Anna Manoogian’s Story


(Feb. 1889 – May 1968) 

My grandma. 

I dedicate this entire web site to you grandma


Anna & Margos - My grandma & grandfather

Anna was born to Vartough ( Kabasakalian) and Mighridich Karamanoogian, with five other siblings, Anna, Vartanoush, Yervant, Barsam, Mirighan, and Zarough. Mighiridich was Chief of Police in Sebastia (Sivas), otherwise called Johndon( Police Officer) Mighiridich. Their home and farm was about one hour horseback ride to Sivas, which he traveled almost every day. The village they lived in was called Ghaldee.  Ghaldee was mostly a farming community where most of its residents lived off the land. If medical attention was needed they traveled to Sivas.


Migihidich was over six feet tall, broad and wore his uniform with dignity. He always had his shining sabor at his side, and when he rode into the city looking very majestic, people looked up to him. He was referred to as a “Knight in shining armor.” He had many responsibilities and there were many nights he did not come home because of long trips to neighboring cities, looking over and solving problems. His station in Sivas, was manned by twenty officers.  He had his own private horse. The “Karamanoogian Clan” was looked on with respect because of Mighiridich’s position in the community.

Great Grandfather Megardich Karamanoogian

 Migihiridich - Annas father

One day Migihiridich on his way home was ambushed and stabbed several times by Turks. He made it home but died several days later.  About nine months later Vartough died leaving six children orphans. Anna the oldest had the responsibility along with Aunts and Uncles to raise her sisters and brothers. Anna was about 14 years at the time.  In Ghaldee as in other small villages there were no schools or hospitals. Education was given by an elder called a “Varjabed” who taught only the boys and young men. Girls were taught how to run a home.  For higher education males had to travel to Sivas.


Before the Genocide began Anna’s siblings all began to lead productive lives. Vartanoush married into the Topalian family and had two children. Yervant married and had one child. Zarough was engaged to be married. Mirighan married and had one child. He left in 1912 to come to America to escape the Tukish army.   He later learned that after the residents in Ghaldee were tortured and  murdered by the Turks he volunteered to join the “Armenian Battalion” of the French Foreign Legion to return to his homeland to stop the Turks from committing these atrocities. Barsam became mute from diphtheria as a child and never married.


It was customary when a male got married his wife sets up home in his husbands home. When a son gets married it is the duty of all males in the family to add an addition for the newlyweds. Each family had a family bible where recordings of marriages, deaths, births, etc. along with all family history were recorded. All these documents were destroyed during the Genocide as to wipe out the history and memories of a ethnic race.


Armenians that served in the Turkish army were placed in the front lines and shot at by both the enemy and Turkish army and/or treated very poorly.  Many young men from Ghaldee fled to America in 1912 to escape the Turkish army and a certain death.


At the age of 18, Anna was married to Krikor Keosian.  Anna had her first born at age 20, a daughter named Martha, followed by three more children, Yaghia, Azniv, and Barsam.  In 1914 her husband Krikor was taken away and killed by the Turks, along with many males in their village of Ghaldee.  In 1915 the Armenian community heard that the Turks were deporting and/or killing all Armenians in Turkey, the beginning of the “Armenian Genocide”.  At the age of 25, Anna decided to flee her home and village to avoid capture by the roaming Turks. As she fled her village she turned back one last time to view her village and saw the entire village in flames,  narrowly escaping the Turks as she knew there would be no survivors.  Anna fled to the mountains with her four children and her younger sister, Zarough, seventeen years, with little time to prepare carried few provisions.


After escaping with her four children and sister Zarough,  life became a hardship as the young did not understand. However, Martha the oldest at six (6) years had an idea and knew she needed to help her Mom and Zarough take care of the younger siblings. Anna placed her children’s lives in God’s care since she was still breast feeding Barsam at nine months and had to find food and shelter for her other three children and younger sister.  Although Anna was victimized by the Turks through her early life, as described above, this period in Anna’s life was the most traumatic and left the horror of the Armenian Genocide in her memory till she died. Her children cried for water and food. One of several survival techniques, Anna used to keep her children alive by taking saliva from her mouth with her fingers and moisten sand and feed her children. To ensure her family survived Anna showed a unique strength and character only to have to then bury her children. After weeks of living on dirty water and whatever they could find in the mountains to eat, her children died one by one.  Under these harsh conditions Barsam the youngest at nine (9) months died first. Then Azniv at two (2) years died. Each time Anna lost one of her children she and Zarough dug graves with their bare hands, wrapped the children and buried them by covering their bodies with rocks so wild animals would not get to these innocent victims.  Several weeks later Anna, Zarough, Martha and Yaghia were huddled in a small cave. Two Turks spotted them 

. Please have The Armenian Genocide Society visit your event, to hear the remainder of Anna Manoogian’s story.

Anna Manoogian’s Actual Audio