Monday, November 11, 2013

Julius Billeter's Notes

Julius Billeter's Notes
As I have noted in past posts, most people in the Switzerland are associated exclusively with their hiemat regardless of where they lived. By reviewing Billeter’s notes one can see that this was his methodology. In the computer age the advantage that Billeter gave us is to be able to find records on people and families much quicker using the dates and the hiemat a person was associated with. His work can be used as a means to an end.

Transcription of family entry. View Original 
Top of Page - Jufer v. Melch. (Melchnau)
Jb (Joh) 2.10.78   19.8.42    d 26.6.83 - (4th family down left side)
Barb Frauchiger v. Auswil (Joh) 
Barb 22.10.79 4.99 Jb Ladermann v. Madiswil
Magd 13.5.81 ?? d 18.2.93 11.9
√ J Uli 30.3.83
Abbreviations - Jb =Jacob; Joh=Johannes; Barb=Barbara; Magd=Magdalena; J Uli=Johann Ulrich 
(There are a few errors in the notes. Barbara Frauchiger was from Eriswil not Auswil, The second child was Maria not Magdalena.)

Julius Billiter was quite remarkable in his ability to research so many people in an organized manner. Where ever a person was living their baptism, burial, and marriage was recorded in their hiemat. If they happened to be living anywhere other than their hiemat it was recorded there as well, so for many people there are two copies of the event in different handwriting. Deciphering the handwriting can be difficult at times. Having two copies makes it easier. It is wise to check every copy available since the pfarrer or pastor in each parish did not always record the same facts. It appears that Billeter did not consult multiple copies of a record.

 It has been noted that there are errors in his work in connecting adult married children to parents; however, pre 1810 the records can be sparse with information. Every family basically used the same given names. Starting in the 1810’s the record keeping increased substantially, thus making it possible to make solid connections from one generation to the next. The most important record keeping change can be found in the marriage record when they started recording the getauft or baptism date of those who were getting married. The death records started to record the exact age a person down to the day and you will begin to find a death date written on a baptism record. Getauft or baptism records started to record the grandfathers name consistently and the parents’ marriage date. Some parishes adopted the new standards quickly while other lagged behind.

Summary of Billeters notes:
  • At the top of each page are the Surname and the hiemat
  • Birth and death dates are exclusively associated with the hiemat
  • The dates are accurate with a few exceptions
  • All the given names are abbreviated
  • What resembles a check mark next to some people means that line continues on another page
  • Billeter’s handwriting can be difficult to decipher
  • Birth, Death, and Marriage dates are recorded without location
  • The spouses full name is recorded and her hiemat
  •  Females took their spouses hiemat upon marriage
  • Not digitized - On film
 It is not really necessary to review the notes on every family, only when there is a question with the family connections. Knowing the date and the hiemat is typically enough to locate a person in the parish registers. Use Billeters notes as a means to an end in creating an accurate genealogy by consulting the church books. The results of Billeters work is on Family Search Family Tree, start adding places, correcting errors and making accurate lineage connections with sources.

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