Switzerland Zürich Census
Bevölkerungsverzeichnisse der Synode Zürich[edit | edit source]
Population Registers of the Zürich Synod
The purpose of these population registers was originally to record the Protestant Reformed Church membership in the parishes of the Synod of Zürich, Switzerland. This included the Zürich, Rheintal, Oberthurgau, Unterthurgau, Frauenfeld, and Eglisau chapters which are located primarily in the Cantons of Zürich, Thurgau, and Sankt Gallen, with a few communities in Schaffhausen, Aargau, and Appenzell.
Approximately every three years lists of the members of all family households and those in Church service were made and sent in to the rector (Antistes) in Zürich. In addition to the names of each member of the household, ages, and often exact baptism dates are given, especially for the children, but often for the parents as well.
Some special lists were made for certain years showing emigrants, poor, school children, teachers, Anabaptists, and Catholics. Other records included all of the inhabitants in these communities.
The inventory only shows the main parish towns. Included with each town may be several smaller villages which belonged to the parish at the time the register was taken. Many of these assigned villages remained the same throughout the time period, but in others, changes occurred over the years, and it would be well to check nearby parishes for a particular villages.
Generally the page numbers at the bottom of each page of text were followed. The text of the original records is in German. The spellings of names of towns and villages may vary throughout the time period of the records. Modern spellings have been used in the inventory.
The inventory for these census records has been compiled by the Genealogical Society of Utah. The call number for this guide is 949.4 x336. FHL INTL Fiche 6001309 It also available on microfilm FHL INTL Film 1181849 Item 72 Additionally, the census year, FHL Film number, and beginning page has been entered into the FamilySearch Wiki articles for each parish in the Canton of Zürich. Search for the parish page on the Wiki for the Zürich Census information.
The time periods of the census range from 1634-1763. Please be aware that there will be different years available for different communities.
Education and book ownership[edit | edit source]
Traditionally, the Church was responsible for the spiritual and secular education of its members. The Reformed faith encouraged its members to study the Bible and other spiritual literature. Pastors were asked to regularly examine the parish members and note their literacy skills and the books available in their homes in the lists they created. There was no required format, so these notes often contained unique abbreviations denoting various skill levels, almost like a school grading system. Understanding this basic rubric can help you decode them.[edit | edit source]
Levels of religious knowledge
6 -knows the entire catechism and the testimonies
5- knows the entire catechism (including the categories: questions [there is a lot of Q&A format in the catechism], prayers, sacraments
4- knows parts of the catechism (including the sections “questions” and” prayers”)
3- knows prayers [ “Our Father”, the 12 articles, and ten commandments [lit.: “Gebote”]
2 - knows two of the three traditional prayers
1 – knows one of the three prayers
k. A. – knows nothing [lit: “keine Antwort” – no answer]