Help and inquiries: email@example.com
Danish-language inquiries: contact Library Manager: Michele McNabb
For a brief list of some common Danish genealogical terms, click on "G is for Genealogy."
Read the Winter 2014 edition of "Of Genealogical Interest" here.
The Danish Brotherhood/Sisterhood
Be aware that many Danish immigrants Americanized their names, and consequently their original names in Denmark may have been different. One must have some idea of what the original names were before searching in Danish records. This is sometimes simple (Jørgen and Marie/Maren often became Jorgen and Mary in North America), but is sometimes more difficult to figure out (Jørgen changed to George, Kjeldgaard to Kelgor; Østerbro to Easterbridge, Bruhn to Brown). In addition, not all family members may have kept the same surname or surname spelling.
Prior to about 1850 many Danish surnames were patronymic and not ‘fixed,’ particularly in rural areas, and most women kept their birth names throughout life until late in the 19th century. In addition, there are 3 Danish letters not found in English - æ, ø and å (commonly found as ‘aa’ in older records) – which get rendered in various ways in English.
Websites for Genealogical Research
Getting started: A good source page for younger genealogists may be found here (thanks, Isabella!). Another site for getting your feet wet is Family Tree magazine's 25-best-genealogy-websites-for-beginners.
See also Genealogy in Time's Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2015.
- www.familysearch.org -- searchable LDS Church databases, including the 1880 US census, Family History Library catalog, 1881 British and Canadian censuses, research guides, and digitized collections
- www.glorecords.blm.gov -- Bureau of Land Management: federal land sale records, including homestead grants and railroad purchases.
- CyndisList -- a gateway site to thousands of genealogical webpages arranged by topic (a first stop for finding resources)
- One-step Webpages -- finding aids and alternative search tools for a wide variety of databases
- www.rootsweb.ancestry.com – a general free query, resource and gateway (links) site
- USGenWeb project – provides links to sites by state and county
- National Archives Genealogy Resources -- homepage and access to 1940 census
- National Archives Access to Archival Databases (AAD) -- site for searchable electronic records
- www.germanroots.com -- searchable US birth & marriage indexes
- Social Security Death Index -- primarily deaths since 1962 (RootsWeb version; others are available)
- Deathindexes.com – searchable online death indexes and similar records
- Deathindexes.com/obituaries -- searchable obituary indexes
- Interment.net – online cemetery records
- Findagrave.com -- links to over 80 million online cemetery and burial records
- Billiongraves.com -- links to cemetery images and tombstone information
- Militaryindexes.com – source for online military indexes and records
- Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Index
- Department of Veterans Affairs grave locator in National Cemeteries and elsewhere
- Mocavo.com -- search engine covering free genealogical webpages (MocavoGold is by subscription)
- Guide to Historical Newspapers Online - listing by state of digitized US newspaper available online for free.
- United States Online Historical Newspapers - another source for digitized newspapers
Social Media sites:
Emigration & Immigration:
Recommended reading: Philip Sutton's article on the New York Public Library blog page: "Why Your Family Name was Not Changed at Ellis Island (and One That Was)."
- Castle Garden immigrants -- (1820-1892)
- Ellis Island passenger lists -- 1892 to mid-1920s
- The Danish Emigration Archives -- Records of 394,000 emigrants from Denmark (and some returnees) who purchased tickets from Danish emigration agents from 1868-1908 that were registered with the Copenhagen police
- Vejle Emigration List -- over 4000 names of emigrants leaving from 1879-1887 not in the Danish Emigration Archives. Click on Language to change search screen to English.
- Canadian passenger arrivals -- 1865-1922
- Immigrantships.net -- homepage for the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild
- Theshipslist.com – information about ships and international migration routes
- Ancestorsonboard.com -- searchable index of UK outbound passengers; currently indexed from 1890-1960 (payment required to view actual records)
- Ancestry.com/AncestryLE -- this subscription site now includes the Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1935 (note: only 1850-1923 are currently indexed).
- Finding Family -- a list of ship's passenger lists
- Shipindex.org -- access to information to over 140,000 vessels
- Mormon Migration -- homepage where you can find voyages, voyage accounts, information about passengers and passenger lists of Mormon immigrants
- Germanic Immigration Records, 1850-1859 (hint: substitute 1860s, 1870s, 1880s or 1890s in URL to see listings for those decades)
- Bremen Passenger Lists -- extant lists from the Bremen City Archives and related information
- Immigrants to Denmark -- two databases listing foreign-born individuals receiving work permits (1812-1924) or citizenship (1776-1960) as well as a listing of those expelled from Denmark (1875-1919)
Danish-American Genealogy and History
- FamilySearch Library catalog (Salt Lake City UT) -- catalog of the world's largest genealogical collection
- kinquest.com -- entry point for a variety of databases related to Danes living in the US.
- Danish Archive North East (DANE) home page -- concentrating on settlements in the northeastern US (Edison NJ)
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Archives (Chicago IL)
- Danish American Heritage Society – Publisher of “The Bridge,” a semi-annual research publication (indexed in PERSI)
- Danish American Archive and Library (Blair NE)
- Danish Immigrant Archives -- Grand View University (Des Moines IA)
- The National Danish-American Genealogical Society, a branch of the Minnesota Genealogical Society
- Nordic Genealogical Society of Southern California
- Trace your Danish Heritage from VisitDenmark.com
- Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb -- contains over 2,000 Scandinavian obituaries from western WI
- Epodunk.com -- locates major Danish settlements in the US
- Danes in the CSA -- lists known Danes who served in in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War
- Royal Danish Guard Societies Abroad -- chapter and contact information
- Digital back issues of Danish-American newspapers -- searchable issues of Den danske Pioneer (1870-2011), Bien (1893-2011), Dannevirke (1880-1959) and Danskeren (1890-1929), plus the scrapbooks of Danish tenor Lauritz Melchoir
- Digitized issues of Kirke og folk/Church and Life
- Danish Heritage Museum of Danevang, the Danish capital of Texas -- local information for those with families who settled in the Danevang area.
- Danevang Lutheran Cemetery, Wharton County, Texas -- listing of burials
- Library and Archives Canada -- genealogy home page
- Danish Canadian National Museum -- national museum in Spruce View, Alberta
Research in Denmark:
Danish websites usually require the correct Danish spelling of place- and personal names. The following is a key for making the three Danish letters of the alphabet not found in English on many PCs: Hold down the Alt key (or Fn+Alt on many laptops) + the following 4-digit numbers:
Æ : 0198 Ø : 0216 Å : 0197
æ : 0230 ø : 0248 å : 0229
- Danish Data Archives -- gateway to Danish Emigration Records, online Danish census records, as well as some immigration and probate records. Click on Union Jack for English interface.
- Danish National Archives -- English-language portal to digitized collections such as ArkivalierOnline (AO) -- an expanding collection of images of original church records, census records through 1930, Copenhagen probates, civil marriages and family court cases, probate records and other interesting resources -- and Daisy, an expanding database of other interesting records. Some indexes, but searching must be done in Danish; see next entry.
- An English-language guide to using the various part of AO may be found here.
- Danish National Archives -- genealogy home page, with links to naming patterns and handwriting samples
- MyDanishRoots.com -- various research guides, including dates when Danish censuses were taken
- Danish church pictures -- a collection of beautiful non-copyrighted images of Danish churches (in Danish, but easy to navigate)
- Digitized Danish local historical records and photographs -- a new and expanding collection
- Movable Feast Day Calendar for Denmark -- helps translate church calendar dating into standard dates
- Bauers kalender -- is another site to help with non-standard dates
- Dansk Demografisk Database -- Index to probate records for old counties of Randers, Thisted,
Viborg and Aalborg (in English)
- Association of Danish Genealogists (Slægt og Data) -- page for placing queries (guide for English-speakers)
- Hvemforskerhvad.dk -- query page for Hvem Forsker Hvad (Who is Researching Whom), annual Danish genealogical publication (Danish)
- Danish National Archives and Reading Room for Eastern Denmark (Sjælland, Lolland-Falster & Bornholm).
- Danish National Archives Reading Room for Funen and surrounding islands (Odense)
- Danish National Archives Reading Room for Northern and Central Jutland (Viborg)
- Danish National Archives Reading Room for Southern Jutland (formerly north Slesvig)(Aabenraa)
- Local and regional Danish archives -- map of current Danish administrative areas leading to contact information for many local and regional archives (in Danish, click on map to view area information).
- Commemorative medal recipients - 1864 veterans -- link to digitized applications, arranged geographically
- Index to Fallen Soldiers in the Slesvig wars of 1848-1864 (.pdf file)
- WWI casualties having links to Southern Jutland
- Danske gravsten -- a growing collection of gravestone photographs taken in Danish cemeteries
- Genealogical mailing and discussion lists related to Denmark
- Society for Danish Genealogy & Biography homepage; publishes Personalhistorisk tidskrift (full text available several pages on web)
- Famous Danes -- a collaborative website containing pedigrees of famous dead Danes
- Danish Female Ministers -- Brief biographies and photos of Danish women who have served in major positions in government
- Royal Orders of Chivalry -- Were any of your relatives knighted or decorated since 1884? Find information and autobiographies here.
- For information about individuals receiving the Order of the Dannebrog prior to 1884 send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Barometer of Names -- Check the up's and down's of your name's popularity in Denmark. Covers the years from 1985 to the present day.
- Name lists -- Search in 5 different name lists. Find accepted names, unrestricted surnames, etc.
- Nygårds sedler -- Database for early Jutland families.
- Afdøde.dk -- Search for death announcements for recent deceased persons in Denmark.
- Church book transcriptions of post-1892 deaths -- arranged by pre-1970 county.
- Danish national private archives database. Click on Union Jack for English version.
- Danish Association of Family Farms -- includes database of more than 11,000 farms (in Danish; click on English name of organization; information not as complete in English)
- Danish digital resources -- by geographical area
- Danish Calendars -- contains Danish calendars for 1500-2099
- anefund-dk -- links to local archives and area data (in Danish, but easy to use)
- Kindo surnames -- a site for finding out how common one’s Danish name is and where people in Denmark with the name are living
- Danskebilleder.dk – Danish historical photograph collection, searchable by place, topic, person, organization or photographer
- Infobel.com, krak.com and eniro.com -- online Danish phone directories
- Published Danish telephone directories -- a small but growing collection
- Danish Economic History -- historical rates of exchange for Danish currency and the US dollar, as well as other articles about the Danish monetary system, farm rental costs, etc.
- Overview of Danish military records
- Database of information relating to the Danish Resistance Movement during WWII (in Danish)
- Database of Danish vagrants and natmænd
- Danish naval history and biographical database (click on flag for English version)
- Listing of over 13,000 Danish certified sea-captains and first mates, 1707-1839 and the ships they sailed on, plus 4,500 prisoners from the Napoleonic War (1807-1814) (in Danish)
- Index to Danish merchant ships
- Forum for Danish railroad history & related information (in Danish)
- Name index to Danish tenant contracts and probate records (in Danish)
- Browsable images of Danish manorial estate records, 1436-1964 (FamilySearch)
- Browsable images of Danish civil marriages, 1851-1961 (FamilySearch)
Some Regional Sites (note: many of these pages are in Danish only):
- Association of [Danish] Genealogical Societies -- Click on 'Foreninger' to find links to societies by locality
- Island of Ærø genealogy (Svendborg County) -- English-language page
- Archives of the island of Bornholm. Click on 'English' for contact information.
- Pre-1814 Bornholm church registers -- searchable by locality and/or name
- Lolland-Falster genealogy (Maribo County). User name and password needed
- Aarhus city genealogy -- census, marriage & citizenship data for city of Aarhus, 1760-1862
- Nygaard's notes – archivist Nygaard's digitized notes on Jutland families (in Danish)
- Information on Danish church registers and parish histories (in Danish)
- Slaegtshistorisk forening for Aalborg egnen -- Aalborg area links
- The Aalborg encyclopedia -- maps, street names, and other useful information about Aalborg
- Slaegtshistorisk forening for Viborg og omegn -- Viborg area genealogy
- Fogsgaard.org – Copenhagen street locator & several other databases
- Horsens-area history -- homepage of the Horsens museum
- Landsarkivetkbh.dk -- useful Copenhagen street & parish locator (Danish)
- Slægtshistorisk forening for Storkøbenhavn -- Greater Copenhagen Genealogical Society
- Copenhagen archival repositories -- Introduction to archives in the Copenhagen area
- Kraks Vejvisere, 1770-1969 -- Portal to Copenhagen city directories, the world's oldest record source of this type. Searchable by name from 1878 on; earlier years (Gothic type) must be browsed.
- Copenhagen Police census cards, includes Copenhagen death index, 1892-1923 (mostly in Danish); often with maps showing movements of city inhabitants from police censuses
- Copenhagen Police census records, 1866-1923
- List of Copenhagen parishes with starting dates
- Copenhagen probate records -- grouped by governing jurisdiction before or after 1919
- Greater Copenhagen civil marriages -- index and images from Copenhagen, Gentofte and Frederikberg municipalities
- Copenhagen message board (one of several for Denmark through Ancestry.com)
- Kolding City Archives -- regional website for the city of Kolding.
- Lolland-Falster families (Maribo County) -- (In Danish; click on 'Language' in lower left-hand corner. Free, but registration required.
- Odensedatabasen -- information on persons and properties in Odense, 1740-1921
- Danish Center for Urban History -- gateway site to maps and historical information about Danish market towns up to 2007
Slesvig-Holsten/Schleswig-Holstein Sites (see also General Sites above):
- Place-names in Slesvig-Holstein -- includes index and reverse index to place-names
- South Slesvig & Holstein parish records -- background information and locations
- Rootdigger.de -- extensive emigration index to emigrants from S-H
- Wiki-en.genealogy.net -- a good site with lots of information and references, including volunteers who will do lookups (in English)
- FamilySearch wiki for Slesvig-Holsten
- Rootsweb.ancestry.com -- WorldWide GenWeb page for Germany (in English)
- Cyndislist.com/germany -- gateway site to German genealogy pages
- Germanroots.com -- online German emigration records
- Data from S-H census registers from 1769-1946 (in German; an on-going project; registration necessary)
- Ashhs.org -- home page of the American/Schleswig-Holstein Heritage Society (Davenport IA)
- Flensborg Avis (newspaper) -- searchable digital images of largest daily newspaper in Slesvig (in Danish; free but registration required)
- Schleswig-Holstein State Archives -- (in English)
- Genealogical research in S-H (resources and some data compiled by Hans-Peter Voss)
- http://syltgen.org -- English-language site for the island of Sylt
- http://ortsfamilienbuecher.de/sylt/ -- German-language genealogical information for Sylt (no English interface yet)
- Information about The Schleswig Collection at the Danish Central Library for Southern Schleswig
- Searchable digitized literature on Slesvig-Holsten, 1591-1880
Geographical Sources and Maps; Property Resources:
- Krak.dk -- online Danish maps
- Krabsen.dk -- over 40,000 Danish place names with their location in parish, district and pre-1970 county + modern locations
- Amt-herred-sogn – clickable listing and map of parishes and their locations by district & county from 1793 to 1970 (in English)
- Kortpaanettet/kvikssoeg -- A site for locating specific addresses in Denmark, finding their location, as well as present-day and historical maps of an area, and land ownership maps by property tax (matrikel) numbers (in Danish)
- Digitized aerial photographs -- a listing of accessible collections
- www.gst.dk -- detailed historical and newer maps, plus plat maps
- www.kortal.dk -- site for comparison maps and aerial maps, 1954-2012
- www.findvej.dk -- based on Google Maps, but incorporating features from other map sources
- www.ois.dk -- contains property information and history based on the land plat (matrikel) number or address
- Historical Danish atlases -- information on officially registered grave monuments, comparative maps dating back to 1585, and aerial maps of localities
- Google search and Google maps are also useful tools for finding historical & current maps
- Gramtrans.com -- webpage for short Danish-English translations. Sources such as Google Translate may also be helpful for modern Danish.
- Learn how to read Gothic Danish handwriting. Very usuful for researching your ancestors in old church books.
- Danish Maritime Museum -- photo archives
- Maritime & Naval History -- website of the Society for Maritime and Naval History
- Dannebrogsmændene fra 1864 -- a listing of men who were awarded the Order of the Dannebrog for services during the 1864 Dano-Prussian War
- Danish heraldry and coats-of-arms -- includes arms of municipalities and towns
Finding living relatives:
- www.danskearkiver.dk -- click on ‘Arkivvejviser’ to find an archive in that locality (listed by current administrative breakdowns of regions (regioner) and municipalities (kommuner).
- www.slaegtogdata.dk/forum -- Place a query on the webpage of the Association of Danish Genealogists
- http://www.slaegtogdata.dk/andet/forum-help-english -- An English-language guide to using the site.
- www.avisoversigten.dk -- For rural areas and small towns, write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper.
- Danish telephone directories: Eniro.dk, Infobel.dk or Krak.
- For helpful hints for finding relatives click here.
Planning a visit to Denmark
- Personalized walking tours--Emigrant tours
- See also our useful links to Danish language courses etc.