Hometown certificates (hjemstedsbeviser) allowed a person to be supported by a municipality. Extraordinary hometown certificates were issued to people from Southern Jutland (then called Schleswigers) who had opted for Danish citizenship following the end of the Second Schleswig War in 1864. They were not automatically assigned a hometown affiliation and were therefore granted one upon application. The applications were handled by the Danish county office in the Danish county where the person resided at the time of the application.
The fact that a person applied for a hometown certificate, does not necessarily mean that he/she needed social benefits. Permits for residence in Schleswig were only granted to Danish subjects who had such hometown certificates. Some Danes worked in Schleswig, for instance as seasonal day laborers, and then they needed extraordinary hometown certificates.
The certificates were given to the applicants and are not kept in the collections from the county offices, however, the applications and other documents related to the cases are filed in the collections of the county offices.
Below is an example of an application for a hometown certificate.
- To Svendborg County Office.
- Peter Jessen, born on 31 Decbr. 1841 at Skjillegaarde Mark, Broager Parish, by father Johan Jessen, currently at home with said [person] my father, who is a tileworks owner at Skodsbøl Mark, Broager Parish, take the liberty of humbly applying for having a hometown certificate issued to me, and I take the liberty of stating that I have given my declaration about emigration [from Schleswig] on 14 Septb. 1867, but the certificate hereof is in Ærøskøbing, where it was kept when the letter of citizenship was given to me, of which a transcript is attached as well as a transcript of the proof of my registration in the navy levying roll.
- Since I have been at sea, I have not had permanent residence in any particular place in Denmark, but by the letter of citizenship [I] am listed as a citizen in Ærøskøbing.
- Skodsbøl Mk. Near Egernsund on 7 Novbr. 1871.
The two transcripts are kept with the letter and another letter from Peter in which he forwarded a declaration from Sonderburg Königliche Landratsamt (a Schlewig county office in Sønderborg) stating that he had to have the hometown certificate to be allowed to take permanent residence in Schleswig.
- Peter Jessen, to Svendborg Amthuus, letter, 7 November 1871, application for extraordinary hometown certificate; filed in box 175: 1870-1873 Sager vedrørende ekstraordinære hjemstedsbeviser, collection AB006: Svendbrog Amt, Landsarkivet for Fyn.