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Old 24.02.2011, 19:57
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Guten Tag and can anyone help me? [Tracing my Swiss mom's Employment Records]

Hello to everyone,
I'm hoping that maybe someone or kind soul might be able to help me or at least push me in the right direction.
I am trying to trace my late mother's employment record. I know she last worked in Berne in around 1955 and then came to UK. Eventually she married my father. However, before then, she had my brother out of wedlock by a swiss man who left her in the UK. He was originally from Berne, I have been trying for over 30 years to help my brother find out who he really is and wondered if anyone would know which government building in Berne might help me in my quest. I have my mother's Heimatschein and Wohnsitzwechsel (birth cert?). I also have her AV no? is that like National Insurance No? Her name being Pfister, she is from Wahlern, Berne although born Lauterbrunnen. My brother's father family owned a hotel she worked in in Berne, hence why I hoped to trace her employment records - does anyone know where I could start? To put and end to this long, and sad story. Many thanks in anticipation.
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Old 24.02.2011, 20:59
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

If it is Wahlern, a part of Schwarzenburg, Canton Bern, there are several Pfisters who live in the area. Perhaps you could start here:


...or the nearest community administration. Just write their e-mail address with your information and questions. If your mother ever lived there they will have all the pertinent information, though they will probably require some identification from you before divulging any info.:

Gemeindeverwaltung Rüschegg
Gemeindeschreiberei Einwohnerkontrolle, Vormundschaft
Mo 8-12h/13.30-18.30h Di - Fr 8-12h/13.30-17h
Hirschhorn 298
3153 Rüschegg Gambach

Telefon: * 031 738 70 70
Fax: * 031 738 70 79

E-Mail: * info@rueschegg.ch

Last edited by Longbyt; 25.02.2011 at 11:14. Reason: We don't allow own addresses and phone numbers so perhaps this wasn't OK either.
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Old 24.02.2011, 21:21
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

JT,
Thank you very much for your reply and most welcomed. Can you explain
"Gemeindeverwaltung Rüschegg Gemeindeschreiberei Einwohnerkontrolle, Vormundschaft" - is this like a local town hall? My mother did live and work in Berne in the early '50's, is the answer to your question. Just wondering who i'd be contacting. Many thanks again.
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Old 24.02.2011, 22:47
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

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JT,
Thank you very much for your reply and most welcomed. Can you explain
"Gemeindeverwaltung Rüschegg Gemeindeschreiberei Einwohnerkontrolle, Vormundschaft" - is this like a local town hall? My mother did live and work in Berne in the early '50's, is the answer to your question. Just wondering who i'd be contacting. Many thanks again.
- Community Administration of Rueschegg (includes Wahlern)
- Community Record Keeper
- Resident Admin Office
- Office for Minors 'n such

Website: http://www.rueschegg.ch/

So yes, more or less like town hall. I would start off writing to the e-mail address in English and let them direct you from there.

Berne is a Canton (county where Wahlern is located) and within Canton Berne is also the city Berne.

Last edited by J_T; 24.02.2011 at 23:29.
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Old 24.02.2011, 23:37
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

Try to find a number on something called AHV. Maybe in this link someone can help: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/...ys/ahvavs.html
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Old 24.02.2011, 23:42
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

Are you sure of the spelling Wahlern?
http://map.search.ch/Wahlern,-Bern

There is also a Wohlen which is much nearer to Bern
http://map.search.ch/wohlen-bei-bern

Did your mother receive a Swiss pension? If you have her AHV number it would make things easier.
Maybe her AV number is the same thing as the AHV 11 digit number

AHV = Alters- und Hinterlassenen Versicherung = Old Age and Survivors Insurance

Translation using Google:
The old 11-digit social security number had some serious drawbacks. So serious that it was replaced after 60 years.

The old social security number was problematic from the perspective of data protection: Based on the social security number could be used to determine the date of birth, gender and initial letters of the name. Next was it clear whether this was a Swiss citizen or a foreigner. Administrative burden and error rates were high, as the old social security number is not a life was valid. With a name change by marriage or otherwise, for a sex change and a change of nationality or citizenship changed the social security number. Also in terms of the free social security number was in the old system almost reached the border - there were even a few cases that could not be represented in the existing numbering system.

http://tel.local.ch/en/d/Bern/3011/A...ahv&where=Bern
.

Last edited by Ittigen; 25.02.2011 at 00:09.
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Old 25.02.2011, 13:28
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

Firstly, can I say a BIG thank you to everyone who has replied. You have no idea how good I feel that someone is at last trying to help us out.

I've relooked at records I have and it definitely says WAHLERN. I remember my mother saying that although she was born Lauterbrunnen, she is from Wahlern which had to do with her surname pfister? I first contacted the Swiss Embassy who sent me a pdf form on my mother, it was all they had, and it shows some details which I don't understand, it does keep stating AVH 1960??? but I'm thinking that's a date of year.
It states Burgergemeide is Wahlern. It also says PP (ledig + Mario)no. 2548255BE? Not sure what that means. Is it possible, although my brother was born in Kent, he was also registered birth in Switzerland? Would they have to put father details on Swiss birth? This form also states the following which I don't understand if it will help me or not?
Bemerkungen:
28.1.57 Memento AVS
26.6.57 au Frl. Wolfer um bitte um Weiterleiteng ( I could be wrong with the spelling as the handwriting isn't too good).
What does Ausserehelich (8.2.56 Kent) DB(GebU nach Bern 18.7.57) mean? I think geb. means born? I do have an insurance no. on a letter from the Swiss Embassy will this help?
I cannot thank you all enough - this is a sad and long story, my mother would never tell us who the father was, she said he left her in UK when he found out she was pregnant, he was Swiss, she eventually met and married my Dad who adopted my brother, but the Swiss Authorities did not recognise this adoption and have since said my brother is full swiss!!! I'm remain only half. I want to help my brother so so much, he just wants to know who he is! We couldn't bring ourselves to ask her as she was dying, but she should never had told us a half truth, either all the info, or kept it secret forever. Thank you, thank you so much for helping me.
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Old 25.02.2011, 13:31
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

Ausserehelich: out of wedlock (literally meaning outside of a marriage)

Good luck
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Old 25.02.2011, 13:36
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

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It states Burgergemeide is Wahlern. It also says PP (ledig + Mario)no. 2548255BE? Not sure what that means. Is it possible, although my brother was born in Kent, he was also registered birth in Switzerland? Would they have to put father details on Swiss birth? This form also states the following which I don't understand if it will help me or not?
Bemerkungen:
28.1.57 Memento AVS
26.6.57 au Frl. Wolfer um bitte um Weiterleiteng ( I could be wrong with the spelling as the handwriting isn't too good).
What does Ausserehelich (8.2.56 Kent) DB(GebU nach Bern 18.7.57) mean? I think geb. means born? I do have an insurance no. on a letter from the Swiss Embassy will this help?
Not sure I can help you with everything, but some points here:
- 26.6.57 could mean "Ms Wolfer is asking for onforwarding" (of a document?)
Ausserehelich means out of wedlock.
GebU - should be the birth certificate (Geburtsurkunde) that may have been sent to Bern on 18.07.57 ?
geb. should/could stand for born (geboren), yes.

Also, as I understand, your brother's father may not be named on the certificate. Practice was/is that a father has to sign an acknowledgement of paternity (Vaterschaftsanerkennung) in order to be recognised as parent. So if he did a runner, this may be unlikely...
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Old 25.02.2011, 13:53
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

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.., but the Swiss Authorities did not recognise this adoption and have since said my brother is full swiss!!! I'm remain only half.
If they say he is full Swiss and you only half, then presumably they have info to establish that his father was also Swiss. If they had no info on the father and only know he had a Swiss Mother (like you) he would be no more Swiss than you surely.

Oh, and "Wohnsitzwechsel" means change of address - formal move to another community - like moving from one council area to another.
The place a Swiss is 'from' is related to their family history/origin, and may be somewhere they have never even been/lived. Hence she was born in Lauterbrunnen, but oficially from Bern.

Have you asked the Swiss Embassy in UK if they can help you?
Embassy of Switzerland
16-18 Montagu Place
London W1H 2BQ

Tel.: +44 (0)20 7616 6000
Fax: +44 (0)20 7724 7001

Opening hours
Monday-Friday 09:00-12:00


If documents were sent to Bern, I would try also there direct - http://www.bern.ch/leben_in_bern/per...escheinigungen
See the second part of the page about "Lebensbescheinigungen " Certificate of existence. (maybe try google translate) It has contact numbers.
It says a personal visit is necessary to get the certificate, but to take contact is not possible. May be easier if your brother calls for reasons of data protection etc.
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Old 25.02.2011, 14:07
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

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If they say he is full Swiss and you only half, then presumably they have info to establish that his father was also Swiss.
No, he is full Swiss because he was born out of wedlock to a Swiss mother.

You are half-Swiss (i.e. probably do not have Swiss citizenship) as your Swiss mother was married to a non-Swiss father at the time of your birth.

Anyway, your brother simply needs to ask the Heimatort of your mother (Wahlern) for a Familienschein. If the father was known, it will be listed in it.

This is what I sent to get one for my girlfriend (names changed, but this is the email address you want for Wahlern):

---------------------------------------------------

To: za.mittelland@pom.be.ch

Subject: Zivilstandsamt

Message:

Bitte schicken ein Familienschein fuer

Name: Doe, John
Geburtsdatum: dd.mm.yyyy
Heimatort: Wahlern BE

Mutter: Doe, Mary

Vater: Unbekannt

an:

John Doe
street address
city address
country

Vielen danke!


Jane

---------------------------------------------------

And it arrived a few days later (with a CHF 25 bill attached)

Tom

Last edited by st2lemans; 25.02.2011 at 14:50.
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Old 25.02.2011, 14:49
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me? [Tracing my Swiss mom's Employment Records]

Wow! Thank you all for replying and helping. The Swiss Embassy said that my brother is full Swiss because they didn't have the adoption papers at the time, however that might explain why he was called up to the Swiss Army when he was 18 and then my mother had to tell us, that's when we were told just a bit of info and left to live with it, neither child knowing that the other knew until we were in our 20's and I accidentally let it drop to my sister in law! and told we were never to speak of it. My father and brother and I are so happy we can now talk freely about it, and I just want so much to help my brother. Dad said he never asked my mother but knows he was Swiss, did a runner, and he saw a photo of him but doesn't know where it is if destroyed, but was a man in Swiss Army Uniform. All my mother did tell me was that his family owned a hotel in Bern and his name was Andi! I found out from Geneve Office that it was Hotel Kreuz and Bristol where she worked but that's only 2 and no more info. The Swiss Embassy in London helped as much as they could but say the info in their hands says my brother is full Swiss as they never administered the UK adoption papers into their system? But there must be a father registered somewhere, why did he get call up papers??
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Old 25.02.2011, 14:56
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me? [Tracing my Swiss mom's Employment Records]

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But there must be a father registered somewhere, why did he get call up papers??
Because HE is Swiss, not because his father was Swiss. And he would not lose his Swiss citizenship by being adopted in any case (though back then, who knows?)

Your mother simply could have (and probably did) declare 'father unknown', end of story. Do you have a copy of his UK birth certificate? What does it say for father's name?

Tom
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Old 25.02.2011, 15:24
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me? [Tracing my Swiss mom's Employment Records]

Thanks Tom,
You're probably right, I might never find out - but I can't give up trying for my brother. UK cert. said no father (left blank). I've used the email addresses given in previous posts in the hope that maybe, just maybe, the father's name was put on a Swiss Cert. never thought that my mother would've registered him in Switzerland as well. I know I'm only half, Dad being Welsh, but I thought as my brother was legally adopted and father unknown, then he would be British like me. But the Swiss Authorities, say no, he's full Swiss and have even offered citizenship to his wife and children and funnily enough to me as well!
With little info I have, just hoping if I can find her full employment record, I might find a family with a son owning a hotel where she worked, and just possibly a lead.
Thanks again
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Old 25.02.2011, 15:32
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me? [Tracing my Swiss mom's Employment Records]

If you have her AHV number, you should be able to find out where she worked by asking the Ausgleichskasse. The number corresponds to the Kasse that she paid into and they should have a record of who it was paid by. Phone numbers of each Ausgleichkasse is in the phone book, or it used to be. Cant help you there because I'm now in the UK but someone should be able to look it up for you.
There is also a page in the Migros magazine where people can write in looking for long lost family/friends. That might be worth trying too.
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Old 25.02.2011, 15:38
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me? [Tracing my Swiss mom's Employment Records]

IF the father's name is listed in Switzerland, then it will be in the Wahlern archives, and indicated on the Familienschein.

BUT, as it is not listed on the UK certificate, most likely that's what your mother gave to the Swiss embassy to register the birth, and the Swiss one will be no different.

Tom
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Old 25.02.2011, 15:43
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me? [Tracing my Swiss mom's Employment Records]

If you have your mother's AHV Number, you might be able to obtain a list of when and where she paid her old age benefit dues:
http://www.zas.admin.ch/cdc/cnc3/cdc...id=456&lang=de
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Old 25.02.2011, 15:43
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me? [Tracing my Swiss mom's Employment Records]

I too am in the UK, but thank you to all, if anything you've made my mind clearer. Looking all that I have in front of me is mind boggling, when its a different system and different language! Wish I kept my swiss up now, but alas no more. Anyway, thanks to you all I now know that I'm presently looking at an Identity Card - my mother told me it was her birth certificate! It says Heimatschein and there are diff. stamps and dates on it. So at least eg I know she left Schwarzenburg (which I now know is a kind of area) in 1948 and was in Bern Canton Mai 1949, then another stamp Bern Juli 1952 registered K.W.R. 11.2.1955 Passempfehlung whatever that is! But unforutnately, that just tell me which area, would this document help an official office to help me further? I've also emailed the Home Office here, as I am led to believe they may have some info if you have the Naturilsation Papers/British Citizen Certificate which I do have. I did contact an office in Geneve which I was led to believe from the Swiss Embassy is the Pensions office and all they could tell me was 2 hotels in 1952-1955. Guessing the Migros Mag might be online for an address?
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Old 25.02.2011, 15:55
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me? [Tracing my Swiss mom's Employment Records]

http://migros.1st.ch/bittemeldedich/sKats.asp

This is the online search forum of that Migros magazine. If you are lucky, yours will also be printed in the magazine. Good luck!
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Old 25.02.2011, 16:27
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Re: Guten Tag and can anyone help me?

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No, he is full Swiss because he was born out of wedlock to a Swiss mother.

You are half-Swiss (i.e. probably do not have Swiss citizenship) as your Swiss mother was married to a non-Swiss father at the time of your birth.

Anyway, your brother simply needs to ask the Heimatort of your mother (Wahlern) for a Familienschein. If the father was known, it will be listed in it.

This is what I sent to get one for my girlfriend (names changed, but this is the email address you want for Wahlern):

---------------------------------------------------

To: za.mittelland@pom.be.ch

Subject: Zivilstandsamt

Message:

Bitte schicken ein Familienschein fuer

Name: Doe, John
Geburtsdatum: dd.mm.yyyy
Heimatort: Wahlern BE

Mutter: Doe, Mary

Vater: Unbekannt

an:

John Doe
street address
city address
country

Vielen danke!


Jane

---------------------------------------------------

And it arrived a few days later (with a CHF 25 bill attached)

Tom
Looks like this is your best advice right here. Someone who has done exactly what you're looking to do, and given you a handy e-mail template to use in German....
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