Structure of the area division in Denmark.

Danish archives records are based on the locality of each recorded event. The border of certain areas may have changed over time, but the method of recording has remained unchanged. The events in the smallest villages or named area without a church will be recorded in the nearest parish with a church. Similary, some smaller church's records and registrations may been kept by the nearest larger church, and registration therefor noted there. The next step is a district, "Herred" in Danish, which is an old government structure useful to separate or point out names of locations and parishes with the same name in different districts. Be aware that districts in one part of the country, can have the same name as districts in another part of the country. The church divide districts into deaneries called "Provstier", but these are not used for common registration purpose. The districts are under authority of a county administration, in Danish "Amt". This is the largest area Denmark is divided into, except for the archive structure which covers several counties. »The Danish Demographic Database« is the cooperative efforts of the »Danish Data Archives«, the »Danish Emigration Archives« and the Centre of Microfilming of the Danish State Arhives and »Kulturnet Danmark« subsidized the projectstart. Information from Census and Church records from Denmark are being entered by volunteers and can be accessed and/or downloaded. The records are far from complete as both the entering of this data and its organization is a slow and ongoing process. In order to access these files, it is necessary to send in an application .... committing you to only use this for personal, non-commercial use. If accepted you will be provided with a password in order to access this data.

To explain terms of the administrative division, Peter Kristiansen wrote in news:soc.genealogy.nordic:
»When working with family research in Denmark, there are four geographical units you have to be familiar with:
Ejerlav: association of houseowners - bad translation, but that is what my vocabulary says. A number of properties, with or without buildings, forms a village [landsby].
A group of villages forms a parish [sogn]. In one of the villages you'll find the church. Before 1850 you have very few parishes with more than one church.
A group of parishes forms the shire [herred].
And a group of shires forms the county [amt].
Today Denmark is divided into 14 counties, but before 1970 there was 23 counties.
You have two kinds of parishes - village parishes and town parishes (in english you'll probably use the word borrough).
Village or countryside parishes, can contain from one to several villages, and farms.
Town parishes are limited to the town borders, and in larger towns you can find several parishes. The town-churches can also have parishes outside the town limits, and they are in danish called landsogn - landparish.
The kommune, the municipality, was made during the 1840's, and are until 1970, similar to one or several parishes. Normally two parishes made a municipality.«
Oldest seal of Copenhagen - from 1296 - link to a chronology

Copenhagen from olden times, has had special privileges as it's own county district and provinceial towns appear slight different than parishes both in curch and census records since the number of people is larger. Streetnames, house and department or floor numbers is often noted in more recent curch records and of course always in census.

by Poul Erik Jensen