Denmark History

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 06:32, 1 December 2012 by Lotje2 (talk | contribs) (place template)

Jump to: navigation, search

Denmark Gotoarrow.png History

Effective family research requires some understanding of the historical events that may have affected your family and the records about them. Learning about wars, governments, laws, migrations, and religious trends may help you understand political boundaries, family movements, and settlement patterns. These events may have led to the creation of records such as land and military documents that mention your family.

Your ancestors will become more interesting to you if you learn about the events they may have participated in. For example, by using a history you might learn about the events that occurred in the year your great-grandparents were married.

General History

Some key dates and events in the history of Denmark are as follows:

883 King Gorm becomes the first known ruler of a united Danish kingdom.

940-985 The reign of Harold Bluetooth. The Christian church is established in Denmark.

1013 Union of Denmark and England.

1397 The three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are united in the Union of Kalmar.

1523 Sweden leaves the union.

1536 Reformation.

1787 The first population census of genealogical value was taken.

1788 The abolition of the "stavnsbaand" (compulsory residence by the peasant and farming classes.)

1812 A printed format for parish registers begins.

1814 At the Treaty of Kiel, Denmark is compelled to cede Norway to Sweden.

1863Denmark goes to war against Prussia and Austria. In the Treaty of Prague (1866), Denmark cedes Schleswig-Holstein to Prussia (Germany).

1915 A new constitution establishes a two-chamber parliament elected by universal suffrage.

1920 After a referendum, northern Schleswig is returned to Denmark.

1940-1945 German occupation of Denmark.

The Family History Library has some of the published national, regional, and local histories for Denmark. You can find histories in the catalog under one of the following:





Major works on Danish history are also available in public and university libraries.

Local Histories

Local histories should be studied and enjoyed for the background information they can provide about your family's life-style and the community and environment in which your family lived.

For more information about the parish in which your ancestor(s) lived, see the following reference work:

  • Trap, J. P. Danmark. Several editions, 31 volumes. København: G.E.C. Gad, 1958. (FHL Scand. 948.9 E2t.)

Bibliographies that list local histories are available for some Danish counties. These are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under:





Calendar Changes

The Gregorian calendar is the calendar in common use in the world today. Denmark officially adopted it on 18 February 1700. At the time of the change, 10 days were omitted in order to bring the calendar into line with the solar year.