Canton Glarus, Switzerland Genealogy
Guide to Canton Glarus ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
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|Local Research Resources|
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]
Glarus is first mentioned in the early 9th Century in Latin as Clarona. In 1178 it was first mentioned in German as Glarus.
In 1528 the Reformation gained a foothold in Glarus, and following the Second war of Kappel in 1531 both the Catholic and Protestant residents were given the right to worship in town. This led to both religious groups using the town church simultaneously, an arrangement that caused numerous problems. By the 18th Century both the groups shared the church.
Following the French invasion in 1798, Glarus became the capital of the Canton of Linth in the Helvetic Republic.
Glarus is a German speaking canton. It joined the Swiss Confederation in 1352.
Parishes in Canton Glarus[edit | edit source]
In 2007, the old municipal organization of Canton Glarus was changed, and all municipalities were merged into three new entities: Glarus, Glarus-Nord, and Glarus-Süd. The map below is the municipal organization as of 1938.
Compiled Genealogies[edit | edit source]
Civil Registration[edit | edit source]
Civil registration began in Canton Glarus in 1849. To understand the records available, read the Wiki article, Switzerland Civil Registration.
- Addresses for Civil Registration (ZivilStandesamt) Offices (.pdf)
- You will be able to write your request in German with the help of the German Letter Writing Guide.
Church Records[edit | edit source]
Images of original records are not available online but extensive prior genealogy extracts of those records have been published and some extracts are online:
- A fully-researched, complete genealogy of the entire canton can be found onsite at the Glarus Archives. The archive will allow you to view the 20+ volume set, but will only allow access to the original church records in rare cases.
- Julius Billeter's collection of 100,000 records is coming online. Portions of his research that he published in the form of bespoke family histories have been entered on Family Tree.
To identify relevant parishes, there is:
- A map gazetteer: Map Guide To Swiss Parish Registers - Vol. 12 - Canton Of Glarus, Thurgau, Uri And Zug, published in 2019. Parish boundaries typically align with canton boundaries, but not necessarily with municipality boundaries. An adjacent parish may be in another canton across a river or over a mountain pass. Catholic and Protestant parishes often overlap.
- A list of parishes with dates when record keeping began: Glarus Family Tree: Genealogy.
You will be able to write your request to the Glarus Archives in German with the help of the German Letter Writing Guide.
For information on the coverage and content of church records, read Switzerland Church Records.
Reading the Records[edit | edit source]
- German Genealogical Word List
- Swiss Dialect Genealogical Word List
- German Paleography Seminar - Lessons on German Handwriting
- Old German Script
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.