Denmark Attester (Certificates)

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If you are fortunate to have old documents passed down through the family, you might find one that has the word Attest on it. The word attest means certificate. Old certificates can be a wealth of genealogical information. They can save you hours, months, even years on you family history research. They are especially useful when you don’t know where in Denmark your ancestor is from. Here are some common examples:

  • Fødsels – og dåbsattest (birth – christening certificate)
  • Konfirmationsattest (confirmation certificate)
  • Vielsesattest (marriage certificate)
  • Dødsattest (death certificate)

Certificates offer rich information such as:

  • Location of event.
  • Birthplace
  • The name of the parish where the event took place.
  • Occupation
  • Possibly the name of an employer.

Background[edit | edit source]

There are different reasons why someone would get a certificate, but the basis was to prove that a christening, confirmation, marriage, or burial took place. To get a certificate, a person needed to contact the priest or parish clerk for the parish where the event took place. The priest (or clerk) would get the official parish register and look up the requested information. After finding the entry, the priest (or clerk) would copy the information to a certificate, along with a signature, location, and date. He would give the certificate to the person requesting it, who then kept it as personal property.

Tip[edit | edit source]

If your family didn’t inherit old papers passed down through the years, check with extended family. As a suggestion, check with the oldest daughter’s family of each generation.