Danish Museum Home
Library & Genealogy

Genealogy Links

Help and inquiries: genealogy@danishmuseum.org

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

Helpful Facts

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

General Sites

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.

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)."

Danish-American Genealogy and History


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 

General sites:

Some Regional Sites (note: many of these pages are in Danish only):

Slesvig-Holsten/Schleswig-Holstein Sites (see also General Sites above):

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


Finding living relatives:

Planning a visit to Denmark