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Time for School: Enrollment Records

Lene Dræby Kottal
Time for School: Enrollment Records

Various kinds of school records were made by Danish schools over the years, but not all records have been kept for all schools. Apart from journals and exam records, you may find enrollment records and teacher memoirs. Since 1814 Danish children have been enrolled in elementary school about the age of six, so start looking for records from when your ancestor was about that age. Below is an example of some records in the enrollment book from Gylling Skole for 1847 to 1867.

Gylling Skole Enrollment Book

The column headings translate to the following:

  • Entry no.
  • Name
  • Born
  • Vaccinated
  • Enrolled in the school
  • The father
  • Residence
  • Competences at enrollment
    • - Reading
    • - Writing
    • - Calculation
  • Moved to second grade

The entry numbers were reused year after year, so several children are listed under the same number. The first child on the page is Ane Marie Carlsen, born 21 February 41, vaccinated 31 August 41, enrolled 1 May 48, daughter of smallholder Hans Poulsen, residing in Gylling. She stavede (could spell), but was uvidende (ignorant) of writing and calculation at the time of enrollment. She was moved to the second grade after the exam on 29 October 51.1

Where to find School Records

The Danish National Archives have some school records in their holdings, but you can find a lot more in the holdings of the local history and town archives.

Search for school records in the catalog of the Danish National Archives at the advanced search page, by searching for the name of the town or parish and the word skole (school). I recommend writing the * wildcard immediately after all words in the search string (beware that wildcards can only be used in the advanced search form). To limit the results to digitized records, mark the filter scannede arkivalier.

Many local history and town archives have cataloged their holdings in the database Arkibas and allowed the data to be shown at the website Arkiv.dk. As I described in an earlier post, you can see many photographs at Arkiv.dk, but you can also see which records the local history and town archives have in their holdings. If you want to limit your search to a specific type of material, you are presented with a list of material types, but the list is in Danish. Here is a translation of the types of materials:

  • Arkivalier: Records
  • Aviser og artikler: Newspapers and articles
  • Billeder: Photographs
  • Bøger: Books
  • Film og lyd: Films and sound recordings
  • Kort og tegninger: Maps and drawings
  • Plakater og grafik: Posters and graphics
  • Øvrige samlinger: Other collections

Apart from journals, enrollment and exam records, the local history and town archives may have memoirs written by teachers. Wouldn't it be awesome to find a teacher's memoir of your Danish ancestor, so you can include that in your family history book?


Source references:

  1. Gylling Skole, Gylling Sogn, Hads Herred, Aarhus Amt, Indskrivningsprotokol 1847-1867, folio 13, entry 41, Ane Marie Carlsen, b. 1841; digital image, Rigsarkivet (https://www.sa.dk/ao-soegesider/da/billedviser?bsid=348623#348623,69343908 : accessed 13 April 2019).
  2. The image at the top of the post: Free to use from Pexels.