The Kojaian and Devejian Families of Efkere

Last updated December 30, 2017
KOJAIAN

The descendants of Sarkis and Myriam Kojaian of Efkere

I was initially drawn to the village of Efkere because this is where a large portion of my family lived, up until 1915. I have spent decades trying to track down more of my family history during this time period. Sadly, much of what I have learned can be easily summarized below.

The Kojaian Family of Efkere

Sarkis Kojaian (birth year unknown, possibly 1830s or 1840s) married Myriam (unknown maiden name) Kojaian (unknown birth year). Little more is known, except that by 1905, when their son Haroutiun had travel documents issued by the Ottoman State, both Sarkis and Myriam were listed as deceased. Sarkis and Myriam had at least two children.

  1. Their son Haroutiun Kojaian (also known as Artin Kojaian, Artin Agha, and, on Ottoman documents, as Artin Khojaoglu) was born approximately in 1863.
  2. They also had a son named Garabed Kojaian. Little is known about his life, but It is known that he took an active role in raising funds from Efkeretzis in America for the school projects in the village in the years leading up to 1915. He likely stayed in Efkere, and died in 1915.

Haroutiun Kojaian (who would immigrate to the United States in 1913) married Hyganoush Devejian (more details on her family tree which follows) in Efkere, and they had three children in Efkere:

  1. Garabed Kojaian, born approximately in 1893. Would immigrate to the United States in 1912, and died in 1976 in suburban Detroit.
  2. Misak Kojaian, born approximately 1900. Likely died in 1915. Attended the American School in Talas.
  3. Verkine Kojaian, born approximately in 1912, and likely died in 1915.

Garabed Kojaian (1893-1976) would marry Armenuhi (Agnes) Berberian in 1926, in Detroit. They would go on to have three children:

  1. Marjorie (who would become Marjorie Ossian, and have two children)
  2. Sara (who would become Sara Varjabedian, and have 3 children).
  3. Mike Kojaian, who would marry Shirley Shehin, and have 2 children.

However, there are certainly more Kojaian members of this tree that I have thus far failed to adequately document.Here are the people that I am most interested in learning more about.

  1. Setrak Kojaian, living in Adana, Turkey in 1919.

A letter was received by Garabed Kojaian (1893-1976) in June 1919, from Setrak Kojaian, in Adana. Setrak Kojaian addresses Garabed as “My Nephew”, and addresses Haroutiun as “My Uncle.” The content of the letter makes it clear that they are family, although I am still uncertain as to how to connect Setrak to Haroutiun and Garabed.

It is noted that, at the time, Setrak Kojaian was working at the “Ashikian Factory in Adana”, and asked that correspondence be sent “care of Garabed Effendi Arakelian.”

Its all conjecture at this point, but perhaps Sarkis Kojaian had a brother, or brothers, and Setrak was a descendent. I just don’t know.

  1. Mihran Kotsaian, of Athens.

At least three letters were received by Garabed Kojaian in Detroit from Mihran Kotsaian, in Athens. Written in Armenian, Mihran states in one from approximately 1947 that “I have grown really old now.” He also states that his son was taken as a prisoner of war by the Germans during the Second World War, but, after remaining a prisoner for a year and a half, returned home. No more is known

KOJAIAN

Haroutiun Kojaian (1863-1942), seated, with his son Garabed Kojaian (1893-1976)

Envelopes from Mihran Kotsaian/Kojaian, Athens
  1. Dadour Kodjayan, likely from Xanthi, Thrace, Greece

    . An envelope was found amongst my grandfather’s papers from Dadour Kodjayan. There was no accompanying letter. Difficult to date, but I would guess that it predates by several years the letters received rom Mihran Kotsaian .

  1. Setrak Kodjaian, of Beirut

    An undated piece of paper was found among Garabed Kojaian’s belongings, with the name “Setrak Kodjaian”, as well as “Rue Joch Beyrouth”, with all of the information written again in Armenian. No more is known. While I can’t be certain that this is a relative, it certainly seems a strong possibility.

KOJAIAN

If any of these names sound familiar, please contact me at jonathan323@mac.com

THE DEVEJIAN FAMILY OF EFKERE
DEVEJIAN

The descendants of Hovhaness and Sultan Devejian

Hovaness Devejian (birth year unknown, possibly 1830s or 1840s) and Sultan (first name uncertain, maiden name unknown) of Efkere (probably) married, and had four children:

 

  1.  Their daughter, Hyganoush Devejian (birth date unknown) would marry Haroutiun Kojaian, and have three children (Garabed, Misak, and Verkine), as outlined above.  Hyganoush died in 1915

 

  1.  Their daughter, Akabi Devejian, would marry Haroutiun Shahbazian, and have four children (sons Sahag Shahbazian and Misak “Yeghia” Shahbazian, and daughters Anitza Shahbazian and Evagul Shahbazian). Anitza and Evagul probably died in 1915.

 

  1.  Their daughter Myritza Devejian (born approximately in 1866), would marry Krikor Oozoonian (Uzunian) and have three children:  son Hovhanness Oozoonian, daughter Mari (aka “Haji Mari”) Oozoonian, and daughter Yeghshapet.  Myritza would die in 1914 (along with her daughter, Mari) in Efkere due to a typhus epidemic that struck the village in 1914.  Hovhaness and Yeghshapet are presumed to have died in 1915, but I cannot be certain.  It is known that Myritza did travel on occasion to the nearby village of Muncusun, so it is possible that the family actually had roots in Muncusun as well as Efkere.

 

  1.  Their son, Garabed (aka Haji Garabed) Devejian.  Garabed came to the United States in an effort to earn money.  He was in New York City in November 1913 (address was 315 E. 28th St) and sent a letter to Haroutiun Kojaian at that time.  I know little more. Did he return to Efkere, or stay in America?  If he returned, did he die in 1915?  If he stayed in the US, did he have any descendants?  On entry papers into the United States, he stated that he had a wife, “Mary.”  While I know the descendants of the other siblings, I am at a complete loss as to information on Garabed Devejian.

 

My knowledge of this family, like my knowledge of the Kojaian family, is limited.  If anybody has any information that they can add, please contact me at jonathan323@mac.com

DEVEJIAN

: A photograph from Efkere, likely showing, standing from left, Misak Kojaian and Hyganoush Kojaian, with Hyganoush holding Verkine Kojaian. Others pictured almost certainly show members of the extended Shahbazian family of Efkere.

If anybody can add any more to these family trees, please contact me.