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Home: Regional: Countries: Switzerland: Zurich

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Posted by: Serge de MULLER Date: January 22, 2002 at 13:25:27
In Reply to: Wagemans from Zurich... by Aimee Stout of 165

The best place to start your Swiss research is at SwissGen SwissGen's Swiss Surname Directory can point you in the right direction. The "Swiss Surname Directory" is designed to give some basic information on Swiss (or supposed to be Swiss) surnames by combining data from several sources (it is therefore not to be confused with the "Register of Swiss Surnames").

The Register of Swiss Surnames contains the names of families in official orthography which in 1962 possessed citizenship in a Swiss community. Individuals are not listed since due to death and marriage etc. they often appear only briefly in the registers of civil status.

The surname is followed by canton, listed alphabetically, which is then followed by
the official name of the place of citizenship (community of origin).
the year in which citizenship was granted. If unknown, the period during which right of citizenship was acquired is given :
a = old surname, citizenship acquired before 1800.
b = citizenship acquired in l9th century (1801-1900).
c = citizenship acquired after 1900 (1901-1962).
ancestry: for Swiss, previous place of citizenship; for naturalised foreigners, abbreviation of previous country of citizenship (D,F,I etc.).
For naturalised foreigners previous country of citizenship is given.

The names of places are spelled in official orthography as used in the "Gemeindeverzeichnis der Schweiz" 1980 (Index of Swiss Communities) published by the "Bundesamt für Statistik" (Federal Office of Statistics) Berne 1980. Places not identified in this source because they have ceased to be separate communities as a result of suburbanization are listed under disappeared community names.

For family record purposes, it is totally irrelevant where your parent was born. The only place where you will find information is the place the register of Swiss surnames gives, where he originated from, i.e. his 'hometown'. You will have to go there personally. You may find there many generations of that surname.

Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon der Schweiz (7 volumes + Supplement), Neuenburg 1921-1934.

The Historical-Biographical Encyclopedia of Switzerland compiles historical information as well as biographical notes on large or famous families (including extinct ones, not mentioned in the Register of Surnames), often giving details on important family members. As a standard reference the HBLS will be available at major Swiss libraries; it is also available from LDS (films 1181541-3 or fiche 6000814).

A revised version of the HBLS is the Historical Encyclopedia of Switzerland; after a long planning stage the first few articles have been placed on the internet. See for some information (in English) or take a look at the actual data (German/French/Italian only), starting from

The SwitzerlandGenWeb

The World GenWeb Project, Canton de Vaud, Switzerland
Sources and Methods for Genealogical Research

Cercle Vaudois de Genealogie

Canton de Fribourg genealogy

Familles du canton de Fribourg
(familles fribourgeoise et quelques familles non fribourgeoises établies dans le canton de Fribourg)

Genealogical Database Network


Swiss telephon book

Forums of Switzerland

Forums of canton de Vaud

Swiss nobles families
Benoit de DIESBACH BELLEROCHE: Dictionnaire des familles nobles subsistantes de Suisse. Fribourg, Intermède Belleroche, 1996. 172 pp.

Serge de MULLER
Buenos Aires/Fribourg

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