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Jan
04

What does “Jansizian” mean?

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Very often, when I meet people, they ask me: Where did the name “The Jansizian Group,” come from?

The short answer is that Jansizian was my mother’s maiden name. But I didn’t name the company for my mother; I named it for my grandfather, Avedis Jansizian.

1n 1915 my grandfather’s family, living in Marash, Turkey was murdered in the famous massacres of Armenians by the Turkish army. My grandfather had left Armenia for the US a few years prior and so was safe. My grandfather’s sister escaped the massacre by sheer luck: she was shopping when her house was raided and her parents murdered. Word of the tragedy reached her on the street and she walked out of town-south to Syria, and across the Syrian desert to Beirut, Lebanon (about 240 miles)-with the clothes on her back.

The result was that my grandfather and great aunt were the sole survivors in the family. The entire extended family-uncles, aunts, cousins-were also all murdered.

In the US my grandfather met and married a woman-Lusaper Koutoujian-who was also born in Marash, and who had escaped the massacres with the help of Canadian missionaries.

My grandfather desperately wanted a son so that the Jansizian name would not fade from the planet as a result of the genocide. In the end the family bloodline was preserved with 6 children, but the Jansizian name did not go beyond one more generation because all the children were daughters.

So, when I started this company, I named it for my grandfather. I hope that by using this name-now spoken by the thousands of people with whom we do business-that I have realized part of my grandfather’s dream: that the family name not vanish from the planet.

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