Friday, April 26, 2013

Examining Danish Deaths

Last week [Danish Post #7], I spent time (maybe too much!) sharing the amazing set of records that are the Danish State Archives, or Arkivalieronline. But really, I think FREE genealogy records deserve a lot of words.

This week, we'll look at death records through time. They all contain a trove of information, but their presentation varies.

Our focus Dane, Rasmus Knudsen, was born in a small community and moved to Aarhus. He died in Aarhus in 1902. This is the entire ledger page showing his record:

The columns in this book are: record number, death date and location, burial date and location, name, family information, age, pastor or officiant, and notes. Here is the detail of Rasmus' record: Aarhus, Hasle, Aarhus Domsogn, 1901-1906

The family data entry is chock full of details. His reads: 
Arbejdsman (laborer), fodt (born) in Hinnerup 12/24 26 (24 December 1826) of Knud Johansen and Kirsten Rasmusdatter. Enkemand (widower) of Ane Botilla Martens, dode (died) 17/1 98 (17 January 1898)
Let that sink in. We get name, birth date and place, parent's full names, spouse status and name, and spouse's date of death. I wish all my ancestors were Danish!

Here are a couple more examples from other time periods:

Margrethe Rasmusdatter 1819-1920 (!)
Arkivalieronline,dk: Aarhus, Ning, Tulstrup, 1892-1923

Johanne Knudsdatter, 1771, age 73 and Ane Nielsdatter, 1771, age 60 Aarhus, Ning, Maarslet, 1738-1813

There are some variations across the years, but Danish vital records are loaded with useful information. I am eternally grateful for this obsession with names and dates and genealogy. The Danes have made my number-crunching fun!

© 2013 Sally Knudsen


  1. Wow! If only more genealogy records where like this. However I do suspect I would spend my entire life reading them.

    Beneath Thy Feet

    1. Nicola, you aren't kidding! They have been wonderful to search.

  2. Danes must be the original genealogists -- or genealogist-enablers. They put everything down, in good order, for later generations to find. And they don't misspell half the words -- as happens in the American census. It is truly not fair that on top of all this, they had beautiful and readable handwriting. Oh, well, there has to be a leader in every pack.

    1. Genealogist-enablers is right. Well-put! I wish MY lines were Danish! At least I can do this for my kids :)