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Question: What does it mean if your last name is the same as a city!?

My last name is the same as a city in Austria!. It's spelled a little differently, but my grandfather said it's because at Ellis Island they weren't concerned about spelling everyone's name right!.

Does this mean I can trace my genealogy back to the founders of the town, or maybe even to royalty!? I'm not trying to say I'm royalty XD I don't even have much Austrian in me!. I'm just curious!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
If your name is spelt differently from the name of the city, the similarity may be quite coincidental - e!.g!. the Dutch/Low German name Lints is utterly unrelated to the Austrian city Linz!. Even if it does come from the name of the city, it certainly doesn't mean you are descended from the founder of the town (who would have had a name of his own)!. It would most probably mean that you had an ancestor who was born in that town but moved away from it to live somewhere else!. Say his name was Hans, born in Linz, and he left home to make his fortune in Graz; his new neighbours in Graz might naturally call him "Hans from Linz", or just "Hans Linz"!. But he would have to have left his home town; if he went on living in Linz all his life, nobody would call him that, because they all came from Linz!.

(BTW, your grandfather was quite wrong about Ellis Island!. The officials there didn't ask the immigrants for their names - they transcribed them accurately from the passenger lists of the ships that brought them over!. If the shipping companies had written any of them down wrong in the first place, the officials couldn't help that!. But in fact it's certain that the vast majority of names that got changed were actually changed later by the immigrants themselves, when they found that Americans found their original names unpronounceable or suspect!.)Www@QuestionHome@Com

It probably means your ancestors lived in the city!. They may have founded it!. They may have swept its streets after the rich people's horses passed!.

Where people lived was one way last names came about; instead of John the Baker, or John son of Paul, someone was John of York!. (Or John of the Marsh!.)

You probably know a John Baker, John Paulson, John York and John Marsh!. If you don't, I'd bet dollars to donuts there are people named that in your telephone book!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Yes, but there is a possibility that you could be, I would trace the name back to the town and founding fore-father!. You may never know if you do not try!.

Pretty much!. For instance, I am in Norway, and my last name is Ravnestad!. That means literally, Raven Place!. Its some little farm up north!. I can trace that lineage straight back to that farm where the name was put into use, I would imagine you could do the same!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Im a city and a square within a city haha work my last name out!.Www@QuestionHome@Com