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Overpræsidiet: Paternity, Adoption and Other Family Law Cases in Copenhagen

Lene Dræby Kottal
Overpræsidiet: Paternity, Adoption and Other Family Law Cases in Copenhagen

Københavns Overpræsidium was the top government level for Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. It is sometimes simply referred to as Overpræsidiet. The head was called a overpræsident (senior president) and his function resembled that of the amtmand (senior county official) in the rest of Denmark. Overpræsidiet handled many family law cases. The entry to these cases are journals. In this post I list the case types found in the different journals from Overpræsidiet.

Case Types in the Journals of Københavns Overpræsidium

Adoption (same word in Danish and English)

1858-1989: OJ-journal

Faderskab (paternity)

Men residing in Copenhagen, 1858-1872: OJ-journal
Men residing in Copenhagen, 1872-1973: AJ-journal
Children born in Copenhagen, 1938-1952: FJ-journal

Alimentation (child support and alimony), determining the amount of support

1858-1872: OJ-journal
1873-1973: AJ-journal

Alimentation (child support and alimony), collection of overdue support

1858-1872: OJ-journal
1873-1890: AJ-journal
1891-1962: BJ-journal

Samkvem /samvær (parents' visitation rights)

1858-1973: OJ-journal

Fri process (legal aid), determination of the right to have all costs of a suit covered by the state

1858-1989: OJ-journal

Navnebevilling (permissions for name changes)

1858-1989: OJ-journal

Separation and skilsmisse (separation and divorce)

1858-1973: SJ-journal

Miscellaneous cases

1858-1973: OJ-journal

Online Journals and Cases of Københavns Overpræsidium

For each journal is a name index. Both indexes and journals until 1936 have been digitized and are available at the website of the Danish National Archives and at Sall Data's website. Sall Data's website is a mirror of that of the archive, so they contain the same records. Which one of the websites to use is a matter of preference.

As described in my introduction to journals, a journal contains an overview of the proceedings in each case and the case documents are filed in their own record series. For Overpræsidiet the case documents are filed in corresponding record series named AJ-sager, BJ-sager etc. Sag means case. The case documents from Overpræsidiet have not been digitized, but must be viewed at the Danish National Archives.