Denmark: Military Levy District (Lægd)

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The word “lægd” comes from the word “sammanlægning”. Since the 1600’s the term has been used as an indication for the number of farms where a soldier would be placed in the community. Beginning in 1701 when the kingdoms military system was reformed, the country was partitioned into lægder based upon 20 barrels of grain (tønder hartkorn). Each lægd regulary provided soldiers for the military authorities.

In 1788 the structure for military conscription was changed, and the kingdom was organized into 1,656 lægder. Each lægd in the countryside was generally patterned after the rural parish in geographic boundaries. In 1843 the lægd structure for the towns (the byerne) was patterned after the cities.

Each lægd was assigned a number within each county. That is to say the first lægd in each county was assigned the number 1 with the remaining lægder in the county receiving a subsequent chronological number. The number of soldiers for a given area was no longer directed by the economic production of grain, but instead was based upon the number of male population within the lægd.

Beginning on March 6, 1869 the military conscription system was reorganized into 6 areas around the kingdom, instead of being associated to a county. Each lægd was given a new lægd number designation to one of the 6 areas. After the union with Northern Schleswig in 1920 a 7th area was created (Sønderjylland).


1.Lægdruller, by Statens Arkiver – Landsarkivet for Sjælland Lolland-Falster & Bornholm, 2008.

You can find the assigned lægd numbers through the Family Search Wiki at: Denmark: Military Levy Numbers (Lægd Nummer), or in the film notes of the FamilySearch Catalog.