Essential Databases



Essential Databases

It's easier than ever to learn about your ancestors from Denmark, even if you can't go to Denmark thanks to many volunteers and the Danish National Archives, and the LDS church. Below are listed the most important databases which cover the whole country of Denmark. Some are in Danish, with limited English instructions; however, we've added some additional hints here. For more help, Denmark email list members are always happy to answer questions about Denmark.

Searchable Database of the Danish Census-- Denmark's first complete census of the country which listed every member of the household was in 1787. The first one which lists the parish of birth was in 1845. This database is not yet complete, but most of the earliest years have been done by volunteers. Read more about how to use the Danish census site...

Searchable Database of Emigration from Denmark-- Also produced by volunteers. This database is complete between the years of 1868-1940. The data comes from emigration lists which were maintained by the police in Copenhagen. To use the site, for help understanding the database, click on the "information" button at the site; click on "databases" to search; or read here for more details of how to search. A much small number of people emigrated through Vejle. If you can't find your ancestors through the Copenhagen records, then try the database for Vejle. Danish National Archives is scanning all census and parish records until 1892 and placing the scans online. The site is mostly in Danish and is a little tricky to use.To read how to use the site, in English, click here. Note, the guide says that you need Windows XP to use the site, but numerous Mac users report it works well for them too. Try Safari if it's not working well in Firefox. These are actual scans of the records. They are not indexed. Also the site is not complete yet, so some years are missing for some parishes. Several people are making indexes to the records which show which pages correspond to various years and events in the books. To see what parishes are included see these sites:
Carl Ludvig's index to Arkivalieronline (Not a name index, but an index that shows you what pages cover the years and events that you need.)

For both of these sites, you'll need to know the name of the Sogn (parish) you are interested in, and what Amt (county) it is located in. Read more about parishes and counties in Denmark... a giant database maintained by the LDS church. It's important to realize that even though the Danish census and parish records are coming online rapidly, there are still many documents that aren't online, such as military records and probates. Many of these are available through the LDS Family History Library. You can probably use them near your home, even if you can't make a trip to Salt Lake City. More information about using

LDS Family History Library-- There are still many records which are not available online, but fortunately, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has microfilmed many records from all over the world. For Denmark, you can find some parish records for later times than those online at, military records, probate records, census records for years not available online, as well as some court records. To use these films, you'll need to go the nearest LDS Family History Center. To find where it is, read here. Before you go, you can figure out what film you want, using the online catalog, but you'll have to actually go in to the Center to rent the film. It costs about $5.50 US dollars per film to rent one. The films are sent from Salt Lake City, Utah, and it takes anywhere from 10 days to several months to come in to your local center, depending on where you live. To search for films, you'll need to know how to type the special characters which are in the Danish alphabet, not just the letters that are the same as the English alphabet. To find the church records for a particular parish, search by "place", using correct Danish spelling; for example, Østofte, rather than Ostofte. If there are variants of the place name, you might have to try several different spellings to find which one was used in the catalog, because this search engine is not at all tolerant of spelling errors. For census records, search by county, choose the year you need, then click on "View Film Notes" to see which film has the parish you need.

Churches in Denmark-- This database has photos of most churches in Denmark. To search, you can click on "Kirker", which will give you an alphabetical list of all churches in Denmark, "Sogne", which will give you an alphabetical list of all parishes currently in Denmark, or "Amt", which sill show the churches categorized by county. (For simplicity's sake, I'm ignoring a few of the other options there.)

The photo on this page, of the Danish flag in Copenhagen, is from

Design by Paula Goodfellow
Information and text by Paula Goodfellow, Betty Jack, Rock Johnson and other members of the Denmark Rootsweb email list.
Inages and text copyright 2004-2012.
I'm happy to add any other useful sites, and to fix broken links. Please report them to Paula Goodfellow.

Page last updated August 4, 2010