Canton Thurgau, Switzerland Genealogy
Guide to Canton Thurgau ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
|Switzerland Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
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.
During the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland, both the Catholic and emerging Reformed parties sought to swing Thurgau, to their side. Religious tensions over Thurgau were an important background to the First War of Villmergen in 1656, during which Zurich briefly occupied Thurgau.
In 1798 the land became a canton for the first time as part of the Helvetic Republic. In 1803, as part of the Act of Mediation, the canton of Thurgau became a member of the Swiss confederation.
The current cantonal constitution of Thurgau dates from 1987. Thurgau is a German speaking canton.
Municipalities in Thurgau
The following is a list of the 72 civil parishes (municipalities) of Canton Thurgau as they existed by 1943.
- 1633-1767 - Zürich Bevölkerungsverzeichnisse (Census), 1633-1767, images
Population or census registers of the Reformed Parishes in the Synod of Zürich, Switzerland. Names, ages, and sometimes baptism dates are shown for members of households. See individual Reformed parish pages for more information about censuses.
Civil registration began in Canton Thurgau in 1876. To understand the records available, read the Wiki article, Switzerland Civil Registration.
- Addresses for Civil Registration (ZivilStandesamt) Offices (.pdf)
- You will be able to write your request in German with the help of the German Letter Writing Guide.
FamilySearch has microfilmed and digitized records for the entire canton. These records can be accessed from the FamilySearch Catalog (click on Places within Switzerland, Thurgau to select the parish). There may be restrictions on viewing these records.
There are incomplete indexes for church records from the following collections:
- Switzerland, Baptisms, 1491-1940. MyHeritage.com, ($). Index. Incomplete.
- Switzerland, Baptisms, 1491-1940. Ancestry.com, ($). Index. Incomplete.
- Switzerland, Marriages, 1532-1910. FamilySearch Historical Records. Index. Incomplete.
- Switzerland, Marriages, 1532-1910. My Heritage.com, ($). Index. Incomplete.
- Switzerland, Marriages, 1532-1910. Ancestry.com, ($). Incomplete. Index.
- Switzerland Burials, 1613-1875. FamilySearch Historical Records Index. Incomplete.
- Switzerland Burials, 1613-1875. MyHeritage. ($). Index. Incomplete.
- Switzerland Burials, 1613-1875. Ancestry.com. Incomplete. Index. ($).
For information on the coverage and content of church records, read Switzerland Church Records.
FamilySearch Microfilmed/Digitized Records
All microfilmed parish records have been digitized. These records may have a restriction for use only at a Family History Center near you.
- Click on Switzerland, Thurgau FamilySearch Catalog.
- Open the list "Places within Switzerland, Thurgau". Select your town.
- A list of record categories will open up. Click on "Church records".
- A list of available records will appear. Click on the record title you are interested in searching.
- Scroll down to the list of microfilm numbers. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. . The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.
Reading the Records
- German Genealogical Word List
- Swiss Dialect Genealogical Word List
- Reading German Handwritten Records
- Old German Script
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.