In a past issue of this newsletter, I wrote about finding a book that traced my Shore family from Muttenz, Switzerland, to their new American home. Later, I was able to visit the Moravian colonies of Bethabara and Bethania, NC, the latter being where two of my Shore ancestors are buried.
Since that time, I’ve gotten more curious about Swiss genealogy, so went exploring the Internet to see what resources are available. One of the first sites I found was Swiss Roots, a relatively new site (March 2006) with a goal of building community in which to share photos, stories, and research.
Among the goodies on Swiss Roots is a list of 18th-century Swiss immigrants to the American Colonies, links to Swiss family Web sites, and the Billeter Collection—a list of surnames, along with village of origin, earliest date found and number of pages in the collection. (Contact information is provided to obtain copies) The site has a wonderful section on Swiss heritage, including holiday traditions and recipes (I’m leaning toward trying the Chestnut Cake!).
If you’d like to look for your Swiss roots, click on Genealogy from any page, enter your surname, and the search engine will plow through Ellis Island records, the Swiss Family Name Handbook, Men of Bern, and personal Web sites. Don’t miss the link to Guide for Researchers, as this section contains valuable information on Swiss genealogy along with a Swiss/English glossary.
Other Swiss genealogy resources include: