We hope these pages will help you in your search for Danish ancestors.

Getting started

Before you visit the archives it will be a good idea to gather as much information as possible on your ancestors. The reason for this is that in order to find a person you must have some basic information. Otherwise, you will not know in which records to look for him or her.

Getting started


You can read about a number of various genealogical sources that can be used to find your ancestors. While most records held in the State Archives require a good knowledge of Danish language, some of the basic records are easier to use.

Basic records


You can also read about Danish names - both patronymics and Christian names. If you have a Danish ancestor with a typical English-American name, you may get an idea about the original name on the pages with popular male and female names.

Danish names
Christian names
Danish male names
Danish female names


Until 1875 the so-called "German" or "Gothic" style of handwriting was commonly used in Denmark. Practically all older documents in the archives are written in this style - and it is necessary to learn how to read it, if you wish to use our records.

Old Danish style of handwriting


The genealogical dictionary will give you the Danish terms for most family relations as well as translate words you will encounter most frequently in genealogical sources.

Genealogical dictionary