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The Danish Tax and Census Database

Prepared by Elsebeth Paikin, SIG Coordinator,
JewishGen Scandianvia Special Interest Group (SIG)

General Information

This database contains extracts of various taxlists and census papers from the 18th century as well as of the 1787 and 1801 censuses.

The extracts are necessary because Jews were not listed separately -- neither in the ordinary censuses from 1787, nor in many of the tax lists.  Therefore names of Jews have to be extracted.  The extracts of the 1787 and 1801 censuses are only for some towns, the rest will be added later.  Of course, when making an extract errors are likely to occur, just as is some cases the text in the original documents might be illegible.

Information about the censuses

  • The age listed in the censuses is the age in the actual year, but often not precise. A newborn is given the age "1".
  • The 1787 and 1801 censuses give information about the number of marriages.
    In the early censuses Jews can be found because the word "Jøde" (the Danish word for "Jew") or "handelsjøde" (~ trading-Jew) is given as the occupation.  The reason is that Jews were given permissions (~ trade licenses or citizenship of a specific town) to live in a town and trade in specific articles only - specific to Jews.  Thus the term "Jøde" or "handelsjøde" signifies that the person trades in these specific articles and usually has no religious connotation.
  • From the census 1845, the birth place is listed.
  • From 1855, the religious affiliation is also listed.
  • The 1885 and 1895 censuses were only taken in Copenhagen.  The rest of the censuses cover all of Denmark.
  • From 1901, the censuses give information about the year when new citizens arrived to the town/parish, where they came from and sometimes also the year of marriage and number of children.

Accessibility: The censuses cannot be accessed until 80 later, i.e. that the last freely accessible census is the 1925.  The next one from 1930 will be released in 2005.

Information about the tax lists and special census papers ("Mandtal")

Before the first census in 1787 information there were numerous tax lists and census papers (most of them for all Danes).

A few examples:

  • 1710: "Tax list on coaches, wigs and fontanges"
  • 1710: "Tax list for War"
  • 1711: "Tax list on Poll- and Horse-Tax"
  • 1728: "Census paper of the inhabitants of the parts of Copenhagen that was destroyed by the fire".

There were some that only applied to special groups in Denmark, e.g.:

  • 1682 "Census paper on the families in Copenhagen that are not of the Lutheran Religion"

Special census papers on the Jewish population:

In accordance with the Royal decree of 29. March 1814 (by which the Jews were granted almost equal rights with all other citizens in Denmark), a census paper on all Jews had to be drawn up and submitted to the government once a year.  Unfortunately many of these "Jewish censuses" have not survived, but some have.

In the book "Mindeskrift I Anledning Af 100 Aarsdagen For Anordningen af 29. Marts 1814" (Eds.: Julius Salomon and Josef Fischer, Copenhagen 1914) Josef Fischer has extracted and/or transcribed some of these tax lists and census papers.

About the Denmark Tax and Census Database

The database is a work in progress and consists at present of the following extracts:

  • Fredericia

    The Jewish population in Fredericia has been extracted from the censuses of 1787 and 1801 and the "mandtalsliste" (~ census paper) of 1748 by Steen Felding, Horsens, Denmark, and he has donated the databases to JewishGen's Scandinavia SIG.

    Phyllis Dahl, Copenhagen, Denmark, has translated these extracts and entered them into databases.  Elsebeth Paikin, Coordinator of the Scandinavia SIG, has proof-read and prepared the databases for the "All Scandinavian Database".

  • Other Extracts Of The 1787 And 1801 Censuses

    Steen Felding, Horsens, Denmark, has continued to extract information from the censuses and has donated these abstracts to JewishGen's Scandinavia SIG.

    Elsebeth Paikin has translated these extracts, entered them into databases and prepared the databases for the "All Scandinavian Database".

  • The Extract of the 1711 Taxlist (Copenhagen)

    This extract is the one prepared by Josef Fischer and which was published in Mindeskrift I Anledning Af 100 Aarsdagen For Anordningen af 29. Marts 1814 (Eds.: Julius Salomon and Josef Fischer, Copenhagen 1914).

    Elsebeth Paikin has translated these extracts, entered them into a database and prepared it for the "All Scandinavian Database".

More information about Danish censuses can be found on the JewishGen Scandinavia SIG website's Research in Denmark page.

Information on the specific fields in the databases

  1. The Danish words in the "Occupation"-field has been translated into English when a precise translation exsists.  In cases where no precise translation exists or where the term is not precise, the Danish word has not been translated but left as it is within "quotation marks". (Ex: "grosserer" can be either merchant, wholesale dealer or wholesaler, "civilingeniør" is an engineer with an academic degree or a university trained engineer and "overretssagfører" is an obsolete title corresponding to a lawyer/attorney/barrister of the Supreme Court.).  A list with translation (or explanation) of Danish words will be made available on the Scandinavia SIG website.  If you do not find the word you are looking for please send an email to
  2. Some persons (servants, maids, lodgers, etc.) are included in the databases whenever it is not certain whether or not they are Jewish.
  3. The letters "J" and "I" were used interchangeably in older times, e.g. Isach/Jsach and Iøde/Jøde, Kiøbmand/Kjøbmand, Tienestepige/Tjenestepige, etc.
  4. No spelling or orthographic rules were used in the original censuses, resulting in the same word being spelled in different ways. Often abbreviations were used e.g. "Iød/Jød" for "Jødisk/Jødiske" (meaning "Jewish").
  5. The Danish letter "Ø" was sometimes written as the Swedish letter "". They have the same pronunciation. For consistency, only "Ø" is used.
  6. KØBMAND (sometimes written KIOBMAND or KIOB OG HANDELSMAND) meaning MERCHANT, is shown only as KØBMAND.
  7. "Mother", "father", "brother", "sister" and "widow/widower" have been translated from the corresponding Danish: "mor", "far", "bror", "søster" and "enke/enkemand".
  8. Surnames:
    1. Women's surnames appear as either their maiden names; the surname of their husband; or the genitive form of the husband's first name.  Occasionally women were known under the given + surname of their father, as e.g. Sara HISRCHEN or Sara HIRSCHES (the genitive form of the husband's first name), Sara WULFF or Sara HIRSCH WULFF (WULFF being the surname of the husband), Sara ABRAHAM (ABRAHAM being her maiden name) or Sara SALOMON ABRAHAM (Salomon Abraham being the full name of her father).
    2. Men's surnames were often the given + the surname of their fathers as e.g. Abraham Salomon Wullf might be known/listed as Abraham Salomon with the surname WULFF or Abraham son of SALOMON WULFF.  Men could also be known under the name of the town where they came from e.g. HAMBURG or HAMBURGER, so that the above Abram Salomon WULFF would be listed as Abraham WULFF HAMBURGER.  Furthermore, men could be known by their trade (e.g. CANTOR) and thus have that as their surname (this, however, does not appear to be a common Jewish practice in Denmark).
    3. In Danish records it is not unusual to find the same person called by various names in different records and at different times. Therefore, in the databases the surname is often missing in the SURNAME field for children and wives. Because there is no certainty that Abraham Salomon WULLF's son, Isach, would be known by the surname WULFF. In another town, he could be known under the name of the town in which he was born or where he came from e.g. Nyborg, and then he could be known as Isach NYBORG or perhaps Isach SALOMON NYBORG or Isach WULFF NYBORG.
    4. Even within the same family, surnames are often spelled differently e.g. in 1801 three brothers appear as: Hartvig Levii, Isack Levii and Meyer Levij.
    5. And last, but not least: Patronymics were used until the mid- or late- 19th century with the ending "-sen" for "son" and "-datter" for "daughter". The patronymic is sometimes written in two words, e.g. Isachsdatter ~ Isachs Datter.
    Further information about names and naming traditions can be found at on the JewishGen Scandinavia SIG website's page on Naming Traditions.
  9. In Danish the word "præst" (meaning "priest") is sometimes used for "Rabbi".
  10. "F" and the "V" are used interchangeably (e.g. Valentin / Falentin).


Warm thanks are due to Steen Felding and Phyllis Dahl, members of the Scandinavia SIG, who has volunteered to help in the creation of the databases.

Furthermore, we are indebted to Michael Tobias and Warren Blatt for their great work and dedication to the development of the JewishGen databases and websites.

Further information about Jewish genealogy in Scandinavia can be found on the JewishGen Scandinavia SIG website.

Elsebeth Paikin, Coordinator of JewishGen's Scandinavia SIG
Copenhagen, Denmark
November 2002.

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