Baptismal Records: “Baptized Turks” in Munich (1687 and 1688)

Abstract

Bavarian Elector Maximilian II. Emanuel allied himself with the Roman-German king and Habsburg emperor Leopold I in a military offensive against the Ottoman Empire (“Great Turkish War,” 1683–1699). Over the course of the campaign, soldiers, as well as male civilians, women, and children were taken into Christian captivity and sometimes deported to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Church registers in Munich include baptismal records for captives, often Muslim, who were listed as “Turca” and “Turks.” Baptism involved a name change: for example, “Achmet” was recorded in the baptismal register under the “German” name “Stainmair.” Ideally, baptism was preceded by instruction in the Christian faith.

Source

Baptism of the Seventeen-Year-Old Achmet from Buda on May 17, 1687

Achmet, Turk, now Stainmair
The Turkish parents are unknown; Achmet, aged seventeen, was taken captive during the seizure of Buda and brought to Munich, and subsequently raised by Johann Georg Schlaucher, an innkeeper, to love the Catholic faith; instructed in the Catholic faith by H. H. Heinrich of the Society of Jesus [i.e., a Jesuit]; baptized during the Pentecost Vigil after the blessing of the Holy Water and given the name Maximilian Franz. His godfather was the noble and gracious lord, Maximilian Johann Franz, Count of Preysing, privy councilor and master of the court, who was represented [at the ceremony] by the highly respected Sebastian Mayr, secretary. The baptism was performed by Georg Purckweger, vicar.

From: Baptismal Register of the Parish St. Peter in Munich, 1683–1689, AEM Matrikeln 8953, fol. 198rv. Translated [into German] from the Latin.[1]

Transcription of a Baptismal Entry from November 16, 1688

A Turkish child
Escha, a Turkish girl born of Turkish parents in “Greek Weissenburg” [i.e., Belgrade] and taken captive, was baptized at home ob vitae periculum [in danger of death], and lifted from the font by the woman Catharina Holzmiller, wife of the court wheelwright, and given the name Anna Maria.

From: Baptismal Register of the Parish of Our Dear Lady in Munich,[2] 1684–1699, AEM Matrikeln 9269, p. 131.

Notes

[1] The English text is a translation of a published German translation (see source citation)—trans.
[2] The main cathedral, Frauenkirche, in Munich—trans.

Source: Archiv und Bibliothek des Erzbistums München und Freising (see above); both texts are reprinted in Peter Pfister, ed., Münchner Kindl. Ungewöhnliche Lebensläufe aus dem alten München im Spiegel der Pfarrmatrikeln. Ausstellung im Archiv des Erzbistums München und Freising, vol. 7: Münchner Kindl. Ungewöhnliche Lebensläufe aus dem alten München im Spiegel der Pfarrmatrikeln. Munich: Archiv des Erzbistums München und Freising, 2008, p. 15, 16. Available online at: https://www.erzbistum-muenchen.de/cms-media/media-11087820.pdf.

Translation: Ellen Yutzy Glebe

Markus Friedrich, “Türkentaufen. Zur theologischen Problematik und geistlichen Deutung der Konversion von Muslimen im Alten Reich,” in Markus Friedrich with Alexander Schunka, eds., Orientbegegnungen deutscher Protestanten in der Frühen Neuzeit. Zeitsprünge Sonderheft. Frankfurt am Main, 2012, pp. 47–74.

Almut Höfert, Den Feind beschreiben. „Türkengefahr“ und europäisches Wissen über das Osmanische Reich, 1450–1600. Historische Studien 35. Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus Verlag, 2003.

Manja Quakatz, “‘Gebürtig aus der Türckey’: Zu Konversion und Zwangstaufe osmanischer Muslime im Alten Reich um 1700,” in Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp, eds., Europa und die Türkei im achtzehnten Jahrhundert / Europe and Turkey in the Eighteenth Century. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011.

Baptismal Records: “Baptized Turks” in Munich (1687 and 1688), published in: German History Intersections, <https://germanhistory-intersections.org/en/germanness/ghis:document-255> [December 03, 2022].