Switzerland What's the Next Step?

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Determine the actual name of an ancestor

A difficult problem for some researchers is to determine the actual name of their immigrant ancestor. Some ancestors in their eagerness to be assimilated into American culture, traded their dificult foreign names for American names. This occured often with given names and to a lesser extent with surnames. To learn more about historical background of Swiss surnames and given names see the topic Personal Names.

Determine the date of birth, marriage, and death

 If you cannot find an exact date, you may estimate dates based on other information. You need at least the approximate year of an event. This information could come from a US census.

You may also use standard genealogical approximation. From a marriage date, you can estimate that a man was married at age 25 and a woman at age 21. You can also estimate that a first child was born one year after the parent's marriage and that subsequent children were born every 2 years after that.