Copenhagen Police Census

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Strategies Using this Record

Birth Information

Death Information

Place of Residence in the City

The police census records (Danish: Politiets Mandtaller) are one of the most important records for finding a person's residence in Copenhagen. These records tracked individuals in Copenhagen year by year, creating a valuable database of the city's residents. The police censuses fill in the years between the national censuses and contain vital genealogical material, such as ages, birthplaces, addresses, and occupations.

The police census should not be confused with Cophenhagen's Police Registration Forms.

Background[edit | edit source]

In 1816, the Copenhagen police began taking a census of every resident over the age of ten, both male and female, in the city. The census was taken twice a year, in May and November. After some time, a few of the surrounding suburbs were included in the census: Brønshøj-Rødovre (1868-1900), Sundbyvester and –øster (1889-1901), and Kastrup (1891, 1893-1895).

What You Typically Find[edit | edit source]

The police censuses are similar to other censuses in Denmark. The only difference is that it is particular to Copenhagen, and there are absolutely no children under the age of ten on the census. Some of the most typically information listed in the censuses include:

  • Floor living on
  • Full name
  • Age
  • Birth place
  • Rank, status, and occupation
  • Servants
  • Length of time in residence by half year
  • When began service
  • Where last served
  • Lodgers

The later censuses include a little more information including the birth date.

Tips[edit | edit source]

There are two types of registers to find someone in this census: the Alphabetical Register and the Street Register. The Alphabetical Register is used if the street name is not known. Once the street is located, the correct census can be accessed and searched. Each year has an index that divided Copenhagen into Kreds or Politikreds, meaning police districts, of which there were six.

Access[edit | edit source]

All police census records and registers (1866-1923) are available on microfilm at the Family History Library. Some of the films have been digitized and are available online through the FamilySearch catalog:


Sundby, pre-1902

Brønshøj and Rødovre, pre-1901


The censuses can also be found on Copenhagen City Archive's website (In Danish).

How to Use the Registers[edit | edit source]

If you know the street address- Search the Street Register.

Using the Street Register 

First, look for the desired month and year, then find the street, and the film number will be given. Repeat for each of the six Kreds in that same year. This register is located here on the wiki

If you do NOT know the street address- Search the Alphabetical Register first, then use the Street Register to find the film number.

If there were many people listed with the same name as your ancestor, you may still be able to identify the correct person by looking at the other household members, although children age 10 and younger were not listed in the census.

Using the Alphabetical Register- First, find the desired year, then note the film numbers for each of the six Kreds.  Next, go to the films and find your ancestor's surname.  The surnames are alphabetized by the first letter of the surname, but not alphabetized beyond that first letter, so the search takes 20-40 minutes per Kreds. When you find the correct person in the name index of one of the Kreds, it will list his or her street address and birthplace. Using that street address, you are now ready to use the Street Register as described above.

How To Use the Police Census[edit | edit source]

After you have obtained the correct film from the register(s), look for the printed (not handwritten) pages entitled Anmældelse til Politiet. At the bottom of each of these pages is the census month and year, written in bold. Unlike most documents, the most recent year is at the beginning, and the earlier years follow afterward.

After you have found the year you seek, find the street (alphabetically) and then the house number. You will find this information in the upper left corner under “Kobenhavns Politikreds”. “Gade” is the Danish word for street, and “husnummer” is the house number.

On the page following each Anmeldelse til Politiet, you will see a handwritten list of that buildings' residents (whether single-family or multiple-family dwelling). Note that all even-numbered addresses are grouped together, followed by the odd-numbered addresses, as the enumerator canvassed the street, walking up one side, and down the other. Residents are listed on the left side of the page, servants in the middle, and lodgers on the right side. Be sure to check all three parts if you don't know in which category the individual or family was located.

References[edit | edit source]

Online access to Politiets Mandtaller (Police Census), 1865-1923 (by street name), Copenhagen City Archives.

Online access to Police Registrations Forms, 1891-1923 (by firstname/surname), Copenhagen City Archives.

Københavns Stadsarkiv. Politets Mandtaller:1868-1899. København: Københavns Stadsarkiv research guide, 2008.

Politets Mandtaller: November 1869. København: Kreds 1, FHL microfilm no. 322581.

Politets Mandtaller: May 1875. København: Kreds 3, FHL microfilm no. 322915.

Politets Mandtaller: November 1880. København: Kreds 4, FHL microfilm no. 323258.

External links[edit | edit source]