Danish Military Levying Rolls: Who was recorded in the LægdsrullerEdit This Page

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It has always been the case that only the males had military obligations. The age of registration or discharge from registration in the lægdsruller has varied over time.

1788 - 1848
Before 1848 the social standing of the parents determined whether or not their son was registered in the lægdsruller. According to the regulation of June 20, 1788 only the peasantry would be obligated for registration. Even if a person moved from the countryside to the city (where a lægd roll was not being kept), it did not remove the individual from the rolls. On the other hand, if a city dweller moved to the country (leaving a place where no registration was required, going to a place that required registration), it did not automatically make him obligated to register. But, his sons could be obligated. Provenance was so crucial. Beyond the city dwellers were a number of other exemptions from conscription also on the land. In spite of that, the regulation of 1788, in several articles defined who should and should not be conscripted, there was still some uncertainty about these exceptions. So, on May 8, 1829 a new regulation was issued that sought to solve the problem. It was however not entirely clear. It decided that millers, innkeepers and craftsmen in the country should be equated with the rest of peasantry, and so should be included among the conscripts.

1848

In 1848 Denmark went to war with Prussia. It became a very current matter of who should be enlisted. On September 23, 1848 it was decreed that the previously non-obligated portion of the male population would be enrolled. It was also decided that all those born in the years 1823-1825, should be called to serve. A few months later, on February 12, 1849, the law instituting the general military obligation went into effect. At the same time, all males born in 1826 were called to duty. Priests and schoolteachers were still exempted. The last exempts were eliminated with the military obligation law of June 8, 1912.

Who had a military obligation (Væernepligtige)?

Following are two tables showing who had a military obligation. The tables are far from being all inclusive, as there were many exceptions, especially before 1829 and also many uncertainties about some of the rules.

1788 - 1847
Sons had military obligation if their fathers...
Sons were exempt if their father was...
1788 - 1829

Were born in the country of the peasantry

Moved to the city from the country

Farmer, but not of the peasantry

Noble

Cleric

Civilian official

Townsman, but not bond born (Not peasantry)

Clerk or schoolmaster

Substitute*

1829-1947

Same as above or....

Miller, inn keeper, craftsman who if denied a living could be replaced by the peasantry

Same as above or...

Estate manager

Clerk

Skovridere


* A person, who for a fee performs as a soldier on behalf of someone else.


1848 - A Person with a Military Obligation Someone Exempted from Obligation
1848
All men were extraordinarily summoned

1849-1861
All unpunished nativeborn Danish men with permanent residence in Denmark proper.
Priests, Schoolteachers
1861-1869
Same as above
Priests
1869-1912
Same as above
None

 

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