Canton Fribourg, Switzerland Genealogy

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

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Canton Fribourg


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 town was founded in 1157 by Berthold IV, Duke of Zähringen. In 1403, the leaders of the city began a territorial acquisition, in which they gradually brought more nearby land under their control. This laid the ground-work for the Canton of Fribourg. By 1442 the city had control of all the land within about 12 miles, on both sides of the Saane.During the Reformation, Fribourg remained Catholic, although it was nearly surrounded by the Protestant Bern. Fribourg is a French and German speaking canton.

Fribourg (Wikipedia)

Compiled Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Online Census Records[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Civil registration began in Canton Fribourg in 1849. To understand the records available, read the Wiki article, Switzerland Civil Registration.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Fribourg church records have been microfilmed and are only available onsite at the Fribourg archive. The archive has published an inventory of church parish records showing which records are available. Due to limited space, be sure to make an appointment before viewing the records at the archive.

You will be able to write your request in French with the help of the French Letter Writing Guide.

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.