Denmark: Finding Birth Information

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Denmark Gotoarrow.pngFinding Birth Information

For many different countries, finding a birth date and place for an ancestor can sometimes be difficult. However, there are many different records that make finding a birth date and place in Denmark quite simple.

Step 1: What do I know?

The first step in finding the birth information is to determine what you already know. Before beginning research, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I already have a birth date and place? How accurate is that information?
  2. Are there any relatives that would have the information?
  3. Are there secondary sources (such as online Family Trees and Biographies) that would have the information? What have others found?

If you do find the ancestor's birth information in your family records, or other easily available sources, make sure to document where you found that information. Also, make sure to determine whether the birth information found is merely family heresay or if it came from original records.

Step 2: What records can I search?

If you could not find birth information in Step 1, or if you need to verify the information you found, then the next step is understanding what records contain birth information. 

Finding the birth date

The easiest birth information to find is the birth date. Although it may not be possible to find an exact birth date in some cases, it is possible to find an approximate year or a christening date. Search the following records to find a birth date:

  1. Biographies, Genealogies, and Periodicals: compiled sources are a great place to start for finding a birth date. Although these records are secondary, they are usually well documented. The information in these sources should be sourced well enough that you could find the original record if you wanted to.
  2. Church Records (see also Church Birth and Christening Records): Church records are some of the best records for finding a birth date. It is important to know that before 1814, you may or may not find a birth date. If there is only one date listed on the church birth record, it is more than likely the christening date. Also, in the marriage and death records, you can find the age of an ancestor listed on the records. It may not be an exact date, but it is a good place to start.
  3. Censuses: Another great source for finding the birth date. The majority of the census records will only give you an age of the individual, which could be off by a couple of years, but will help in narrowing down a time period for the birth. It was not until the 1901 census that actual birth dates were included.
  4. Civil Registration: Civil registration itself, until the 20th century, only existed in Sønderjylland (Souther Denmark), and Copenhagen. The civil registration records that do exist contain birth, marriage, and death information. You may not always find an exact birth date, but you can at least find an age of the individual ancestor.
  5. Military Levying Rolls: Although military levying rolls do not usually list the birth date, they will at least give the individual's age.
  6. Probates: A variety of information can be found in probate records, and it is not always certain that you will always find the same information. However, a good majority of thime you will be able to find at least the age of the deceased, and the age of children they left behind.
  7. Taxes: Tax records are meant to record how much each individual/household owed in taxes; however, many times the tax records will list the age of each individual.
  8. Occupational Records: Like the probates and tax records, occupational records, such as guild records and citizenship records, vary in information and were not necesarrily meant to record vital information. However, it is possible to find a birth date or at least an age in the

If you cannot find a family's place of residence, you may need to begin searching parish to parish for the family. See the strategies under Step 4.

Step 3: What jurisdictions does the address belong to?

Once you have found the family's/individual's address in Copenhagen, the next step is to determine what jurisdictions the street belonged to. The jurisdictions will determine where you look to find the vital records concerning your family. The following tools will help you determine the jurisdictions:

  1. Copenhagen Parish List: A list of the parishes of Copenhagen, when they were formed, and what parish(es) they were formed from.
  2. Copenhagen Street-Parish-Police District index: an index that states the parish and police district that each street belonged to.

Step 4: What's next?

After you have determined the jurisdictions the family lived in, you can begin to search for other records.

 Copenhagen Strategies 
1. Birth Information
2. Marriage Information 
3. Death Information