Denmark: Tips for Danish Strategy

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Follow these principles as you search the records for your ancestor:

Search for one generation at a time[edit | edit source]

Do not try to connect your family to others of the same surname who lived more than a generation before your proven ancestor. It is much easier to prove parentage than descent.

Search for the ancestor's entire family[edit | edit source]

The records of each person in a family may include clues for identifying other family members. In most families, children were born at regular intervals (every two to three years). If there appears to be a longer period between some children (four to five years), reexamine the birth-christening and the death-burial records for a child who may have been overlooked. Consider looking at other records and in other places to find a missing family member.

Search each source thoroughly[edit | edit source]

The information you need to find a person or trace the family further may be a minor detail of the record you are searching. Note the occupation of your ancestor and the names of witnesses, godparents, neighbors, relatives, guardians, and others. Also, note the places they are from.

Search a broad time period[edit | edit source]

Dates obtained from some sources may not be accurate. Look several years before and after the date you think an event, such as a birth, occurred.

Look for indexes[edit | edit source]

Many records have indexes. However, many indexes are incomplete. They may include only the name of the specific person the record is about. The indexes often do not include all the pieces of evidence shown on the original documents. Also, be aware that the original records may have been misinterpreted or names may have been omitted during indexing.

Search for all places of residence[edit | edit source]

Information about your ancestral residencies is vital to successful Danish research. With so many people in Denmark using such a small variety of names, knowing the place of residency may help identify the correct ancestor (example: your Jens Jensen from all the other Jens Jensens).

Watch for spelling variations[edit | edit source]

Look for the many ways a person or place name could have been spelled. Spelling was not standardized when most early records were made. You may find a name spelled differently than it is today, as well as several different spelling variations in the original records.

Record Your Searches and Findings[edit | edit source]

Copy the information you find and keep detailed notes about each record you search. These notes should include the author, title, location, call numbers, description, and results of your search. Most researchers use a research log for this purpose.