Citation for online civil registration in Switzerland


I am having a bit of a concern in this citation below because it seems too long, and not quite easy to reproduce.

I do feel it needs the path on how to access the PDF that represent in this case the baptism register itself, and the online repository website is hard to navigate into for anyone not used to it. 

Also, the weblink doesn't help in length of the citation, we can only access to the online repository with the full URL. Doesn't work any another way. The online repository is for the Neuchâtel State Archives in Switzerland.

This is the website "Portail des Archives Neuchâteloises" where you can find the link to "FLORA" (the online repository.) The website explains how to use the online repository, what is included or not, etc. Most importantly the online repository "FLORA" belongs to the "Portail des Archives Neuchâteloises". But all physical registers are located at the Archives de l'État de Neuchâtel (AEN), Neuchâtel.


Also important to mention that Neuchâtel is a Swiss canton/state that have is capital city named also Neuchâtel. 

On Flora, when you are at the "ECC REGISTRES PAROISSIAUX ET ETAT CIVIL CANTONAL (1562-1875)" level, below are sub-levels of the different localities withing the State of Neuchâtel.


May I please ask for some feedback on it?

Thank you


Neuchâtel, registre des baptêmes 1828-1841, 33ECC-6: page 523, no. 7242, Auguste-Antoine Borel, 20 march 1841; Portail des Archives Neuchâteloise, Flora  ( : accessed 27 May 2024), Archives de l’Etat > Fonds d’archives > ARCHIVES PUBLIQUES () > ETAT CIVIL ET RECENSEMENTS () > ECC REGISTRES PAROISSIAUX ET ETAT CIVIL CANTONAL (1562-1875) > 33ECC NEUCHATEL (1590-1875) > 33ECC-6, PDF file, image 278 of 302; citing Archives de l'État de Neuchâtel (AEN), Neuchâtel, Switzerland.


Submitted byEEon Tue, 05/28/2024 - 10:20

Ah, mleuenberger, what an adventure you set us upon! Having found the record, I also feel like I’ve ended up around the corner from where I started.

You are right: the website is not easy to navigate and inclusion of the path (as well as the URL) in your citation is essential. Following your path, I breezed through three waypoints before hitting the first brick wall: the fourth waypoint was not stated there on the page to which your third waypoint led me.  After some time on the site, exploring different paths into different record groups, I was able to define the issue: at each of the third through seventh waypoints, there is an intermediate waypoint that also has to be chosen.  The additions (in red) lengthens your citation rather than shortening it. Your Layer 2 (the access layer) becomes this:

; … des Archives Neuchâteloise, Flora  ( : accessed 27 May 2024), Archives de l’Etat > Fonds d’archives > ARCHIVES PUBLIQUES () > Detail > Archives 11 > ETAT CIVIL ET RECENSEMENTS > Archives 4 > ECC REGISTRES PAROISSIAUX ET ETAT CIVIL CANTONAL (1562-1875) > Archives 45 > 33ECC NEUCHATEL (1590-1875) > Archives 75 > 33ECC-6 > Aucun lien > PDF file,  image 278 of 302; ...

Realistically, even after you expand your citation to include these extra waypoints so others can find your cited baptismal act, the tech gurus at the site could change the site’s architecture at any time.

Your hope for a shorter citation is answered at the next field of your draft citation, which you give as “PDF file, image 278 of 302.”  I found the images with no problem, once I found my way to the waypoint 33ECC-6 and added “Aucun lien.”  However, what we are looking at is not a PDF file.


What we are looking at is a set of digital images made from FamilySearch microfilm—and this is what offers you the opportunity to avoid the nightmare trek through Flora’s waypoints.

The FamilySearch catalog tells us this:



In brief: the FamilySearch microfilm for Neuchâtel’s taufen register dated 1828–1841 is no. 1732971.  The digital identity (image group number) is 8126809. 

These images are not presently available via Internet to our personal electronic devices due to restrictions by the archives. However, the digitized images can be viewed at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City or any of its 6,000+ branches worldwide (

Directly citing the FamilySearch film—which we are actually viewing—is the only way that you could shorten the citation and still provide all the details needed for others to locate the imaged register. It would also require you to use the exact title that is on the register itself rather than the generic cataloging identity used by the Swiss website. Below, additions and alterations to your draft citation are made in red:

         1. Neuchâtel (Canton  Neuchâtel, Switzerland), Civil Registrations Book 1021, “Neuchâtel Naissances du 3 Février 1823 au 31 December 1841,” page 523, no. 7242, Auguste-Antoine Borel, bapt. 20 March 1841; imaged, FamilySearch ( : 28 May 2024) > Image Group Number (IGN) 8126809; citing Archives de l'État de Neuchâtel (AEN), Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

You might, at first reference to this set of civil registrations, add a note that the images are also available at Portail des Archives Neuchâteloise, Flora  (, etc.

The obvious shortfall in taking this approach is that, until and unless you are able to access FamilySearch's IGN 8126809, you will not be able to say which image number offers page 523.

First, thank you for taking the time to walk me thru the best options. I though French language should not be a barrier because of your Louisiana research and the french immigrants.

As you stated this was an adventure! And not just this specific Swiss state, or the website, but Swiss genealogy in general is an adventure, every of the 26 Cantons operate with record differently, some are kept preciously in physical form only, other were digitized but not accessible online, etc. It did take Neuchâtel State Archives 34 years from digitizing them to finally have them accessible for all on FLORA.

These registers are also available to consult on site at the Neuchâtel State Archives in which I usually spend one or two day every year when visiting my family back home. This also an even shorter way to cite the record by consulting it in person at the archive itself. But because these records became available to be consulted on FLORA since 1/1/2024, I thought I would start citing them in order to get them accessible to anyone that wish to consult.

I am located in Tampa, FL and have the chance to be at 1.5 miles of their public library that offers the access to FamilySearch locked records set. So, this is also an option available to me.

I must say, it took me a few minutes to locate on FLORA your added waypoint in red. I could not find at first the "Archives 11", etc... But now I found them, it does make sense to also cite them.

Thank you for the help, it is very much appreciated!

Marc L.

Submitted bymleuenbergeron Tue, 05/28/2024 - 16:51

Let me ask a minor question then I will have all I need to make the decision on what the best way to me for is citing these records. 

Most of the waypoint to access the record on FLORA are written in "capital letter."

Do I have to reproduce these capital letter in my citations? Or can I go without it?

Thank you!


mleuenberger, unlike URLs, waypoints don't require exact capitalization. No one could fault you for duplicating the all-caps style or for typing them in mixed-case, though many researchers and writers have strong opinions on both sides of the issue.