Friday, March 29, 2013

Danish Census Records Rock!

Taking the genealogical trip to Denmark at first seemed daunting, but I have a fair amount of data to use in my search for Knud Rasmus Knudsen. [Danish Post #4]

Fortunately for me, and all you Danish researchers, there are lots of censuses to choose from. Lots. I haven't figured out the reasoning - and maybe there is none - but Danish censuses were recorded often! Not that I'm complaining. The Danish records span the period 1769-1930 in 22 different censuses. We have to find Knud in there somewhere.

The best database I found for records is the Danish State Archives. They have a specific site dedicated just to census records...that have been transcribed and indexed! If I haven't yet mentioned in this series how awesome Danish records are, consider this my big shout out! Go Denmark!

Visit the website at Dansk Demografisk Databases. As I mentioned previously, there is always a link to English on the page. The right side of the page gives typical user tips and special character usage. The link at the top left "What's In The Database" will show what years and locations have been transcribed.

Sally's Tip: You will need to know at minimum in what county your target person might be located. You cannot perform a search without county. Note also that if a person had three names, use all three to search. In my case, I found that "Knud Knudsen" does not deliver the same results as "Knud Rasmus Knudsen." I will touch on Danish naming in a future post.

In the census database, I tried various data entries to see what the output would be. We know Knud arrived in Chicago in 1891, so I started with the 1890 census of Aarhus. Entering "Knud Knudsen" gave me exactly zero hits. As I investigated, not all of 1890 is complete. On to 1880. This time I got two very similar results: a boy aged 12 born in Bjerager parish and a boy aged 14 born in Aarhus city. And both of their fathers were Rasmus Knudsen. Hmm, dilemma. I am pretty confident that my Knud is the older boy. We have two instances noting his birth as December 1865, making him exactly 14 for the 1880 census. On my trusty map of Denmark, I find that Bjerager is a farming community in Aarhus county, but far outside Aarhus city. I'm going with Knud #2.

Here are the results of my search:

And here is what happens when you click "Show Household":

This is very exciting! I will keep checking on older censuses and see what I can learn about this potentially ancestral family.

More in the next post...

© 2013 Sally Knudsen