The registers of the Armenian parishes that functioned in Old Poland represent a very important source for learning about both the history of the Polish Armenians and the culture of the towns they lived in. The registers serve a vital purpose in, among others, genealogical, statistical-demographic, and socio-cultural research. The oldest of them, which date from the Old Polish period, are of particular value. One of these is the register of marriages and baptisms in the Armenian Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Zamość from 1694-1775, which is kept in the Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine in Lviv (the former Ossolineum). Its chronological span makes what is already an interesting source even more valuable: its entries began in an era that saw the gradual disappearance of the Armenian community in Zamość – culminating in its final dissolution by the Austrian partitioning authorities in 1783. As the number of Armenians in Zamość dwindled, so their parish perished. It was liquidated by the same partitioning authorities in 1802. The church itself was demolished in 1826-1827. Its existence is commemorated today only by a plaque set into the facade of the Renesans Hotel, which was built in the place where it once stood.

The register comprises 48 written pages (recto and verso). In addition to the vital records it contains two extensive prefaces discussing the administration of the sacraments of marriage and baptism, and a model to follow when entering vital records. The will of an Armenian lay judge in Zamość, Stefan Altunowicz, also appears in the register. The register was copied by the Ossoliński National Insitute in Wrocław. The vital records and the will of Stefan Altunowicz are being edited by Dr Marcin Łukasz Majewski, who is a scholar at RCACP. They will be published in the journal Lehahayer next year.

Back to top