Canton Basel-Stadt, Switzerland Genealogy

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Guide to Canton Basel-Stadt ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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Canton Basel-Stadt


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.

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History[edit | edit source]

The canton of Basel-Stadt was created when the historic canton of Basel was divided in 1833, following political quarrels and armed conflict in the canton. This ultimately led to the separation of the canton Basel-Landschaft from the city of Basel on 26 August 1833. Since then, there has been a movement for reunification. This movement gained momentum after 1900 when many parts of Basel-Landschaft became industrialized. The two half-cantons agreed in principle to reunite, but in 1969, and again in September 2014, the people of Basel-Landschaft voted against this proposal in favor of retaining their independence.

Canton of Basel-Stadt (Wikipedia)

Compiled Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Civil registration began in Canton Basel-Stadt in 1876. To understand the records available, read the Wiki article, Switzerland Civil Registration.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Online Church Records - FamilySearch[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch has digitized records from Basel-Stadt. They can be accessed in the following ways:

Index to Basel-Stadt Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials[edit | edit source]

A handwritten index of Basel-Stadt baptisms, marriages, and burials can be found from the Basel-Stadt State Archives website. You can access:


How to use the Index:

  1. Create an account and then login.
  2. Click on one of the links above.
  3. In the left sidebar, click on "Localize in archive plan".
  4. About halfway down, find these entries: Index instructions.png
  5. Click on the white plus sign for the index you want. "Taufen" is christenings/baptisms. "Trauung" is marriages. "Bestattungen" is burials.
  6. Click on the year and part of the alphabet you want. Baselstadt instructions2.png
  7. Find the section "Digitalisierung". "Yes" means the record is digitized. The link in the next line takes you to the images.Baselland instructions3.png
  8. Click on the red link to accept the regulations.

Other Indexes[edit | edit source]

There are partial indexes of church records on FamilySearch. The majority of these partial indexes cover baptisms and marriages. They can be accessed in these collections:

For information on the coverage and content of church records, read Switzerland Church Records.

Reading the Records[edit | edit source]

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.