Copenhagen: Cemeteries

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Cemetery records are a complimentary record to the more commonly used church and civil death/burial records. The records come in several different forms from headstones to sextons records. Cemetery records are especially useful when there are gaps in death/burial records.

Background[edit | edit source]

There are many different cemeteries in the city of Copenhagen. Each cemetery has its own records and own customs of burial. For common burial customs see Denmark Cemeteries. Most cemeteries were located on the grounds of the parish church. Other religious and occupational cemeteries are scattered throughout the city, and have different records.

The Assistens Cemetery and its Records[edit | edit source]

In 1760, the Assistens cemetery (Assistens Kirkegård) was created for the use of all of Copenhagen’s churches. Every state church was in charge of its own section of the cemetery and its own records. However, starting in 1805 all of the burials for the cemetery was recorded in one burial register (Begravelsesprotokoller). Nearly all people were recorded in this register, and are divided between men and women.
Up until 1945 children under the age of twelve were not recorded in the registers. After 1861, other people, including military personnel, the poor, and members of minority religions (such as Catholics and Jews), were not recorded in the burial registers nor buried in the cemetery. Beginning in 1887, all deaths and burials were recorded in the burial register despite occupation, status, religion, etc. Alphabetical indexes are available for the burial records at the Copenhagen State Archives. The contents of the burial records include:
- Name (women under married name)
- Age
- Birth date and place (from 1913)
- Occupation (excluding the years 1856-1860)
- Death date and cause of death
- Burial date and place
- Address and parish at time of death

Copenhagen's Jewish Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

There are several Jewish cemeteries scattered throughout the city, but the most well known of these are the Mosaisk Vestre Kirkegård and the Mosaisk Nordre Kirkegård i Møllegade. Unlike most European cemeteries, the Jewish graves are never re-used, thus it is easier to find the graves of people prior to 1900 than in most other cemeteries in Denmark.
Mosaisk Nordre Kirkegård i Møllegade
Burials in the cemetery began in 1694, and the cemetery was used up until 1967. About 5,500 people are buried in the cemetery, among which are many different famous Danish Jews.
Mosaisk Vestre Kirkegård
The Vestre Kirkegård was used from 1886 - 1976. Many people, other than Jews are buried there.
When using the headstones to gather information it is important to remember that many of the headstones are written in Hebrew rather than Danish and the Latin alphabet.

Tips[edit | edit source]

Access[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Bing, Erik Henriques. Evighedens Hus: En guide til den jødiske begravelsesplads i Møllegade. København: Forlaget Tågaliden, 1997.
Friis, C. Assistens Kirkegaarden paa Nørrebro samt bidrag til Kjøbenhavns Begravelsespladsers Historie. Slagelse Trykthos Udgiveren, 1868.
Københans Stadsarkiv. Begravelsesprotokoller: 1805-1984/7. København: Københavns Stadsarkiv, 2008. research pamphlet.
Kulturcentret Assistens. [|]. Accessed 12 June 2009.
Margolinsky, Jul. Jødiske Dødsfald I Danmark 1693-1976. København: Dansk Historisk Håndbogsforlag, 1978.