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Jura Canton, Switzerland Genealogy

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Guide to Jura canton ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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Getting Started[edit | edit source]

If you are new to Swiss research, you should watch this introductory course. Then study the articles on church records and civil registration, as almost all of your research will be in those two record groups.

History[edit | edit source]

The canton of Jura was a sovereign state within the Holy Roman Empire for more than 800 years but after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 the Jura had close ties with the Swiss Confederation.
At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Jura region became part of the canton of Bern. This act caused dissention because the Jura was French-speaking and Roman Catholic, whereas the canton of Bern was mostly German-speaking and Protestant.
After World War II, a separatist movement campaigned for a secession of Jura from the canton of Bern and a constitution was accepted in 1977. In 1978 the split was made official when the Swiss people voted in favour of the constitution, and in 1979 the Jura joined the Swiss Confederation as a full member. The canton celebrated its independence from the canton of Bern on 23 June 1979.
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Compiled Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Civil registration began in Jura Canton in 1876. To understand the records available, read the Wiki article, Switzerland Civil Registration.

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Online Church Records[edit | edit source]

For information on the coverage, content, and locating of church records, read Switzerland Church Records.
Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and FindMyPast collections can be view free of charge at a Family History Center near you.

FamilySearch Microfilmed/Digitized Records[edit | edit source]

Several parish records have been microfilmed and are currently being digitized. Eventually, all of them will be digitized, so check back frequently. These records may have a restriction for use only at a Family History Center near you.

Instructions:

  1. Click on Switzerland, Jura FamilySearch Catalog.
  2. Open the list "Places within Switzerland, Jura". Select your town.
  3. A list of record categories will open up. Click on "Church records".
  4. A list of available records will appear. Click on the record title you are interested in searching.
  5. Scroll down to the list of microfilm numbers. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.

Writing for Church Records[edit | edit source]

Reading the Records[edit | edit source]

Search Strategy[edit | edit source]

This search strategy will help you determine what to write for. Limit tour requests to just one of these steps at a time. Once you have established that the parish is cooperative and perhaps more willing to do more extensive research (for a fee), you might be able to ask them for more at a time.

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected.
  • When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.