🇺🇸 Lene Kottal Professional Genealogy Contact Lene Kottal

Unwanted: Deportation of Immigrants

Lene Dræby Kottal
Unwanted: Deportation of Immigrants

Did it ever occur to you that your ancestor may not have left Denmark voluntarily? Many Germans and Swedes immigrated to Denmark, but some of them were deported. Instead of going back to their homeland, some continued their quest for a better future by going to the United States or Canada after being deported from Denmark.

An index of deportations from 1875 to 1919 has been made and is searchable at the website of the Danish Data Archive. The data comes from the publications called Politiets Efterretninger (police intelligence). However, the Copenhagen City Archive has a database with an index of the same records and links to images of the original record. Furthermore, the database provided by the Copenhagen City Archive includes other police intelligence records. I will give you an example to demonstrate why I prefer to use the index provided by the Copenhagen City Archive. Beware that this particular database covers the entire country, even though it is provided by the Copenhagen City Archive.

Danish Data Archive: Deportation of Otto A. Søderlund 1910

The snippet above shows the search result from the index provided by the Danish Data Archive, when I searched for my great-grandmother's brother, Otto Anselm Söderlund.1 When I searched for him in the database of the Copenhagen City Archive, three results turned up.2

Let's have a look at the search form of the Copenhagen City Archive. First, expand the section with the avanceret søgning (advanced search) by clicking the plus sign.

Copenhagen City Archive: Advanced Search Indexed Records

In the advanced search form, first choose the source or sources, you wish to search in:

  • Begravelsesprotokoller (burial records), Copenhagen only
  • Politiets Registerblade (police censuses), Copenhagen only
  • Erindringer (memoirs), Copenhagen only
  • Politiets Efterretninger (police intelligence), entire Denmark

Secondly, choose the search field. If you search in all the record types, you can only choose the search field and operator fritekst indeholder (free text contains). If you only search in the police intelligence records, you have more felt (search field)options:

  • År (year)
  • Nummer (issue)
  • Dato (date)
  • Efterretning/kosterblad (intelligence)
  • Fritekst (free text)

And more operator options:

  • lig med (equal to)
  • ikke lig med (not equal to)
  • mindre end (less than)
  • større end (more than)

Type the search string in the text box labelled søgeterm. You can use wildcards. Question mark ? replaces one letter and star * replaces more letters. If a string is placed in quotes, you search for that specific combination of words. You can add more criteria by clicking tilføj et felt (add a field). When the list of results appears, click a line to have a closer look at the result.

Copenhagen City Archive: Otto Anselm Söderlund

The first result for Otto Anselm Söderlund is shown above. It doesn't really say much, but if you click the blue button labelled Efterretning (intelligence), you are directed to the publication containing that person. There you have to find the person in the publication, but it is only a couple of pages, so that should not be a problem. I found Otto under Efterlysninger (warrants). The entry is shown below. Otto and the German man Carl Wirth were suspected of stealing a bike.3

Police Intelligence: Otto Anselm Söderlund

If I had not searched the database at the Copenhagen City Archive, I would not have known that Otto had been suspected of theft. I have not yet looked for the police file regarding the theft, but my theory is that he was found guilty and that was the reason for him being deported.

I don't want to make this post overly long, so I'll leave it at this for now. I expect to post other examples from the police intelligence publications later, because there are many reasons for people to be mentioned in these publications.

Happy hunting!


Source references:

  1. "Udviste," database, Rigsarkivet, Dansk Demografisk Database (http://www.ddd.dda.dk/immibas/immibas3.asp : accessed 13 April 2019), entry for Otto Anselm Søderlund, b. 1883 in Finland.
  2. "Politiets Efterretninger," database, Københavns Stadsarkiv (https://www.kbharkiv.dk/sog-i-arkivet/sog-i-indtastede-kilder#/results?q1.f=freetext_store&q1.op=in_multivalued&q1.t=otto%2520ans*%2520s%253Fderlund&sortField=collected_year&sortDirection=asc&postsPrPage=10&collections=19&type=advanced : accessed 13 April 2019), entry for Otto Anselin Soderlund; citing Politiets Efterretninger, issue 126, 26 October 1909. Ibid, entry for Otto Anselm Søderlund; citing Politiets Efterretninger, issue 132, 9 November 1909. Ibid, entry for Otto Anselm Suderlund; citing Politiets Efterretninger, issue 41, 9 April 1910.
  3. Københavns Politi, "A. Almindelige Efterretninger. Efterlysninger," entry 6, Politiets Efterretninger (Copenhagen: O. C. Olsen & Co., 26 October 1910), issue 126; digital images, Københavns Stadsarkiv (https://api.kbharkiv.dk/asset/9766 : accessed 8 June 2024).
  4. The image at the top of the post: Free to use from Pexels.