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Thread: Armenian ancestry in Poland

  1. #1
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    Armenian ancestry in Poland

    Armenians were, next to Jews, another numerous minority of "Oriental" origin in the Old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

    They were much more prone to assimilation than Jews, so I suppose that many Poles today carry some Armenian ancestry (I even know some who do, I will list them below). Throughout history, there were at least four major waves of Armenian immigration to Poland:

    The first influx started in years 1045-1062 (after the conquest of Armenia by Seljuq Turks) and continued also after the 11th century at a slower pace (they were coming via Crimea, Bessarabia and Don River region) - those first immigrants settled mostly in Halychna and Podolia, areas which became parts of Poland in the 14th century. By 1630 Armenians fully integrated with Polish Catholic culture, which made assimilation and intermarriage much easier than in case of Polish Jews. Armenians who were descended from the first wave of immigrants became Polonized and melted into Polish people during the 17th century. The 2nd wave of Armenian migrants came in the 18th century from Moldavia and Wallachia - those became Polonized by the 1800s. The third wave came as refugees after the Armenian Genocide. It wasn't very numerous (several thousand people). Armenians from the third wave became acculturated and integrated during the 20th century (since nobody exterminated them, as it happened to Jews). After the end of WW2, 99% of Armenians in what used to be Eastern Poland moved westward, and only 1% stayed in the Soviet Union. Despite Polonization, many Armenians managed to preserve their traditions, customs and memory about ancestors.

    Finally, the last, most recent wave of Armenian immigrants came to Poland after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    There have been a lot of Poles - including many prominent people (see the list below) - of at least partial Armenian descent:

    Juliusz Słowacki (up to 1/4 Armenian - via maternal grandmother)
    Zbigniew Herbert (up to 1/4 Armenian - via maternal grandmother)
    Krzysztof Penderecki (up to 1/4 Armenian - via paternal grandmother)
    Jerzy Kawalerowicz (some paternal ancestry from Armenian Kavalarian family)
    Robert Makłowicz (up to 1/8 Armenian - via one great-grandmother)
    Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski (1/2 Armenian via mother)
    Maja Bohosiewicz (some paternal ancestry from Armenian Poghosyan family)
    Sonia Bohosiewicz (sister of Maja Bohosiewicz)

    And yet some more people, in case of whom I haven't found info on how much of Armenian ancestry do (or did) they have:

    Teodor Axentowicz (painter)
    Ignacy Łukasiewicz (inventor, petroleum industry pioneer)
    Karol Mikuli (musician)
    Anna Dymna (actress, philanthropist)
    Szymon Szymonowic (poet)
    Jakub Paschalis-Jakubowicz (enterpreneur)
    Ignacy Nikorowicz (writer)
    Ewa Stolzman-Kotlarczyk (actress)
    Izaak Mikołaj Isakowicz (philanthropist, patriotic activist)
    Leszek Józef Serafinowicz (poet & diplomat)
    Łukasz Abgarowicz (politician)
    Wojciech Mojzesowicz (politician)
    Vahan Gevorgyan (Armenian-born footballer)

    Last edited by Tomenable; 04-09-2016 at 10:54 PM.

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  3. #2
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    This painting from 1655 - "Lamentation of various people over the dead credit" - shows Poles of various professions, as well as minority groups, "Żyd" - a Jew, and "Ormianin" - an Armenian - standing in the middle, between a merchant at his right and a musician at his left:

    Last edited by Tomenable; 04-09-2016 at 10:34 PM.

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  5. #3
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    I have actually heard a friend of mine claim Armenian roots (through paper-trail). It would be interesting to have them take a dna test, because they said it was on their male side etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    This painting from 1655 - "Lamentation of various people over the dead credit" - shows Poles of various professions, as well as minority groups, "Żyd" - a Jew, and "Ormianin" - an Armenian - standing in the middle, between a merchant at his right and a musician at his left:

    It's funny how, without knowing Polish, I know what half of those occupations are because they're also fairly common occupational surnames (tailor, pharmacist, etc.).
     

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    Other ancestral Y lines:

    E1b-M81 Ukraine (Ashkenazi)
    E1b-V13 England
    I1-M253 Ireland
    I2-M423 Ukraine
    R1a-L176.1 Scotland
    R1b-L584 Syria/Turkey (Sephardi)
    R1b-L20 Ireland
    R1b-L21 (1)England; (2)Wales?>Connecticut
    R1b-L48 England
    R1b-P312 Scotland
    R1b-FGC32576 Ireland

    Other ancestral mtDNA lines:

    H1b2a Ukraine (Ashkenazi)
    H6a1a3 Ukraine
    K1a9 Belarus (Ashkenazi)
    K1c2 Ireland
    V7a Ukraine

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  9. #5
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    I scored 3% Central Asia on FTDNA, I had a surprising and apparently Armenian match on FTDNA, and I've noticed a few such matches on GEDMatch. What are the indicators of having Armenian ancestry on the various calculators (I don't recall ever seeing Armenian as one of the secondary options, so maybe the matching is for some other reason?).

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  11. #6
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    That's interesting, the subclade of my father's mtdna is not well known or researched but most information I had found on it said "found in Armenia and Poland." He's X2e1a. I don't know if it'd make sense historically -since mtdna goes way back- but there it is.

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  13. #7
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    Another thing is, his closest Y-dna matches are Armenians (granted, not *that* close) but so far no visibly (by name or listed in ancestry) Armenian match in FF matches. He does have Polish matches though.

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    I have noticed some Poles tend to have something West Asian about them, darker hair, and the eyes which remind me of Anatolia/Caucasus. I think the reason they assimilated better than the Jews, because of their Christian religion, and nor they saw themselves as distinct community, like the Jews who did.

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  17. #9
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    I have Litvak jewish ancestry from my grandpa's dad and some native Polish via his mostly otherwise German mother so maybe i have some distant Armenian too.. that would be interesting even it was small

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  19. #10
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    I think there is ancient Sarmatian and Scythian ancestry in the region, which can give a West Asia pull. More so in the southeast of Poland.

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