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The Search for Swiss Roots
The Search for Swiss Roots

Swiss Roots Links Switzerland

Tips on doing research in Switzerland:
  • Swiss citizenship is kept on three levels: nationally, the canton, and the Heimatort, or home community. For most people, citizenship was inherited. Therefore, a citizen’s descendants may never even have seen their original home community. The home community was charged with keeping track of its citizens. If a birth, marriage, or death of a citizen took place in another parish, notice of the event was often sent to the Heimatort.
  • Church books are one of the most reliable and accurate family history sources. Swiss church records are typically written in German or Latin. Regional dialect may affect the spelling of some German words and use of vocabulary words.
  • The number of emigrants who left Switzerland without permission and paying the obligatory “moving-away tax” was fairly high, so there may be no record of their departure. Passports were not registered until the mid-19th Century.
  • Photos and scans are not always allowed by the archives and photocopying old books is generally prohibited.Swiss? German? French? Italian? Country borders changed over the years. This link shows you those changes over 1,000 years.
Basel City Local Citizenship Requests:  This is a collection of extracts of requests of citizenship in the city of Basel, Switzerland from Familysearch
Berner Geschlechter (German): Documentation of more than 50,000 individuals of some 300 families of the Bern City from 16th to 19th century with respective indices.
Bischofszeller Geschlechter (German): Documentation of more than 8,000 individuals of some 30 families of the Bischofszell Town (Canton of Thurgau ) from 16th to 19th century with respective indices.
Churchbooks of Canton Bern: A list of churchbooks available and price to access a CD with this information.
Frutiger Geschlechter (German): Documentation of more than 25,000 individuals of some 150 families of Frutigen Town (Canton of Bern ) from 16th to 18th century with respective indices.
Russian Swiss (German)
Schaffhausen, Directories, Emigration, and Genealogies: This collection will include records from 1460 to 1952 from Familysearch
SGSI - Società Genealogica della Svizzera Italiana (Italian)
Genealogy of the Italian speaking Cantons Ticino (Tessin) and Grigioni (Grisons, Graubünden), publishing a yearly bulletin and monthly newsletters for members.
Hamburg Passenger Lists: FamilySearch Wiki article. Note: the old Hamburg Passenger Lists Resource Guide has been incorporated into this. This site focuses primarily on Canton Bern and offers genealogical products together with research and publishing services for both Americans and Swiss.
Switzerland Genealogy Links: This site includes lists from cemeteries, census and societies.
Switzerland Websites: From the FamilySearch library.
Verein für Familien- & Personenforschung March & Nachbarregionen: Association for genealogy and family search in the district of March in the canton of Schwyz.
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As of April 2014, the church records of the Canton of Appenzell-Ausserrhoden are available online from the Staatsarchiv Appenzell website. To access the church records online, click here.
Few parish registers from Canton Aargau are available through the Canton Archives.  The link shows the list of parish registers that are available. (Google Translate English)
FamilySearch tries to make records available for all users.  However, the rights to view images are granted by the record custodians.
Images for the Canton of Bern can only be viewed at the Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers, and by members of the supporting organization: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Switzerland, Church Records 1277-1992 for the Records for Cantons  of Basel-Stadt and Schaffhausen are unrestricted and can be viewed by all users.

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