Tracing Family Roots: First Armenian Genealogy Conference Planned for April
WATERTOWN — An Armenian Genealogy Conference will take place April 9-10 in Watertown. The conference, which grew out of the Armenian Genealogy group on Facebook, will feature several speakers on various topics regarding Armenian genealogy, history, geography, and presentations on different organizations and initiatives, the Armenian Weekly reports.
George Aghjayan, a retired actuary and one of the conference organizers, noted that the study of Armenian genealogy has grown substantially over the last decade, and that organizing a conference was a necessary step. “Advances in technology have allowed access to information previously thought unattainable,” said Aghjayan, who hopes the conference will become an annual event.
Aghjayan has been working with Tracy Rivest Keeney and Mark Arslan to organize the conference, which is co-sponsored by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), Project Save Armenian Photograph Archives, Inc., Houshamadyan, the Armenian Museum of America (AMA), and Hamazkayin Boston. During the weekend, participants—both beginner and advanced—will learn how to carry out genealogical research specific to Armenians and will take part in workshops, during which experienced volunteers will help answer questions, teach how to get started, and how to go beyond existing research.
“The recent proliferation and acceptance of social media has allowed a level of collaboration on genealogical and historical research never before possible,” Arslan told the Weekly. He noted that the Armenian Genealogy Facebook group has brought together people from the Armenian Diaspora worldwide, as well as the Republic of Armenia—individuals who share a passionate interest in learning more about their Armenian families and heritage. “The collective knowledge of our online community is amazing, everyone brings their own special talents to uncover genealogical treasures from the primary records online and in archives, as well as shares their own family anecdotes, memories, and experiences,” he said.
The conference will take place at the Armenian Museum of America.