The Danish word ejerlav means real property area. The word is the same in singular and plural form.
Ejerlav is an administrative unit used to describe the location of a piece of land. The land in Denmark is divided into about 9000 ejerlav. Each ejerlav has a unique name. It is a part of the cadastral system. Each ejerlav is subdivided into lots of land.
Real property areas in Denmark do not have a specific size or shape such as ranges and sections in the US. The land had already been populated when the first cadaster was made, so each ejerlav has a unique shape and size. Most ejerlav cover one town.
Danish Parish Maps Show Ejerlav Within the Parish
Below is a map of Sanderum Parish in Odense County. The colored lines show the borders between the real property areas within the parish.
The image below shows a closeup of the ejerlav Ravnebjerg ("Ravneberg"), where you can see the lot numbers within that real property area. The small red shapes represent buildings and in this area at that time, they were primarily located in the center of the ejerlav, which is the center of Ravnebjerg Town.
Information Needed to Locate a Lot of Land on a Danish Map
East of Ravnebjerg lies Elmelund ejerlav, within the green boundaries in the snippet above. Therein you can see lot no. 10. If you turn your attention back to Ravnebjerg ejerlav, you will see lot number 10 bordering Elmelund. This demonstrates that the lot number is only unique to the ejerlav, and therefore, the lot number cannot be used to locate the land on a map, if you do not know the name of the ejerlav. You must know both the ejerlav and the lot number.
I have written some blog posts about real property records, which you might want to read if you are interested in knowing whether your ancestor owned real property in Denmark.
- The image at the top shows a map of Odense. "Digital collections," database with images, The Danish Royal Library (http://www5.kb.dk/maps/kortsa/2012/jul/kortatlas/object80440/en : accessed 6 April 2022), entry for "Civitatis Episcopalis Othenarum sive Otthoniae, ut vulgo dicitur, Fioniae, Insularum Daniae Regni amoenissimae fertilissimaeqve metropolis secundum situm & figuram qvam hoc seculo habet" by Georg Hogenberg Braun and Henrik Frans Rantzau. The image is public domain.
- For the parish map, see Geodatastyrelsen, Historiske kort på nettet (https://hkpn.gst.dk/mapviewer.aspx?type=o1k_oekort&id=2299&elav=0331460 : accessed 6 April 2022) > the tab Sogne- og herredskort > Sogn: "Sanderum" > click the link Vis for the map valid from about 1816. The image of the map shows no date of creation. The names of the creators are written at the bottom of the map, but that part is not entirely visible in the image copy.