Switzerland Genealogy

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

Country Information

Switzerland is a landlocked country in Western and Central Europe surrounded by France, Austria, Germany and Italy. Switzerland's east and central cantons are primarily German speakers, western areas include many French speakers, and Italian speakers are found in southern Switzerland. The Swiss Republic is now over 715 years old, making it the oldest republic in the world.[1]

Getting Started

Getting Started with Switzerland Research

Links to articles on getting started with Switzerland research.

Switzerland Research Tools

Links to articles and websites that assist in Switzerland research.


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Finding Your Ancestors' Town in Switzerland

  • Genealogical records are organized by geographical locality. Civil registration (government birth, marriage, and death records) and church records (christenings/baptisms, marriages, and burials) were kept at the local level.
  • If you do not know your ancestors' town, follow the advice in the Wiki article Switzerland Finding Town of Origin to search a variety of records that might provide that information.

The Register of Swiss Surnames

Switzerland has one unique feature that can speed up your search for your ancestor's town. Citizenship was held by specific town. The Register of Swiss Surnames is an online tool, based on the reference book, Familiennamenbuch der Schweiz, which lists for every surname the towns where that family held citizenship. Here are the Instructions for using the register. Also, watch the Online Class: Names and Places: The Register of Swiss Surnames

Switzerland Clickable Map

Genealogical records are kept at the local level in Switzerland. Cantons:

Appenzell AusserrhodenAppenzell InnerrhodenSt. GallenThurgauSchaffhausenZürichAargauBasel (Stadt)Basel (Land)SolothurnJuraZugSchwyzGlarusNidwaldenObwaldenLucerneUriTicinoGraubündenBernValaisNeuchâtelGenèveFribourgVaudMap Switzerland.PNG
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Cantons

Language Map of Switzerland

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FamilySearch Resources

Below are FamilySearch resources that can assist you in researching your family.

Research Tutorials

References

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Switzerland," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland, accessed 23 March 2016.