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Foreign Language Title
Schweiz, Schaffhausen Kirchenbücher
Collection Time Period
Church records in this collection begin in 1540; they are kept through the present day but because of privacy laws, are only available online through 1875.
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.
Why This Collection Was Created?
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.
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.
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.
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
The 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
The 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 Record
Use these Schaffhausen church records to identify ancestors (individuals, their parents, and their spouses) and make family connections.
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Sources of This Collection
"Switzerland, Schaffhausen Church Records", database, FamilySearch; from Schaffhausen City Archive (Schaffhausen Stadtarchiv), Switzerland.
- Schaffhausen Stadtarchiv, Fronwagplatz 24, CH 8200 Shaffhausen, Switzerland.
How to Cite Your Sources
Instructions for citing this source can be found at: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections