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Mandtal means Census - Learn Danish Genealogy Words

Lene Dræby Kottal
Mandtal means Census - Learn Danish Genealogy Words

The Danish word mandtal means census. This blog post covers censuses of Denmark proper.

Another word for census is folketælling. There is a slight difference between the words mandtal and folketælling. A folketælling is a census of the population of an entire country, whereas mandtal is the generic term for census and the term used for local censuses.

Folketællinger - National Censuses of Denmark

The first national census of Denmark was held in 1769; however, few schedules are extant. The extant schedules are primarily from market towns across the country and from parishes in Schleswig.

Thereafter, national censuses of Denmark were held in 1787, 1801, 1834, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1901, 1906, 1911, 1916, 1921, 1925, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, and 1970.1 A few schedules are lost. Census schedules until 1940 have been imaged. Partial indexes of the censuses are available at various websites.2 The original schedules from 1950, 1960, and 1970 can be accessed at the Danish National Archives in Copenhagen.

Mandtal - Local Censuses of Denmark

A notewhorthy local census is Oeders Efterretninger from 1771. It covers Copenhagen City; rural parishes in Copenhagen, Holbæk, Frederiksborg, and Præstø Counties; and market towns at the islands Zealand, Møn, and Bornholm. Only married or widowed inhabitants are listed in these schedules, but they are still useful for genealogists. An index is available, but be sure to check the images of the original 1771 schedules.

  • For married couples, the schedule lists the man's name, occupation, marriage number, and the wife's age and marriage number.
  • For widowers, the schedule lists his name, occupation, age, marriage number, years since his last wife's death, and number of minor children.
  • For widows, the schedule lists the deceased man's name and occupation, the widow's occupation or way of income, her age, marriage number, years since her last husband's death, and number of minor children.

For Copenhagen City, censuses were held in 1885 and 1895, so remember to research them, if you have Copenhagen ancestors; images are found among the images of the national censuses. Furthermore, biannual censuses of Copenhagen City were held from 1865 to 1923. Images thereof are held by the Copenhagen City Archives. They have not been indexed; however, the Copenhagen Police index cards are a good search aid for a list of a person's addresses, and the index cards have been indexed and imaged.

Other local censuses of interest are tax censuses, such as the fire tax censuses discussed in an earlier post. Some of the local censuses have been imaged. If you search the FamilySearch catalog for the keyword mandtal and limit the results to those in Danish, you might find one or more of interest for your research. You can search for the same keyword in the catalog of the Danish National Archives to include local census which have not been imaged. The list is not complete, though, because some tax censuses are filed with the accounts from the manor, the county etc. where the census was held. If you find a local census of interest which has not been imaged, you are welcome to contact me for an estimate of the time needed to research it for you.


  1. Censuses were held in 1935, 1945, 1955 and 1965, but none of those schedules are extant.
  2. MyHeritage claims to have a complete index of all Denmark censuses, but it is heavily flawed, so be careful if you use that.
  3. The image at the top: "Digital collections," database with images, The Danish Royal Library (http://www5.kb.dk/images/billed/2010/okt/billeder/object19770/en : accessed 15 April 2022), entry for "Skævinge" by Lars Peter Elfelt, 1893. The image is public domain. The 1801-1921 censuses were held in February, so the enumerators probably had to walk around in snow.


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