Switzerland Court Records

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Court records (Gerichtsakten; Archives judiciaire; registri delle corti)

Research use: Establish family relationships, clarify church register entries, determine name changes, provide previous residences.

Record type: Selected civil records for German cantons similar to notarial records of the French cantons. Documents include local court matters regarding marriage contracts, permissions to marry, wills, divisions and inheritances, land records, living gifts, inventories, codicils, powers of attorney, contracts, orphans, declarations of legal age, bonds, etc.

Time Period: 1500-present. Some as early as 1290.

Content: Marriage contracts and permissions: Names, relatives, witnesses, dates, conditions, properties, signatures. Wills and inventories: Testator’s names, heirs, witnesses, residences, dates, property descriptions, distributions, signatures. Divisions and inheritances: Heirs, sellers, buyers, witnesses, officials, residences, property descriptions. Orphan records: Guardianship assignments, parents’ names, apprenticeships. Land records: Buyers, sellers, witnesses, residences, property descriptions. Living gifts: Names of parents, children, ages of children, dates, residences.

Location: State, municipal, district and local court archives.

Population coverage: 5%.

Reliability: Very good.[1]

References

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Switzerland,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1984-1998.