Danish Amt 1794 - 1970
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As with all Danish research it is most important to understand what political jurisdictions the ancestor of research lived in. In Denmark there are a few key jurisdictions to be aware of. One such is the Amt. The Amt, or county, in Denmark is a political jurisdiction that was established on the 19th of February 1662. From 1662-1793 there were many Amts throughout the country. At the beginning of 1793, the many Amts were combined and rearranged into larger units, making the number 24. Two exceptions to the Amts were the cities of København (Copenhagen) and Frederiksberg. When trying to find records for these two cities they are normally listed under København (Copenhagen) Amt; however, historically, these two cities acted as both their own Amt and kommune.
From 1793 to 1970 the Amt boundaries went through very little changes. However, there are some noteworthy changes that happened throughout the 177 years that would have affected the record keeping. One change was that Århus Amt and Skanderborg Amt were combined in 1867. The two Amts were then separated in 1942, and remained separated until the reform of 1970. Another change was that in 1808 Roskilde Amt was split between Frederiksborg Amt (receiving Horns Herred (district)), and København (Copenhagen) Amt (receiving Køge and Roskilde).
Probably the largest change to happen during the 177 years was the loss of the region of Sønderjylland to Germany in 1864.The entire Amts of Tønder, Åbenrå, and Sønderborg, including most of Haderslev Amt remained under German rule until 1920. The few Slesvig parishes that remained with Denmark became a part of Ribe Amt. Also, a few parishes south of the city of Kolding that were not taken by the Germans became a part of Vejle Amt.
Records throughout Denmark are organized and found under the Amt that they belonged to. Below is a picture and list of the existing Amts from 1793 to 1970.
In 2007 the administrative jurisdictions of Amts were dissolved into 5 regions: Hovedstaden, Sjælland, Midtjylland, Syddanmark, and Nordjylland.
- Skaaning, Jytte and Bente Klercke Rasmussen. Find Din Slægt - og Gør den Levende: Håndbog i Slægtshistorie, 2d ed. Syddansk Universitetsforlag, 2006.
- Worsøe, Hans H. Politikens Håndbog i Slægtshistorie. København (Copenhagen): Politikens Forlag A/S, 2005.
- Wikipedia. "Amt." <http://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amt>. Accessed 29 April 2011.
- Dansk Center for Byhistorie. "Amternes Administration1660-1970." <http://dendigitalebyport.byhistorie.dk/kommuner/artikel.aspx?artikel=amter.xml>. Accessed 2 May 2011.