Canton Ticino (TI)

General Information


Surface area : 2,812 square kilometers
Political municipalities : 245

ist Teil dieser Schweiz-Karte.

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1995 Statistical information

Permenent resident population : 305,200
Foreigners : 27.1%
Population density : 79/km
Live births : 3,100
Deaths : 2,700
Joblessness : 9,334 (annual average)

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The Canton of Ticino takes its name from the Ticino River which runs into Lake Maggiore from the north.

About 500 BC the Celts and Helvetii tribes lived in north and west Switzerland and by 100BC the Roman culture started to blossom. About the year 260 AD Germanic Alemanni entered Switzerland followed by the German Burgundians who settled in the west in 443 AD.

By 600 Churraetie and Alemannia had become part of the Franconian Empire. At the same time the country was Christianised and in 800 became part of the Holy Roman Empire. About 1200 the St Gotthard Pass was traversed opening up the Alpine valleys to the trade routes. Throughout the 1300s various regions joined the Swiss Confederation and in 1414 it expanded to include Ticino.

The administration of the Italian-speaking baillifs in Ticino was a blemish on the character of the old Swiss Confederation and the countryside fell into neglect.

Lugano, Locarno, Mendrisio and the Maggia-Valley were a gift of Maximilian Sforza of the Duchy of Milano due to the liberation of Milan in 1512. In 1515 after the defeat at Marignano Switzerland's famous neutrality began. After the Thirty Years Way (1618-1648) the Peace of Westphalia gave legal recognition to Switzerland's independence.

In1798, the Ticino area requested to remain with the Helvetic Republic instead of becoming part of Napoleon's Cisalpinian Republic which emerged in 1803. Napoleon's Mediation Act settled much of the civil strife creating 19 cantons including that of Ticino/Tessin. At Napoleon's defeat in 1815 the Swiss Federation was enlarged to 22 cantons and Europe's big powers guaranteed Switzerland's territory and recognized the nation's permanent neutrality (see also Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Swiss History, But Were Afraid to Ask).

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The local genealogical society is:

If you have questions about genealogical research in Canton Ticino you may contact

- or check for an e-mail contact for your village of interest amongst the Regional Contacts.

Just keep in mind, that all these volunteers are amateur genealogists, answering your questions in their spare time.
==> please give them sufficient time to respond <==

You are further invited to discuss your questions with other researchers interested in canton Ticino on the "Genealogieforum Ticino" (dialogue in German or French). The archive is open to visitors to read; in order to be able to respond or start a new thread, however, registration (free of charge) is required. When posting, please, keep in mind that only topics related to Ticino should be placed here; for topics related to other regions, please, change to the corresponding canton or to the forum for Switzerland in general (dialogue in German or French).

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Archivio Cantonale Ticino Bellinzona 
Via Carlo Salvioni 14
CH-6501 Bellinzona
Tel. (092) 243452 

To obtain a "Familienschein" write to:

Al Direttore Egregio
Signor Direttore
Archivio Cantonale del Ticino
Via C. Salvioni
6500 Bellinzona

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1. Official Home Page of Canton

2. Home Pages of Tourist Offices and the like :

3. Private Pages on Canton :

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1. Family Pages

2. Sources

Emigration from Ticino worldwide

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This page is maintained by A. John Parker. / Last updated (wws) 28 April 2012.
Please forward any comments and/or additions to this webpage to the WebMasterCH.