Emigrants from Denmark - Entity names

+4 votes

I am trying to add a Migrant from Holbæk in Denmark to Queensland.  What is the correct Danish Entity name to use?  There is one for West Zealand.  What about a town in the northeastern part of Zealand (Region Sjælland), Denmark?  Do I use Zealand? Do I use North Zealand?  What?

in Policy and Style by Living Cowan G2G6 (9.7k points)

1 Answer

+5 votes
Best answer

In Denmark, the most significant (and most stable) administrative entity over time is the sogn (parish).  All the others appear, disappear, and go through major changes over time with the major changes becoming more frequent over time. 

Holbæk Sogn is a sogn that is currently located in Norddjurs Kommune in Region Midtjylland. Those administrative entities have only existed since 2007.  From 1970 to 2006, this sogn was in Rougsø Kommune in  Århus Amt.  From 1793 to 1970, it was in Rougsø Herred in Randers Amt.  Prior to that, Holbæk Sogn was in  Rougsø Herred in Dronningborg Amt and further back in Dronningborg Len.  Going further back it was in Sønderhald Herred in Aabosyssel.  Through all that time, it was Holbæk Sogn.

Holbæk Sogn, Danmark is a sufficient description by itself, without the other intermediate administrative entities and it is the information most likely to be found on census records, emigration documents and the church records which kept track of people moving in and out of a place in Denmark.

I hope this helps.


by Mary Jensen G2G6 Pilot (134k points)
selected by Living Cowan
Sounds good.  Thanks for the information.
Thanks for your thoughts.  The record for the individual say he was from Holbæk.  In the Emigrants from Denmark Category, there are 14 subcategories.  They do not include Holbæk Sogn or indeed any other Sogn.  The names seem to correspond to the designations in use from 1970 to 2006.  I know little of Danish geography, apart from the well known places.  This leaves me not knowing where to park the individuals of interest.  This is a question for the manager of the Emigrants from Denmark Category.

In the 1970 to 2006 period, Holbæk Sogn was in Århus Amt.  All the location categories are not complete yet, but if you look at the category page for  Category: Nordjyllands Amt, Danmark (1970-2006) there is a map of the 14 amter for that period.

That is a odd period to choose as it isn't the present time or the time period for which most genealogical records are available.  Some sites, like Family Search, organize Denmark by the 1793-1970 amter because that period is both a substantial period of time and the time period for which the most genealogical records are available.

There are a couple of good web sites for figuring out Danish geography.  Both of the following let you overlay old maps on current maps or vice versa to help you figure where something fits.

  • Autoriserede stednavne i Danmark (Authorized place names in Denmark) database. This version includes several interactive maps which can be overlayed including maps of sogne and 2007 kommuner boundaries, current road maps, aerial maps, and historical maps from several periods including Prussian maps from the period when Slesvig was held by Prussia. The site is in Danish, but Google translate works well with most of the site. Just remember to return to the original Danish version to see the proper spellings of the place names.
  • Old Maps of Denmark: This site has many old maps of Denmark which it allows you to overlay on current maps so you can figure out the current location of the place where your ancestors lived.
There are a lot of other useful aides collect on Project Denmark's Resource Page.

Thanks very much for your comments.  I think a good look at the organization on other genealogy sites is a good idea.  The structure on WikiTree under Migration looks like this.  I cannot fit my information into this structure.  I like your idea. 

Category: Emigrants from Denmark
Name: Emigrants From Country
From Country: Denmark
Instructions: Space: Migration Category Structure
Project: Categorization

This is a high level category. Please do not add individual profiles. Add profiles to the narrowest category possible. See How to Categorize.


There are 14 subcategories to this category.


E cont.

E cont.

Hello.  The categories which I was trying to use are in the English language area.  I see that the structure in the Danish version, Category:Danmark, is different.  Perhaps you have thoughts on how it should be done in the English area.
A decision has been made within Project Denmark not to create an English side for locations below Denmark/Danmark because there are insuffient people fluent in both Danish, English and Denmark geographic and political history to do it properly.  There are too many places and administrative entities with the same or very similar names and no authoritative sources for the corresponding English names to properly distinguish them. We do have authoritative sources for the Danish structure to check against, so that is what is being created first. When that is done (still a long way to go), if there are resources and interest, the question may be revisited.  Meanwhile, there is still much on the English side which has not been cleaned up yet and is often inaccurate.
These English migration categories were not created in coordination with Project Denmark and were apparently part of an experiment and not intended to be permanent. For the prest, I would not try to use migration categories for Denmark.
Hi. Thanks for your thoughts.  I will not us the English version of the Denmark categories.  I found I could not use them. The structure matched neither the information in the genealogical records (Sogns) nor any structure that a foreigner would know.  For example, I can easily determine whether the place is in Jutland or Zealand.  I cannot reliably determine whether it is in North/South Jutland or West Zealand.  I hope the English version gets changed.

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