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Hovhannes Toumanian


The Family Lineage
The Children
The journeys and travels
The Society
Civil Activity
Toumanian and the orphanage

Toumanian’s Ancestors

One of the branches of the historical dynasty of the Mamikonians, the Hamazaspians, had moved from Taron in X-XI centuries and dwelled in Lori, particularly in Dsegh and its surroundings.
According to the family legend, Toumanians originated from the Mamikonians of Lori. This fact is based on documentary evidences. Toumanian, too, considered himself having originated from Mamikonians, and some of his letters written in 80-ies and 90-ies are signed ‘Toumanian-Mamikonian’.
Before starting his literary carrier, in 1887, Toumanian wrote a pretty detailed history of his ancestors, Tersank – who were famous for their dignity, military courage, and cheerfulness of character. Later, in 90-ies Toumanian made the family tree of his ancestors (LINK).
The Poet begins the ‘Life’ of his ancestors from his grand-grand parent Barkhudar, whose date of birth is unknown. His work and activity were also unknown to his generations. His elder son was the continuer of the clan.
Mehrab /1740-1860/ - married Shahruban, daughter of Ghazar, the village headman of Ghazahk. He was a smart and courageous leader. Mehrab became the head of the village of Dsegh and was called ‘Yuzbashi’.
Hovakim /Ovagim, 1760-1855/ had herculean might and was known throughout Lori for his extraordinary courage. In his ‘Wounds of Armenia’ Khachatur Abovian depicted heroic characters of Mehrab and Ovagim.
Hovhannes Agha /Ouhanez, 1795-1868/. In 1826-1827 Ouhanez was a translator of Persian language and famous a military in the Russian army. He participated in several wars. His sword is exposed in Toumanian Museum. He was awarded medals and rank of an officer. But he was well-known for building roads in different parts of Armenia.
Hovhannes Agha’s wife was a beautiful and educated woman. She did not like village life and everyday work of the peasants and preferred life in the city. She monitored the education and manners of her grandson and demanded that he was always spick and span. She had named her grandson after her husband - Ohannes. This is how Toumanian was called in his village - Ohannes.

Aslan /1839-1898/ - was one of the famous representatives of the clan, the farther of the Poet. After serving two years as psalm-reader in Sanahin Monastery, in 1874 he, against his will, was ordained into a priest as Ter-Tadevos. He was a very kind-hearted and joyful man with public nerve and initiative. He actively participated in all happenings in Dsegh’s cultural life. Hs was among the trustees of the school of the village, and as a worldly person, he supported the creation of theatrical performances in his native village.

Sona /1842-1936/ - the Poet’s mother was from Kocharian clan of Dsegh. Her father and brothers were well-know hunters and shepherds. Sona was a tall, good-looking, laborious woman. She carried the burden of her large family, often spinning yarn until dawn and murmuring beloved folk and patriotic melodies. She was a good listener and a good teller. Her children learned from her many fairytales, legends and fables.
Besides Hovhanness, Sona and Ter-Tadevos had seven other children- four boys and three girls:
Rustam - 1871-1915
Osan – 1874-1926
Iskuhi – 1878-1943
Vahan – 1881-1937
Astghik – 1885-1953
Arshavir - 1888-1918
Artashes – 1892-1916.