Danish Genealogy Part 3: Provincial Archives, Emigration Lists, Police Index and More

Provincial Archive

In Denmark, we have more than 500 provincial archives and they store pictures, letters and other records from a precise area. Most of the provincial archives have a webpage, where you can see a couple of the records they have, but the provincial archives throughout Denmark have also joined together on a webpage where they all upload their files. On that page you can search in the material they have uploaded so far. This could be helpful, if you live outside of Denmark or in a different part of Denmark. In that case you may not have to travel to an archive far away, but can start the search from home. This webpage started last year and of course there is a long way ahead before everything is online, but they have done a great job so far and it is very easy to search.Emigration lists If your ancestors emigrated in the period 1868 - 1940 you may be able to find information regarding your ancestors in the Copenhagen Police Emigration Protocols. They would, however, only be listed if they purchased a ticket from an Emigration Agent with an office in Copenhagen.The records kept by the Police were all contracts signed between agents and emigrants. This was done to prevent "crooked" agents from cheating emigrants by taking their money.Not all emigrants, (but the majority) can be found in the Police Records of Emigrants. Those who bought their ticket abroad or were sailors can't be found in the records.In The Emigration Protocols (or Ledgers) you will also find the following information:

  • Name
  • Occupation
  • Place of birth and last place of residence
  • Age
  • Destination, state and city
  • Contract number
  • Date of listing in the Copenhagen Police Records of Emigrants
  • Name of the ship


So far you can search electronically in the database for the 394,000 people who emigrated in the period 1868 - 1908.The webpage is also working hard to digitize pictures, letters, etc. These letters were written by Danish emigrants around the world. Approximately 500,000 letters and 20,000 pictures will be posted on Emigration Archives' website along with audio clips and movies. Already there are thousands of letters and pictures in the archive database.Police IndexIf you have a relative who lived in Copenhagen between 1890 and 1923, you can try and search in this database. The Police Index worked, at that time, the same as today's National Register, and made a record sheet for everybody who was over the age of 14. Kids between 10 and 14 years old were listed on the parents' record sheet. Kids younger than 10 years were not listed. Â If a person was married, the record sheet for the woman was transferred to the husbands'´ record sheet. You will find information about where and when the person was born, where they lived (every address the person had during the period) and what they did for a living.

The Danish Post and Telegraph Museum has scanned the old phone books and you can go through them online. This project was done to preserve the old books from being handled all the time and to allow everybody around the world to use them in their research.

In my case, using all these free online services got me a long way in researching for my ancestors. I knew where my grandparents were born, so I found the correct parish and then just had to select which year I would go though. I must say, it was pretty easy doing this, and I got so much information, and I could do the research at home, when I had the time. So very quickly I gathered more information than I had wished for in the first place.Links:The united webpage from Provincial Archives:www.arkiv.dk Emigration lists:http://www.udvandrerarkivet.dk/udvandrerprotokollerne/Police index:http://www.politietsregisterblade.dk/Phonebooks:http://www.ptt-museum.dk/samlinger_bibliotek/bibliotek/digitale_boeger_registre/Click here to receive help from an expert with your Danish genealogy research.

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Written by


October 17, 2017
Wesley is the founder of hello@traceyourpast.com.

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