Find your Ancestors from Denmark

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Finding your Ancestors
 
Find Danish Ancestors & The Rebild Festival
 
 
 
 
Find your Danish Ancestors from North America and Canada
 
Painting from 1890 - by Edvard Petersen describing the many Danish emigrants at Larsen's Plads leaving for America together with their relatives - saying goodbye. The steamship at the pier is "SS Thingvalla" equipped with one funnel and three masts. The westbound route started off at Copenhagen calling at Kristiania (Oslo) and Kristiansand before crossing the Atlantic to New York.
 
Danish emigrants travelling to North America and Canada
Many Danes left their homeland Denmark around 1880 - to seek new opportunities primarily in USA and Canada together with other emigrant from Scandinavia - Sweden and Norway. At that time no social benefits or social security were offered to the immigrants. The new Scandinavian settlers - was compelled to manage by their own - and begin their new life with a lot of hard struggle for the daily bread - and no kind of government support at all.
 
First passenger line to America
In 1870 the shipyard near Larsen's Plads - today Amaliehaven - right beside the Royal residence Amalienborg Palace - was demolished and a new port wit piers and quay facilities were established in 1879 - by the “Thingvalla Line” with the aim to maintain a direct route between Scandinavian ports and America for Danish and Scandinavian Passengers. The intentions were also to offer the growing amounts of Scandinavian emigrants un-expensive - comfortable and in all ways safe voyages. In 1898 - the Thingvalla Line was acquired by DFDS - a Danish based shipping company - and the Scandinavian-American passenger service was operated under the name Scandinavian America Line. Amaliehaven (Amalie Garden)
 
 
The quay at Larsen's Plads in 1925 - was the port for the direct route with steamships between many Scandinavian countries and America. The very first route between Scandinavian ports and America for Danish and Scandinavian passengers was established around 1879 by the Thingvalla Line.
There was not much entertainment onboard for 3rd class passenger - normally poor emigrants - on the Thingvalla ship from Denmark to USA on the nearly one month sea voyages to New York and Ellis Island. But some way to kill the monotonous time was to dance and listen to live music onboard.
 
Thingvalla Line - Larsen’s Plads
The very first route between Scandinavian ports and America for Danish and Scandinavian passengers was established around 1879 - by the Thingvalla Line offering Scandinavian emigrants un-expensive - comfortable and in all ways safe voyages with the steam ship "SS Thingvalla" across the Atlantic Ocean. Thousands of emigrants have waited patiently at Larsen’s Plads - now the Amalie Gardens - with crowds of relatives saying goodbye to their love ones before starting the more than one month journey to America - arriving at Ellis Island - New York.

Ellis Island - situated in New Jersey at New York Harbour were the main port facilities for emigrants entering the USA. The federal emigration station operated from 1892 to 1954 - where more than 20 million emigrants mostly from Europe pass the ports of Ellis Island before granted permission to enter USA. Today Ellis Island is a museum.
Danish settlers around 1870 in Iowa - where the largest concentration of Danish farmers was emigrated - and got a free piece of land according to the government passed Homestead Act in 1862. This act offered settlers 160 acres of free surveyed land in the Midwest if they lived on and cultivated it for at least five years.
 
Danish settlers - and the northern states of the USA
The Danes who emigrated to America or Canada were mostly poor people looking for a new life with better social and economic prospects then offered in Denmark. Mostly - the Danish settlers found work in the dairy and farming communities in the northern states of the USA - mainly in Wisconsin - Minnesota - The Dakotas - Illinois - Michigan and Iowa - as there were no form for financial support from the US government of any kind. Iowa had the largest colony of Danish citizens and is probably the most Danish of all USA states. By 1970 - almost 360,000 Danes had settled in the USA - and still - the five most common Danish surnames in the northern part of America is Jensen - Nielsen - Hansen - Petersen and Andersen.
 
 
Danish Villages in Iowa & Denmark on the Prairie
The “Danish Villages” of Elk Horn and Kimballton - represent the largest rural Danish settlements in the United States. Elk Horn is a city in Shelby County - Iowa - USA. The Danes began arriving in western Iowa about 1840-1845 - and followed heavily by other immigrants from Denmark. The two towns expanded with Danish citizens - and the first Danish “Højskole” (High School) was established in 1878 - that later became seminary and college. The first Danish Lutheran Church was founded around 1894 - with a seriously supportive congregation.
 
The Danish windmill at Elk Horn from 1848 - has become one of the most popular and successful tourist attractions in Iowa- which also is a genuine historical piece of the Danish Cultural Heritage. The Museum is located beside of the windmill.
The Danish settlers at Elk Horn was farmers and lived quite primitive in houses build of clay and turf. The immigrant were very poor and had a miserable life. The cemetery at Elk Horn witness many Danish names on the memorial stones.
 
Old Danish Windmill from 1848
A old Danish Windmill built in 1848 at “Nørre Snede” that is situated in “Vejle” Community and located in east Jutland - Denmark - was transported to Elk Horn and painstakingly piece by piece - erected in 1976 by the enthusiastic citizens of Elk Horn. The old Windmill has since become the landmark of Elk Horn - and the descendents of Danish migrants are quite proud of owning a genuine historical piece of the Danish Cultural Heritage. The Windmill has also become one of the most popular and successful tourist attractions in Iowa. Elk Horn is known as the hub of Danish ethnicity - as well as the home for the Museum of Danish America - that also exhibits a statue of the Little Mermaid - and the museum's permanent exhibition "Across Oceans - Across Time" explores experience of Danish immigrants and their descendants from 1840 to 1940.
 

 
Finding your Danish Ancestors
By using the online Danish Emigration Archives plus links to other related archives - there is a great chance of finding useful information about Danish Ancestors and persons of interest that can lead you to a successful search for relatives - who immigrated to USA or Canada. And maybe you will trace the last missing bits and pieces that will fit into your family tree and make it grow with new branches and relations. Good Luck!


Danish Emigration Archive


The Danish State Archives

The Genealogical dictionary

The Danish Demographic Database

Manifest for S.S. Thingvalla

Locating a person or place

Krak.dk

Degulesider.dk (Yellow pages)

Eniro.dk

Maps of Denmark
 
Rebild Festival - Rebild Nationalpark - Jutland - Denmark
 
The Rebild Festival is celebrated every year on the American Independence Day July 4th in Jutland.
Thousands of Danish-Americans join the Rebild Festival at the - Rebild Hills and National Park.
 
The Rebild Society - A Danish American Friendship Organization
Every year since July 4th 1912 - hundreds of thousands of Danish-Americans and others have joined with Danes in this celebration of the American Independence Day July 4th on the beautiful heather-covered hills at Rebild National Park in Jutland - and 20 km south of Aalborg. On this festival day - Stars and Stripes of USA - and the Danish Dannebrog flag are flown side-by-side in natural picturesque surroundings expressing the thanks to the USA for welcoming over 350,000 Danish emigrants to the US homeland. US-citizens - who are visiting Copenhagen can experience this festival in Jutland. By train or car - the trip will take nearly 4 hours - and there is plenty of logging facilities at Rebild and Aalborg. As a tribute to this special USA – Danish festival and as a countdown to the event - an added VIDEO performs - Strike Up the Band.
Video

See also event Calendar
 
The Rebild Society
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This Site will be updated regularly!

 

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