Danish Genealogy Part 2: Censuses and Records from the National Archives

Census Lists

Censuses have been held in Denmark at various intervals. The first census was held in 1787, and thereafter in 1801, 1834, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1901, 1911, 1916, 1921, 1925, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960 and 1970. Hereafter a national CPR-register (Civil Registration System) made the census unnecessary, because the system electronically provides all the information that was given in the census.The Census lists become accessible after 75 years, so right now everybody can search online in the censuses between 1787 and 1940. If you want to search in the newer ones, you can apply to do so, and see them in the reading room at the National Archive in Copenhagen.


The census will generally provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Position in household
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Place of birth (only after 1845)
  • Occupation
  • Note (if any handicaps etc.)

As I mentioned before, the censuses are online and they are listed in parish order like the church books. But more has been done. Volunteers work hard to transcribe the censuses. In the overview below, you can see how far the volunteers are currently:CensusYearTranscribed in % so farFT1769FT178799.92FT1801100.0FT1803FT183492.70FT184097.46FT1845100.0FT185099.21FT185541.71FT186092.32FT187032.12FT1880100.0FT1885100.0FT189051.28FT190143.93FT190613.20FT19116.48FT19169.81FT192114.64FT19255.79FT193011.92FT19400.39Once a census has been transcribed, you can use the search option on the webpage "Danish Demographic Database." Type in your ancestor's name, and choose the district or parish in which you would like to search. Searching the census on Danish Demographic Database helps so much if you don't know where to start your research.During your search, be aware that sometimes the name isn't spelled the way you think it is spelled. Or if your ancestors have many names, then maybe it is only his or her first and last name that they have listed in the census. So try different ways to spell it or use the sign "%" when you type in information. When you get the result from your search, you can click on the information and see everybody in the household. Looking at everyone in the household helps you know that you are looking at the right family.The search option is great if you are stuck in your research. For example, maybe you can't read the names of the birth parents of your ancestor in the church book entry. In that case, it can be helpful to use the online search of the census lists. If you are lucky and census has been transcribed, and you can get the name you are searching for in order to continue your work.An original census from 1901 -


The same census as above that has been transcribed -


Are other free resources for Danish research provided online?

Oh yes, we have a many. The Danish National Archives has many online records, besides the church books, so you can start your search from home.

Probate Court Records

The Probate Court Records will generally provide the following information:

  • Name of the deceased
  • His or her residence and occupation
  • Name of the surviving spouse
  • Names of heirs (children, siblings, etc.)
  • Names of Guardians
  • Account of the Estate

The original Probate Court Records can be found, dating from about 1760-1800 until the period between 1930 and 1950. Of course, not all older Protocols have been preserved. The Danish National Archives has a number of the older Probate Court Records on microfilm.Probate Court Records generally become accessible when they are 75 years old.The Danish National Archives online also includes:Guardian registersChurch books from overseasConscription registersConscription registers from the ArmyThe Navy and The Army have several indexesManor and Estate tenant registerParchmentsAnd much moreAnd besides all these online files (which you of course also can view at the Archive) the Danish National Archive stores and collects records from military forces, private and individual organisations, records from the Royal House, records from state authorities and much, much more.There are still more records available online and in other archives! More information about them will be coming in a post next week.Links:The Danish National Archive:https://www.sa.dk/Danish Demographic Database:http://www.ddd.dda.dk/Click here to receive help from an expert with your Danish genealogy research.

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Written by


October 16, 2017
Wesley is the founder of hello@traceyourpast.com.

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