How to turn ancestors that you have never met into flesh and blood

A family trees is more than names

Are you wondering how you can get to know more about your ancestors even though you never met them? Here is a guide.

It is a great pleasure for any genealogist to see the family tree grow but most genealogists want more, i.e. to know what kind of people their ancestors were and how they lived.

There are several sources that shed light on Danish ancestors. None of them tells the full story but with a little luck, you will be able to piece together an impression of the relatives.

If we focus on ordinary people that weren’t in high positions or didn’t come into conflict with the law, the main sources are:

Old pictures

A picture tells more than thousand words and finding a picture of a deceased ancestor is at the top of the wish list for most genealogists.

There are several Danish databases of old pictures available, see for instance https://arkiv.dk/soeg?searchString=Gamle%20billeder but chances are definitely not good.

Censuses

Between 1787 and 1970, 24 censuses were conducted in Denmark. In general, they have information about occupation and some of them also about disabilities and income.

Old local maps

Sometimes the censuses make it possible to find out where exactly a family lived and the old maps at

https://hkpn.gst.dk/complete the picture.

Danish History

You will get a better understanding of your ancestors if you are able to put them in a historical context. Not only the historic events, see for instance https://mydanishroots.dk/danish-history/ , play an important role but also your ancestors’ living conditions and the customs of Denmark.

If you want to know more about your own family and ancestors in Denmark, feel free to request our free consultation https://mydanishroots.dk/

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