Switzerland, Schaffhausen Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Switzerland, Schaffhausen Church Records, 1540-1875 .
Title in the Language of the Records
Schweiz, Schaffhausen Kirchenbücher 1540-1875
Event types were often compiled in separate volumes, for instance, baptisms in one volume and marriages in another. In some parishes, however, event types were intermixed and grouped into a volume according to year range. When this is the case, the baptisms, marriages, and burials for one year (e.g. 1785) were grouped together before the baptisms, marriages, and burials for the next year (e.g. 1786), and so on.
Records in this online collection can be browsed by locality (Ort) first, then by event type, and then chronologically. The event types are given in German: Taufen, Ehen, Tote (Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths). Name indexes (Namenverzeichnis) and event indexes (e.g. Ehenregister) are included when available. A variety of record formats are contained within these records.
In Switzerland, a parish was an ecclesiastical jurisdiction consisting of many villages and hamlets, with one of the villages designated as the main parish town.
Swiss church records are typically in German or Latin. Regional dialect affects the spelling of some German words and the use of vocabulary words. For example, in Schaffhausen, Gatte is used for groom and Gattin for bride, instead of Bräutigam for groom and Braut for bride.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation explains the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records:
"Switzerland, Schaffhausen Church Records", images, FamilySearch from Schaffhausen City Archive (Schaffhausen Stadtarchiv), Switzerland. "Switzerland, Schaffhausen church records." Schaffhausen - Stadtarchiv, Schaffhausen, Switzerland.FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt lake City, Utah. USA.
The key genealogical facts found in most baptism records are:
- Names of the child, parents, and witnesses or godparents
- Date and place of birth
- Date of baptism (sometimes even the time of birth and baptism)
- Residence and religion of the parents
- Occupation of the father and the other males listed
- Whether the child was legitimate or illegitimate
Key genealogical facts found in most marriage records are:
- Names of the bride, groom, their parents (usually the fathers) and witnesses
- Date and place of marriage and marriage proclamations or banns
- Residence of the bride, groom, and their parents
- Occupation of groom and other males listed
Key genealogical facts found in most burial records are:
- Names of the deceased
- Sometimes names of deceased’s spouse and/or deceased’s parents were included
- Date and place of death and burial
- Age, residence, and house number where event occurred
- Cause of death
How to Use the Records
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- Name of the intended spouse
- Other identifying information such as the marriage date and place
Search the Collection
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine which of the individuals listed is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
For Help Reading These Records
These records are in German. For help with reading the records see the following wiki articles:
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:
- Use these Schaffhausen church records to identify ancestors (individuals, their parents, and their spouses) and make family connections.
- Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
- Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
- Compile a list of marriage entries for others who have the same surname as the bride or groom. These other individuals may be children, siblings, parents, or other relatives of the bride and groom the were also married in the same place or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- Church books are the one of the most reliable and accurate family history sources. Accuracy in the records is, however, dependent upon the accuracy of the informant’s knowledge coupled with the priest recording the information correctly. Ages, birth dates, and birth places recorded in marriage and death entries have a higher probability of being inaccurate.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as later records.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Remember that indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
- Search the records of nearby localities.
Additional Information About These Records
These church books cover a majority of the population for the Canton of Schaffhausen; located in the northern part of the country, it is one of the 26 cantons in Switzerland.
Catholic Church records began as early as the mid to late 1500s; most church records, however, began in the late 1600s. Church records continue to be kept in the present day. Church records were created to record church sacraments associated with life events (e.g. baptism after birth, burial after death) and those who had received these ordinances.
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