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The Danish Emigration Archives
Try our new website: www.udvandrerarkivet.dk

The National Collection of Books and Documents on Emigration History in Denmark
The Danish Emigration Archives in Aalborg, Denmark was established in 1932 to record the history of the Danes who emigrated and to maintain cultural bonds to those who have their roots in Denmark.

The Archives holds a large collection of private letters, manuscripts, diaries, biographies, newspaper clippings, photographs, portraits, etc., searches can be done in The National Danish Database on Private Archives

To promote and support Danish emigration research The Danish Emigration Archives has published several books on emigration to the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. All our publications and books are for sale at the Archives. Address and other information about the Danish Emigration Archives

Can I get further help?
The Danish Emigration Archives charges a fee of US $80 for a search in the emigration records 1868-1939 paid by transferred to our bank-account Danske Bank A/S, Algade 53, postboks 1264, 9100 Aalborg, reg.nr.: 3201 konto: 3402 189096, To Det Danske Udvandrerarkiv. Arkivstræde 1, Postboks 1353, 9100 Aalborg
Please inform us of your postal address.
We do not carry out extended genealogical research. We can however refer you to genealogical societies all over Denmark and about 600 local and regional archives.

Can I get copies from the original material?
Yes - at the same conditions as above.


Emigration lists compiled by the Copenhagen Police from 1869 to 1940. These lists give the name, last residence, age, year of emigration and first destination of the emigrant from Denmark. The records are made available for the years 1869 to 1908 (394.000 emigrants)The Danish Emigration Data Base compiled by the Danish Emigration Archives and The City Archives of Aalborg

The Danish emigration material and the database
Following a number of scandals in which unsuspecting emigrants were conned by Danish emigration agents, The Danish parliament passed more stringent regulations on May 1, 1868. According to the new law, The Copenhagen Chief of Police was to approve and monitor all emigration agents in Denmark and authorize all overseas tickets made out in Denmark. This was to be done whether an emigrant would be traveling directly from Copenhagen to the United States or indirectly via another European harbor for destinations overseas. As an extra measure of control, all the information from each ticket was copied down in ledgers, and thus became the Copenhagen Police Records of Emigrants. A total of 90 thick volumes were compiled, containing the same type of information for every emigrant. In spite of the care taken, the records are time-consuming to use as, in fact, there are two series of ledgers - one for emigrants who had - direct - passage from Copenhagen and one for those who had - indirect - passage. In each series, the emigrants are listed year by year in roughly alphabetical order according to the first letter of his or her surname.

The Danish emigrant database
Although difficult to use in their original form, the uniform nature of the police records made this material a natural choice for electronic data processing. Initial efforts to code the material were made by Kristian Hvidt when data processing was still in its infancy. Unfortunately, these first efforts did not include personal or place names. Personal names are, however, a prerequisite for dealing with genealogical queries and for making a person to person comparison with the American passenger lists. In 1990, therefore, the Danish Emigration Archives began compiling a database including all the information provided in the police records for all Danish emigrants. To date we have stored data for 394.000 persons who emigrated from May 24, 1868, to December 1908. For each emigrant, 13 items of basic information have been taken from the records: surname, first name, occupation, family status, age, place of birth (from 1899), last known residence (Danish emigrants, aliens only country-name), name of the emigration agent, ticket number, ticket registration date, name of the ship (only for direct passage from Copenhagen), destination and possible cancellation of the ticket. Added to this are 11 sets of codes to assist in making searches.

Source: The Provincial Archives of Sealand, Copenhagen Police Records of Emigrants 1868-1940: no. 21-58 Direct emigrants; 198-248 Indirect emigrants; 59-196 Ships sailings with passenger lists.


What to do if I dont know the exact spelling of names?
Searches for personal- or placenames or names with the letters æ, ø and å can be done by using the signs _ or %:
K_benhavn - for København
Fl_gger - for Flügger or Flygger
S_rensen for Sørensen
Pe_ersen for Petersen or Pedersen
_ristensen for Kristensen or Christensen
Pe%ers%n for Petersen/Pedersen/Pettersson

I cannot find my ancestor Chris Johnson
This is because his name was Christian or Kristian Jensen in Denmark. Danish emigrants very often changed their names and the spelling of their names abroad. Christian Jensen may be changed to Chris Johnson, Andersen to Anderson, Nielsen to Neilson or Nelson. Danish immigrants with son-names as a rule had sen-names in Denmark. 10% of Danish emigrants had the family-name Hansen, another 10% - Jensen.

What is the ID-number?
The ID-number is a reference to the original source - The Copenhagener Police Ledgers. D7981H0723 means - the ledger for Direct emigration (I for Indirect) 1879-1881, litra H (first letter in familyname), page 7, line 23. It doesnt means anything else, as the original tickets are lost.

Direkte-Indirekte (Directly-Indirectly)
Direct tickets are issued for the direct line Copenhagen- New York - and gives information about the name of the ship. Indirectly tickets are issued by Danish agents for departures from a non-Danish port (often German or English) - and gives no information about the name of the ship.

Forevisningsdagen? (Day of presentation)
The day the ticket (contarct) is presented for the police. Normally the date is 0-5 days before the date of departure.

Must all fields be filled out?
No. However - the more the better.

Can I find familymembers travelling together?
Families travelling together often have the same ticket-number.

What about Mormon-emigration?
Mormon-emigrants are included in the database 1868-1872 and after 1894. For the years 1873-1894 separate lists on mormon-emigration (15.000) from and through Denmark are kept at the Danish Emigration Archives, however not yet included in the emigrationdatabase.

Can I find other Danish emigrationdatabases?
Moreover 4.109 emigrants from Denmark for the years 1879-1887 are to be found in the Vejle-listerne

Can I find other migration databases?
Links for other migration data bases

Jens Topholm