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The Search for Swiss Roots
The Search for Swiss Roots

Civil and Church Records

Swiss Civil Registration Record (Vital Records)
Birth registers: name, date and place of birth of child; names, residence and occupation of the parents.
Marriage registers: names, ages, residences occupation of bride and groom; date and place of marriage, names, residence, occupation of parents; names of witnesses and person who performed the ceremony.
Birth and marriage documents can be very useful as they often provide maiden names and the names of other relatives or witnesses.
Death registers: name of deceased, age, sometimes place of birth, date and place of death, occupation, name of surviving spouse, name and residence of informant, cause of death, sometimes names of parents, sometimes names of children.

Church records (Kirchenbücher) are the most significant source of genealogical information for Switzerland.
These are excellent sources for reasonably accurate information on names, dates and places of birth/baptism, marriage, and death/burial.
Church records are often called parish registers or church books. They include records of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials.
These records may include financial account books, fees for masses for the dead, lists of confirmations, penance register, communion lists, lists of members, and sometimes family registers.
Church records are crucial for pre-1876 Swiss research. Since civil authorities in several areas of Switzerland generally did not begin registering vital statistics until the late 1800's, church records are often the only sources of family information before this time.
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Visit the Swiss Roots Links Switzerland page to find links to church and vital records in Switzerland.