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Temir-Tuhan-bey was a Tatar nobleman and military leader who fought on the Lithuanian side in the Battle of Žalgiris in 1410. He commanded a Tatar unit that played a significant role in the battle, leading a charge that broke through the Teutonic Knights’ lines and contributed to their defeat. After the battle, Temir-Tuhan-bey was awarded with lands in Lithuania, including the Vinkšnupiai area. “Temir-Tuhan” is a Tatar name composed of two elements, “Temir” (iron) and “Tuhan” (lord/ruler), which together mean “Iron Lord” or “Iron Ruler.” Temir-Tuhan-bey may have also adopted the Christian name “Demetrius” at some point in his life. He continued to serve in the Lithuanian army after the Battle of Žalgiris and was involved in several other military campaigns.

Temir-Tuhan-bey died in 1435 and was buried in Vilnius, Lithuania. “Bey” (also spelled “bei”) is a Turkish title of nobility, roughly equivalent to a prince or a lord in English, and was also used in the Tatar language to refer to a local ruler or chieftain. Temir-Tuhan-bey’s use of the title indicates his high status and leadership position within Tatar society.

Sources of information on Temir-Tuhan-bey include primary sources such as the “Chronicle of the Council of Constance,” the “Chronicle of Wigand of Marburg” (Wigandi Marburgensis Chronicon) and the “Chronicle of Jan Długosz,” as well as academic literature on Lithuanian and Tatar history.

The place where Temir-Tuhan-bey was buried is known. According to historical accounts, he was buried in the Holy Spirit Church in Vilnius, Lithuania. The church was destroyed in the 19th century, but the location of the burial site is believed to be near the current-day site of the Holy Spirit Orthodox Church in Vilnius.

Baranowski family

Temir-Tuhan-bey’s descendants, known as the Baranovski or Baranowski family, played an important role in Lithuanian history and society. The family name Baranovski is believed to have been derived from the word “baran,” which means “ram” in several Slavic languages. This may have been a reference to their coat of arms or an attribute symbolizing their strength and power. Other sources claim that one of his descendants married a Lithuanian woman Baranauskaitė and became Tuhan-Baranauskas (Baranowski). The Baranovski family continued to serve the Lithuanian nobility and held various positions of power, ultimately integrating into the Lithuanian and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth’s aristocracy.

As the Baranovski family members adopted Christianity, they also took on Christian names in addition to their Tatar ones. This blending of Tatar and Lithuanian cultures was typical of the era, as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was known for its religious tolerance and multicultural environment.

Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, the Baranovski family continued to serve in the military and held administrative positions in the Lithuanian and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. They participated in various military campaigns, including the Livonian War (1558–1583), the Polish-Swedish War (1600–1629), and the Polish-Russian War (1654–1667).

Over time, the Baranovski family gained wealth and influence, acquiring additional lands and estates. They were involved in the political life of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and some members served as senators, voivodes (governors), and castellans (military commanders). The family’s prominence was also reflected in their marital alliances, as they intermarried with other prominent noble families.

The Baranovski family’s influence began to wane in the late 18th century, as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth faced a series of partitions by its neighbors, Russia, Prussia, and Austria. After the final partition in 1795, the Baranovski family, like other Lithuanian nobles, faced a period of decline. Nevertheless, they continued to be recognized as part of the Lithuanian and Polish nobility into the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some members of the family were involved in the national revival movements in Lithuania and Poland during this time.

Today, the Baranovski family’s legacy lives on through their contributions to Lithuanian and Tatar history, and their descendants can be found in various countries, including Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus.