A kommune is one of the smallest political jurisdictions in Denmark. Today's kommunes were first established in Denmark in 1841; however, the idea and the functions of the kommune have been around since 1660 in the countryside. Historically, the kommune has had three main responsibilities, taking care of the poor, schools, orphans, and the upkeep of roads. Throughout the years, though, other responsibilities have been added including: day care, elderly care, health, social welfare, registering of people, environment, and other similar things. The kommune consisted of a borgmester (mayor) and an odd number of council members.
The kommune has created many records through the past few centuries, and those records can be of help genealogically. Some records that you may find under the kommune include tax records, kommunal censuses , military levying rolls , street records, etc. These records do not usually cover estates (gods).
By law, kommunes are in charge of the upkeep of their own records, resulting in kommunal records being stored in many different archives , from state archives to kommune offices, city archives to city hall. Many kommunal records are available on microfilm as well. Kommune histories can be found online by just entering in to google the kommune name and the word kommune. Majority of the histories are in Danish.
Number of Kommunes in Denmark:
1970 – 2003 275
For present-day kommunes see Kommuner I Danmark
- 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. "Kommune." <http://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kommune>. Accessed 27 May 2011.
- Dansk Center for Byhistorie. "Landkommunernes Administration1660-1970." <http://dendigitalebyport.byhistorie.dk/kommuner/artikel.aspx?artikel=landkommuner.xml>. Accessed 27 May 2011.
- Dansk Center for Byhistorie. "Kommunalreformen 1970." <http://dendigitalebyport.byhistorie.dk/kommuner/artikel.aspx?artikel=kommunalreform_1970.xml>. Accessed 29 May 2011.