Denmark Death/Burial Records

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Finding the death and burial record for your Danish ancestor is an important step in building the family story. Too often researchers do not search for the death date thinking the birth, or marriage is more important. In Danish research, knowing the death date helps to piece together the entire story. It may also help to find a probate of the deceased. You will find the entry of your ancestors death and burial in the parish records where the death and burial took place.

Background[edit | edit source]

Here is an overview of dates affecting the parish registers.

1645 Resolution by the King to begin recording Deaths / Burials to Bishop of Sjælland.

1683 Christian V Danske Lov tightened the record keeping practices.

1812 Resolution that each parish needed 2 separate parish registers. There is a rough standardization to use registers with columns and column headings.

1822 Emphasis on recording when a person moved in or out of the parish.

1832 The introduction of Skudsmål books (a workers occupational references) supported the need for the moving in and out records to be better kept.

1875 People could report to the sognefogederne when moving. Many parishes discontinue keeping a moving in or out record.

1891 Revision to modernize the parish record formatting. The parish records are standardized throughout the entire kingdom.

1968 The Danish Luthran State Church uses the Centralt Person Register (CPR) database to record births, marriages, and deaths.

1998 The Kirkeministeriet (Government Ministry of the Danish State Church) began a digital church book to record births, marriages, and deaths in the Den Ny Kirkebog (DNK).

What will you typically find?[edit | edit source]

Death / Burial Records Pre-1814[edit | edit source]

You will get:

  • The date of burial.
  • Maybe a date of death.
  • The full name of the deceased. Although in this time period the women are sometimes referred to as: Jens Jensens wife, or Jørgen Nielsens daughter.
  • The age of the deceased.
  • Maybe the cause of death.
  • The place of residence at the time of death.
  • The social standing of the deceased.
  • The occupation of the deceased.

Death / Burial Records 1814 – 1890[edit | edit source]

  • The date of death.
  • The date of burial.
  • The full name of the deceased.
  • The age of the deceased.
  • The place of residence at the time of death.
  • The social standing of the deceased.
  • The occupation of the deceased.
  • The cause of death
  • Sometimes other remarks such as: receiving charity assistance, or reference to disabilities.

Death / Burial Records 1890[edit | edit source]

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • If you don't know where the death / burial took place, you might try to find:
    • Moving information (in the parish moving in or out records), if you are working between about 1820 and 1875.
    • Moving information in the military levying rolls (beginning in about 1790).
    • The individuals name in a probate index (for the probate jurisdictions around the location they were residing).
    • The individual’s children going forward in time. Often the parents stayed near to at least one of their children.
  • The Hovedministerialbog (the book kept by the Parish Priest) is sent to the regional archive after the book is 100 years old.
  • All Kontraministerial books have been turned over to the regional archives.

References[edit | edit source]

1. Worsøe, Hans H. Slægts Historie. Denmark: Politikens Forlag, 2005
See examples of Danish death / burial Records at Denmark Handwriting Examples