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  #101  
Old 03.10.2016, 22:59
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

Really easy.

If you know the heimatort, contact them, generally www.heimatortname.ch

I regurlarly get various documents for my wife's family that way, and I'm not even a family member.

This isn't secret information, it's all readily availible to all!

Tom
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  #102  
Old 04.10.2016, 00:11
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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Really easy.

If you know the heimatort, contact them, generally www.heimatortname.ch

I regurlarly get various documents for my wife's family that way, and I'm not even a family member.

This isn't secret information, it's all readily availible to all!

Tom
The OP seems to have all the documents. According to this thread anyways.

https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...ndparents.html

I think it is really a question of trying to find someone "locally" to do some sleuthing.

It might help to know the canton.
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  #103  
Old 04.10.2016, 01:08
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

I can't know exactly for sure if they want to be found or not without contacting them. However, they had a close relationship with my family. Members of my family (who are now deceased) visited them and did maintain contact. They had family reunions for a while. So I can't guess that they absolutely would have no interest in talking to me. And if so, I would rather have them do that by telling me directly.


The Heimatort of my family is Bad Zurzach and the municipality would be Thusis in the canton of Graübunden. I already have documents from the heimatort but they list only my direct relatives or relatives that have died.
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  #104  
Old 04.10.2016, 04:28
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

Did you write to the local church?
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  #105  
Old 04.10.2016, 04:49
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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Did you write to the local church?
I did not. Is this likely to be helpful?

I also don't speak Swiss German. Do you think it is okay if I write a letter in Standard/high German, if I do contact the church?
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  #106  
Old 04.10.2016, 06:18
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

Why the church? Which church? Churches did register before the civil registration, that is long ago. They have maybe some records but I think they only give it out if people are already dead.

I would definitely not appreciate my parish giving out any dates of me to someone.

Why not search the online telephone-book? Send a short letter in English to those you think might be related? Needs some guts. If they call or write you back, all is well. If not, ten leave it.

My parents also had some relatives crawling out of the woodwork, looking for them. They became quite tiresome and my parents had to "regulate" contacts.


Muster up some guts :-)
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  #107  
Old 04.10.2016, 08:28
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

Most people in Switzerland are in the phone book. Try tel.search.ch...
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  #108  
Old 04.10.2016, 08:38
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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Most people in Switzerland are in the phone book. Try tel.search.ch...
Just enter the names (full or just familiy), town is not necessary but may help.
If the name is not very common you may find them. Bad luck if it is Baldinger or Caduff.

If you want to call them from the US enter 00141 than the phone number shown w/o the leading 0
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  #109  
Old 04.10.2016, 08:39
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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Most people in Switzerland are in the phone book. Try tel.search.ch...
Or www.local.ch

Tom
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  #110  
Old 04.10.2016, 08:55
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

You should use Standard German when writing to people in the German speaking parts.

If you know people's Heimatort (commune of origin) it should be near-trivial to get contact info on them.

A bit background info:
Death, birth, marriage, etc are registered by the "Zivilstandsamt"(ZA) these days. Currently there are about 170 Zivilstandsämter in Switzerland, you can find their contact info on this page (the first two links). A ZA is in most cases responsible for more than one Heimatort.

The ZA of people's Heimatort (place of origin) is responsible for issuing the Personenstandsausweis and Familienausweis, whereas the ZA where people live is responsible for handling and recording the data on a given event. The Familienausweis (I think the Personenstandsausweis is the equivalent if unmarried) contains personal data on both spouses as well as their children, if any.

So your first step should be to contact the ZA of the Heimatort, they're probably able to inform you about offspring and how to contact them.
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  #111  
Old 04.10.2016, 09:01
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

To identify descendents of names you already know in the Germanic countries, you might try these techniques:

1) Adressbuch: Addressbücher, which were commercial and published often annually , list the names of adults and their addresses. You might find an ancestor and their adult children at the same address for a few years before the children move out and establish themselves.
- Addressbücher can be found in libraries, governmental archives and on-line. They can be superior to telephone books since many people in the Germanic countries did not have private telephones until the 1960s/ 1970s and therefore would not have been listed in a telephone directory. See this list (mostly for Germany):

http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Kategor...in_der_DigiBib

2) Todesanzeige: Death notices are often published in local newspapers by the families listing the names and possibly some other limited details of the descendents and survivors. Local newspapers can be available at governmental archives, libraries and on-line. This is a listing of Todesanzeigen for Switzerland going back about 10 years:

http://www.todesanzeigenportal.ch/

3) Telephone books: these can be available in libraries and on-line. The Swiss PTT museum maintains old telephone books:

http://www.mfk.ch/en/collection/ptt-archive/

Good luck!
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  #112  
Old 04.10.2016, 09:07
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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My parents also had some relatives crawling out of the woodwork, looking for them. They became quite tiresome and my parents had to "regulate" contacts.
This.

Long lost "relatives" are almost always bad news. The same goes for random "researchers" who share a rare surname. I say leave them be and cherish your family's history from afar.
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  #113  
Old 04.10.2016, 09:38
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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This.

Long lost "relatives" are almost always bad news. The same goes for random "researchers" who share a rare surname. I say leave them be and cherish your family's history from afar.
But not always.

15 years ago in Norway, my wife was looking for relatives, but couldn't find any. After explaining the story to a (Norwegian) friend's wife, she recognized the surname, which was in fact quite rare. Half an hour later, my wife's 3rd cousin comes to the door (my friend's wife worked with his wife). As he had researched the family tree, and phoned his father, he came up with names and addresses of three more relatives, including his father who had known my wife's father until he had emigrated to Canada, and even a few times after.

We are still in touch.

Tom
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  #114  
Old 04.10.2016, 10:23
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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But not always.

15 years ago in Norway, my wife was looking for relatives, but couldn't find any. After explaining the story to a (Norwegian) friend's wife, she recognized the surname, which was in fact quite rare. Half an hour later, my wife's 3rd cousin comes to the door (my friend's wife worked with his wife). As he had researched the family tree, and phoned his father, he came up with names and addresses of three more relatives, including his father who had known my wife's father until he had emigrated to Canada, and even a few times after.

We are still in touch.

Tom
Something similar happened to me.

I was befriended by a guy on facebook who had exactly the same name as me, both first name and surname. As my name is rare he though we must be related and he sent me lots of links to genealogy websites and claimed I must be descended from this and that person. I never did much on these genealgoy websites myself but my grandfather was very much into family research and traced the family tree way way back by going through the marriage and baptismal records of old churches. He typed up his findings and my dad has a copy of that. I consulted that and none of the people in my tree seemed to correspond to those in his tree although several of the locations did so I wouldn't rule out there being a connection.

Anyway, this guy came to Switzerland for vacations and we met up and had a good time and are still in touch in on/off sort of way.
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  #115  
Old 04.10.2016, 10:30
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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This.

Long lost "relatives" are almost always bad news. The same goes for random "researchers" who share a rare surname. I say leave them be and cherish your family's history from afar.
Sad comment- we've been in touch with several sides of both families recently- which had been split by family feudes, most to do with religion- and it's been huge fun and very moving. We are about to go on a trip to the other side of the world to meet the next generation- can't wait. One of my cousins in New York really wanted to come to Switzerland to meet my family when she was 19- but her mother, still very raw from her divorce with my Swiss uncle, told here not to come as she would really NOT be welcomed. She waited another 40 years to get in touch and visit- and we have a fabulous time together and so much to share. Next year we will go to Tasmania and OZ to meet others from both OH's side and mine- we find out so much on those trips or when they come here, photos, letters, stories- really fascinating and enjoyable. And if you don't get on - you don't - and that is it. We got on famously with a couple of cousins until we realised they were Tea Party staunch Trump supporters. We never had a row- you just can't argue with people who tell you Obama is an AlQuaida spy - but we just went quiet and will not visit again. There are some things which transcend family ties

I could foresee problems if people want to get in touch because they are interested in acquiring nationality, or expect sponsorship or inheritance, etc. If someone has never been interested before and suddenly get this urge - which is clearly interested in something else than just knowing about the family, I'd get suspicious.
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  #116  
Old 04.10.2016, 13:58
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

I think the check is in the mail.
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  #117  
Old 04.10.2016, 15:04
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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I think the check is in the mail.


www.local.ch is the official Swiss online white and yellow pages.

Tom
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  #118  
Old 04.10.2016, 15:36
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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www.local.ch is the official Swiss online white and yellow pages.
It's a (stupid) joke. I won't quit my day job.
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  #119  
Old 04.10.2016, 17:25
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

Please, I don't like the insinuations that I am "bad news" for my family Remember that I am a living, breathing person with feelings typing these things!

I am not going to contact the church, that seems a little invasive.

I will contact the ZA of the Heimatort and the yellow/white pages tonight or tomorrow when I have a little time. Thank you so much for your help!
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  #120  
Old 04.10.2016, 17:45
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Re: Finding "Lost" Family in Switzerland

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Please, I don't like the insinuations that I am "bad news" for my family Remember that I am a living, breathing person with feelings typing these things!
Fair enough, but be aware that your long lost family might not see it that way. Be prepared for disappointment and possible hurt feelings.
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