin.
Bulbul, son of Locksmith Panos. He has another son named Evandik.
Mgrdich, other son of Krikor, who is son of Tohtar.
Kaymaz Serkis, of medium height, gray bearded.
Agop, grandchild of Arya, who is son of Sarkis.
Garabed son Agop, who is son of Sarkis.
Garabed, son of Ugurlu, who is son of Bicakci.
Istefan (Stefan), son of Blacksmith Copur, of medium height, sparse mustache.
Hacdor, son of Sari, of tall height, blond mustache. He has a son named Avanis.
EFKERE, CAVDARLI NEIGHBORHOOD
Bali, son-in-law of tinsmith Bedros, sparse mustached.
Bedros, son of Agop, who is son of tinsmith Dalt, sparse mustached.
Melkon, other son of Bedros, who is son of Sari.
David, son a Magar, of medium height, auburn-mustached.
Krikor, other son of Karagoz, who is son of Sandalmaker Murat, of medium height, sparse mustached.
OTHERS LISTED FROM OTTOMAN RECORDS, DATES AS ABOVE, VARIOUS NEIGHBORHOODS
Agop, son of Msr, from Efkere village Demirci neighborhood, of tall height, blond mustache.
Hacir, son of Copur, from Han neighborhood.
Agop, his brother.
Bedros, son of Sarac, from Demirci neighborhood, of medium height, auburn mustache.
Oseb, son of Tailor Hacer, from Kuzev neighborhood, black mustache Mgr, son of Koca, of tall height, black mustache. Name of his son is Kiragos.
Panos, from Panoso, son of Solak, of medium height, black mustache. Name of his son is Panos.
Sarkis, son in law of Ackara, of tall height, black mustached.
Sar Dede, of tall height, white bearded. His other son is Krikor.
Gabriel, son of irin, of tall height, white bearded. His other son is Garabed.
Bedros, son of Kurkcu, of short height. Name of his son is Garabed.
Boos, son of Istefan, of tall height, blond mustache. Name of his son is Ivanos.
Tavit, son of Mgr, from Kuzey neighborhood, of medium height, auburn mustached.
Shepherd Garabed, from Gemerek, of medium height, black mustache.
His son Mateos, sparse mustached.
His other son Mgrdich.
LIST OF PEOPLE WHO HAD A CHILD IN EFKERE VILLAGE:
Krikor, son of Kara Isa, black mustache. Name of his son is Garabed.
His grandchild Tavit.
Garabed, grandchild of Sarkis, who is son of Kiskis.
Ivanos, son of Yasef, of medium height, blond mustache. Name of his son is Garabed.
Garabed, son of tinsmith Kasbar, sparse mustache. Name of his son is Kasbar.
Barber Garabed, of medium height, black mustache. Name of his son is Bogos.
Ivanos, brother of Krikor, who is son of Nihabet.
Sarkis, won of Door maker Ivanos, sparse mustache.
Panos, son of Bodak, of medium height, blond mustache. Name of his son is Bedros.
His son Bodak (Budak).
His other son Agop.
Daniel, son of Abraham, who is son of Boduk, black mustache. Name of his son is Stefan.
Boghos, of tall height, auburn mustached.
His brother Kassar, black mustache.