Armenian orphans adopted by English families

+3 votes
I have come across an Armenian orphan adopted into my extended family, namely [[Goulstone-311|Dollie (or Dolly) Rose Goulstone]], born 1904. Is anyone researching the Armenian genocide and how some children escaped e.g. how one could have landed up in England?

I have come across a document that appears to be Dolly Goulstone writing to a benefactor, Harry Holdcroft: "Dolly Goulstone to Mr [Harry] Holdcroft. Thanks him for his recent letter; reminiscences of Berachah and the 'hymns we used to sing'; mentions the work of 'Miss Adale' [Adele Dafesh] in the villages. 2 February 1924."

I am trying to piece Dolly's story together...
in Genealogy Help by Kathy Viney G2G3 (3.4k points)
A possible lead suggested by someone on the Weston site: "There are a number of trees on Ancestry. Most show Dollie's place of birth as Plymouth. 2 trees show it as Armenia but they are both Private so it is not possible to ascertain what other information is on them without contacting the tree owners."
There's certainly no birth for her in FreeBMD 1903 - 1905.  The only records I can find are the 1939 register and her death.  Neither could I find her in the 1911 census.
Yes, I found her in the 1939 register living with Johanna (Hannah) and Agnes (Aggie) and another boarder.

Another response on the Weston site from gricharduk: "I am sorry if this is a repeat of information but I was interested in finding out more on Dolly. Mary Jane Lovell’s home and school for twenty blind Palestinian and Armenian orphan girls was established on Windmill Hill in Jerusalem in a house named Barachah and Dolly was one of her pupils. This is reported as such on page 10 of the Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian, 10 December 1949, when Dolly attended a lunch at Talbot House, Trinity Square, London, to celebrate the centenary of Mary Jane’s birth. It also became a second home to some of the British soldiers stationed close by (that’s where Harry Holdcroft comes into the story) Adele Hanna Dafesh was also a pupil of Mary Jane, at the same time as Dolly, and continued her work from the 1930s onwards - Adele and Dolly knew each other. There is a great article (see link - pp. 33-35) on Mary Jane Lovell in the Lincolnshire Poacher - (if should download a PDF). I hope this helps, Richard"
gricharduk's comment: I am wondering if the connection might lie with Walter's second wife, Amelia Ellen (or Helen) Dade Hill, born at Stonehouse, Plymouth, who was a Salvation Officer (as was Walter, and his first wife Fanny, in Bath). Walter's first wife, Fanny Holtom (or Holton), died on 9 February 1920. Dollie is not reported to have attended the funeral but her other children did. Walter moved back to Weston and married Amelia on 11 October 1921 at the Sunnyside Primitive Methodist Church in Weston-super-Mare. Dollie would be 16 at this point (b:1 January 1905). Dollie is certainly writing letters from their restaurant in 1923. So, perhaps contacting the Salvation Army tracing service might be an option. It might also explain the link to Plymouth where Dollie died - the death certificate may provide some clues. Walter is buried with Amelia at Milton Road cemetery (thanks to this site!) and not at Bath with his first wife.

Hi all, thanks for these comments and sorry for delay in responding. I am still here, still interested, but slipped and broke my wrist quite badly no so am "in the wings" on this conversation at the moment. I look forward to processing your comments as I am less restrained...! smiley Cheers, Kathy

That would be wonderful, Richard. Thank you.
Thank you for all this, Richard. Very helpful. And my apologies for the delay in replying. My shattered wrist is still on the mend...
I agree that Dolly was probably taken in by Walter and Amelia, not Fanny. Makes good sense. I and a number of others are interested in anything more that can be found about Donny's life. :-)
Hi Kathy, I hope your wrist has healed. The extended effect of covid has meant that I haven't been able to follow up the document in Birmingham but I still have it in mind. I also keep an eye out for any other information that may come to light. I never got any more information from my father.
For anyone still interested in this thread, I am about to add a new biography for Semaghoul/Dollie, but am very interested in additional pieces of information as they come to hand. Thank you all for your contributions, especially you, Richard!

2 Answers

+2 votes

Hello Kathy:
I recently attended a lecture on Armenian Research, and learned that during the period of Ottoman Genocide there were countless other countries that helped place Armenian orphans. There are a few places that I would recommend to get started, the first is a very large research group (Facebook), and the second is a going directly to the lecture by Tracy Keeney (YouTube). You might also spend some time on the research established by the Armenian Research Project (website).

by Olin Coles G2G6 Mach 1 (18.7k points)
Thank you, Colin. I will follow those through.
+2 votes
I am showing up as a cousin to Dolly through her father, Walter. I'm interested in Dolly's story.
by Greta Moody G2G6 Pilot (182k points)

Hello cousin! Greetings from New Zealand. smiley

Hi cousin Kathy! :) A cousin in NZ? This is pretty cool.

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