Saturday, June 15, 2013

138 year Closure Period for Records in Switzerland

Now we know that the family lived in Recherswil we can look at marriages of the children. The seven girls in the family would have married men from the area, so they would not be found in Affoltern registers, except for their marriages. The women took the hiemat of their husbands. It doesn't matter anyway. In Switzerland the closure period for records begins in 1876. This means that those who married after 1876, there is no marriage record available for viewing; therefore, all those young people who married post 1876 cannot be traced to the next generation. It is not possible to trace post 1876 descendants in Switzerland. When I was at the zivilstandsamt in Tracheswald some years ago I was able to get the familienschein for the Christen family. The familienscheins are limited to direct line ancestors; although, I’m not sure how they police this standard since I produced family group sheets of the family as evidence of my connection. I would assume this 138 year closure period is why so few Swiss genealogies can be found, and those found with people after 1876 can be considered unreliable since no records can be used to verify the accuracy.
I used to think a hundred year closure period was harsh. When they do change the closure period to 1900 it will take many years for the records in the form of microfilm or online images to become accessible. Probably after 2025.

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