Men of Bern The 1798 Canton Bern Swiss Census
- Author: Lewis Rohrbach, CG
- SKU: 1780
- ISBN: 0897253760
- Our Price:
3 Vol., 1,760 pages, 60,137 entry Every Name Index; hard cover. 1999.
When the French Revolution and Napoleon reached Switzerland in 1798, all men in every canton in Switzerland aged 20 to 70 were required to sign an Oath of Allegiance to the new Constitution. The resulting lists of all Swiss men usually include, as a minimum, the men's ages, occupations, place of hereditary heimat, and place of physical residence. As such, the Bürgerverzeichnisse supplies a complete census of adult males 20 to 70, two full generations before the first census of 1855 (which, even then, does not name individuals)!
By arrangement with Staatsarchiv des Kantons Bern, Picton Press has transcribed and translated all 17 original volumes containing data on all 60,000 Bernese men aged 20-70 alive in 1798. None of them has been filmed or published before! As with all lists compiled by many different officials, the exact data varies from heimat to heimat. In many Bernese heimats, these 1798 lists include additional information such as: exact date of birth or baptism; relationship to other men of the same Geschlect (surname clan); comments such as "sick" or "left the area for France three years ago", etc.
All in all these are wonderful, fascinating, and important lists. They serve as a substitute for non-existent censuses as well as a superb research tool. Subsequent volumes will cover the balance of the Swiss cantons, to the extent that their 1798 Bürgerverzeichnisse lists still survive.