Austria Emigration and Immigration
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Austrian emigration patterns have been difficult to determine. There was no official country known as Austria until 1918. Prior to that time the sprawling Habsburg Empire, an amalgam of a dozen nationalities, encompassed the idea of Austria. Thus Austrian immigration can rightly be seen as the immigration of Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Slovenian, Serbian, and Croatian peoples as well as a plethora of other national and ethnic groups.
Between 1860 and 1974 Austria provided 4.3 million emigrants to the United States. These included ethnic German, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Slovene, Romanian, Italian, Croatian and Serbian peoples. During many of these years Latin America also received many Austrian emigrants. Many North and South Americans need Austrian records.
The Austrian Americans website provides a historical overview of emigration to America.
Emigration records (Auswanderungsakten)
Research use: Very valuable for making proper connections to place of origin and residence in Austria and other countries formerly in the Austrian Empire. About 50% of the researchers do not know their ancestor's place of origin. Town of origin must be determined before research can continue.
Record type: Lists of emigrants and documentation permissions for those moving to other provinces within the Austrian Empire.
Time Period: 1710-present.
Content: Name of emigrant, date and place of birth, place of residence, occupation, usually country (and sometimes town) of destination; given names and ages of wife and children; reasons for emigration; amount of taxes paid; military service, etc.
Location: City and state archives.
Population coverage: 5%-10%.
Surname Distribution Maps
Sometimes it is possible to guess where an immigrant originated through surname distribution maps.
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Austria,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1999.