Danish Military Records

By James M. Beidler Premium

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Q. How do I track down 19th-century military records from Denmark?

A. Starting in 1788, all Danish males from the time of birth until age 34 were listed as potential draftees on parish rolls. These army levying rolls (Lægdsruller) can help you follow a male ancestor as he moved from parish to parish, which in turn helps you find him in census and church records. (Learn more at <>.) You can find army levying rolls up to 1919 on microfilm at the Family History Library: Search the catalog on the keyword laegdsruller—the results are organized by date and district.
Other documents—such as personnel files, regimental account books, letters of deportment, lists of officers and pension records—may include information about age, birthplace, residence, occupation, physical description and family members. For these records, as well as more recent levying rolls, consult the Danish State Archives, which operates the country’s military archive (Hærens Arkiv) in Copenhagen (see <> or write to Rigsarkivet, Rigsdagsgården 9, DK-1218 København K., Denmark).
A version of this article appeared in the March 2010 Family Tree Magazine