It's really a puzzle. You have a few pieces to either begin or ancestor search, or you just need a few more facts to complete your search.
If you are just beginning, you start with what you already know. This begins with you.
Write down your name, date and place of birth, date and place of marriage and the name of your spouse. Then write the name of your father, the date and place of his birth, marriage and death, and his place of burial. Then do the same for your mother. That's two generations.
Continue gathering dates about your grandparents, and great-grandparents, until you run out of information.
Often someone in the family will have a bible containing a family record, a box of birth certificates, obituaries, old photographs and more. Don’t forget to talk to older members of your family to see what they know.
We suggest you start a binder to keep your puzzle pieces in order.
Once you have collected information through your home and family, you are ready to do even more research.
Gather what information you can here at home before you move your search into Switzerland.
The links below provide resources that may help you in finding more pieces for your Swiss ancestor puzzle.
Association of Professional Genealogists - Genealogists Specializing in Switzerland
Offering access to a database of information on 11 million immigrants from 1820 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened.
Churchbooks of Canton Bern
with explanation of how to use from Family Search.
Cyndi's List has nearly 300,000 links in 180 categories.
Who is that face staring at you? Deadfred.com is a photo-reunion site with some 15,000 surnames and 76,000 records.
Search for Swiss family history and genealogy resources.
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter:
This blog-format site has basic free information.
The online home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' vast genealogy holdings is packed with data all free.
Geni was picked by PC Magazine as one of the best free online applications. A simple interface lets you create an online family tree, add photos and family news, then email relatives and invite them to join you.
Genealogy Today offers a both free and fee-based databases (clearly marked with a dollar sign). The name indexes of all fee-based databases can be searched without a subscription.
Green County, WI Genealogy:
Cemetery lists, names and much more to help you find your Swiss roots in Green County, Wisconsin.
Immigrants to Canada:
While not just about the Swiss, this page includes Canadian emigration information of the Nineteenth Century.
Library of Congress: American Memory:
Access the library's wealth of digitized historical documents and photos. More than 9 million items in all.
Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies:
Text of book by Albert Bernhardt Faust. Contains information of those who left Zurich and settled in the Carolinas and Pennsylvania between 1734-1744.
My Trees lets you search 1 billion names with a single click. Its own Ancestry Archive totals 328 million names. Subscription service. You can earn free access by submitting your own family tree file.
The Mormon Church:
Search the Mormon Church's huge genealogy record collection in the free genealogy search engine There is much information contained in their databases but finding what you are searching for can be tricky. Be sure to try various spellings of the surname and first name.
Helpful advice and more than 31,000 mailing lists and 132,000 message boards. The RootsWeb Surname List has more than 1.2 million surname entries.
RootsWeb also has advice on searching the trail of Germanic Ancestors
This site focuses primarily on Canton Bern and offers genealogical products together with research and publishing services for both Americans and Swiss.
You can explore the treasures of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide with this one-click search of more than 1 billion holdings.
The WorldGenWeb Project is a non-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to providing genealogical and historical records and resources for world-wide access.
Genealogy: Beginner's Resource:
Great links and information about genealogy in general.