by Aurelia Clemons


1. Alphabet - A-Z, Æ Ø Å

C = CH = K = Q

I = J = Y

V = W

2. Handwriting - German Script (see pg. 71 "Early Handwriting in America")

3. Grammar - Irregular Verbs change form like our (is, are, was, were)

en et - before a word = a (house)

attached to end of a word = the (house)

Singular to plural - change (barn to børn) like (child to children)

4. WORD LIST - gives the most commonly used words.

EXAMPLE: baptism: Døbte



1. Surnames - Patronymic (fathers name + .sen sdatter )

Added Surnames:

Occupations; Descriptive names; Locations - farm, village, etc. (usually the place of birth)

note: wife retains her surname throughout her lifetime, usually.

2. Given names - 25 commonly used, change from area to area.

GENERALLY - SONS: 1- his father 2- her father

DAUS: 1- her mother 2- his mother (or the reverse order)

1st child after a deceased spouse - named after the deceased.

Be aware that there are often more than 1 living child with same name.

3. Fixed Surname - nobility, upper-class, clergy used these earlier.

DENMARK: 1828 and by 1856 all must use fixed surnames.

4. Illegitimate children - No set rule. Often taken patronymic name if father's name is known. Some take a surname when marry or leave home, source unknown.



1. Prayer - which line to work on

2. Always work from the known to the unknown.

3. Don't be hesitant about asking for help - WE ALL NEED HELP.

4. Collect stories & information from:

Relatives - Ancestral File (careful) - Old Records - IGI (careful) - Submitters - Church Records Historical Societies - Genealogies

5. Document Research & Analyze at each step.

6. Plan - "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail".

7. Keep good records of research to avoid duplication.

8. Never loan your original research records. Make copies to loan out.

9. Pray often and follow the spirit.



1. LDS:

Ward Records in USA - Temple Records - Crossing the Plains - Crossing the Ocean - Emigration from Liverpool - Emigration from the Scandinavian Mission - Scandinavian LDS Branch Records


Church Records in USA (probably Lutheran) - Application for Naturalization - Death Certificate - Obituary (in newspaper) - Family Records - small book brought with Ancestor - US Census (1900 on lists year immigrated to USA) - Emigration from you ancestors homeland or Hamburg - Immigration through known or suspected port of entry in USA



1. Postal Book - ties farm, village etc. to a parish

2. Map (parish boundary)

3. Guidebook & Atlas of Denmark

Note: birth place may be name of house, farm, village, general area, or largest town in vicinity or the whole country.

ALSO: many places have same name but are located in different parish or areas of the country.

4. Make a research binder for the area containing: Map, parish film #'s, etc.



DENMARK (Tonder, Haderslev, Aabenra & Sonderborg) 1863-on

Marriages in Copenhagen 1851-on

Death Certificates in Larger cities 1857-1932 (upper class)


RESEARCH: Four Major Sources:

1. Church Records - Lutheran Church

2. Census (1787-1926)

3. Probates

4. Military Levying Rolls (Denmark - 1789 on)


CHURCH RECORDS: (earliest known 1573)

1. * Christening - in date order - Godparents are important.(Intro)

2. Confirmation (age 14-20) - pass catechism & leave home.(Vacc.)

3. = Marriages - Sponsors important (closest male relative of each listed) (Engagement)

4. Arrival/Removal - usually start in mid 1800's.

5. + Burial

6. General Index (if kept right are great) - be sure to check it out.


Witness charts - helps identify relatives

Start with ancestor's birth to find his/her parents names.

Search forward & backward to pick up bros./sis. - children of same parents.

Locate marriage of parents about. time of 1st child.

Locate death after last child.

"Marry or Bury" all children - Confirmation at age 14+ is a good step.


CENSUS: (filed under County/Amt)

DENMARK: 1771 islands, 1787, 1801, 1834, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1901, 1906, 1911, 1916, 1921, 1926 etc.


MILITARY LEVYING ROLLS: (Males only) - (1789-on ) by Amt, Laegd #



Usually indexed by 1st name, only hard to determine which jurisdiction is might be under.


Must probate if there are minor children when either parent dies;

Guardian/guardians set up for minor children (his/her relatives);

Inventory of the estate taken;

Surviving spouse gets ½ of estate - children split other ½.;

Sons receive twice the amount of the daughters


Must probate before can re-marry;

All heirs & guardians must be present & sign probate;

Those living at a distance have varying time to present themselves;

Pregnant widow - can postpone probate until child born;

USKIFT BO: permission not to distribute estate to heirs until surviving spouse (1) remarries, (2) dies, or (3) requests distribution


PARISH REGISTERS (1573 some, most 1646 on)

Fødte og Døbte - Births & Christenings (*) (Godparents are usually relatives)

Konfirmerede - Confirmations (age 14-20) - passed Catechism & leave home.

Trolovede og Copulerede - Engagements & Marriages (~)(Sponsor - closest male relative)

Til og Afgangslister - Incoming & Outgoing lists (mid 1800's on)

Døde og Begravede - Deaths & Burials (+)

Vaccinerede - Vaccinations (usually included on Konfirmation record)

Absolverede - Absolutions

Communionsbog - Communion book

Introducerede - Introductions (often in with Christenings)

Liberdaticus - Miscellaneous remarks

Register - Register (Index to book)

CENSUS RETURNS (Amt, Herred, then alph. by SOGN (parish))

1787, 1801 - How often each person has been married, ages, names, relationships, occupation, remarks

1834, 1840 - Do not list how often married

1845, 1850, 1855, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890 - list birthplace

1901 - Include complete date of birth, how many children couple has had

1906, 1911 -

MILITARY LEVYING ROLLS (1789 - ) - by Amt, Laegd #

1789 - 1849 Males from birth to abt 44

1849 - 1869 Males age 14 to abt 44

1869 on Males age 17 to abt 44

PROBATE RECORDS (1574, 1683 - ), Usually indexed at end

Copenhagen City pre 1771 - 13 courts (see Research Paper Series D, #9, p. 3)

1771-on - 1 Court with 9 classes (General Index 1798 on)

Other Cities 1400 - 1919 (usually one court)

Rural Areas

Amter & Amtstuer (County) - pre 1793 - FARM OWNERS & PEOPLE OF MEANS

Rytterdistrikter (Cavalry ) - Farmers who leased farms on land owned by cavalry (INDEX filmed except for Copenhagen & Lolland-Falster not included)

Godser (Land estate) - most farmers leased under this prior to 1793

Herreder (District) - AFTER 1793, MOST people found here.

Herreds Provsti (deanery) - pre 1806, clergy, teachers & those working for them

Birker - functions like herreder, use when none listed for herred.


Skifteprotokollerne (Administration of Estates)

Overformynderi protokollerne (Guardian Supervision Records) 1619 -

Testamenter (Wills) - few, hard to locate, unindexed, not as informative



Parish Registers - beginning of records to abt 1925

Census - all

Military Levying Rolls - 1789 to 1893

Probate Records - beginning of records to 1913


LAND RECORDS: Prior to 1500 most peasants held their own land free & clear. After 1500 leasing (tenancy) was common on the fertile islands (Not on lean soil of Jutland).

FAESTEPROTOKOLLER: (copyhold record) - 1500-present, new lessee (often the son)

FAESTEBREV: (deed of tenure) - 17th century (1719 in book). Done by the squires, institutions,etc. that leased the land. Often give relationships of land passed from father to son/son-in-law.

JORDEBØGER: (court rolls, land records) - Can figure out succession of ownership. Contains list of: 1. Lands 2. Present Holder 3. Amount & Taxes paid.

SKØDE & PANTEBOGER: (Deed & Mortgage Record) - 1738-on, deeds & transfers of private ownership.Give name, date, description of land, relationships and mortgage.

SKATTE HOVEDBOGER: (Tax ledgers) - like Jordeboger (land records) gives misc. land records.

TAX RECORDS: Can trace ancestors in 16th & 17th Century with these. The Districts often changed but the towns stayed the same. These are state & local taxes so are not levied on the whole population.

HOVEDBØGER: (ledger of taxes collected on real estate) - of minor interest.

KOPSKATTER: (capitation tax) - levied on all. In rural areas it is often hard to find the treasury where the taxes were paid.

1. pre 1660 - divided into FIEF/LEN, headed by nobleman (Fief Accounts)

2. 1660-on - by Amter, headed by Amtmand (perfect appointed by king)

AMTSFORVALTER (district revenue officer) - collected the taxes

1660-1848 - boundaries changed often. see "J.Bloch: Stiftamtmaend og Amtmaend i Kongeriget Danmark & Island 1660-1848,1895"

3. 1670-1770 - Rytter District taxes -- collected by Regimentsskriver.

SKATTEMANDTAL: (census papers) - lists people & occupation. Can follow them until they are removed or died. Usually find son or father, etc.


1. 1762-1812 - 1 rixdollar on all over age of 12. Acts like census, plus

list of arrivals and removals.

2. 1761-92 - Tax on bridal pairs before they were married. Supplements

the marriage register. NOT PAID by the agricultural population. PAID by others residing in the country or towns. INFORMATION: names of bride & groom, parents, occupations and addresses.



SUPREME COURT, COPENHAGEN: 1660-on, used only in exceptional cases.

UNDERRETTER: (Ordinary Lower Court) - by Herred.

1. THINGSTEAD (People law) - before 1660.

2. HERREDSFOGDEN: (Kings representative) - after 1660

3. BIRKER by BIRKEDOMMER (district judge) - smaller district, found on estates.

4. BYFOGED (judge) - provincial towns with independent jurists.

5. STRADSRETTEN (City Court) - 1771-on, Copenhagen

OVERRETTER or LANDSRETTER: (High Court) - Learn if suit brought against people or for them. Before 1805 there were several LANDSTING, after 1805:

1. Viborg for Jutland

2. Copenhagen for the Islands east of the L.Belt

Type of Records:

Lawsuits & Trials: do not find peaceful people here.

1. TINGBØGER: before 1700. Has no index.



BØRNEBOGEN:(Book of Heirs - minors) - 1600-on, 1683 law - (Skiftebrev - inventory & proceedings) having to do with probates & supervised by:

1. Perfect - before 1793, administrator for the independent farmers.

2. Squire - 1793-1817 for his tenants.

3. Owner of Estate - some to 1850

4. Special Administrators - before 1805/6 for the clergy & soldiers.

5. Herred - took over after all of the above.

SKIFTEPROTOKOLLER: probate records & special register of deaths.

1. BOPAKKE: (bundle of related documents) - birth & marriage certificates, etc. Had these for the more extensive administrative cases.

SKØDE: (deeds) - Register of sale & mortgage of real estate. End of 16th century on, found in Land Registers.

1. SKØDE & PANTEPROTOKOLLER: separate book of deeds and mortgages.

2. REALREGISTER: (abstract of deed & Mortgage) - can follow succession of property owners.

3. TINGBOGER: (deeds & mortgages) - 1927-on, replaced the above 2 records.

TESTEMENTER: (wills) - only small percent of population made them, they are hard to locate, and seldom indexed. They are usually found in :

1. NOTARIAL PROTOKOLLERNE: (notarial registers)




5. SKIFTEPROTOKOLLER Records (wills intestate) - where probates of main population are.

6. ETC. - who knows where they could show up.

NOTE: Up to 1919 - one person (Judge & police) supervised the removal of servants from 1 parish to another & issued passports. From 1919 on, see the archived of Chief Constables.



No.| Date of birth | Name of child | Date of Chr. in home/church | Parents names, occupation, age of mother | Witnesses names, status & residence | Where recorded in index| Remarks

CONFIRMEREDE DRENGE/PIGER (Confirmation boys/girls)

No.| Name & residence | Parents , household head or foster parents |date of birth/Chr. & place| Evaluation of religious knowledge & behavior | When & by whom vaccinated | Where in index


No. | Name of groom, age, occupation & residence | Name of bride, age, occupation & residence | Names of bondsmen & residence | Date of Marriage | Remarks


No. | Date of Death | Date of Burial | Deceased's name | Status, occupation & residence |Age | Remark


No. | Name | Age | Occupation | From where arrived | Where in index | Remarks


No.| Name | Age | Occupation | Place of destination | Where in index | Remarks


Old No.| New No.| Father & Son's names| Birthplace |Age| Height| Residence | MISC. Remarks


Afsked - leave, dismissal, discharge

Afskibe - ship, embark

Afskedbegaering - request for discharge

Afskedige - dismiss, discharge

Afskedigelse - dismissal

Afskediget - retired

Amtsforvalter - county administrator

Befarethed -able to serve, able bodied seaman

Betale - pay (buying a son off military roll)

Betalt - paid

Gl. Løbe No. - old serial number

Godsejer - estate owner (landlord)

Herredsfoged - district commissioner

Huslig stilling- is he married?status at home

Himme/Hjemme - at home

Født - born

Død - dead

Haer - Army

Højde - height

Indkaldet - called to serve in a war

La. landsoldat - land soldier

Laegd - Levying administrative unit

Laegdsruller - Military Levying lists

Løbe Nr. - serial number

Milits - Militia (home guard) or military establishment

Res. - Reserve

Sess. - Session

Søpatent - licensed as a seaman (needs license to perform certain duties)

Søruller - Naval Levying Roll.

Sø Ungdomsruller - Roll of young men

Sø Hovedliste - Active Roll which lists the names of men who are of age to serve in the Navy.

Sø Extrafulle - The Extra or Reserve Roll


1787 & 1801

Folketallet i Sogn under Amt, saaledes som det befandtes at vaere den (date of census), tillegemed Forklaring om enhver Persons Stand, Embede og Naerings-Vei, med videre

Census in Parish under County as they were found on the (date of Census), together with explaining or accounting every person class, office and trade, etc.

Place | No.| Name | Age | Married/widowed/unmarried | how often married | Relationship to head of house | occupation


paa Folketallet m.v., i Sogn under Herred (eller Birk) i Amt, den (date of census)

Of Census etc in Parish under District (or judicial district) in County the (date of Census)


Town or place | Persons full name | Age | Married/unmarried/widowed | Title, occupation, relationships


Town or place | No. of family | Persons full name | Age | Married/unmarried/widowed | Title, occupation, relationships

1845 & 1850

Town or place | No. of family | Persons full name | Age | Married/unmarried/widowed | Birthplace | Title, occupation, relationships

1855 &160

OPTEGNELSE paa Foletallett m.v. Skoledistrikt Sogn, Herred, Amt den (date)

Record of the Census etc, School district,   Parish, District, Country then (date)

Town or place | Family No.| Full name | Age | Married/unmarried/widowed/divorced | Birthplace | Title, occupation, relationships | Religion


Town or Place | Name | Sex | Age | Matrimonial status | Religion | Birthplace | Occupation & Relationships | Remarks |

CENSUS: (FHL catalog under County/Amt) ARRANGEMENT: alphbetical (Amt, herred, sogn)


If you know the village/farm/house name - look for it first in left column

Looking for ages may be easier than trying to read all the names.

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