Name Change in Denmark

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Name Change in Denmark

Navneændring (name changes)

Navneændring means that a person changed their name, such as taking a new surname. Throughout most of the 1800s, the state tried (without much success) to instruct the people to keep fixed family names. From 1892 onward, a person's permanent name was the name that had been recorded in the church books - even if the person was not using it. The protests concerning this naming rule led the state in 1903 to try to solve this problem, an experimental system that continued with the passing of a law on 22 April 1904. Until 1903, a person was only allowed to change their name by royal authorization. After the new law, it was be easier (and cheaper) to get a new surname.

Church book as a starting point

Always start with the church book birth entry, in which the person's surname would be listed and would have a remark about the name change, date, and type. Type (i.e. either royal authorization or other proof / certificate name) determine where in particular the case could be found. If the type is not disclosed in the church book, you can guess by using a couple of general rules. If the name is a given name, a woman's maiden name, or a name of another that is already being used, the name change had to received royal authorization until 1961. However, if there is a new or even an invented name, the name change will have from 1903 onward normally have been approved by other supporting information / name proof. As to which authority decided the matter, is rarely reported, so here you may also have to guess. Start with the authority where the applicant lived, since the individual changed their name.

If multiple family members seek a name change, then the matter will be dealt with where the main applicant lived. If a man was renamed while he was still enrolled in the lægdsruller (military levying rolls), they will usually be updated and will provide precise information in the records. It is rare that an application for name change provides a justification for the choice of family name - unless there are restrictions to an already used name.

Name change in Copenhagen

As in many other cases Copenhagen had its own administrative system, which makes the search for the name matters different than in the provinces. In Copenhagen was a person from 1903-1904 to submit its application to Copenhagen, the Bureau, in whose archives it therefore exists. This applies both by royal authorization, and by other supporting records. The instructions are a Registry of Copenhagen Overpræsidiums archive subgroup of Copenhagen, the Bureau

Name change in the provinces

Came the name change by magistrates and levels of name certificate outside Copenhagen, was the applicant between 1903-1961 send the application to the police chief. Until 1919 called the police chief legal officer, and until then the case must be found in the legal file, and then served in the police archive. From 1962 surpassed the authority to counties and later for the state counties. From 1904-1961 took the counties also of royal funds. The instructions are relevant Registries of gruppeene "Retsbetjente - 1919", "Politi 1919-" and "Ampter & statsamter".


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