|Denmark Research Topics|
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A census is a count and description of the population. Censuses have been taken by the Danish government primarily for population studies and taxation purposes.
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Census records can provide personal information about family relationships, age, year of birth, description of property, religion, birthplace, and so forth. Census records are especially valuable because they list a large portion of the population. They can provide information where all or portions of other records are missing. Generally, you will find more complete family information in more recent censuses. Use the information with caution since some information may be incorrect.
The first census in Denmark with genealogical information was taken during the summer of 1787. Unfortunately, this meant that most seamen and seasonal workers were away. The next census was taken in 1801, and then again in 1834. Beginning in 1840, a census was taken every five years until 1860. After 1860, the census was taken every ten years until the end of the century. Beginning in 1901, censuses were again taken every five years.
- 1 List of Danish Census Records:
- 2 Information in Danish Census Records
- 3 Searching Census Records.
- 4 Searching in Big Cities
- 5 Kommunal Censuses
- 6 Online Census Extractions
- 7 Online Census Strategy
- 8 References
List of Danish Census Records:
Censuses have been held in Denmark at various intervals. The first census of interest to the Genealogist was held in 1787, and thereafter in 1801, 1834, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1901, 1911, 1916, 1921, 1925, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1965 and 1970.
The census of 1845 is of particular interest, since this was the first census to provide place of birth.
The most recent Danish census at the Family History Library is for 1911. Census records less than sixty-five years old are confidential and may not be searched by individuals. The most recent census which has been released is the 1916 census. The government will make limited searches in the 1920 and 1925 censuses. Census records less than 75 years old are confidential and not available to private individuals. The most recent census which has been released is 1940, which will be fully scanned and available during 2016.
The Danish government has been working to index the Danish Census records. Accordingly, the Danish Census records have been digitized and made available at: www.sa.dk. These images can be viewed page by page. An effort is being made to index all of these digitized census records. Although indexing has not been completed, many Danish censuses have been indexed. This index is available at Danish Demographic Database census search page. A description of the information available is found at Records and Registries. SeeOnline Census Strategy below for more tips on how to use these websites.
Census taking was also conducted in the other provinces and territories under Danish rule: Greenland, since 1834; , the Faroe Islands, since1801; , the West Indies, (now US Virgin Islands), 1841-1916; Trankebar, India in 1835; and Frederiksnagor (now Serampore), India in 1840
Northern Schleswig (the counties Aabenraa, Haderslev, Sønderborg and Tønder) were under German rule 1864-1920, and no censuses were held in this period in the region. For Southern Schleswig, which remained under German rule in 1920, there are census records from 1801/1803, 1834/1835, 1845, 1855 and 1860, but they are not complete.
Information in Danish Census Records
You will find the following types of information in census records:
1787, 1801, 1834, and 1840. These censuses give the names of all members of the household, their ages, sexes, occupations, relationships to the head of the household and marital statuses.
1845 and later. These censuses list the names, ages, occupations, relationships to the head of the household, religious affiliations, and birthplaces (county and parish) of all members of the household.
Searching Census Records.
When searching census records, it is important to remember the following:
- Accept the ages with caution.
- Women are usually listed by their maiden surnames until the beginning of 20th century.
- Read here about Danish naming practice: Denmark_Names,_Personal.
- Given names Names of persons may not always be spelled exactly the same or be as complete as those recorded in vital church records, which should be consulted when in doubt.
- Information may be incorrect.
- Spelling for names and places varies.
- Search the surrounding area if you do not find a family at the expected address.
- When you find your family in one census, be sure to search that same location in the earlier and later census records for additional family members.
Searching in Big Cities
Finding your ancestors' family in the census records of a large city can be time consuming. It is helpful to know the street address. Beginning in 1870, the census is arranged alphabetically by street for the large cities in Denmark. Sometimes you can find the street address in the church records at the time of a birth, marriage, or death in the family. Other sources for street address are business directories; civil certificates of birth, marriage, or death; probate records; or court records.
Census Indexes for Large Cities
Research use: These indexes provide easy-to-use access to the census records of large cities, and greatly improve the accessibility of these records. The references in the census index lead a researcher to families in the actual census. The indexes are essential for locating people in large cities, especially Copenhagen, the largest city in Denmark. In the mid- to late-1800s Denmark experienced a great migration of people from the countryside to the towns and larger cities. About 85% of the Danish population is urban, with 37% of the total population concentrated in the four largest cities (København [Copenhagen], Ålborg, Odense, and Århus).
Record type: Card indexes and typed indexes are available for several cities in Denmark. The following have been identified but others likely exist: (a) 1801 Census Index for Copenhagen city (single alphabetical listing). (b) 1845 Census Index for Copenhagen city. (c) 1845 Census Index for Århus city.
Time period: 1771 to present. There are known indexes for 1801 and 1845. Most years have not yet been indexed but there is significant potential for new indexes being produced in the future.
Contents: Indexes to census records. They provide names of individuals, residence and reference to the actual census (Section of the city, Enumeration district number, page or entry number). Those identified thus far include full names, ages, sex, marital status, and remarks. The 1845 indexes include the birthplace for each person and complete reference to the 1845 census.
Location: Copenhagen indexes are at the National Archives in Copenhagen, the city archive in Copenhagen, Viborg archives.
Population coverage: 98% or more of the population of the cities involved.
To find census records in the FamilySearch Catalog, look in the Place search under—
DENMARK, [COUNTY] - CENSUS RECORDS
You will find the parishes listed in the order they appear on the microfilm.
Through the years, there have been a few special censuses taken at the kommune (city or parish) level in certain areas throughout Denmark. These kommunal censuses were taken whenever they were needed, usually in the bigger cities. They had the same information as the national census plus extra information (example: ). It is always good to check if there is a kommunal census for the area you are researching, as they can help fill in gaps that national censuses miss.The following are some of the communal censuses available (italicized if available at the Family History Library):
|| 1727, 1811, 1847|
| Store Hedinge
|| 1818, 1875-1899|
| Nørre Sundby
|| Every year, 1885-1952|
- In Copenhagen the police made records continually 1890-1923 of all adult inhabitants, which have been scanned. It is possible to search for persons here: http://www.politietsregisterblade.dk/en/
Also there are in Copenhagen the police made a kind of census records 1865-1923, which are less easy to search into, unless you know a specific address and year, but then they can be a valuable addition to the census records. They have been scanned and are available here: Poletiets Registerblade (Police Register Leaves)
DANISH CENSUS HEADINGS WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS
Danish censuses have standardized column headings, which allowed the census taker to record the requested information in the correct place. Click on the following links to bring up the census headings. The Danish wording AND the English translations will appear. By knowing what is asked for in the various census years, you will be able to better plan your research strategy.
Online Census Extractions
- 1911 - Denmark Census 1911 at FamilySearch— index and images
- 1916 - Denmark Census, 1916 at FamilySearch — index and images
Web pages containing extracted Census records by Aurelia Clemons.
Danish Family Search - available in English and (mostly) indexed as family groups. Also includes parish church books.
MyHeritage MyHeritage puts exclusive Scandinavian records online
Online Census Strategy
Danish Demographic Database
Search the Statens Arkivers Arkivalieronline at http://www.sa.dk/ao/SoegeSider/Folketaelling.aspx for census images.
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Denmark,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1998.
Skaaning, Jytte and Bente Klercke Rasmussen. Find Din Slægt - og Gør den Levende: Håndbog i Slægtshistorie, 2d ed. Syddansk Universitetsforlag, 2006.