Danish Military Levying Rolls: Content of the Lægdsruller
Military Levying Rolls [Lægdsruller]
Research use: Good lineage-linking source.This source helps trace the movements of the male population ages 17 to 45. It is extremely valuable as it is often the only means of following a family from one parish to another particularly for those whose ancestors lived in rural areas.
Record Type: Lists of potential conscripts kept by the county military. These were compiled on a parish basis by civil authorities. Prior to 1848 all males of the rural classes were entered into the local levying rolls at time of birth and their names remained on the rolls until they moved from the parish, died, were exempted from military service, transferred to the Naval Rolls [Sølister], or reached the age of about forty-five. After 1848 males were not entered into the levying rolls until age fourteen; after 1869 males were not entered until age seventeen. From about 1860 the format of these records changed to having one main levying roll for each parish and then additional rolls were created showing new enrollees or move-outs each year. These include notations when enrollees moved from one parish to another. NOTE: There are no military levying rolls for Bornholm. Levying rolls are incomplete for the counties of Haderslev, Tønder, and Åbenrå-Sønderborg as these areas were governed by Prussia from 1864 to 1920.
Time Period: 1789 to present.
Contents: Name of potential conscript (male), age, date and place of birth, residence, height, unit of service, disabilities, notification of death, exemptions from military service, name of father; if illegitimate, the mother’s name.
Location: Military Archive [Hærens Arkiv], part of the National Archives. Percentage in Family History Library: About 80% of what is needed. For 1789 to 1860 we have - 100%; for 1860 to 1888 - about 30%; for 1888-1923 - less than 2%
Population coverage: About 70% of the male population. City dwellers and sons of pastors and more prominent people are not included in the records before 1848. The names of persons born in cities do not appear in the military levying rolls before 1842 because the cities had their own militias prior to that year.
Early Military Levying Rolls [Tidlige Militare Lægdsruller]
Research use: Good lineage-linking source. Since the landowners were obligated to furnish men for the military, accurate lists of males living on each of their estates were kept. These records can be very helpful in identifying those listed and in determining just when they were on an estate.
Record type: Levy lists of military-age men residing in rural areas on land estates considered for potential draftees.
Time period: about 1700 to 1790.
Contents: Names of potential conscripts, age, place of birth, name of father, place of residence.
Location: Provincial archives.
Percentage in Family History Library: 85 to 90%.
Population coverage: 10 to 20% of the male population; does not include urban males who are recorded in local militia levying rolls.
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Denmark,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1998.