Danish Military Levying Rolls: When was a person registered in the Lægdsruller

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Denmark Gotoarrow.pngMilitary Levying RollsGotoarrow.pngWhen Was a Person Registered?

The age when a male was registered in the Lægdsruller.

The table below, shows when a person would be added to lægdsrullen, and when he would be removed. Inclusion in the roll was determined by the so-called lægdsrullealder, ie. the age of the conscript as of the beginning of a year. Until 1862, the confirmation of the individual was the criteria for inclusion in the lægdsruller and therefore the lower age could vary. The upper limit shows the latest that an individual would be deleted. In many cases, however, they were removed much earlier, for example, at the end of their 20s.

The age when on the Lægdsrulle

  Lower Limit
  Upper Limit
 0 year of age
 36 years of age
 0 year of age
 45 years of age
 14/15* years of age
 38 years of age
 17/18** years of age
 38 years of age
 18 years of age
 26 years of age

 * The year, the boy was comfirmed

 ** The year, the boy turned 18 years of age

If you were declared unfit for military service, or if for other reasons were exempted, you could be removed from the roll before the upper limit was reached. A farmer or a peasant would often remain on the rolls, but could by presentation of a freedom letter or deed avoid being called up for military service.

By the late 1800s the pattern for most conscripts was:

Was admitted to the roll as an 18 year old

Come to the session as a 20 year old

Completed his military service as a 22 year old

Especially for market towns

Market towns were originally not in the lægds districts. But since many recruits from the countryside moved to the city, market towns were, starting in 1843, their own lægd. Before this year they were recorded in the adjacent landlægd. For example, conscripts in Copenhagen before 1833 were recorded in Copenhagen County 1st lægd (Hvidovre) and from the 1833-1843 with the War Commissioner for 1st Zealand District.

Year to tease - change of enrollment age

In 1849 radical changes were made in the enrollment age. Before 1849, all boys entered in the rolls when they were born. After 1849 boys were entered into the roll in the year they were confirmed. As a rule this happened when they were 14 or 15 years of age. Simultaneously if the boy was of a different faith or was not confirmed, he would be entered in his 15th year.

The change in the enrollment age caused a lot of boys to "disappear" from the rolls after 1849.  This is because all of the unconfirmed boys were removed from the roll. These boys were then added after their confirmation or at the latest in their 15th year.

An example

A boy born in 1840 does appear in the rolls until 1848.  In 1849 he is not shown.  This is because he is only eight years old, with the change in the enrollment age going into effect.  He once again appears in the rolls in 1854/55 at the time of his confirmation.

A good tip!  If an ancestor disappears from the rolls in 1849, then try the year when he is confirmed.  If you do not find him there, try to follow his father or a brother, since the family may have moved in the mean time.


Statens Arkiver. Lægdsruller. Denmark: Landsarkivet for Sjælland Lolland-Falster & Bornholm, 2008