Levantine Heritage
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The purpose of this page is to provide a reference to the registers and cemetery surveys to assist descendants and researchers.

London archives | Izmir archives | Istanbul archives | Cemetery surveys

These consist of Izmir church registers deposited by Chaplains in 1995-8 to the London Guildhall library (transferred to the Metropolitan Archives in 2008) for safe keep, as well as consular and diplomatic records kept in the Public Records office in Kew, London.
It was considered important to review and transcribe at least part of the registers kept in London, to allow wider access to readers in different countries and help build a picture of the history and development of the Levantine communities by cross referencing with other sources, including testimonies.

The London Public records office records:

Unlike the City of London (Metropolitan Archives) library where the church registers are deposited, this library in Kew is the depository of all governmental and official archives. A major section is the British overseas records in which Turkey also features. Locating relevant material amongst the mass, is more tricky. However it can reveal the concerns and machinations of the British Foreign Office and their agents the consuls etc., throughout the history. Registers also exist, however their scope and interest to us tends to be limited. Some examples:



PRO index


Births 1900-14

FO 733/3


Marriages 1913,1942 & 1946

FO 609/1-3


Births 1888-1912, marriages 1887-1905

FO 783/3-4


Births 1895-1909

FO 732/1


Births 1895-1909

FO 732/1

Other files that interest us:

FO626 - Smyrna consular files 1820-1929

FO858 - Smyrna
F.O. Consular general correspondence 1922-1954

FO441 - Constantinople

FO424 - Turkey Confidential

FO858-4 - 1935-41 Paterson & Co. claim against Turkish government for compensation in return for appropriation of chrome ore mines of Karşı Foça, Çenger, Üzümlü, Domuz Alan, all near Fethiye in SW Turkey. Nationalisation law was approved in 1935, enacted in 1936 and in 1941 £25,000 was transferred.

At the end of no doubt painful and lengthy discussions, British officials suggest the acceptance of a payout. I have been informed later, shortcomings in technical knowledge cut the lifetime of these once productive mines.

FO858-6 1944-49 Claims on the estates of the late Mrs Julia Gout (died 1949) and Miss Frances Gout (died Buca 1948); relief and repatriation of Mr Sidney Johnson and his sister, Mrs Josephine Sanson (died 1940), Mrs Ellen Land and Miss Alma Stevens (died 1944 89 years old).

The crop of aging British residents of Izmir, was a worry to the consulate which tried its best to recoup its investments of relief payments by securing their property and in all cases repatriation was dragged out again out of financial concerns until the people died. Many of the above residents seem to have Buca connections, though had probably moved by the time they had died as suggested by the testimony of Rose-Marie Caporal. The opposite side of the Buca Heykel square used to be the horse stables, later the house of Fred and Julia Gout. They lived with his sister Frances until 1930-35.

FO781/.. British Institutions in 1930

British Seaman's Hospital and Seaman's home in Galata, land purchased (also consulate, prison and supreme consular court) 1849, further plot acquired for enlarging prison and outhouses 1857, water rights for hospital 1860. The committee in 1897 was composed of Sir William Whittall, president of British chamber of commerce, Albert Anderson Hill and Gavin Andrews Gilchrist, both shipping agents. In 1902 extension of land and deed of trust transferred to Frederick Edwin Whittall. Consulate, hospital, prison and outbuilding demolished for the construction of new hospital and firman 1903. Factors that were at play and under discussion that led to the decision to hand this property and others in 1934. The non-exemption of property taxation and expiry of the Lausanne residence convention. Options explored included operating as an independent hospital, prestige value, possible levy on British shipping crossing the straits. The Smyrna Seaman’s hospital was already leased to the Italian Ospedale di Sant Antonio. The Istanbul hospital was managed by a consortium of Greek doctors, in the hands of the Greek surgeon Dr Sgourdees and physician Dr Menueloğlu, a Turk with Greek race, and £700/year was paid to the commission. This cost was probably considered not worth the candle for a declining community, though even today some of that community view this surrender as ‘so short termed’. The only British doctor in Turkey, the Levantine Dr Chasseaud of Smyrna declared he was prepared to work if needed without a salary during the first few years. Such well meant gestures were not sufficient to retain the building.

  •   English High School for boys at Nişantaşı, Teşvikiye caddesi 26-30, title 1909.
  •   Free Church of Scotland Mission School, Galata, title deeds 1873, firman 1896. Certificate for the right of worship in 1930 in Kuledibi, Galata, showing there was still a viable Scottish congregation at this date.
  •   English High School for girls, Pera, deeds 1857, transfer of property to Embassy 1884.
  •   Crimean Memorial Church, Pera, 1857 transfer of plot to B. Embassy, deeds 1868.

FO782/12 Foreign Office Constantinople correspondence registers 1913-21

  •   Repairs to British cemetery at Dardanelles 1914
  •   Edwin Charnaud succeeds the other Smyrna Levantine Mr Keun as vice consul in Mersin 1913.
  •   Quarantine station at Selvi Burnu, 1914 [accounting for the former cemetery there].
  •   George Baker & Son purchases coal mine in Zonguldak on 23 May 1914 from a Montenegrin
    Unlucky timing for this veteran businessman from Istanbul, as soon the war would break out and all British property would be confiscated.
FO 60/108
Narrative of a journey from Tabreez along the shores of the Caspian Sea to Tehran by Keith Edward Abbott esq. (relation to family?)

FO 78/1291
Dispatches of Consul at Bosna Serai, [Sarejevo], [Henry A.] Churchill, and vice-consul James Zohrab, Jan-Dec. 1857 ...

FO 78/1230
Accounts for 30th June 1855
Signed H.A. Churchill, Private secretary to General Williams.

Consuls at Constantinople, Mersine, Dardanelles, Gallipoli – Hay, Cumberbatch, Barwell, F.W. Calvert, R. Abbott Jan-Dec 1860

Hoyland, vice consul’s clerk, £100 per year, increasing £10 every year. (min-max 100-150) also responsible for the maintenance of the British Seaman’s hospital. - more information on this family:
Tucker, harbour master, £180 per annum.

Mr. Richard F.W. Abbott, acting British Consul at the Dardanelles, later vice Consul of Gallipoli under F. W. Calvert (he later asked to be transferred to Damascus to concentrate on his cotton agricultural ventures)

Gallipoli, Dec 26, 1860
To the right Honourable Lord John Russell
My Lord, As I have been informed that Mr F.W. Calvert has been named as the Her Majesty’s Consul at Damascus, I have the honour humbly to request your Lordship to appoint me to the vacancy thus created at the Dardanelles. I am the only Vice Consul within the jurisdiction of the Dardanelles Consulate and being well acquainted with that part of the country as well as with the languages spoken there, and having already had some experience in the discharge of Consular duties at the Dardanelles, at Gallipoli and at Monastir, I venture to hope that your Lordship will condescend to take my request into favourable consideration. I have the honour…
Richard F.W. Abbott, vice consul at Gallipoli.

FO 195/1360 Consuls Salonica 1881

CO 323/676/48 Detention of belligerent subjects of British and other nationalities at Nymphio near Smyrna

FO 383/94 Prisoners

HS 5/544 Copies of signals in from Cairo / Izmir, 1943-1944 - SOE

FO 78/136 Levant Company minutes 1824-5 (last years)

Levant Company, Pera 1824, J.N. Black, Treasurer.

Smyrna 1825, 9 December 1824
F. Werry Esquire, Consul
N.W. Werry Esquire, vice consul
Edwin Hanson Esquire, Treasurer
Thomas Jackson
R.B. Abbott
Charlton Whittall
Samuel Barker
I.K. Fisher
H.P. Borrell
George Perkins
George Perkins jnr.

p.414 account of the history of the Levant Company

HO 144/10739

Naturalisation of Ellen Alice Elisabeth Rose Schiffmann from Austria, resident in Smyrna, Turkey. Certificate of nationality issued 6 Dec 1928.

WO 97/737/27

Batto Mockay, born Smyrna, served in the 60th Foot regiment, discharged aged 33, 1807-1816.

FO 383/94

Aleppo, Turkey prisoners, including consulates and staff.

SP 110/70

British Factory register of BMD (Births, Marriages and Deaths) from 1756 to 1800 for Aleppo.

Supplemental Sources
Independant researcher, Matteo Guinti
Merchant Families’ Networks: Leghorn, Smyrna, Aleppo and beyond.
US immigration returns:

The Metropolitan Archives library:
Document 1 (Ms 29744A) – Loose leaf
William Barker, son of Thomas & Sarah Barker of Bakewell in Derbyshire, born 31th Jan 1739, was married in Smyrna to Thora Robin daughter of Giovanni Batista & Katerina Robin (French subjects) born in Smyrna August 1739, by the Lutheran minister Christophoro Guighilma Ludecke, according to the rites of the church of England, the 16th Oct 1763.
Children: Sarah / Thomas (x) / William / Gratia / John / Robert / George, 1764-1774
Some christened by Dutch minister B. Keun
Some christened by English minister B. Clendon
Flora the wife of William Barker died 16 Dec 1775
1776 remarried Dutch subject Elizabeth Mary Schnell who was born in Smyrna 1760, married by B.Keun.
Children: Arthur Francis (x) / Richard / Marianna / James (x) / Mary / Edward / Peter (x) / Francis (x) / Frederick / Louisa / Samuel / Henry Richards / Benjamin, 1777-1797
Sworn to the truth of above, signed before me 1806
Also signed by André Slaars (resident 50 years), Robert Wilkinson (resident 34 years).
Done due to the ‘Consularian house fire’ 1797.

1- It was obviously considered important to register William Barker’s marriages and children following the destruction of records in the consulate (arson1f-p.39) fire. This demonstrates his eminence in the community at the time.
2- The x marks placed by some of the children I took to indicate they were already deceased. Despite this mortality, Mr Barker was able to sire 15 children, a remarkable number even for that time. Similar productivity amongst early Levantines ensured the future viability and spread of the community.
3- Assuming Robert Wilkinson is the same as that buried in Buca, he came to Izmir in 1772, aged 21, and the tombstone informs us he was the Consul for Denmark, Sweden and US. As-suming Andre Slaars is his name sake buried and marked as a merchant in the Dutch ceme-tery, he came to Izmir in 1756 aged 17.
4- We are informed by Donald Simpson’s report that William Barker died the year the Levant ‘Factory’ was dissolved, 1825, and that he was the oldest member of the company which he joined in 1759. Thus from calculating we know he joined the company aged 20 and died aged 86. His tomb is not at Buca since this is before that cemetery was established, as is likely to have been in the now non-existent ‘Caravan bridge’ cemetery.

To view the partially transcribed London Metropolitan Archives library registers on pdf format click here:
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The archive books at the Guildhall library

Click here for the early (1800-1840) Smyrna Anglican registers held at the library at Lamberth’s Palace, London.

The register book of Smyrna

Click here for an early (1750-1762) Smyrna Anglican family Bible held at the library at Lamberth’s Palace, London.

A family bible from Smyrna
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