Welcome home to Switzerland! If you are searching information about your ancestors, you can contact me by email to r.sa.suisse @gmail.com. Please be aware that the information you need is likely to be in Utah and not in Switzerland. All I can do is telling you what you already know. If you really want to find more than that, you, or a person you entrust with the task, will have to spend long days and weeks in our state archives. Don't expect to find it on the net. Few people here take an active interest in their ancestors. In order to get started please go to www.hls-dhs-dss.ch/famn/?lg=e and find out about the place of origin of your Swiss ancestors. Every Swiss person (also every naturalized person) has two citizenships: Switzerland as a country and the respective place of origin (municipality and canton). By identifying this place you can track your ancestors. Contact me if you are unsure how to use this source.
I have a rule: I stay away from gravestones of persons deceased after 1970, this is for reasons of piety, as well as to protect local and religious communities. I consider older gravestones to be documents of historical value, which are gradually disappearing. In Switzerland, tombstones in Christian cemeteries are removed after a few decades. After as little as 20 to 25 years, depending on the region (in western Switzerland it can be 40 to 60 years). This is why I added merely a handful of names to some of the cemeteries. Most town administrations try to make their cemeteries look like parks rather than cemeteries. As a result, the remaining older stones are normally those of the social elite, because such people tend to receive more respectful treatment, and also because only wealthy families could afford the long-running concessions. About 90% of those old gravestones on Christian general cemeteries belong to bourgeois and aristocratic families.
Swiss people used to be poor people in the past. (Now I guess you would call them losers?) Hundreds of thousands were forced to leave, often with the financial support of the rich oligarchy, which tried to get rid of them. It is also true, that the country has been attracting strong immigration ever since the 19th century: Particularly, there is a high percentage of Germans buried in Swiss cemeteries. Other foreign groups are Protestant refugees (Huguenots and Waldensians), who quickly ascended into the social elite, and of course the many retirees, émigrés, interned soldiers, or refugees which you can find in my "Virtual Cemeteries". Finding a name in one of the cemeteries does not necessarily mean that the family originates from Switzerland. As to religion, the below information can give a hint regarding the question whether a family was Protestant or Catholic, but it cannot be a binding information, as all religious creeds (with the exception of some of the Jewish communities) are using the same municipal burial grounds.
Please feel free to add a photo, a biography, or any other accurate information. If you find errors, such as misspelled names, please correct them using the edit function! Here is some more detail on how I edit names:
- I separate unofficial hyphenated double names used by married couples, such as "Eva Meier-Müller und Adam Meier-Müller", as this is in most cases pure naming convention and would obstruct database queries.
- My information about persons of public interest comes mainly from the scientific trilingual "Dictionnaire historique de la Suisse": http://www.hls-dhs-dss.ch
- For esthetical reasons, gravestones sometimes continue to exist as so called museum-stones, while the graves as such no longer exist. I have marked them with an (M) on the findagrave-memorial. Such stones usually do not appear in municipal cemetery listings, so it can still be worthwhile to go and see the cemetery.
Try and get a Swiss passport before it is too late! You may apply for Swiss citizenship, even if your parent of direct Swiss descent has lost his or her citizenship entitlement before your birth. "Swiss Citizenship Act": www.admin.ch/opc/en/classified-compilation/19520208/index.html#a31b
Robert Savary entiende tambien español. Si esa es la tierra de tus ancestros y tienes una pregunta sobre algún lugar o alguna familia, así no tienes que esforzarte con el inglés.
Robert Savary is an artist-name. I apologize for any possible inconvenience this may cause to persons of the same name.
Cemeteries added or major contributions in:
Canton of Aargau:
AARAU (P), Baden (C) (Alter Stadtfriedhof, Liebefels), Ennetbaden (C), Kaiserstuhl (C), Lenzburg (P), Wettingen (C)
Canton of Basel-Stadt:
BASEL (P) (am Hörnli)
Canton of Bern:
Aarberg (P), Bargen (P), BERN (P) (Bümpliz, Bremgarten, Schlosshalden, Wankdorf (Jewish)), Biel (P), Burgdorf (P), Erlach (P), Herzogenbuchsee (P), Ins (P), Kallnach (P), La Neuveville (P), Laupen (P), Lyss (P), Saint Imier (P), Schwarzenburg (P), Sonvilier (P), Wabern (P)
Canton of Fribourg:
Barberêche (C), Billens (C), Broc (C), Bulle/La Tour-de-Trême (C), Charmey (C), Châtel-Saint-Denis (C), Ependes (C), Estavayer-le-Lac (C), Ecuvillens (C), Givisiez (C), FRIBOURG/Bourguillon (C), Gruyère (C), Kerzers (P), Marly (C), Matran (C), Merlach (P), Mézières (C), Môtier (P), Muntelier (P), Murten (P), Neyruz (C), Riaz (C), Romont (C), Rue (C), Tafers (C), Villars-sur-Glâne (C), Villaz-Saint-Pierre (C)
Canton of Graubünden:
Canton of Jura:
DELÉMONT (C), Porrentruy (C), Saignelégier (C)
Canton of Neuchâtel:
Auvernier (P), Bôle (P), Cernier (P), Colombier (P), Cornaux (P), La Chaux-de-Fonds/Les Eplatures (P), Le Landeron (P), Le Locle (P), Les Hauts-Geneveys (P), NEUCHÂTEL (P), Peseux (P), Saint-Blaise (P)
Canton of Obwalden:
Canton of Schaffhausen:
SCHAFFHAUSEN (Junkernfriedhof, Stokarbergstrasse) (P), Stein am Rhein (P)
Canton of Sankt-Gallen:
Canton of Solothurn:
Canton of Ticino:
Acquarossa (C), Aquila (C), BELLINZONA (C), Biasca (C), Calonico (C), Corzoneso (C), Dongio/Dongio-Motto (C), Lottigna (C), Ludiano (C), Malvaglia (C), Olivone (C), Semione (C), Torre (C)
Canton of Thurgau:
Diessenhofen (P) (Dorffriedhof, St. Katharinental), FRAUENFELD (P) (Oberkirch, Kurzdorf), Gachnang (P), Weinfelden (P) (Evangelische Kirche)
Canton of Valais:
Saint-Maurice (C), Sierre (C), SION (C)
Canton of Vaud:
Aigle (P), Avanches/Donatyre (P), Bonvillars (P), Champvent (P), Chardonne (P), Commugny (P), Coppet (P), Corseaux (P), Cotterd (P), Cully (P), Dompierre (P), Épesses (P), Faoug (P), Grandson (P), Grandvaux (P), La Tour-de-Peilz (P), LAUSANNE (P) (Bois-de-Vaux, Montoie), Leysin (P), Lovatens (P), Lucens (P), Lutry (P), Montagny-près-Yverdon (P), Montreux/Clarens/Territet (P), Morges (P), Moudon (P), Onnens (P), Oron-la-Ville/Châtillens (P), Palézieux (P), Prangins (P), Prévonloup (P), Pully (P), Renens (P), Rolle (P), Vevey (P), Yverdon-les-Bains (P)
Canton of Zug:
Baar (C), ZUG (C)
Canton of Zürich:
Adliswil (P), Andelfingen (P), Bonstetten (P), Bülach (P), Dietikon (P), Eglisau (P), Erlenbach (P), Horgen (P), Kappel am Albis (P), Kilchberg (P), Küsnacht (P), Langnau am Albis (P), Laufen (P), Männedorf (P), Oberrieden (P), Regensdorf (P), Rüschlikon (P), Schlieren (P), Stallikon (P), Thalwil (P), Urdorf (P), Wädenswil (P), Wetzikon (P), Winterthur (P), Zollikon/Zollikerberg (P), ZÜRICH (P) (Albisrieden, Alte Kirche Wollishofen, Altstetten, Enzenbühl, Fluntern, Unterer Friesenberg (Jewish), Hohe Promenade, Höngg, Hönggerberg, Leimbach, Manegg, Neumünster, Nordheim, Oerlikon, Rehalp, Sihlfeld, Witikon)
(P) = traditionally Protestant majority
(C) = traditionally Catholic majority
(ChK) = traditionally Old Catholic majority
And one more thing... If you can't find a name, try a de, d' or von in front of your last name. You might even be of noble descent!
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