The Church of Denmark was a part of the local government and as such it kept various types of records, including migration records from 1814 to 1874.
- Tilgangslister (accession lists): Lists of persons who moved to the parish that kept the register.
- Afgangslister (expunction lists): Lists of persons who moved away from the parish that kept the register.
Using these lists you can follow your Danish ancestor's migration from parish to parish – and sometimes even recordings about persons going abroad.
Report to the Local Minister Before Departure and After Arrival
Everyone who moved had to report to the minister of the parish the person departed from and to the minister of the parish the person arrived in. In a perfect world, this means that every move of a person was registered twice: Once by the parish the person moved away from and once by the parish the person moved to.
Here is an example with a common twist:
The expunction list (afgangsliste) created by Tvilum Parish shows Jesper Andersen, age 26¼, who departed to Gjern on 1 November 1843.1
The accession list (tilgangsliste) created by Gjern Parish shows Jesper Andersen, age 26, who arrived from Skorup on 1 November 1843.2
The accession list states that Jesper Andersen arrived from Skorup, not from Tvilum. The information about the place of departure was derived from the ID booklet called a skudsmålsbog. The minister for the departing parish wrote when the person departed and signed the booklet. Many ministers covered more than one parish, as in this case, where the minister served both Tvilum and Skorup Parishes.3 The minister, Jacob Kjer, resided in Skorup,4 and therefore signed his note in Jesper Andersen's skudsmålsbog with the place name Skorup. That is a common reason for a discrepancy between information in accession and expunctions lists.
Apart from the place name issue, the information in the two records correlates. Sometimes there are a couple of days between the dates of departure and arrival.
Missing Migration Records
The recordkeeping was not always perfect. Sometimes there are no available accession and expunction lists from a parish for some years. Maybe the lists were never kept, or maybe they are lost.
Furthermore, the lists generally only include domestic servants and journeymen. You can come across a farmer or cottager family in these lists, so check the lists if you lost track of a person, regardless of the occupation.
Skudsmålsbøger (ID booklets) typically state the name, birthdate and -place, confirmation date and place, vaccination date, and the parents' names, so it would be a nice document to have for all our ancestors. But they were held privately, so we rarely have them. Some have been handed over to the Danish National Archives or the local archives where the person or a descendant resided.
- Tvilum Parish (Skanderborg County), Parish Register 1836-1851, clerk's copy, Afgangs=Liste [Expunction List], 1843: no. 37; image copy, The Danish National Archives, Arkivalieronline (https://www.sa.dk/ao-soegesider/da/billedviser?bsid=394145#394145,74352987 : accessed 22 November 2022).
- Gjern Parish (Skanderborg County), Parish Register of Emigration Records 1840-1849, clerk's copy, Tilgangs=Liste [Accession List], 1843: no. 32; image copy, The Danish National Archives, Arkivalieronline (https://www.sa.dk/ao-soegesider/da/billedviser?bsid=394356#394356,74357699 : accessed 22 November 2022).
- S. V. Wiberg, Personalhistoriske, statistike og genealogiske Bidrag til en almindelig dansk Præstehistorie [Personal history, statistical, and genealogical contributions to a regular Danish history of ministers], vol. 3 (1868; reprint, Copenhagen: Rosenkilde og Bagger, 1960), p. 109-111, specifically 111, parish 1047, Skorup and Tvilum, no. 10.
- Ibid. for the minister's name. For his residence in Skorup, see 1845 Census of Denmark, Skanderborg County, Skorup Parish, p. 177, Skorup: Præstegaarden [the rectory], head Jacob Kjer; image copy, The Danish National Archives, Arkivalieronline (https://www.sa.dk/ao-soegesider/da/billedviser?bsid=7741#7741,185697 : accessed 22 November 2022).
- The image at the top shows the cover of a skudsmålsbog. To see the entire booklet and other booklets in the collection, see Hjørring Town Bailiff, Skudsmålsbøger 1933-1861; image copy, The Danish National Archives, Arkivalieronline (https://www.sa.dk/ao-soegesider/da/billedviser?bsid=127179#127179,35462260 : accessed 22 November 2022).