Heimatschein from Vienna #austria-czech

Johann Hammer


The Heimatschein was the predecessor of citizenship. That means she was an Austrian citizen.

Kind regards,
Johann Hammer

Eva Lawrence

As Martin Tompa explained, the Heimatschein is a certificate giving the bearer the right ot reside in a community. An electoral register is something different. Its existence implies that the community is governed as an elected body,  and further that the person listed is empowered to  chose the members of that body.  In modern terms that's what citizenship means, and the criteris for voting vary from country to country. .  Austria became a republic after 1918,  but I am pretty certain that a 17-year-old wouldn't have been entitled to vote. .
Eva Lawrence


The interrelated words zuständig and Heimatschein come up frequently in vital records. Here is a paraphrase of the explanation from https://www.sn.at/wiki/Historische_Personaldokumente .
The Heimatschein was used in Austria in the years 1863-1939 . Each community was declared responsible for keeping a register of community members (homeland roll) and the issuing of the Heimatschein (certificate of residence rights) to each community member. The idea was that every Austrian citizen should have the right of residence in an Austrian community. With the right of residence came the right to undisturbed stay in the home town and the right to welfare in case of poverty. The right of residence could only be granted to a citizen in one community and was obtained by birth, marriage, admission to the home association, or public office. Most often, the right of residence was based on the principle of descent: legitimate children were granted the right of residence in the community in which the father had the right of residence at the time of their birth, and illegitimate children were granted the right of residence in the community in which the mother had the right of residence at the time of their birth. Through marriage, women gained the right of residence in the community in which the husband had the right of residence.
If in some record you see that the person P was zuständig nach X, that means that P had the right of residence in the town X. The word zuständig means “responsible”. It does not necessarily mean that P was born in that town or lived in that town. But most likely some ancestors came from that town.

Martin Tompa
Seattle, WA, USA

Robert Fraser

Hi friends -

I have my late father's 'Heimatschein' from Vienna, dated 1922, issued under Republik Osterreich-Bundeshauptstadt Wien. It states that:

"Heimatschein, womit bestadigt wird, dass. (name)......in Wien das Heimtrecht bezitzt und in der Heimatrolle (date) in Wien eingetragen ist."

My shaky German translates this as he is enrolled on an electoral register in Vienna. Can I also take it to mean that he's confirmed as an Austrian citizen? He was 17y at the time.


Robert W Fraser, Perth, Western Australia
Researcher 6342