Sunday, May 3, 2009

Church Records

I am often looking at church records of England. I could not do much research without them. As the nineteenth century marched on it becomes apparent that the Church of England was not dominating the religious scene. I am finding fewer of my ancestors in the parish registers as the century moves on. I can find them in the census records and civil registration indexes but not in the parish registers. Few post 1837 nonconformist records have been filmed. Civil registration started in 1837 and becomes the source for documenting people at a price of about $11 per certificate.
After 1876 it is not possible to view Swiss records. Their closure policy is currently at 135 years. That really puts a damper on finding cousins. If they want people to find a new excitement about researching in Switzerland they may want to make that a 80 year closure policy. Those church record before 1876 can be purchased on CD.
I find it interesting that I can find filmed LDS Church records prior to 1907 for members of the church in Switzerland, but in Utah I cannot find them. 1907 appears to be the year that the church started a new record keeping system. Of course there were many fewer members to keep track of in Switzerland than Utah. My great grandfather, Gottfried Jaggi, joined the Church in Switzerland on February 25, 1889 and there is a record of him and for every member of the Solothurn branch going back to the 1850’s. For members of the LDS church anywhere in the world there is a church census that was taken at 5 and 10 year intervals between 1910 to 1960.

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