Aargau Canton, Switzerland Genealogy
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Guide to Aargau canton ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
The area of Aargau and the surrounding areas were controlled by the Helvetians, a member of the Celts, as far back as 200 BC, eventually being occupied by the Romans and then by the 6th century, the Franks. The Romans built a major settlement called Vindonissa, near the present location of Brugg.
Bern as the Unteraargau, expanded north in 1514 into the Jura and so came into possession of several strategically important mountain passes into the Austrian Fricktal.This land was added to the Unteraargau and was directly ruled from Bern.
At the time of Reformation, the majority of the Ämter converted to a new faith. In 1529, a wave of iconoclasm swept through the area and wiped away much of the old religion. After the defeat of Zürich in the second Battle of Kappel in 1531, the victorious five Catholic cantons marched their troops into the Freie Ämter and reconverted them to Catholicism.
During the Helvetic Republic 1798–1803, the county of Baden, the Freie Ämter and the area known as the Kelleramt were combined into the canton of Baden. After the French invasion, on 19 March 1798, the governments of Zürich and Bern agreed to the creation of the short lived canton of Baden in the Helvetic Republic.
With the Act of Mediation in 1803, the canton of Baden was dissolved and the contemporary canton of Aargau was formed in 1803.
French forces occupied the Aargau from 10 March to 18 April 1798; thereafter the Bernese portion became the canton of Aargau and the remainder formed the canton of Baden.
Getting started with Switzerland - Aargau research
Please see the sidebar listing for Gazetteers for villages and corresponding parishes in Canton Aargau.