Register of Swiss Surnames

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Register of Swiss Surnames


According to Art. 37 Par. 1 of the Swiss Federal Constitution, Swiss citizenship requires the citizenship of a community and the respective canton.

The “Familiennamenbuch der Schweiz”, i.e. the Register of Swiss Surnames, is an invaluable tool for genealogists and historians. It offers a comprehensive alphabetical listing of all families holding citizenship in a Swiss community in the year 1962. The following information is listed for each family: Place of origin (i.e. community of citizenship), time of naturalisation, previous place or country of origin. The website offers a search function for free access to approximately 48,500 surnames.

This data is identical to the third edition of the “Familiennamenbuch der Schweiz” (Schulthess Polygraphischer Verlag, Zurich, 1989) which is out of print. In the year 1990, the foundation “Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz” (HLS, Historical Dictionary of Switzerland) purchased the electronic register from the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft Schweizer Familiennamen”, a study group for Swiss surnames.

Some records also contain biographical information available in German, French and Italian, for example Primavesi, Antonio:

“Born Feb. 20, 1857 Maastricht, died Nov. 23, 1915 Balerna, Cath., from Lugano. Son of Domenico, owner of a confectionary in Maastricht, from Pognana Lario (Lombardy), and Carolina née Chiesa, from Sagno. ∞ 1881 Enrica Piotti, daughter of Francesco, from Locarno. 1860 P. moved to Balerna with his parents. He attended the Collegio Gallio in Como and the Gymnasium in Lugano. 1878 first degree in law at the University of Löwen. Following an internship at the law office of Gioachimo Respini, he became Councilor Secretary of the cantonal parliament of Ticino in 1881. 1884-85 P. served as a Conservative State Councilor (Interior Affairs). 1885 P. resigned, was elected to the cantonal parliament over which he presided and belonged to until the year 1888. 1888-1895 served as an examining judge; from 1895 to 1915 as an appeals judge.

Literature: – U. Primavesi, I P., 1981, 329-334, author: Pablo Crivelli / CN”

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