Switzerland Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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{{Record_Search_article|CID=CID1640373 |title=Switzerland, Church Records, 1277-1992|location=European}}  
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{{Record_Search_article|CID=CID1640373 |title=Switzerland, Church Records, 1277-1992|location=Switzerland}}  
  
 
== Title in the Language of the Record  ==
 
== Title in the Language of the Record  ==
  
Schweiz, Kirchenbücher 1277-1992  
+
Schweiz, Kirchenbücher 1277-1992.
  
== Collection Time Period ==
+
== Image Visibility ==
  
Records in this collection begin in 1380 and go through 1917. Most of the church records contained in this collection, however, begin in the mid 1500s and end by 1910.  
+
Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The Switzerland, Church Records 1277-1992 for the Records for cantons (kantons) of Basel-Stadt and Schaffhausen are unrestricted and can be viewed by all users. The images for the '''canton (kanton) of Bern''' can only be viewed at the Family History Library, [https://www.familysearch.org/locations FamilySearch Centers], and by members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
  
 
== Record Description  ==
 
== Record Description  ==
  
This collection contains images of the church books for the Canton of Basel-Stadt. The Canton consists of the city of Basel and the two neighboring communities of Riehen and Bettingen. The collection also includes church books relating to Kleinhüningen, formerly a small village, absorbed into the city of Basel in 1908.  
+
This collection contains images of the church books for several cantons in Switzerland. The Canton consists of a city and neighboring communities. Records were handwritten mostly in German by a parish priest.  
  
The event types you will find in this collection include the following:  
+
'''The event types you will find in this collection include the following:'''
  
 
*Taufen (baptisms)  
 
*Taufen (baptisms)  
Line 28: Line 28:
 
*Totenregister (death index)
 
*Totenregister (death index)
  
=== Record Content  ===
+
See [[Switzerland Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) Parish List|Switzerland Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) Parish List]] to see the parishes included in this collection.
  
<gallery perrow="3" heights="120px" widths="160px" caption="Switzerland Basel City Church 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.&nbsp;
 +
 
 +
Swiss church records are typically in German or Latin. Regional dialect may affect the spelling of some German words and the use of vocabulary words.&nbsp;
 +
 
 +
Evangelical Church records began as early as the mid to late 1500s in Switzerland; most church records, however, began in the late 1600s. Church records continue to be kept in the present day.&nbsp;
 +
 
 +
Event types were often compiled in separate volumes, for instance, baptisms in one volume and marriages in another. In smaller 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.&nbsp;
 +
 
 +
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the [https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A//api.familysearch.org/records/collection/1640373/waypoints Browse].
 +
 
 +
Records in this collection begin in 1380 and go through 1917. Most of the church records contained in this collection, however, begin in the mid 1500s and end by 1910.&nbsp;
 +
 
 +
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. The church records also served as official (civil) records.
 +
 
 +
Church books are 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.
 +
 
 +
=== Citations for This Collection  ===
 +
 
 +
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
 +
 
 +
{{Collection citation| text = <!--bibdescbegin-->Kirchenbücher. Staatsarchiv Basel-Stadt, Basel, Switzerland.<!--bibdescend-->}}
 +
 
 +
[[Switzerland Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]
 +
 
 +
Copies of originals are also housed in different cantons throughout Switzerland.
 +
 
 +
== Record Content  ==
 +
 
 +
<gallery caption="Switzerland Basel-Stadt Church Records" widths="160px" heights="120px" perrow="3">
 
Image:Switzerland Basel City Church Records (08-0435) Baptism DGS 4463661 108.jpg
 
Image:Switzerland Basel City Church Records (08-0435) Baptism DGS 4463661 108.jpg
 
Image:Switzerland Basel City Church Records (08-0435) Marriage 1 DGS 4482123 99.jpg
 
Image:Switzerland Basel City Church Records (08-0435) Marriage 1 DGS 4482123 99.jpg
 
Image:Switzerland Basel City Church Records (08-0435) Marriage 2 DGS 4482128 410.jpg
 
Image:Switzerland Basel City Church Records (08-0435) Marriage 2 DGS 4482128 410.jpg
 
Image:Switzerland Basel City Church Records (08-0435) Burial DGS 4435124 2.jpg
 
Image:Switzerland Basel City Church Records (08-0435) Burial DGS 4435124 2.jpg
 +
</gallery>
 +
  
<br>
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'''These baptism records usually contain the following information:'''
</gallery> <br>Genealogical facts found in most of the baptism records include:<br>
+
  
 
*Names of the child, parents, and witnesses or godparents  
 
*Names of the child, parents, and witnesses or godparents  
Line 44: Line 73:
 
*Residence and religion of the parents  
 
*Residence and religion of the parents  
 
*Occupation of the father and the other males listed  
 
*Occupation of the father and the other males listed  
*Whether the child was legitimate or illegitimate<br>
+
*Whether the child was legitimate or illegitimate
  
The genealogical facts found in most of the marriage records include:<br>
+
'''These marriage records usually contain the following information:'''
  
 
*Names of the bride, groom, their parents (usually the fathers) and witnesses  
 
*Names of the bride, groom, their parents (usually the fathers) and witnesses  
 
*Date and place of marriage and marriage proclamations or banns  
 
*Date and place of marriage and marriage proclamations or banns  
 
*Residence of the bride, groom, and their parents  
 
*Residence of the bride, groom, and their parents  
*Occupation of groom and other males listed<br>
+
*Occupation of groom and other males listed
  
<br>The genealogical facts found in most of the burial records include:<br>
+
'''These burial records usually contain the following information:'''
  
*Names of the deceased (sometimes names of deceased’s spouse and/or deceased’s parents were included)  
+
*Names of the deceased (sometimes along with&nbsp;names of deceased’s spouse and/or deceased’s parents)  
 
*Date and place of death and burial  
 
*Date and place of death and burial  
 
*Age and residence  
 
*Age and residence  
Line 61: Line 90:
  
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
 +
 +
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:<br>⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page<br>⇒Select the "Kanton" category<br>⇒Select the "Ort" category<br>⇒Select the "Religion" category<br>⇒Select the "Ereignistyp und Zeitraum" category which takes you to the images. <br>Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
  
 
Records in this online collection can be browsed by locality (Ort) first, then by religion, and are next arranged by the German-equivalent of the event type—for example, baptisms are Taufen—and then chronologically. Name indexes (Namenverzeichnis) and event indexes (e.g. Ehenregister) are included when available. A mixture of record formats may be contained within these records.  
 
Records in this online collection can be browsed by locality (Ort) first, then by religion, and are next arranged by the German-equivalent of the event type—for example, baptisms are Taufen—and then chronologically. Name indexes (Namenverzeichnis) and event indexes (e.g. Ehenregister) are included when available. A mixture of record formats may be contained within these records.  
  
The Staatsarchiv of Bastel-Stadt prepared a "Kirchenbücher Kartei", an index of the church books of the Canton (microfilms 922698-922715).&nbsp;Most of the items in the digital collection that are&nbsp;filed under the heading "Basel / Evangelisch Reformiert" are from the Kartei, though a few parts are filed under "Riehen" or "Riehen-Bettingen". Check the Kartei first to find the name of the parish where the information was originally recorded.&nbsp;The Kartei sections relating to the city of Basel include the French congregation as well as all the Evangelisch Reformiert congregations.&nbsp;In the Kartei, baptismal names are generally alphabetized by the ''last ''baptismal name:&nbsp;Anna Catharina and Maria Catharina will be found with Catharina, not with Anna or Maria.  
+
If there is an index, begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to baptisms, marriages, and death or burials make it possible to access a specific record quickly.  
  
The three localities that were historically not part of the city of Basel may cause some confusion.&nbsp;Riehen was a separate parish from medieval times.&nbsp;In 1513, the village of Bettingen became an annex of this parish, although Bettingen had its own church.&nbsp;In 1528, the parish of Riehen (including Bettingen) adopted the protestant reforms. Thus, from the earliest Protestant records, Riehen and Bettingen constituted a single parish, even though at some periods separate books were used for these two villages.&nbsp;The tiny village of Kleinhüningen, now completely absorbed into the city of Basel, was an annex of the parish of Haltingen (Baden, Germany) prior to 1640 (early records from this parish are on microfilms 1189334 and 1189335).&nbsp;About 1640, Kleinhüningen became an annex of the parish of Sankt Theodor in the city of Basel.&nbsp;Finally, about 1710, Kleinhüningen got a church of its own; at this time separate church books were created for this village. When the old Canton of Basel was split in 1833 to form Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, all three of these villages elected to become part of Basel-Stadt.&nbsp;They formed a&nbsp;"rural district" in the new Canton and were administered as a unit until about 1875.&nbsp;This history helps explain why some volumes cover only Riehen or Bettingen or Kleinhüningen, others cover Riehen and Bettingen together, and a few include all three of these villages.  
+
An example is the Staatsarchiv of Basel-Stadt that prepared a "Kirchenbücher Kartei", an index of the church books of the Canton (microfilms 922698-922715). Most of the items in the digital collection that are filed under the heading "Basel / Evangelisch Reformiert" are from the Kartei, though a few parts are filed under "Riehen" or "Riehen-Bettingen". Check the Kartei first to find the name of the parish where the information was originally recorded. The Kartei sections relating to the city of Basel, in this case, include the French congregation as well as all the Evangelisch Reformiert congregations. In the Kartei, baptismal names are generally alphabetized by the ''last ''baptismal name: Anna Catharina and Maria Catharina will be found with Catharina, not with Anna or Maria.  
  
<br>
+
The three localities that were historically not part of the city of Basel may cause some confusion. Riehen was a separate parish from medieval times. In 1513, the village of Bettingen became an annex of this parish, although Bettingen had its own church. In 1528, the parish of Riehen (including Bettingen) adopted the protestant reforms. Thus, from the earliest Protestant records, Riehen and Bettingen constituted a single parish, even though at some periods separate books were used for these two villages. The tiny village of Kleinhüningen, now completely absorbed into the city of Basel, was an annex of the parish of Haltingen (Baden, Germany) prior to 1640 (early records from this parish are on microfilms 1189334 and 1189335). About 1640, Kleinhüningen became an annex of the parish of Sankt Theodor in the city of Basel. Finally, about 1710, Kleinhüningen got a church of its own; at this time separate church books were created for this village. When the old Canton of Basel was split in 1833 to form Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, all three of these villages elected to become part of Basel-Stadt. They formed a "rural district" in the new Canton and were administered as a unit until about 1875. This history helps explain why some volumes cover only Riehen or Bettingen or Kleinhüningen, others cover Riehen and Bettingen together, and a few include all three of these villages.
  
== Record History  ==
+
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.<br>
  
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.
+
'''For example:'''
  
Swiss church records are typically in German or Latin. Regional dialect may affect the spelling of some German words and the use of vocabulary words.  
+
*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 birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
 +
*Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
 +
*Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.  
 +
*Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
 +
*The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
 +
*Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
 +
*Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county 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.
 +
*Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
 +
*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  
Evangelical Church records began as early as the mid to late 1500s in Switzerland; most church records, however, began in the late 1600s. Church records continue to be kept in the present day.
+
'''Keep in mind:'''
  
These church books cover a majority of the population for the Canton of Basel-Stadt, which includes parishes in the city of Basel and its environs. The city of Basel today is the third most populous city in Switzerland. The old Canton of Basel was split in 1833 to form two independent&nbsp;cantons:&nbsp;Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft.&nbsp;Church books from the more rural areas that form the Canton of Basel-Landschaft are not part of this collection.  
+
*The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
 +
*Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.  
 +
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.
  
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.
+
'''If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:'''
  
=== Why the Record Was Created  ===
+
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
 +
*Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
 +
*Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  
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.&nbsp;The church records also served as official (civil) records.
+
== Known Issues with This Collection<span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1318891029797_737" />  ==
  
=== Record Reliability  ===
+
{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection, please read the Wiki [[Switzerland Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Known Issues]] article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at [mailto:support@familysearch.org support@familysearch.org]. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.<br>If you have any questions concerning this collection, please [https://www.familysearch.org/help/contact click here] to contact FamilySearch.<br>
 
+
Church books are 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.  
+
  
 
== Related Websites  ==
 
== Related Websites  ==
  
 
*[http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~chewgw/ Switzerland GenWeb Project]  
 
*[http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~chewgw/ Switzerland GenWeb Project]  
*[http://www.genealogylinks.net/europe/switzerland/index.html Switzerland Genealogy Links]
+
*[http://www.genealogylinks.net/europe/switzerland/index.html Switzerland Genealogy Links]
 +
*[http://www.swissgenealogy.com/BernChurchbooks.htm Church Books of Canton Bern, Switzerland]
  
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
Line 106: Line 150:
 
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
 
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
  
When you copy information from the record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find th record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you do not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.  
+
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.  
 
+
The suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched in found in the Wiki Article: [[How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections|How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections]].
+
 
+
=== Examples of Sourch Citations for a Record in This Collection  ===
+
 
+
*United States. Bureau of Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet ([http://www.familysearch.org www.familysearch.org]: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71.
+
*Mexico, Districto Federal, Catholic Church Records 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet ([http://www.familysearch.org www.familysearch.org]: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Femandez Jimenez, 1 Feb, 1910, San Pedro Apostol, Cuahimalpa, Districto Federal, Mexico Film number 0227023.
+
 
+
== Sources for This Collection  ==
+
  
<!--bibdescbegin-->Switzerland. Church records, 1277-1992. Cantons State Archives (Staatsarchiv des Kantons), Switzerland.<!--bibdescend-->
+
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections|Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].&nbsp;
  
Copies of originals are also housed in different cantons throughout Switzerland:
+
=== Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection  ===
  
*Kirchenbücher. Staatsarchiv Basel-Stadt, Basel, Switzerland.
+
{{Incomplete Citations}}
*Kirchenbücher. Staatsarchiv Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
+
*Kirchenbücher. Stadtsarchiv Schaffhausen, Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
+
  
Detailed instructions for adding citations are also listed in the wiki article: [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Help:FamilySearch_Historical_Records_Wiki_Template ''Help: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections''.]
+
“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata &gt; San Ponciano &gt; Matrimonios 1884-1886 &gt; image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clementina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata, Buenos Aires.  
  
 
[[Category:Switzerland|Basel]]
 
[[Category:Switzerland|Basel]]

Revision as of 22:22, 14 January 2013

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Title in the Language of the Record

Schweiz, Kirchenbücher 1277-1992.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The Switzerland, Church Records 1277-1992 for the Records for cantons (kantons) of Basel-Stadt and Schaffhausen are unrestricted and can be viewed by all users. The images for the canton (kanton) of Bern can only be viewed at the Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers, and by members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Record Description

This collection contains images of the church books for several cantons in Switzerland. The Canton consists of a city and neighboring communities. Records were handwritten mostly in German by a parish priest.

The event types you will find in this collection include the following:

  • Taufen (baptisms)
  • Taufenregister (baptism index)
  • Ehen (marriages)
  • Ehenregister (marriage index)
  • Eheverkündigungen (marriage announcements)
  • Eheverkündigungenregister (marriage announcement index)
  • Familienbuch (family book)
  • Familienbuchregister (family book index)
  • Konfirmanden (confirmations)
  • Konfirmandenregister (confirmation index)
  • Toten (deaths/burials)
  • Totenregister (death index)

See Switzerland Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) Parish List to see the parishes included in this collection.

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 may affect the spelling of some German words and the use of vocabulary words. 

Evangelical Church records began as early as the mid to late 1500s in Switzerland; most church records, however, began in the late 1600s. Church records continue to be kept in the present day. 

Event types were often compiled in separate volumes, for instance, baptisms in one volume and marriages in another. In smaller 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. 

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Records in this collection begin in 1380 and go through 1917. Most of the church records contained in this collection, however, begin in the mid 1500s and end by 1910. 

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. The church records also served as official (civil) records.

Church books are 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.

Citations for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Kirchenbücher. Staatsarchiv Basel-Stadt, Basel, Switzerland.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Copies of originals are also housed in different cantons throughout Switzerland.

Record Content


These baptism records usually contain the following information:

  • 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

These marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • 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

These burial records usually contain the following information:

  • Names of the deceased (sometimes along with names of deceased’s spouse and/or deceased’s parents)
  • Date and place of death and burial
  • Age and residence
  • Cause of death

How to Use the Record

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Kanton" category
⇒Select the "Ort" category
⇒Select the "Religion" category
⇒Select the "Ereignistyp und Zeitraum" category which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Records in this online collection can be browsed by locality (Ort) first, then by religion, and are next arranged by the German-equivalent of the event type—for example, baptisms are Taufen—and then chronologically. Name indexes (Namenverzeichnis) and event indexes (e.g. Ehenregister) are included when available. A mixture of record formats may be contained within these records.

If there is an index, begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to baptisms, marriages, and death or burials make it possible to access a specific record quickly.

An example is the Staatsarchiv of Basel-Stadt that prepared a "Kirchenbücher Kartei", an index of the church books of the Canton (microfilms 922698-922715). Most of the items in the digital collection that are filed under the heading "Basel / Evangelisch Reformiert" are from the Kartei, though a few parts are filed under "Riehen" or "Riehen-Bettingen". Check the Kartei first to find the name of the parish where the information was originally recorded. The Kartei sections relating to the city of Basel, in this case, include the French congregation as well as all the Evangelisch Reformiert congregations. In the Kartei, baptismal names are generally alphabetized by the last baptismal name: Anna Catharina and Maria Catharina will be found with Catharina, not with Anna or Maria.

The three localities that were historically not part of the city of Basel may cause some confusion. Riehen was a separate parish from medieval times. In 1513, the village of Bettingen became an annex of this parish, although Bettingen had its own church. In 1528, the parish of Riehen (including Bettingen) adopted the protestant reforms. Thus, from the earliest Protestant records, Riehen and Bettingen constituted a single parish, even though at some periods separate books were used for these two villages. The tiny village of Kleinhüningen, now completely absorbed into the city of Basel, was an annex of the parish of Haltingen (Baden, Germany) prior to 1640 (early records from this parish are on microfilms 1189334 and 1189335). About 1640, Kleinhüningen became an annex of the parish of Sankt Theodor in the city of Basel. Finally, about 1710, Kleinhüningen got a church of its own; at this time separate church books were created for this village. When the old Canton of Basel was split in 1833 to form Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, all three of these villages elected to become part of Basel-Stadt. They formed a "rural district" in the new Canton and were administered as a unit until about 1875. This history helps explain why some volumes cover only Riehen or Bettingen or Kleinhüningen, others cover Riehen and Bettingen together, and a few include all three of these villages.

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 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 birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county 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.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

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Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clementina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata, Buenos Aires.