Copenhagen: Directories

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Denmark Gotoarrow.png Copenhagen Gotoarrow.png Directories


Directories (Vejvisere) are a useful tool for pinpointing the residence of a family in Copenhagen and tracking the family throughout time. By knowing where a family lived in the city, it is easier to determine what parish, civil jurisdiction, or other type of division the family may have belonged to, making it easier to locate records. Directories are also helpful in determining whether or not you have the right family.

Strategies Using this Record

Birth Information

Death Information

Place of Residence in the City

Background

The Copenhagen directories are the oldest directories in the world. They began in 1770, and continued through to the twentieth century. The directories were compiled at various times, though generally it was every five years. They were meant to assist the residents of Copenhagen locate businesses and people in the city and the surrounding suburbs.

What you typically find

City directories are similar to modern day phone books. They typically contain information about the city and the residents. The poor are not usually listed. Most common information in all of the directories are:

  • name of head of household. Entries will not always have the full name. All entries will have the surname, but there may be either no first name listed, or just initials.Example entries:
  • Just surname: Rothe, Boghandler, Stormgaden 302. -initials: Larsen, H. P., Formstjærer, Prindsensg, 281
  • Full name: Christensen, Jens, Lysestøber, lille Fiolstræde 177.
  • occupation
  • street location and house number
  • Military personnel with regiment number and military rank
  • Women who are either unmarried, or widowed who have an occupation, or midwives (Jordemødre)
  • address of institutions, public and royal buildings
  • Churches and the resident clergy
  • Foreign ministers
  • Other political authorities such as police chiefs, politicians, post masters, etc.

Tips

The Copenhagen directories are very well organized and can be used for several different purposes such as a census substitute between census years, tracking a family through time, and differentiating between similarly named families in the city. The directories are organized alphabetically by surname, instead of by street, making it easier to find people within the directories.
The format of all entries are the same for every directory, being organized as "name" then "occupation" then "street name and house number".

Access

The Copenhagen directories can be accessed at the Family History Library and Københavns Kommunes Biblioteker (Copenhagen Community Library).
TheFamily History Library has microfilm/fiche copies for the years 1779, 1787, 1790, 1801, 1813, 1827, 1834, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1859, 1861, and 1872.
Københavns Kommunes Biblioteker has started a project digitizing their entire collection of directories, from 1770-1900, and posting them for free onlineHere. At this moment only the years 1770 and 1775 are available.
The directories are also available at the different archives and libraries in the city.

References

Family History Library Catalog, "Denmark, København, København - Directories," (Family History Library, www.familysearch.org, accessed 4 June 2009).

Københavns Kommunes Biblioteker, "Digitalisering af københavnske vejvisere," (genealogi.dk - slægtsforskning for alle, 2009).

Københavns Kommunes Biblioteker, "Overblik over brugergrænsefladen," (http://kbh-vejviser.dk/, accessed 4 June 2009).

Kiøbenhavns politiske Veyviser for 1770. Kiøbenhavn, printed by Paul Herman Höecke, 1770. http://kbh-vejviser.dk/, accessed 4 June 2009.

Vejviser, eller Anviisning til Kjøbenhavns, Christianshavns, og Forstædernes Beboere for aaret 1813. København: Selskabet for Udgivelse af Kilder til Dansk Historie, 1813. F.H.L. microfiche 6030485 # 13-15.

Vejviser, eller Anviisning til Kjøbenhavns, Christianshavns, og Forstædernes Beboere for aaret 1834. København: Selskabet for Udgivelse af Kilder til Dansk Historie, 1834. F.H.L. microfiche 6030485 # 20-24.

Vejviser, eller Anviisning til Kjøbenhavns, Christianshavns, og Forstædernes Beboere for aaret 1855. København: Selskabet for Udgivelse af Kilder til Dansk Historie, 1855. F.H.L. microfiche 6030485 # 42-48.