Switzerland Emigration and Immigration

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

The percentage of emigrants who left Switzerland without permission and paying the obligatory “moving-away tax” was fairly high, so there may be no record of their departure. Passports were not registered until the mid-19th Century. Some passport indexes for Canton Bern have been published by Picton Press on CD-Rom. The FamilySearch Catalog can be checked for additional resources using “[canton] – emigration/immigration”. If the canton of origin of a pre-1848 emigrant is known, one can contact the appropriate State Archive for further information. To obtain information concerning emigrants who left after 1848, the Schweizer Bundesregierung, Bundeshaus, CH-3000 Bern, Switzerland, can be contacted.
- http://www.genealogienetz.de/reg/CH/emigra-m.htm - lists emigration sources by canton.

Emigration Records and Passports
(Abschiedsbücher und Reisepäße
Rôles de citoyens absents du pays, demandes des passeports)
[edit | edit source]

Research use: Very valuable for making proper connections to place of origin and residence in Switzerland. Many researchers do not know their ancestor's birth place.

Record type: Lists of citizens absent from the canton with names, towns of origin and sometimes current place of residence, lists of passports issued.

Time Period: 1300-present.

Content: Emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, birth dates and places, residences, destination; wife’s and children’s given names and ages or number of children; reasons for emigration; taxes paid; occupation, religion, military service, etc.

Location: State and city archives.

Population coverage: 5-10%.

Reliability: Very good.[1]

Finding Emigrant Origins[edit | edit source]

Sometimes it is possible to guess where an immigrant originated through surname distribution maps.

Limited Bibliography of Emigration Sources[edit | edit source]

Alsace Emigration Index. (FHL INTL films # 1,125,002-1,125,007). This index also includes some Swiss emigrants.

Blocher, Andreas. Die Eigenart der Züricher Auswanderer nach Amerika, 1734-1744. Zürich: Atlantis Verlag, 1976 (FHL INTL 949.457 W2b). A sociological study of a group of 18th Century emigrants from Canton Zürich - good bibliography.

Davis, Richard Warren. Emigrants, Refugees, and Prisoners: an Aid to Mennonite Family Research. 3 volumes. Provo, Utah : R.W. Davis, 1995- . (FLH INTL 949.4 W2d v. 1-3, FHL Films # 1,573,238 item 15 [vol. 1], 1,573,253 item 1 [vol. 2], 1,224,597 item 10) The author attempts to link known Anabaptist families in Germany and Switzerland with Anabaptists who settled in Pennsylvania between 1709 and1776.

Diefenbacher, Karl, Pfister, Hans Ulrich Pfister, Hotz, Kurt, et al. Schweizer Einwanderer in den Kraichgau nach dem Dreißigjährigen Krieg: mit ausgewählter Ortsliteratur. Sinsheim : Heimatverein Kraichgau e. V., 1983. (FHL INTL 943.46 W2d). Swiss immigrants in the Kraichgau region, Baden, Germany, after the Thirty Years War. Includes selected literature on local history; maps of the Kraichgau district and the Swiss cantons; English notes and remarks on colored pages.

Faust, Albert Bernhard, comp. Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies. 2 vols. 1920-25. Reprint (2 vols. in 1). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968. Vol. 1, Zürich 1734-1744, Vol. 2, Bern, 1706-1795, and Basel, 1734-94. (FHL US/Can 973 2fa 1968, original edition on FHL film # 020,730).. Compiled from records in the archives of Zürich, Bern, and Basel, these lists of emigrants include Swiss towns of origin and personal information.

Guth, Hermann and Gertrud et.al. Palatine Mennonite Census Lists 1664-1793. This is a unique source for genealogical researchers as it lists where many of Swiss-German immigrants lived in Germany prior to emigration to America. Usually, the head of the household is given, the number of sons and daughters, farmhands, and maids, for each village or estate. Censuses were taken in 1664, 1685, 1706, 1717, 1724, 1738, 1743, 1753, 1759, 1768, 1773, 1790, and 1793. The book is available at FHL Intl. 943 X2g or on microfiche 6001862 pt. 1-2.

Gratz, Delbert. Bernese Anabaptist and their American Descendants. Scottsdale, PA: Herald Press, 1953. (FHL US/CAN 973 K2gr)

Lacoste, Auste. “Le Grand Refuge 1685-1700 particuliérement en Suisse.” Der Schweizer Familienforscher/ Le Genealogiste Suisse 16 (1949) 21-26. FHL INTL 949.4 B4ss Ser.1 #19).
Contains an excellent bibliography of records of French and Italian Protestants in Switzerland.

Luetjohann, Roland. Die Ersten deutschen Auswanderer in Brasilien. Archiv für Sippenforschung, 8. Jahrgang, Heft 3. Available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, call number 943 B2as. Contains names of Swiss (canton Freiburg) and German emigrants (from Helsbach) with date of arrival and circumstances.

Macco, Hermann Friedrich. Swiss Emigrants to the Palatinate in Germany and to America, 1650-1800, and Huguenots in the Palatinate and Germany. 6 vols. Plus index (FHL INTL 943 W2s, FHL films # 823,861 [A-l] and 823,862 {M-Z plus index]. The information was compiled by the author, then arranged and indexed by the Family History Library in 1954.

Miller, Olga K. Migration, Emigration, Immigration. Logan, Utah: Evertons Publishers Inc. 1974 (FHL US/CAN Ref 973 W2mo; fiche 6,010,038 – 6,010,041). Pages 204-206 list publications dealing with Swiss emigrants to various states and countries.

Rupp, Israel Daniel. Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French, and other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727-1776. Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965. (FHL US/CAN film # 0,874426 item 2).

Scherer, Karl. Pfälzer – Palatines. Kaiserslautern, ca. 1981. (FHL INTL 943.43 W2s) Contains a lot of information about the Swiss going to the Pfalz (Palatinate) in Germany.
Steinemann, Ernst, ed. “A List of Eighteenth-Century Emigrants from the Canton of Schaffhausen to the American Colonies, 1734-1752.” Pennsylvania German Folklore Society 16 (1951): 185-96. (FHL US/CAN 974.8 C4fg V.16, p. 185-196)

Stricker, Eberhardt. “Schweizer Einwanderung ins Elsass.” Jahrbuch der Elsass-Lothringischen Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft zu Strassburg 10 (1937); 55-75. (FHL film # 1,071,428)

Swiss Immigration Entries of Genealogical Value from Der Stern, 1869-1901. (FHL INTL 949.4 B2ds).

Wittner, Heinz R. Schweizer (Einwanderer) in der Vorder- und Südpfalz. Ludwigshafen: Pfälzisch-Rheinische Familienkunde, [200-?] (FHL INTL 943.43 B4sb no. 25). 
Wittner, Heinz R. Die Mannrechtsrodel von Bern. This is an alphabetical list of persons who gave up their citizenship in Canton Bern in the 18th Century, taken from fragments found in the Bern State Archive. It is available for free personal use at http://swiss.genealogy.net/kant/bemare-d.pdf, [with introduction in English] and 
Wittner: Heinz R. Schweizer (Einwanderer) in der Südwestpfalz. 2005, Ludwigshafen: Pfälzisch-Rheinische Familienkunde, 2005. (FHL INTL 943.43 B4sb no. 26 )

German Speaking Emigrants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit | edit source]

German Speaking Emigrants from Switzerland, Austria and Germany from 1869-85 coming through Liverpool were recorded in "Der Stern" .  The call number is 940 B2ds

Departure dates and ship names are listed below:

25 Aug. 1869 Ship SS Minnesota

13 Jul. 1870 Ship SS Manhatten

21 Jun  1871 Ship SS Wyoming

6 Sep. 1871 Ship SS Nevada

12 Jun 1872 Ship SS Manhatten

10 Jul 1873 Ship SS Nevada

10 June 1874 Ship SS Nevada

8 July 1874 Ship:  SS Minnesota

2 Sep. 1874 Ship SS Wyoming

16 June 1875  (Ship unknown)

29 June 1876 Ship SS Idaho

27 June 1877 Ship SS Wisconsin

15 June 1878 Ship SS Montana

15 Sep 1878 Ship SS Wyoming

24 May 1879 (Unknown ship)

4 Sep. 1880 Ship SS Nevada

21 May 1881 Ship SS Wyoming

3 Sep 1881 Ship SS Wyoming

17 May 1882 Ship SS Nevada

2 Sep 1882 Ship SS Wyoming

16 May 1883 Ship SS Nevada

30 Aug 1884 Ship SS Wyoming

In the years 1888 to 1900 the following information is listed:

1. Names of the families in alphabetical order

2. Places of origin in Germany and Switzerland

3. Places of destination and residents in the United States.

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

References[edit | edit source]

  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.