Switzerland Church RecordsEdit This Page
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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.
Foreign Language Title
Schweiz, Schaffhausen Kirchenbücher
 This wiki article describes a collection that is scheduled to become available for free online at FamilySearch Record Search.
 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.
 Record History
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.
 Record Reliability
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.
 Record Description
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.
 Record Content
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.
 Related Wiki Articles Switzerland Church Records
 Related Websites
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 Sources of This Collection
Original records are located at Schaffhausen Stadtarchiv, Fronwagplatz 24, CH 8200 Shaffhausen, Switzerland.
 How to Cite Your Sources (Heading 4)
Instructions for citing this source can be found at: Cite Your Sources (Source Footnotes)
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