Original Sources: The Oldest Baptism Book in Altdorf, Uri

A register of baptisms at the church in Altdorf begins in 1648. Earlier records were destroyed in a fire in 1799. These baptisms don’t seem to be available on any genealogy websites, but were published in a Swiss history journal called “The History Friend: Messages from the Historical Society of Central Switzerland“.

By the late 1600s, the Zumbrunnen family was in decline in Uri, and there are only a handful of Zumbrunnen baptisms. The surviving branches of the Zumbrunnen family seem to have left Uri by this point. Below I’ve transcribed the Zumbrunnen entries and translated them from Latin as best I could. There are many more entries for other families that had close ties to the Zumbrunnen, such as the Beroldingen, Crivelli, Zwyer, Puntener family, etc., that I haven’t transcribed.

Most of these entries include some additional identifying information which I’ve included below, such as titles. (My own commentary, which is provided for context, is in parentheses and highlights like this). The commentary in the history journal introducing this information scoffs at the use of titles, however, noting that basically everyone who is not a cobbler is identified as a lord.

  • May 23, 1649: Sebastian Peregrin zum Brunnen, child of Lord Captain Sebastian zum Brunnen and Lady Maria Salome Rizard. Sponsors: Lord Colonel Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer, landammann and general captain of Uri. and Lady Maria Elisabetha von Beroldingen. (Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer was a very prominent political and military leader in Switzerland in the 1600s and a close associate of Landammann Johann Heinrich Zumbrunnen.)
  • April 17, 1654: Anna Maria Magdalena, child of Lord Carl Ernst von Roll and Lady Maria Magdalena Zumbrunnen. Sponsors: Carl Emanuel von Roll, landammann and supreme captain of Uri, and Lady Maria Magdalena Rheding.
  • November 8, 1655: Maria Barbara, child of Nicolao An der Halden and Agatha Klan. Sponsors: Reverend Lord Stephen Straumeyer and lady Maria Magdalena Zumbrunnen. (A Maria Magdalena Zumbrunnen was married to Johann Martin Straumeyer. Perhaps Stephen was her brother-in-law. A close familial tie to the clergy may explain why she appears in multiple baptisms below, along with a clergy member.)
  • August 10, 1668: Maria Magdalena, child of Lord Antonio Schmidt, a centurion in the Savoy guard, and Lady Maria Anna Zwyer von Evebach. Sponsors: the pastor and Lady Maria Magdalena Zumbrunnen.
  • January 16, 1679: Maria Margaretha, child of Francis Alexander Besler and Lady Maria Magdalena von Montenach. Sponsors: Lord Captain Johann Anthoni Schmidt and Lady Maria Magdalena Zumbrunnen.
  • August 14, 1684: Melchior Joseph, child of Johann Carl Besler, prefect of Lugano, and Lady Maria Anna von Beroldingen. Sponsors: Reverend Johann Melchior Imhoff and Lady Maria Magdalena Zum Brunnen.
  • April 10, 1688: Anna Maria Margaritha, child of Lord Sebastian von Beroldingen and Lady Regina Gasser. Sponsors: R.D. Franz von Beroldingen, of the monastery of Seedorf, and Lady Anna Maria Margaritha zum Brunnen.
  • October 10, 1691: Johann Baptist Anton Zum Brunnen, child of Lord Johann Heinrich zum Brunnen and Lady Maria Hyacintha, born in Parma on October sixth and baptized Catholic on October 10. Sponsors: Lord Joanne Herardo de Naithuldt and Lady Anna de Buffalini. (This branch of the family had moved to Italy, and must have written back to their home priest asking for the baptisms to be recorded in their “home” church. They may have used the name Fontana in Italy. The names Buffalini, Fratini, Ballarini, etc., suggest that they were integrating into Italian society.)
  • October 15, 1694: Anna Maria Theresia Salome Zum Brunnen, child of Lord Johann Heinrich Zum Brunnen and lady Maria Hyacintha, born in Parma and baptized Catholic on October 15, 1694. SponsorsL Lord Bartholomaeo de Ballarini and Lady Angela de Fratini.
  • September 19, 1697: Franz Heinrich, son of Lord Johann Sebastian Jauch, landschreiber, and Lady Maria Anna Troger. Sponsors: Reverend Lord Franz Troger, abbot of Fischingen, and Lady Maria Magdalena zum Brunnen.
  • There are also records of a “Bell Baptism” that took place in 1582. This was apparently a ceremony to consecrate beautiful new church bells and to honor their donors. Landammann Johann zum Brunnen and his brother Josue zum Brunnen are identified as the benefactors for one of these bells.

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