GUEST POST - News From the State Archives of Geneva - AEG
22 April 2022
Dear Readers, our good friend, the excellent genealogist, Isabelle Haemmerle, sends exciting news from Geneva:
We are pleased to forward good news from Geneva. Last February the State Archives of Geneva (AEG) announced that the parish and vital records from 1542 to 1880 have been fully digitalized and are accessible on the Adhemar database. It represents 449,000 pictures from 2,200 record books.
Up to 1798, we can find mention of a baptism or marriage in the parish books recorded by ministers in the City of Geneva. Deaths were recorded in the « Book of the Dead ( le Livre des morts) » by the « Visitors of the Dead (visiteurs des morts) » who were employed by the Hospital and were given training. In the countryside, ministers were in charge of the recording, or registering. In 1798, Geneva became part of France and, from then, the vital records - birth, marriage and death - were registered by officials of each commune.
AEG - EC Morts 5 - Livre des Morts 3 June 1562
In a presentation of the State Archives of Geneva – AEG - that was posted here a few years ago, we explained you how to find a family name on the website of the Swiss family names repertory, which enumerates the families who held the citizenship of a Swiss commune in 1962. It provides:
- the commune of origin or bourgeoisie
- the date of bourgeoisie acquisition
- the place of origin location ( France or other location, ex. NE for Neuchatel)
In the AEG parish and vital records, you will find only events located in the Canton of Geneva :
- birth records until 31 December 1899
- marriage records until 31 December 1929
- death records until 31 December 1959
As mentioned above, these are online only up to 1880. After that year, the search can only be done in the reading room of the AEG.
If you do not know the exact date of the events, you can review alphabetical indexes - répertoires or tables : the volumes cover a period of 4 to 10 years and indicate the dates of birth, marriage or death along with the vital record number where the original certificate is registered.
Geneva archives give also access to some Protestant parish record books of towns in the neighborhood of Geneva that are now within French territory in the Pays de Gex : Cessy, Segny, Sauverny, Collonges, Farges, Divonne, Grilly, Crassier, Moëns et Lyon (on microfilm).
«Communes réunies» Index (1599-1877)
As Geneva was historically a Protestant land, the Catholic parishes flourished on its borders and were called « communes réunies » (towns that were transferred by France in 1815 and by the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1816). A special index is used as birth, marriage and death tables for events having taken place in those towns before the end of 18th century (1599-1798). Three more tables online complete the period of 1792 to 1877.
The «Communes réunies» are:
AEG - EC rép 1.87.4 Image 65 - Communes Réunies Index - Birth of Daniel Duby in Collex on 12 May 1688
An extra help: nominative lists 1939-1945 of civilian or military refugees and Swiss expatriates back home
If you look for a person who might have been a refugee in Switzerland during WWII, you can check an interesting source given through the nominative lists of civilian or military refugees. They contain the surname, first name, date of birth and nationality of over 25,000 people checked at the Franco-Genevan border during the Second World War. Scroll down and read the detailed information about the lists translated in English.
New building site for the State Archives of Geneva in 2025
In spring 2025, the Archives de l’État de Genève currently located in the old Arsenal building in the old town and other departments spread across Geneva will all move to a new Hotel des Archives site to be built in the conservation area of Arsenal, rue de l’Ecole de Medecine in the cultural Plainpalais district. Thirty linear kilometers of archives will be transferred during two years to the two-storey basement. The work started in December 2020 and the plans show a reading room looking onto a renovated and landscaped yard. We are looking forward to present it to you, dear Readers!
Not to be missed if you come to Geneva this year : an exhibition « Zigzag archivistique» presents a photographic tour through the current storage facility to keep an «archive of archives» before the moving.
Where: Archives d’État de Genève, 1, rue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville
When : 25 March 2022 - 30 Avril 2023 - Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm - July and August: 9am -5pm