Denmark Civil Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: Denmark Civil Marriages, 1851-1961 .

Title in the Language of the Collection

Record Description

The earliest records are handwritten in narrative style. Beginning in 1923, entries were recorded in books containing preprinted forms. These records cover only individuals who were not members of -- or who chose not to marry in -- the state church. Consequently, the population coverage is quite low. These records do not cover any parts of Denmark that were under German administration to 1920. These counties were Tønder, Haderslev, Åbenrå, and Sønderborg.

The records in this collection are for the years 1851-1959. Please note this collection may have indexes for records that are not included.  For example, this collection contains an index to civil marriages in Copenhagen City, 1851-1896, but only has records for 1851-1875.

For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Civil marriages were first allowed in Denmark in 1851. The marriage was recorded with the district sheriff in rural areas and with the magistrate in cities. The marriage was recorded in special notarial registers. These registers vary in content and arrangement by area. Some include a considerable number of supporting documents, such as baptismal certificates, while others record only the names and residences of the bridal couple. In 1923 the registration process was changed by legislation enacted in 1922. This made the mayor the registering officer in the cities and the parish sherrif the registrar in rural areas. The registration form was also standardized into a columnar format. Regions of Denmark that belonged to Germany had a separate system of registration.

Civil registration of marriage legitimized marriage for members of the population who were not adherents of the state church.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

Municipalities in Denmark. Denmark, Civil Marriages. Rigsarkivet Danmark, Rigsdagsgården 9, 1218 København, Denmark.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Denmark Civil Marriages 1851-1961 (08-0507) DGS 4167271 6.jpg

These are the key genealogical facts found in most Danish Civil Marriage records:

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Marriage date
  • Ages, and sometimes the birthdates, of the bride and groom
  • Residence of bride and groom
  • Occupation of the bride and groom

How to Use the Record

To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select the County ⇒ Select the Municipality ⇒ Select the Record Type and Inclusive Dates which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Civil marriage records are an excellent source for validating the date and place of marriage. If a marriage record for a couple cannot be found in the church registers, the civil marriage registers are an excellent source to check.

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Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

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A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Denmark Civil Marriages, 1851-1961," images, FamilySearch( Ringkøbing > Struer > Marriages, 1924 > Image 4 of 4 Images, Henry Louis Peter Rasmussen,1924; citing Denmark, Civil Marriages. København, Denmark.