|Denmark Research Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
City Directories of Large Cities [Vejvisere]
Research use: Many people moved in and out of the major Danish cities during the 1800s, especially Copenhagen. Often records, especially immigration records, state only that a person came from Copenhagen or some other large city. For example, a researcher needs to know the exact location in Copenhagen before he can continue research in the city. Directories give the street where the person lived in Copenhagen. Then a researcher can go to the censuses which are indexed by street name. Censuses will give a researcher the place of origin, birth, etc. Without this source, many researchers will be unable to identify the parish or civil registration district where ancestors lived.
Record type: Directories of cities giving names of heads of households with addresses.
Time period: 1771 to present.
Contents: Names and addresses of all heads of households.
Location: Copenhagen city archives, other city archives.
Copenhagen directories exist for the years 1787, 1801, 1834, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1901, 1906, 1911 and 1916, 1921, and 1925.
A list of directories of Denmark.
The Copenhagen directories are among the oldest directories in the world. They began in 1770, and continued through to the twentieth century. The directories were compiled at various times, though generally it was every five years. They were meant to assist the residents of Copenhagen locate businesses and people in the city and the surrounding suburbs.
What you typically find
City directories are similar to modern day phone books. They typically contain information about the city and the residents. The poor are not usually listed. Most common information in all of the directories are:
- name of head of household. Entries will not always have the full name. All entries will have the surname, but there may be either no first name listed, or just initials.Example entries:
- Just surname: Rothe, Boghandler, Stormgaden 302. -initials: Larsen, H. P., Formstjærer, Prindsensg, 281
- Full name: Christensen, Jens, Lysestøber, lille Fiolstræde 177.
- street location and house number
- Military personnel with regiment number and military rank
- Women who are either unmarried, or widowed who have an occupation, or midwives (Jordemødre)
- address of institutions, public and royal buildings
- Churches and the resident clergy
- Foreign ministers
- Other political authorities such as police chiefs, politicians, post masters, etc.
The Copenhagen directories are very well organized and can be used for several different purposes such as a census substitute between census years, tracking a family through time, and differentiating between similarly named families in the city. The directories are organized alphabetically by surname, instead of by street, making it easier to find people within the directories.
The format of all entries are the same for every directory, being organized as "name" then "occupation" then "street name and house number".
The Copenhagen directories can be accessed at the Family History Library and Københavns Kommunes Biblioteker (Copenhagen Community Library).
- The entire collection of Copenhagen City directories, from 1770 to 1969, is digitized and posted free online HERE, from the Københavns Kommunes Biblioteker (Copenhagen Community Library). The website is in Danish, however it is fairly easy to use without being able to read Danish.
- The Family History Library has microfilm/fiche copies for the years 1779, 1787, 1790, 1801, 1813, 1827, 1834, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1859, 1861, and 1872.
The directories are also available at the different archives and libraries in the city.
- 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.