After William Dollarhide became ill and was unable to continue working, Leland Meitzler asked me to continue the "The Best ? Sites on the Net."
The Best Scandinavian Sites on the Net covered Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. Each country will be posted separately.
I have also found indexes of Danish vital records on both FamilySearch.com and at Ancestry that provided the birth and christening information on my Great-Grandfather Theodore R. Bockman in Teestrup, Denmark. I was then able to locate the actual image in the parish records.
The Best Scandinavian Sites on the Net
By Jeffrey A. Bockman
Originally published in Everton's Genealogical Helper January/February 2009
We continue our look at foreign countries by moving up to the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. While it is impossible to cover everything about researching within a single county in an article, let alone several, I have attempted to provide some basic information about the various records that are available or in some cases the lack thereof.
The intent of this series is to look at websites that provide access to images of real records. There are, however a few “non-image” sites that have also been included such as indexes to or transcribed data from civil, parish or other official records where the documents are not available online or are only available for a fee.
One of the best places to learn about the various records and their availability when starting to do research in a new county is to review the Research Outlines at:
They provide information about the history and availability of Church records, Civil Registration, Court Records, Census Records, Probate Records, Immigration, and many others.
Pick the first letter of the country or location of interest and look for the “Country Research Outline.” Also check to see if they have produced a version of their new publication titled “Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Country” for the country of interest. These are downloadable and printable files that include sample images of the various record types.
www.Worldgenweb.org – Free site
Another good place to learn about a new location is the local GenWebProject site. These are volunteer projects and the content can vary greatly but they can provide information about local records and resources along with links to online or transcribed records. Start at the World GenWebProject and then select the region, the country and then finally the local sites. They should also have links to helpful local organizations and any online records.
On the good side, there are wonderful church/parish records in these countries. The FamilySearch “Finding Records” guides show samples of the various parish records with translations of the column headings. Unfortunately you will need to know which parish your ancestors lived in to be able to find and use them.
Some of the challenges researching within Scandinavia are: the lack of fully indexed countrywide censuses to help you find exactly where you ancestors lived; the fact that a few of the boundaries with neighboring countries have changed over the years; that their languages are not very familiar; and that the Patronymic naming system was used extensively.
Location: You need to find your ancestor’s town of origin. Work from Known to Unknown. Check every US record to see if there are clues to their place of birth. You really need to know the name of the county, village, parish or even farm. Check the US Census records for the year of arrival and see if they were naturalized. Later passenger lists, immigration and naturalization records often contain the village name. The US Federal naturalization records of a spouse may contain the arrival year and village of birth of their spouse. A foreign census index or an emigration record may also provide their birthplace.
If you ancestors arrived before their birthplace was required, then check the records of any younger siblings or later family arrivals to see if they may have provided a clue.
Some of the websites have English versions, look for a British flag. Even then, all of the pages are not translated and the images of any records or newspapers will be in the native language.
As the boundaries changed the language of the official records may also have changed.
Two websites that can help to translate Scandinavian words or even an entire webpage are:
• Google Language Tools www.google.com/language_tools
• Majstro Multi-language translator www.majstro.com/Web/Majstro/sdict.php
These translations will not be perfect but they can give you an idea of the content. If you are trying to communicate with someone using machine translated text I strongly recommend that you copy the suggested translated version and then translate it back to the original language to see if the meaning is anything close to the original. Out of necessity, and for a little humor, I have included a few examples of machine language translation later in this article. You may want to consider having two browser panels running at the same time, one with the actual website and one with the translator. Text can be cut and pasted or images transcribed into the translate window.
Rather than using a family surname, a child’s surname shows that they are the son or daughter of their father. In the following examples the father is Hans and his children are Anders and Anna.
Country Ended Language male female Son Daughter
Denmark 1860 Danish sen datter Anders Hansen Anna Hansdatter
Finland 1880-1921 Finish npoika ntytar Anders Hansnpoika Anna Hansntytar
Swedish sson dotter Anders Hansson Anna Hansdotter
Norway 1875-1900 Norwegian sen datter Anders Hansen Anna Hansdatter
Sweden 875-1901 Swedish sson dotter Anders Hansson Anna Hansdotter
Iceland Still in use Icelandic son/sson sdottir Anders Hanson Anna Hansdottir
Boundaries: Historical maps are helpful to determine the geo-political boundaries at a particular point in time. Regional maps are good because they show the position of a country or an territory in relationship to the surrounding areas.
University of Texas
Perry-Castaneda Library - map collection
A map of Scandinavia in the time of Gustavus Vasa (790K) Map 17 is contained in the Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/ward_1912/scandinavia_1523.jpg
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-ScanFig1 – Caption: (1523 Map)
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
This collection has over 18,460 online maps.
“The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection has over 18,460 maps online. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North American and South American maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also represented.”
To find maps choose Directory, Browse by Lists, Select “Where”. Choose Scandinavia or go to http://www.davidrumsey.com/directory/where/Scandinavia/ to view links of the 46 maps.
A Google Image search for: ”scandinavia site:www.davidrumsey.com” returns 138 images.
Family Search Research Outline for Denmark
Finding Records of Your Ancestors in Denmark 1834 to 1900
http://dis-danmark.dk/ - in Danish
For links to reference works concerning the individual parishes select
Amt-herred-sogn portalen (county-district-parish)
www.arkivalieronline.dk – Free site
The Danish State Archives
“Parish registers and population censuses are being digitized by The Danish State Archives Filming Centre in order to make them accessible via the Internet. The digitization project is primarily scanning microfiches and microfilms. There is no fixed timetable for the launch of each parish register and population census on the Internet, as this is a continuous process.
The parish registers and population censuses will be displayed as pictures of the original records. The pictures show that many records are marked by poor storage conditions, poor ink quality and general wear and tear - a state of affairs that is irremediable. No registers have been compiled in which to search for personal names, occupations, addresses etc.“
Church books (kirkebøger) - Images
“All Danish parish registers older than 1892 are included in the digitization project. The end year may, however, differ for South Jutland (North Schleswig) because the local parish registers were kept according to different rules in the period 1864-1920, when South Jutland was under German administration.“
Census (folketællinger) - Images
The following population censuses are accessible via the Internet: 1787, 1801, 1834, 1840, 1850, 1855, and 1860. The following population censuses will become accessible in the future: 1845, 1880, 1890, and 1916. Any other population censuses are not included in this project. It should be noted that only population censuses taken within the Kingdom of Denmark will be made available at this site.
In order to be able to view the Church and Census images your PC needs to be running at least Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and Java version 6, update 10.
ArkivalierOnline requires a free registration (brugerregistrering). On front page of www.arkivalieronline.dk select ny burger, then on next page select Opret ny burger.
Fill in your Given Name, Surname, Address, Zip code, Town (and state) to the right, Country (Land) and finally email. Then Check "Oprette" and Click Send
Your password will arrive in your email within minutes. Use your email address and the password to login. You can change your personal info, password included, after logging in by selecting "brugerprofil" (User profile).
Finding the Parish
The good news is that all of the older parish records are available online for free; however you do need to know the parish in order to find the desired records. It also helps to know the exact date of an event. Review U.S. vital records, military, immigration and naturalization records for clues. I have been able to locate the images of several records after finding the dates and places from IGI entries at FamilySearch.com.
The Danish Demographic Database, listed next, can possibly locate individuals in census records that often provide the birth parish and timeframe as well as the necessary details to narrow down the search for a census record image. One record can often provide the necessary information such as birthplace, age, or home to help locate other records.
Parish Registers - Images
Click on Søg i kirkebøger (Search in parish registers)
Select the desired Amt (County), Herred (Alle is for All), and Sogn (Parish). A list of the available records will then appear.
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig1 – Caption: (List of Records for Kongens Lyngby)
The Keys for the codes that appear at the top of each column are: F-Fodte (Birth), K-Konfirmered (Confirmations), V-Viede (Marriage), and D-Døde (Death)
After selecting the desired book it is a bit of trial and error to locate the correct record type and date. There is a color code next to the Opslag (poster) number to show which pages have been viewed.
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig2 – Caption: (1858 Births in Trinitatis, Kobenhavn )
Birth entries show the entry number, the Date, Child’s full name, Christening Date (in church or at Home), Parent’s Names, Mother’s Age, and the names of the Godparents. The Patronymic naming system was in use until 1860. There was a transition period as people began to use family surnames.
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig3 – Caption: (1858 Marriage Record for Lorenz Christian Neuhaus and Regina Oelund)
Marriage entries contain the Bride and Groom’s name, age, occupation, and residence along with the two Bondsmen, and the marriage date. The last entry is if the marriage was performed in the church or at home, and if it was done at home, the date that permission was given.
Census Records - Images
Click on Søg i folketælling (Search in population census). Browsing the census records is actually a more accurate description. First, select the årgang (Year), then the Stedbetegnelse (Place Name), and finally the Gade (Street) and then Click “Hent oplysninger” (Download information). The viewer window will open with a list of pages. It becomes a bit of trial and error at this point to find the desired page.
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig4 – Caption: (1880 Census record)
In the 1880 Census there are three pages for each place. There is a summary page, then the Hovediste with the list of people and a Tillaegsliste (Supplementary list). The Hovediste page contains the place name (parish, town or farm), the Family enumeration number, the Person’s enumeration number, their full name, sex, age, marital status, creed, birth place and status in the family. At the beginning of one of the 1845 census there is a place name index telling the range of pages for each town. Some useful terms are: Kvarter - Town quarter, Købstad - Town, Amt – County, Herred - District (formerly: a judicial district), and Sogn/Landsogn - Parish/rural parish.
Danish Demographic Database
www.ddd.dda.dk - Free Site
www.ddd.dda.dk/ddd_en.htm- in English (but not all databases!)
The Danish Demographic Database (DDD) allows you to search for people in the indexes of various Census, Emigrant, Probate, and Immigrant databases.
CENSUS / Folketaellinger - Index
1769-1921 Census Search
Only the 1787, 1801, 1834, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860, 1880, 1890, 1906, and the 1916 censuses are available at the site. It does not include the 1870, 1901, 1921, and 1925 censuses. This is a work in progress and all entries for the available years have not yet been entered.
A search can be done for all years or for any single year but it can only be done for a single county at a time. The screen must be reset in order to choose another county. The advanced search says that you can select multiple counties but it caused an error whenever I tried it.
Click "Søgning efter personer" to search for a person.
Enter Navn = Name (minimum 3 letters, blank separator, "_" replaces 1 char, "%" is wildcard), Amt (County) must be selected, "Alle aldre" = All ages. Køn: = Sex. Then Click "Søg" to search.
Searching by name is a little different with this system. It gives the choice of “contains”, “=” (equals), and “starts with.” The default is contains. After entering a search for Neuhaus it returned entries with Neuhaus as a middle name along with a number of entries for Neuhausen. I changed the search to equals Neuhaus and nothing was returned. I then noticed that this is not a surname search but a full name search.
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig5 – Caption: (Search results of contains Bockman in Kobenhavn)
Emigrant database (1868 - 1908) - Index
http://www.emiarch.dk/home.php3?l=en in English
While there are no images at this site the information provided can be used to possibly locate the images of passenger lists or immigration records at other sites such as the Hamburg records as www.Ancestry.com, Castle Garden (www.castlegarden.org/), and Ellis Island (www.ellisislandrecords.com/).
Details about the database were found on the Information page: “Emigration lists compiled by the Copenhagen Police from 1869 to 1940. These lists give the name, last residence, age, year of emigration, and first destination of the emigrant from Denmark. The records are made available for the years 1869 to 1908 (394.000 emigrants). The Danish Emigration Data Base compiled by the Danish Emigration Archives and The City Archives of Aalborg.
The Danish emigration material and the database
Following a number of scandals in which unsuspecting emigrants were conned by Danish emigration agents, The Danish parliament passed more stringent regulations on May 1, 1868. According to the new law, The Copenhagen Chief of Police was to approve and monitor all emigration agents in Denmark and authorize all overseas tickets made out in Denmark. This was to be done whether an emigrant would be traveling directly from Copenhagen to the United States or indirectly via another European harbor for destinations overseas. As an extra measure of control, all the information from each ticket was copied down in ledgers, and thus became the Copenhagen Police Records of Emigrants. A total of 90 thick volumes were compiled, containing the same type of information for every emigrant. In spite of the care taken, the records are time-consuming to use and, in fact, there are two series of ledgers - one for emigrants who had - direct - passage from Copenhagen and one for those who had - indirect - passage. In each series, the emigrants are listed year by year in roughly alphabetical order according to the first letter of his or her surname.
The Danish emigrant database
Although difficult to use in their original form, the uniform nature of the police records made this material a natural choice for electronic data processing. Initial efforts to code the material were made by Kristian Hvidt when data processing was still in its infancy. Unfortunately, these first efforts did not include personal or place names. Personal names are, however, a prerequisite for dealing with genealogical queries and for making a person to person comparison with the American passenger lists. In 1990, therefore, the Danish Emigration Archives began compiling a database including all the information provided in the police records for all Danish emigrants. To date we have stored data for 394.000 persons who emigrated from May 24, 1868, to December 1908. For each emigrant, 13 items of basic information have been taken from the records: surname, first name, occupation, family status, age, place of birth (from 1899), last known residence (Danish emigrants, aliens only country-name), name of the emigration agent, ticket number, ticket registration date, name of the ship (only for direct passage from Copenhagen), destination and possible cancellation of the ticket. Added to this are 11 sets of codes to assist in making searches.
Source: The Provincial Archives of Sealand, Copenhagen Police Records of Emigrants 1868-1940: no. 21-58 Direct emigrants; 198-248 Indirect emigrants; 59-196 Ships sailings with passenger lists.”
To Search the Database, first Click on Databases. On the search screen at www.emiarch.dk/search.php3?l=en there are a variety of options including parts of a name or occupation, the person’s age, or their destination.
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig6 – Caption: (Search Results for Bockman)
Indvandrerhistoriske databaser- Index
Immigrant Historical databases
The following databases can be searched a may provide a person’s birth date and birth place.
Arbejdsophold 1812 – 1924 - Index
Working holidays 1812 – 1924
The following are Google translated text.
“The Native people who have been working visit in Brunswick county, Copenhagen County (not Copenhagen and Frederiksberg), and most of Los Angeles. The database comprises some 107,000 items and is based mainly on Chief protocols of issued residence papers and parish bailiff the servant protocols for the years 1875-1924. In Brunswick County is also the church books to and departure lists 1812-1875 (urban 1812-1854) included, but not the other areas. How servant protocols exceptionally goes further back than 1875, these included.”
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig7 – Caption: (Rasmussen)
The following is the translated and transcribed entry for:
Surname: Rasmussen, First name: August, Birth Date: 00.00.1819, Arrival: 00.00.1835,
Arrival: Tjenestekarl, Arrived from (country): Sweden, Arr. from the (local): Vixjöl,
Birth: Sweden, Tj. / Oph.sted (region): Frederiksborg County Tj. / oph.sted (parish): Sct. Marie
Source number: 1100902
Indfødsretstildeling 1776 - 1960 - Index
Naturalization Award 1776 - 1960
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig8 – Caption: (Neuhaus)
“Persons who have been granted citizenship. The database is nationwide and includes 50,317 entries. The database built from 1776-1849 to a record of naturalization Patents and from 1850-1940 at the comments on the draft laws naturalization. Please note that from 1898 achieves incapacitated wife and children automatic citizenship when the man gets the allocated. This means that married women and children do not appear in the database, although they have obtained citizenship. Widows who have applied independently and received naturalization should normally be sought during their married name. Furthermore, it must be pointed out that after 1914 persons acting in the base, which have not obtained citizenship, because they have not met the condition - within a year - to show that they are released from their former citizenship.
When as a result of a search for a final stand: The Law of xx xx xxxx Item number / pag. xxx Supplement x, it means that he has been granted citizenship with the law in question under the serial number (before 1850 listed on the page). Appendix (A, B) means that information must be found in the Official Journal of parliament in Appendix A and Appendix B.
Serial numbers may differ slightly from the final bill - especially up in 1930-40s, because the serial numbers that - after 1915 - is used in the database are those persons have entered in appendices and not them, they are Having entered into the final bill.
Immigrant Museum - Bodenstown Museums - is usually not in possession of additional information beyond what is in surcharges to parliament Journal of the minutes of naturalization Patents. If you wish further information, those sought in individual applications for naturalization in the Public Record Office.”
Deportees 1875-1919 - Index
“Persons who were deported from Denmark 1875-1919. The table includes 31,000 items, but some people are shown several times. The database is based on police internal journal of Police Intelligence. Most expulsions occurred after foreign law either Without injunction (in Copenhagen quoted as Home Delivered) or with tumbler, i.e. with and without an obligation not to return to the country. Some are deported after a criminal offense.”
Once you have found the family’s parish then you will want find a photograph of the church. This site contains a collection of photographs of all the churches in Denmark.
Select the first letter of the church’s name and select from the list. The sort order of the selection list can be changed to list them by Parish (Sogne) or by location (Herreder).
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig9 – Caption: (Herreder=Haderslev)
Danish Probate Index
The index to probate records from Thisted, Viborg, Aalborg, and Randers counties of Denmark was made by volunteers at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City over the period of over 20 years. This index can provide the name of the farm or parish where they lived at the time of their death along with the name of their spouse or a parent, and possibly their occupation.
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig10 – Caption: (Search results for Rasmussen)
http://www.eba.esbjergkommune.dk/ - Free site
This archive on the west coast of Jutland has three collections of photographs that can be found under Links and then Billeddatabaser.
Illustration – insert 63-1NetFH-DenFig11 – Caption: ()
“Odense City Museum has a large collection of old photographs, drawings and more from New Jersey. Picture located physically on Bymuseet Coins Farm, Overgade 48, New Jersey.
We are in the process of digital image collection and will eventually make the images available here on the Internet site. The images may be used freely for non-commercial use in newspapers, magazines and printed matter, stating: Source: Odense City Museums.”
There are currently 9,885 images in the database. The other two collections are the Danske billeder and Fotograf Tønnies samling (Aalborg).
http://www.ancestry.com/search/locality/dbpage.aspx?i=d&tp=1652381&p=5071 – Subscription Site
At present there is nothing for Denmark except for a reference to “Sous le masque de "William Shakespeare": William Stanley, VIe comte de Derby” which is a book in French that contains references to Danemark.