ther than the Mormon Church, how many religions take the effort to computerize the genealogies of their members? It seems that one other church is doing just that: the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem has taken steps to computerize and preserve the genealogical records of community members dating back over a century and a half, rescuing them from oblivion and the ravages of time and weather.
These efforts have resulted in the compilation of a database listing close to a hundred Kaghakatzi clans, covering more than 2400 names. But only as far back as 1840.
The data, spread over more than 220 musty pages of three ancient "domars" (registers) maintained by the Patriarchate's scriptorium, was photographed by one of Jerusalem's leading artists, Garo Nalbandian.
Patriarchate sources revealed that the pages had become brittle and in several cases the running ink had made the painstaking handwritten script almost illegible.
Enshrined on computer CD-ROMs, the registers, which are primarily lists of the details of the births, marriages and deaths of the Armenian community of the Old City over the past 170 years, will now be permanently preserved for posterity within the Patriarchate archives.
The Patriarchate has also acceded to a request by the Kaghakatzi Armenian Family Tree project, which assisted in the rescue effort, to have a copy hosted on the project website, http://www.kaghakatzi.org.
You can read more at http://www.azg.am/EN/2008071005.