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Nygaard's Index Cards: Biographical Information about Inhabitants of Jutland

Lene Dræby Kottal
Nygaard's Index Cards: Biographical Information about Inhabitants of Jutland

Hjalmar Sigvard Alexander Nygaard was an archivist at the Regional Archive in Viborg. While he was there, he created index cards for inhabitants of Jutland who had special names, encountered by Nygaard in church records, census records, cadasters, applications for government offices etc. The file contains about 425000 index cards and they have all been indexed. You can search the index at the website of the Danish Data Archive. In Danish, the collection is called Nygaards Sedler. Below is a guide on how to search followed by some examples of what you can find in this collection.

How to Search in Nygaards Sedler

Nygaards Sedler Search Form

Above is a screen shot of the search form. Translation of the menu to the left:

  1. Search
  2. Who was Nygaard
  3. What is the project Nygaards Sedler
  4. All given names
  5. All surnames
  6. All place names

The right-hand side shows the actual search form found under the first menu item. Items four to six lead to alphabetical lists of all given names, surnames and place names, respectively. If you are uncertain about the spelling, these are good alternatives to the search form.

In the search form, you have a couple of options. In the drop-down menu, you can choose that your search string is the start af navne (the beginning of the names) or indgår i navne (is a part of the names). The bullets below the search field let's you choose between searching for fornavn (given name), efternavn (surname), stednavn (place name) or billed-id (image id).

You can use wildcards in the search string. Underscore _ replaces one letter. Percentage % replaces one or more letters.

When you have chosen among the options and entered your search string, click søg (search). You can reset the form by clicking fortryd. The search result is a list of links.

Nygaards Sedler: Source Citations on the Index Cards

In this first example I searched for dr_hse at the beginning of the surname to find Georg Frederk Dröhse. The list of results is shown below. At the top are results without given names and then follows results with given names beginning with A etc. The number of occurrences for each result is in the parentheses. Beware that the names are typed exactly as they were written on the cards; this is clearly illustrated by the results under G, which show Dröhse, Georg Freder. and Dröhse, Georg Frederik.

Nygaards Sedler: Search Result Links

When you click one of the results, you are taken to the entry and the image. The chosen entry is in the middle of the list and above and below are preceding and following entries in alphabetical order, making it easy to see other possibly relevant entries for the same person. The columns in the entries list the following:

  • Surname
  • Given names
  • Occupation/civil status
  • Place name
  • Year

Below the list is the image ID for the shown image and below that is the name of the fotograf (photographer) and the indtaster (indexer). Right-click the image to save it to your own drive. Below is the image for Georg Frederik Dröhse, Smidstrup, 1785.1

Georg Frederik Dröhse 1785 Nygaards Sedler

Translation of the text in the image above:

Dröhse, Georg Frederik of Smidstrup Parish
1785 5/8 [5 August] he received royal permission to remain in the undivided estate after his deceased wife Elisabet Gertrud Ladehoff with their common underage children, and later free to divide with common next of kin as executors.
(Koldinghus County probate records 393)

The text in the parenthesis is a source citation. The citation is sometimes written in the upper right-hand corner of the card. Although Nygaard's citations are not as detailed as one could wish for, I found the record at page 393 in the skifteprotokol (probate record, abbreviated skpr by Nygaard) from Koldinghus County.2

Nygaards Sedler: References Between Index Cards

Nygaard not only created an index card for the main person of a record, but also for the other individuals in the record. Below is the index card for Georg Frederik Dröhse's deceased wife with a reference to the index card for Georg Frederik Dröhse: "Se [see]: Dröhse, Georg Fr." You therefore find both men, women and children in this database.3

Elisabet Gertrud Ladehoff 1785 Nygaards Sedler

Nygaards Sedler: References to Parish Registers and Census Records

Some of Nygaard's citations refer to the parish registers (also called church books). Below is the index card for the marriage between Kristen Hansen Aachmand and Elisabet Nielsdatter Lytken. Nygaard referred to births with the letter f which is short for født (born); baptisms with the letters dbt which is short for døbt (baptized); marriages with an x; deaths with a cross; and burials with the letters begr which is short for begravet (buried). In the reference he wrote the parish name, the abbreviation kb for kirkebog (church book), and finally the page or folio number.4

Aachmand Marriage 1737 Nygaards Sedler

References to census records usually do not contain a reference to a page number, but simply the abbreviation folketæll for folketælling (census).

Nygaards Sedler: Applications for Offices

Johan Dröge 1700 Nygaards Sedler

Above is an example of an index card with an extract of an application for an office:5

Dröge, Johan
has for some years been in Germany, France, the Netherlands and England and practiced several languages

1700 6/11 [6 November] he applied for being considered as diocese county scribe in Agershus Diocese. He will in that case pay 2000 rigsdaler to the King's finances.
"(RK. Embedsansøgninger)"

Applications for such offices (embedsansøgninger) were sent to RK which is short for Rentekammeret (the treasury). Beware that these records do not state that the applicant got the office, only that he applied for it. The applications have not been digitized. If you find an entry and want to see the original, you are welcome to request a free estimate for having me copy the record for you.

Nygaards Sedler: Limitations of this Source

Things to remember when using Nygaard's index cards:

  • Nygaard chose who to include in his index, so a negative result does not mean that your ancestor is not mentioned in any of these sources. Maybe he or she just didn't attract Nygaard's attention enough to be included in his index.
  • It is only an index and even an archivist like Nygaard made mistakes, so it is advisable to check the original source.


Source references:

  1. Nygaards Sedler, card for "Dröhse, Georg Frederik," 1785; digital image, photographer Knud Haaning Andersen, Dansk Data Arkiv, image id 80095 (http://ddd.dda.dk/nygaard/visning_billed.asp?id=80095&sort=e : accessed 13 April 2019).
  2. Koldinghus Amt, Skifteprotokol, 1782-1786, 1785, page 393-395; digital image, Rigsarkivet (https://www.sa.dk/ao-soegesider/da/billedviser?epid=17176757#197039,32845708 : accessed 13 April 2019).
  3. Nygaards Sedler, card for "Ladehoff, Elisabet Gertrud," 1785; digital image, photographer Anders Strøm, Dansk Data Arkiv, image id 217926 http://ddd.dda.dk/nygaard/visning_billed.asp?id=217926&sort=e : accessed 13 April 2019).
  4. Nygaards Sedler, card for "Aachmand, Kristen Hansen," 1737; digital image, photographer Leif Sepstrup, Dansk Data Arkiv, image id 34 http://ddd.dda.dk/nygaard/visning_billed.asp?id=34&sort=e : accessed 13 April 2019).
  5. Nygaards Sedler, card for "Dröge, Johan," 1700; digital image, photographer Knud Haaning Andersen, Dansk Data Arkiv, image id 80084 http://www.ddd.dda.dk/nygaard/visning_billed.asp?id=80084&sort=e : accessed 13 April 2019).
  6. The image at the top of the post: Photo by Mike from Pexels