We aim to provide informative and entertaining programs on a wide variety of Danish, Danish-American, and general genealogy topics. We have featured programs on Danish history, how to use Danish archive records, traditional Danish costumes, DNA, organizing your research, emigration, Danish language, technology, plat maps/land records in America, Danish churches in America, and much more! Our goal is to help you discover ways to not only discover who your ancestors were, but how they lived and what life was like then.
See PDF below for an example of lecture notes from a past program and visit the Events section of the website for upcoming programs.
No. The goal of NDAGS is to teach genealogists the skills necessary to perform their own genealogical research. We are a non-profit organization, so therefore do not take fees for service. However, we are happy to answer general questions and will try to give advice and ideas to get you started down the right path.
Between 1865 and 1915 well over 300,000 Danes left their native land to become emigrants, with the vast majority of them soon calling the United States their home. Their reasons were varied: economic, religious, political, or personal. Though Danes were only a tiny portion of the mass exodus of this era, they certainly brought with them their cultures, national character, and enterprising spirit. Today we are so proud of these men, women, and children who ventured across the Atlantic Ocean. They are now us; they are in our character and chemistry, our DNA. Also in our DNA are the ancestors who preceded the immigrants. A key goal of the National Danish-American Genealogical Society is to pursue those sometimes elusive, sometimes just-waiting-to-be-discovered ancestors.
Denmark is a great place to look for records of your ancestors! Danish records are generally well preserved and many are available to use for free online. Common record types include: census, birth, confirmation, marriage, death, emigration and probate. There are databases searchable in English and also scanned copies of original documents in Danish as well.
NDAGS is a branch affiliate of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. We are separate organizations but work closely together with the same goal of helping you discover your ancestors. The Minnesota Genealogy Center Library has over 30,000 books and materials on a wide variety of genealogy topics, as well as computer resources. All NDAGS members receive fee admission to the MGC research library.
The Danish American Center in Minneapolis is an organization devoted to all things Danish. Their mission statement is "The Danish American Center supports and fosters Danish culture through education and the celebration of traditions, customs and history." NDAGS and the DAC are separate organizations, with separate membership dues, but we work closely together in our missions. Most NDAGS programs are held at the DAC building.
Yes! Familiarizing yourself with common Danish terms on census and life-event records will greatly help you in your research, but being fluent in Danish is not necessary for most records.
One good resource is our NDAGS publication "Searching for Your Danish Ancestors."
Another good online source is on the Danish Genealogical Word List on FamilySearch, located at: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Danish_Genealogical_Word_List
NDAGS does not perform translation services, but below are some translators who do. NDAGS does not certify translators and assumes no responsibility for the quality of translation. The agreement between you and any translator is a personal one and should in no way be construed as reflecting endorsement by NDAGS.
Museum of Danish America
4210 Main Street
Elk Horn, IA 51531
Translation of both modern and Gothic Danish documents, as well as genealogical research.
Translation of Danish genealogy records and personal items like old letters
Translation of Danish academic, business, genealogy, legal, medical, personal, scientific/tech, and old handwritten documents, as well as oral interpretation
Dr. Nete Schmidt
Translation of Danish genealogical documents, old script, letters, and church records
National Danish-American Genealogical Society
c/o Danish American Center
3030 West River Parkway South
Minneapolis, MN 55406