Canton Solothurn, Switzerland Genealogy
Guide to Canton Solothurn ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
|Switzerland Wiki Topics|
|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]
In 1481,Solothurn obtained full membership in the Swiss Confederation.
The medieval cooperative election of the mayor and councillors led to the creation of a nearly hereditary oligarchy by the 15th Century. By the second half of the 16th Century, the political voice of citizens was nearly totally suppressed. By the second half of the 17th Century, the government was run by a small group of patricians and the oligarchs were weakened in the 18th Century, when in 1718-21 the city council managed to regain some powers.
Following the French invasion of Solothurn on 2 March 1798, a French General set up a provisional government on the following day. The new government met in April to set up the new constitution. Solothurn is a German speaking canton.
Parishes in Canton Solothurn[edit | edit source]
Civil Registration[edit | edit source]
Civil registration began in Canton Solothurn in 1836. 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.
Compiled Genealogies[edit | edit source]
Church Records[edit | edit source]
FamilySearch has microfilmed and digitized records for the entire canton. These records can be accessed from the FamilySearch Catalog (click on Places within Switzerland, Solothurn to select the parish). There may be restrictions on viewing these records.
There are no indexes of church records online.
For information on the coverage and content of church records, read Switzerland Church Records.
FamilySearch Microfilmed/Digitized Records[edit | edit source]
All microfilmed parish records have been digitized. These records may have a restriction for use only at a Family History Center near you.
- Click on Switzerland, Solothurn FamilySearch Catalog.
- Open the list "Places within Switzerland, Solothurn". Select your town.
- A list of record categories will open up. Click on "Church records".
- A list of available records will appear. Click on the record title you are interested in searching.
- Scroll down to the list of microfilm numbers. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. . The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.
There are some Solothurn Parishes that are on the Wiki. These pages make it easier to access 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.