Copenhagen Research: Getting Started
Over a quarter of the population of Denmark live in Metropolitan Copenhagen. Copenhagen has had a turbulent history through the years:
- Established 1167. Originally called Havn (The Harbor), later Kiobmaennehavn (The Merchants' Harbor), and now Kobenhavn.
- Fires, Plagues, Wars. Several times between 1249-1536 the town was besieged, sacked, and burned.
- Since 1428 the royal residence and seat of government.
- University established 1479.
- Population decimated by the plague mid-16th century.
- Another plague in 1711, fire in 1728, city bombed in 1807.
- Industrialization - Period of flux, began in earnest in l870s.
- International community. International center & principal crossroads of Northern Europe (shipping, flying, and driving). There were many Germans, Swedes, French, Dutch, and English living here through its history.
How Do I Get Started?
Begin with family and home sources. Look for names, dates, and places on certificates (attester in Danish), family Bibles, obituaries, diaries, and similar sources. Ask your relatives for any additional information they may have. It's likely that your second cousin, great-aunt, or other relative already has some family information. Organize the information you find, and record it on pedigree charts and family group records.
|Know what you know - You cannot simply say, "I'm going to find my great-great-great-grandfather," and expect to meet with any success. You have to have some clues to get you started. You may have many clues that you don't even recognize. Most of these clues will come from previous generations of ancestors.|
|Make sure to record exactly where you obtained the information. Knowing whether the information came from an original birth certificate or from Family hearsay will determine the quality of the information and whether or not you need to verify what you have.|
The Next Step...
Select a specific relative or ancestor born in Denmark for whom you know at least a name, the village or parish where he or she lived in Denmark, and an approximate date when he or she lived there. It is also very helpful to know the names of other family members born in Denmark.
As you look over your Family Group Records, or Pedigree Charts, ask yourself “What do I want to find next?” Common goals might be:
- The last person on a specific line of your Pedigree Chart.
- A missing parent on the Family Group Sheet
- A gap between the birth years of the children on a Family Group Record (a wide enough gap that there may be missing children in between siblings).
- Finding the last children to the parents (during the Mothers’ child bearing years).
- To find the birth date and place for an individual listed on the Family Group Record without one.
- Locating the marriage date and place for the parents on a Family Group Record.
For suggestions on finding an immigrant ancestor's birthplace, see the "Emigration and Immigration" section through the Denmark: Portal of the FamilySearch Wiki.
Next, decide what you want to learn about your ancestor, such as where and when he was married, or the names of his parents. You may want to ask an experienced researcher to help you select a goal that you can achieve.
After you have gathered information and set a research goal, you can start searching in birth marriage and death records. Use the following links to learn how to begin using Danish records and tips about Danish research:
|Join a Community of Danish researchers! Ask questions, help others, and share your research success on Facebook[] and/or Skype.|
|For more learning see the tutorials at FamilySearch Learning Center on [Scandinavian Research] and [Reading Scandinavian Gothic Handwritten Records]|
|How to Find Information for Danish Ancestors|
1. Getting Started