Canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Switzerland Genealogy

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

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Canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden


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]

Settlement in Appenzell started in the 7th and the 8th century alongside the river Glatt. The monastery of St. Gallen was of great influence on the local population.

  • The name Appenzell means cell or estate of the abbot. This refers to the Abbey of St. Gallen, which exerted a great influence on the area. By the middle of the 11th century the abbots of St. Gallen had established their power in the land later called Appenzell.
  • Appenzell Ausserrhoden is a German speaking canton and it joined the Swiss confederation in 1513. It has 20 communities.
  • Women's right to vote was introduced in 1972 on a local level, but only in 1989 on a canton-wide level.

Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden (Wikipedia)

Parishes in Appenzell Ausserrhoden[edit | edit source]

Karte Gemeinden des Kantons Appenzell Ausserrhoden 2007.png

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Civil registration began in Canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden in 1876. To understand the records available, read the Wiki article, Switzerland Civil Registration.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

The Appenzell Ausserrhoden archive has digitized church records of all twenty Appenzell-Ausserrhoden parishes online. The records are in color and can be accessed at this Ausserrhoder Kirchenbücher Online. Instructions. See the parish pages within Appenzell Ausserrhoden for more information.

FamilySearch also has digitized records for the entire canton. These records can be accessed from the FamilySearch Catalog (click on Places within Switzerland, Appenzell Ausserrhoden to select the parish). There may be restrictions on viewing these records. See the parish pages within Appenzell Ausserrhoden for more information.

There are no indexes of church records.

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.