My family is from Gotland, and in my family tree I have two priests who moved in from Denmark(*). Since Gotland nowadays is Swedish and these men are from Denmark I'm stuck, I know nothing about how to research this in Denmark.

I know Danish records from this time is sparse, but I wonder if there may be some other wedge into this? How did priests get educated during this time in Denmark? Maybe those institutions kept records?

Note that I'm not looking for advice on how to find information about people in general. I'm asking specifically where I can find information about Danish 16th century priests.

(*) Søren Jensen - dead about 1593, and Påvel Nielsen, 1536-1620

  • Great question. Rather than, "I'm list," did you intend, "I'm lost."
    – GeneJ
    Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 20:46
  • 1
    @GeneJ: I don't know why I would write either "list" or "lost". "Stuck" is more my type of vocabulary. Thanks for the heads up. Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 20:49
  • Works for me too!
    – GeneJ
    Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 20:50
  • Perhaps the question would attract better answers if it was edited to reflect the information in genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/1501/… below.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 12:57
  • @Fortiter: I would have thought the title made that clear. But I updated the question anyway. Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 13:19

4 Answers 4


A quick search of records online showed that there may be some avenues to research at


You are correct that these records will be difficult to find, not only was this the era of "Reformation" and the "Golden Age" the language barrier will also come into effect. As is the way, Archives will conduct a search for a fee. The above link will guide you to The Danish Royal Archives. Interesting enough, while doing this search I saw, a book in the UK about the "Jensen" Family (~1500's).

  • Good stuff, Ezri. While I imagine it might be hard to do for the Danish version, please consider editing your answer to provide a summary of key points rather than an extended, direct copy paste of third party material.
    – GeneJ
    Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 21:24
  • 1
    A Jensen family from 1500's sound strange, as Denmark (and Gotland)h used patronyms up until the 19th century. Søren Jensen's sons have "Sørensen" as a last name as a result. But it could be worth a check, and good idea to search books, I haven't tried that. Google Books turn up a possible daughter, for example, only sons have been recorded so far. +1 for that. Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 11:24

I don't have the specific answer for you but you probably would be able to get an answer on the Denmark genealogy Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/DenmarkGenealogy. I have found this community to be very helpful and it is free. One of the admins knows Danish research and has helped me out several times. I will try and post other possibilities for you later.

  • Welcome to the site, Jennifer. Did you know you can both create a Facebook post that links directly to this question AND even "share" this question to your own FaceBook page? Under the question, there is a share button. Click on it, you'll see there is both a direct link to the question and that familiar FaceBook share logo.
    – GeneJ
    Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 18:37

You need published biographies about priests in Denmark. See http://www.worldcat.org/title/danmarks-prstehistorie/oclc/866470393

The Family History Library has one set by Wiberg, S. V., called En almindelig dansk Præstehistorie (A General Danish Priests' History). København: J. D. Qvist & Company, 1870. (FHL book Ref 948.9 D2w, vols. 1-4.)


A general web search on the names of either of these gentlemen shows results on several of the free//commercial user-generated sites.

While we should always be careful of the knowledge claims made on such sites (and make our own independent check of evidence), they do have the very real benefit of indicating that someone else has an interest in your target person. In at least a few of the cases I checked, there is a name given for the "manager" of the data and an opportunity to make contact.

Even if you do no more than exchange lists of places you have already looked, you may be able to further refine your search strategy.

  • OK, this is not bad advice generally, I should have clarified that I obviously have done this already, which is why I'm asking for more specific information on how to do actual research on this and try to find more information about these persons and get down to real sources in Denmark. Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 11:15

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