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Memberships of Occupational Associations

Lene Dræby Kottal
Memberships of Occupational Associations

Masters of various trades and crafts have formed membership associations for centuries. If your ancestor was a craftsman, he was most likely a member of an association for his craft. In the late 1800s, membership of gymnastics associations became increasingly popular, at least in the cities. Membership records can reveal more details about your ancestor, because often these lists contain names, addresses, age and occupation of the members.

Copenhagen Cooper Association Membership List 1888

Above is an example of a membership list from the Copenhagen Cooper Association.1 The membership fees were used to support members during illness and to pay for funerals of deceased members. The columns contain the following information:

  • Membership number
  • Age
  • Overdue fee
  • Name
  • Remarks
  • Quarterly payment in kroner and øre [the Danish currency]

Below is an example of a membership list from the soccer department of the Aarhus Gymnastics Association for years 1922-1927.2 The headings mean the following:

  •  Name
  • Address
  • Place of work
  • Work phone number
  • Private phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Enrolled
  • Withdrawn

Aarhus Gymnastics Association Soccer Department Members

Many records from the occupational associations have been digitized. If you want to find membership records in the holdings of the Danish National Archives, you can go to the advanced search form to search for "medlem*" (member; type it without the quotation marks, but with the star) and limit the results to scannede arkivalier (digitized records).

Happy hunting!


Source references:

  1. Københavns Bødkerlav, Formandens bog over medlemmer og kontingenter [the chairman's book of members and fees], 1888-1903, 1888, folio 11 recto; digital image, Rigsarkivet (https://www.sa.dk/ao-soegesider/da/billedviser?bsid=272541#272541,51977410 : accessed 13 April 2019).
  2. Aarhus Gymnastik Forening, Fodboldafdelingen, Register over medlemmer af Aarhus Gymnastikforenings Fodboldafdeling, 1922-1927; digital image, Rigsarkivet (https://www.sa.dk/ao-soegesider/da/billedviser?bsid=216062#216062,40855894 : accessed 13 April 2019).
  3. The image at the top of the post: Kerkvorst, De kuiperij in het Zuiderzeemuseum Enkhuizen; digital image, license CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%B8dker#/media/File:Kuiperij_Zuiderzeemuseum.jpg : accessed 13 April 2019).