Research Guides -



Research Guides, Helps & Introductions

Here you will find research guides, helps and introductions to family history research in Denmark. Select a category from list below to find information that you can use in your family research.

  • Census Records & Enumeration ( 7 )

    This category contains articles on census records and enumeration. The Danish censuses provide snapshots of all the households in Denmark, Schleswig and Holstein at various intervals from 1769 onwards and have therefore become one of the prime sources of genealogical information. The recorded names, ages, trades and family relations offer many clues for further research in parish registers etc.

  • History, Culture & Heritage ( 4 )

    Select a topic about Danish history, culture and heritage with interest for family historians.

  • Surnames, Naming Traditions, Meaning and Origin ( 6 )

    When inquiring into family history it is a great help to have a basic knowledge about surnames in Denmark, both meaning and origin, as well as the Danish naming traditions. This patronymic naming tradition was commenly used throughout Scandinavia so many Danes, Swedes and Norwegians today carries a surname of patronymic origin; in Denmark as many 58% of the total population. Other groups of surnames derives from nicknames, place names, or an occupation, or brought in by immigrants from Sweden and the many German States. In this category you will find out more about naming traditions, meaning and origin of surnames in Denmark.

  • Place Names in Denmark ( 2 )

    Most place names in the historic Denmark are very old, revealing clues to the Old Norse language and to a large group of personal names that form a part of many place names. As the language, on which place names are based, evolves over time etymology - the study of the origins of words - are an important part in understanding the meaning and origin of the place names. In these articles you'll find out more about of place names in Denmark - interesting, at hopefully useful, information that might help you in researching your Danish ancestors.

  • Births, Marriages and Deaths ( 5 )

    This category contains articles on births, marriages and deaths etc. in Danish sources.

  • Emigration and Immigration ( 2 )

    Especially toward the end of the 1800's and the beginning of the 1900's, thousands of Danes, along with millions of other emigrants from all over the european continent, emigrated to the USA, Canada, Australia, or other overseas countries to seek a better life. Up to 1968 the Danish emigration reached a total of about 500,000 Danes, culminating in 1881-90 and 1901-10. Of these emigrants about 70% departed for the USA. In these articles you will find more about emigration from Denmark.

  • Getting a step further ( 1 )

    In this category you'll find articles on how to get further with your research no matter if you are new or experienced family historian.

A few numbers and facts...

  • 500,000

    ...Danes emigrated up to 1968, and of these about 70% departed for the USA. In the 1800's alone a vast majority of 90% went to the USA. Read more...

  • 261,065

    This many individuals, comprising of 4.6 percent of all Danes, carries the surname JENSEN followed by NIELSEN, HANSEN, PEDERSEN and ANDERSEN. Read more...

  • 1,000

    Of the 5,000 basic words in modern English, as many as 20 percent are so-called loan words from the Old Norse language (ON). Read more...

  • 1769

    This year the first Danish census was taken. The next censuses were taken in 1787 and 1801 and from 1834 onwards every 5-10 years. Read more...

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