I saw this on FamilySearch last night- History of the Armenian Diaspora https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/history-armenian-diaspora/.
September 11, 2020 – by Annelie Hansen
There are an impressive number of Armenian communities throughout the world, including in Canada, Russia, the United States, France, Romania, and Australia. According to some estimates, anywhere from two million to nine million more Armenians live outside of Armenia than inside it. Not surprisingly, the Armenian diaspora is one of the most noted aspects of the country’s culture.
What Is the Armenian Diaspora?
The term “Armenian diaspora” refers to the spread of Armenian people to different countries. Many of the largest communities of Armenians outside Armenia have populations ranging well into the hundreds of thousands. Armenian communities are prevalent in Russia, in the Krasnodar and Stravpol regions as well as in Moscow. You can also find these communities in cities all around Europe and the United States, including Los Angeles, Paris, and New York. Los Angeles even has a neighborhood named “Little Armenia.” These Armenian communities come in different shapes and sizes, but many work to maintain unique Armenian traditions and culture.
How Did the Armenian Diaspora Start?
Throughout history, political and social climates have accelerated the spread of Armenian people throughout the world, making the movement more apparent. However, it began in ancient times. Armenia is one of the oldest known countries in the world, and it has been expanding its influence all the way back to the centuries before the birth of Christ. This expansion eventually resulted in the establishment of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, in modern-day Turkey, and additional communities in areas such as Persia.
The Middle Ages marked some of the first organized forms of the Armenian diaspora. Many empires controlled Armenia throughout history. Armenia itself was in decline during this time, which naturally led to communities forming outside of the country. These Armenian communities could be found in areas as far away as India, Poland, and Italy. However, not all migration happened because of political upheaval. Many Armenians throughout history travelled outside of Armenia because of an interest in trade and selling wares. Armenia merchants played a vital role in the economies of other countries such as China, Persia, and India.