Denmark: Finding Birth Information
Denmark Finding 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:
- Do I already have a birth date and place? How accurate is that information?
- Are there any relatives that would have the information?
- 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 to find a birth date?
If you could not find birth information in Step 1, or if you need to verify the information you found, then the next two steps in the research 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Military Levying Rolls: Although military levying rolls do not usually list the birth date, they will at least give the individual's age.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 records.
Step 3: What records can I search to find a birth place?
Finding the birth place
If your previous research in Step 1 did not produce a birth place, then many of the records listed in Step 2 will list a birth place. Search the following records for a birth place:
- Biographies, Genealogies, and Periodicals: will usually list the birth place along with the birth date.
- Church Records: Usually, a church birth/christening record will list where the parents of the child were residing at the time of the christening. As most children were born at home up until the 20th century, it is safe to assume that the parents' residence was most likely the place of birth. The marriage and death records may also list the birth place, though not often.
- Censuses: Birth places were included starting with the 1845 census.
- Civil Registration: Civil registration records will usually list a place of birth in the birth records and death records.
- Military Levying Rolls: The birth place, or at least the birth parish, is usually included on the levying rolls.
If you cannot find the birth date or age in any of these records, you may need to begin researching one of the children of the ancestor. Remember to always start from what you know then work to the unknown.
Step 4: What's next?
After you have determined the birth information of the ancestor, you can begin to search for other records.
1. Marriage Information 2. Death information 3. Moving and Migration information 4. Place of Origin in Denmark
5. City People and Research