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In 1291 the rural communes of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden united to form the Alliance of the Forest Cantons. This marked the birth of the Swiss Confederacy, which expanded steadily as new cantons joined. It retained its identity until 1798.
If you are interested in pre-1798 documents you should contact the relevant state, municipal or church archives. The Federal Archives hold only documents dating from 1798.
For information, please click on the appended PDF's.
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