Danish Military Levying Rolls: Case Study 3
Basic Levying Roll Strategy in Southern Denmark
Following an individual through the military rolls of Southern Denmark can be fairly simple if you know what to look for.
This particular Case Study is the case of Niels Andreas Benningsen. Niels was born in Sonderburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Prussia (the former Sønderborg, Sønderborg, Denmark) on 8 September 1865. His parents were Christian Benningsen and Karen Marie Petersdatter. The year before his birth, the second Schleswig-Holstein war was fought, during which Sonderburg city was taken over by Prussia. Niels' birth record is the only record of him thus far.
In this case, the military records are used to find out what happened to Niels and his family. When a man turned 20 years old, he was recorded in the alphabetical enrollment lists of his local kommune, Sonderburg kommune. Assuming Niels resided in Sonderburg until his 20th birthday, the records of the kommune were searched first. The miliatry records are first recorded alphabetically by village/city, then alphabetically by name.
In the above image, we find the entry of Niels under number 369. We know that this is the right Niels because the birth information in column 4 and the parents names in column 5 match the birth information given in his birth record. Columns 9 through 16 tell us a little about Niels' military service. These columns tell us that in 1887 he joined the infantry, 2nd battalion, 84th regiment. At the bottom of the record, in the Bemerkungen (notes), we learn that Niels moved to Hadersleben (the former Haderslev, Haderslev, Denmark).
When a man moved around within a county, his military record remained with his original kommune. However, when he moved outside of his county, his record was moved to the kommune of residence in that county and entered under the year of his birth. To follow Niels forward through the records, the military records of Hadersleben for the year 1865 are the next records to search in.
Under number B17, Niels is found again. Most of the information concerning Niels is the same, but there is some new information. In column 5, letter b tells us that Niels' father is now deceased and his mother is still alive. Under column 6, we learn that Niels' mother is now living in Silkeborg city, Skanderborg county, Denmark.
As the record does not reference any other move or a dishonorable discharge, it is highly probable that Niels remained in Haderslev. From here, the research can continue through other records.