Denmark Civil Registration

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Civil Registration

Use Church Records

For pre-1874 birth, death, and marriage records, see the "Church Records" section.


Prior to civil registration, vital data was recorded in the parish register. In 1924, Denmark implemented a nationwide civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. Although nationwide civil registration did not begin until the 20th century, Copenhagen began much earlier. Civil marriage registration began in 1851, and death registration began in 1840. Births were not registered civilly until the 1924 nationwide date.


Civil marriage records exist for Denmark and the city of Copenhagen starting in 1851. These records provide excellent information, such as the couple's names, residences, occupations, marital statuses, marriage date, religious affiliations, parents' names, witnesses, ages, and birth dates. Civil marriage became legal in 1851, but not all cities had couples entering into civil marriages at that date.
One source of Copenhagen information is: Police registries of 1.4 million people.The website is a digital edition of the Copenhagen police registers from 1890-1923

Death Certificates

There are death certificates for some larger urban areas of Denmark. Generally they are for individuals of higher social status. Death certificates exist for the years 1857 to 1932. These certificates are hard to read and should be used only when you can not find the death in a parish register. For more information, see the following book:

  • Richter, V. Dødsfald i Danmark, 1761-1790 (Deaths in Denmark, 1761-1790). (Scand. 948.9 V43ra; film 1,124,546, item 2.)

You Can Use this Record to Find...

Access to Civil Registration Records

Civil registration records are kept at the local civil registration office in each district, town or city (municipality). Therefore, you must determine the town where your ancestor lived before you can find the records.

Records in Denmark

Denmark National Archives

Death Certificates [Dødsattester]

Research use: These are an excellent source for finding out what happened to family members whose deaths may otherwise be nearly impossible to find in the many parishes and records of Copenhagen and other large cities.

Record type: Certificates of death produced by various Departments of Health [Sundhdsstyrelsene]

Time period: 1857 to the present.

Contents: Name of deceased, cause of death, names of spouse and of parents, dates of death and burial, parish of death, place of burial.

Location: Copenhagen city archives, provincial archives.

Percentage in Family History Library: 50%. The library has records of the islands of Sjælland and of Fyn.

Population coverage: 99%.

Reliability: Very good.[1]

Records available through FamilySearch

Civil Marriages

See Denmark Civil Marriages 1851-1967

At the Family History Library
To find civil registration records in the FamilySearch Catalog, search in the Place search under each of the following headings:




A wiki article describing this collection is found at:

Denmark Civil Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)


  1. 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.