Switzerland Church Records

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Following the French example, a 1799 law suggested that civil registers of births, marriages, and deaths should be kept, but only one canton (Vaud) complied. Thus, civil registration records for canton Vaud exist from 1800 on forward. Pre-1876 civil registration records are also available for the following cantons: Fribourg, beginning in 1849, Genève: 1798, Neuchatel: 1825, Valais: 1853.<br>Nationwide civil registration began on 1 Jan 1876. These civil registers are kept by the Zivilstandesamt of each political community. Most of these records are not available on microfilm. Access to records less than 100 years old is generally restricted to direct-line relatives.
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Back to [[Switzerland|Switzerland Page]]►
  
Originally the Zivilstandesamt kept two separate sets of books: A-registers [records of births, marriages, and deaths occurring in the community] and B- registers [births, marriages, and deaths of community citizens that occurred outside the community]. In 1928, the B-registers were discontinued and replaced by Familienregister [family registers] kept by the civil registrar. This volume consists of a separate page for each married couple and their children. Entries may include the couple’s parents’ names and notes about occupation, emigration, or other unusual circumstances.  
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<br> Protestants first required the recording of baptisms and marriages in 1525, Catholics in 1563 at the Council of Trent. However, many of the early church records have been lost.<br><br>The records can be written in German, Latin, French, Italian, or Romantsch. The following may be included in the church records:<br><br>• baptisms, marriages, burials, confirmations,<br>• lists of communicants<br>• family registers (soul registers)<br>• lists of ministers in the parish,<br>• church council minutes<br>• notations about those who have fallen away, i.e. Anabaptists<br><br>Whenever possible, events concerning citizens of the home parish that took place in other parishes are listed in the home parish as well. Hence, there may be separate sections in the parish register, which in the FHLC entries may be described as “Auswärtige”.<br><br>The women‘s maiden names are usually given in the church records throughout their lives. However, they may be buried under their married or maiden name. Also, the record keeping conventions vary somewhat by region. <br><br>Surnames may be abbreviated. Also, there are many unusual forms of given names.  
  
Bürgerbücher or Bürgerrodel [Citizens’ Books] were kept by some communities as early as the 1820s and contain about the same information as found in the modern Familienregister. In most cases these books have not been microfilmed. Requests for information concerning ancestral families may be obtained by writing to the appropriate Zivilstandesamt. Contact information for the civil registration offices is found at [http://www.hochzeitsportal.ch/index.asp?aktion=standesaemter http://www.hochzeitsportal.ch/index.asp?aktion=standesaemter] and [http://www.hochzeitsportal.ch/index.asp?aktion=standesaemter http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/infothek/nomenklaturen/blank/blank/e_c/02.html .]<br>
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'''Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:'''[[Switzerland Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)|<br>]]
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*[[Switzerland Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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*[[Switzerland, Canton of Basel-Stadt Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Switzerland, Canton of Basel-Stadt Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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*[[Switzerland Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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*[[Switzerland Church Book Extracts (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Switzerland Church Book Extracts (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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*[[Switzerland Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Switzerland Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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*[[Switzerland Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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*[[Switzerland, Schaffhausen Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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[[Category:Switzerland]]

Revision as of 21:44, 13 January 2012

Back to Switzerland Page


Protestants first required the recording of baptisms and marriages in 1525, Catholics in 1563 at the Council of Trent. However, many of the early church records have been lost.

The records can be written in German, Latin, French, Italian, or Romantsch. The following may be included in the church records:

• baptisms, marriages, burials, confirmations,
• lists of communicants
• family registers (soul registers)
• lists of ministers in the parish,
• church council minutes
• notations about those who have fallen away, i.e. Anabaptists

Whenever possible, events concerning citizens of the home parish that took place in other parishes are listed in the home parish as well. Hence, there may be separate sections in the parish register, which in the FHLC entries may be described as “Auswärtige”.

The women‘s maiden names are usually given in the church records throughout their lives. However, they may be buried under their married or maiden name. Also, the record keeping conventions vary somewhat by region.

Surnames may be abbreviated. Also, there are many unusual forms of given names.

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at: