In Switzerland we have a system where the place of origin is not the place of birth - the place of origin is transmitted from father to son just like the surnames are, and is strongly linked with the surname.

I was under the impression that Switzerland was unique in this respect, but I have an ancestor from Austria-Hungary which also has a place of origin which is different from the place of birth : His place of origin is Götzis and his place of birth is Lustenau.

Is there a country other than Switzerland where there is (or used to be) this system where the place of Origin is transmitted from father to son along with the family name ? Was it the case in Austria-Hungary ? Is it still the case in modern Austria ?

  • It's not transmitted from father to son, but Hungary in the later 1800s - early 1900s had a concept of the illetőségi hely "responsibility-place" or "belonging-place". It came from Austrian administrative structure, but I don't know the Austrian term. It was primarily a social service or charity: a local tax went into a local fund that could then be used to support locals who would otherwise have to resort to begging. "Local" was usually -- but not always -- equivalent to "born here"; the exceptions were generally people with non-local parents.
    – JPmiaou
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 17:37
  • @JPmiaou Interesting ! In Switzerland place of origin used to be used for charity as well, which is why buying a "place of origin" (required for expats to become swiss citizens, but also possible for already swiss citizens) was very expensive. There used to be very poor people who "returned" to their place of origin because they drowned economically and had no other choice - quite curious by today's standards !
    – Bregalad
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 9:32


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