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Census Enumeration Instructions by the Ordinance of 28th November 1800

The Ordinance about the 1801 census has two different versions, one to the regional administrators with responsibilities for urban areas in Denmark and Norway, and the other to the bishops in Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

Paragraphs between [ ] were only sent to the bishops. Paragraphs between { } were only sent to the regional administrators. The Ordinance has this wording:

28 Nov. 1800: Rescript about a general census in towns and the countryside on 1st Feb. 1801: Convinced of the utility, which accurate knowledge of population figures for realm and lands, by age, sex and livelihood, the king has decided that such a census be carried out everywhere both in towns and the countryside of Denmark and Norway, beginning the next 1st February, a Sunday, and if counting in one day cannot be completed {Same in the market town to be continued the next weekdays}, continued on subsequent Sundays.

This enumeration observes the rule that the children born after 1st February, but until counting has not been accomplished, must be regarded as unborn and not enumerated, while those persons who had died during the time from the census' beginning until it is completed, are enumerated as alive so the whole counting can assess the population's real condition on the particular (census) day. During the counting each and everyone should be classified into what status group they had, both natives as strangers who, on {aforesaid February: 1} [that particular day] stay in the Kingdoms, including natives who could be absent travelling, but about whom is known either to have their usual place of abode here or that they again plan to come back to establish themselves.

{Like the Rescript to all bishops commands to have counting done in the countryside by the vicars, and these thereby should be supported by all parish and subparish clerks and School Holders} so will the King also, that the census in the towns be administered by the magistrates, and carried out by the ward registrars that must go from house to house, in order to after the head of household's instructions and with his help to record in every house all persons together with the Information, which is required about each, and when several families dwell in one house, then separately specify each family together, as well as the associated persons. In this count are included all, both clergy and civilians and military, who in towns lie in quarters. In contrast, the military who lie in fortifications which are not towns, or in barracks, as well as the navy sailors and others who dwell in the so-called Nyboder in Copenhagen, along with their families will be enumerated by the Royal Departments.

[Like the Rescript to all regional and province administrators in Denmark who have towns under them, as well at Kongsberg is commanded to have counts done in the market town by the magistrate assisted by the ward registrars; so will the King that the Census in the countryside must come about by the vicars and that the parish clerk and school teachers in every parish and subparish should assist with this. In order to facilitate counting, the vicar is allowed each in his parish, from the pulpit to summon before it on the abovementioned 1st February, the housefathers from so many villages and farms or houses, whose inhabitants he considers on that day to get counted, in order to specify the persons who reside in their farms or houses, and also for each person in particular to communicate the other instructions which are related below. Thus, the priests must after previous proclamation from the pulpit, on successive Sundays to continue the Census, until the entire parish citizens is counted, and lists have become written about them. In parishes where the manors are located, the main manor owners or the persons who meet on their behalf must also bring detailed written notification about all those who reside on the manors.]

As a rule when counting observe: everyone is counted in the house where he sleeps: that when a person who usually sleeps in a house is absent either alone on business domestically or abroad, intending to come back, for instance at sea; then he is enumerated with the family from which he is absent. Everywhere counting should happen by farm or house so that for every farm or house, all the present persons are listed - each person's full name along with age, and regarding names, observe that when unusual names occur that could cause uncertainty about gender, this must also be listed; and with respect to age, that the next, but not the achieved age-year should be indicated; for instance for newborn is written 1, and by that which is in its 26th year 26, and not the 25th. For each person, indicate position in the house, such as husband, wife, child, relative and how close, servant, apprentice and farmhand, resident, lodger and so on; for each person must be explained if he/she is married first, second or what time, or unmarried, or in widowhood first, second or what time.

The persons' title, office, business, crafts and trade, or what they live by must also appear, and so far they had handicaps or live by alms. [Especially, remark for cottars in the countryside whether they have any agricultural or other occupation. Moreover, when several families dwell in one house or farm, those living together in a family must be listed together].

In order that the lists should reach the highest degree of distinctness, particularly that they all, as far as appropriate, should be arranged in the same manner and by the same rules, you are sent the attached printed filled schemata which show how the persons enumerated should be entered and in the fields where the information is demanded. [For facilitation in the work] are sent enough paper lists provided with fields where their titles are printed.

When lists are authored and completed, they are inspected in towns by the magistrate, who takes care of correcting the faults and defects, which then may exist, and then they are submitted to the region or province Governors, together with the remarks, he might find necessary, are to be sent to the Department of Finances. Moreover, it is the King's will that the census required is implemented with all possible diligence and exactness, since if the aforesaid lists are not filled in as prescribed, he must expect to get the same returned from the Department of Finances for correction of deficiencies.

[When the lists in the schema are authored and completed by the clergyman in their parish and subparish, these should be sent to the dean for exact inspection in case any person is missing any information which is required, or any item is forgotten, in which case the lists again are sent to the census taker to fill the lacunae. Then the lists are sent from the dean with remarks to the governor, who for his province also has to inspect and correct in case it is needed by the census taker before they are submitted to the regional Governor and bishop, who, when nothing in lists is found missing must submit them to the Department of Finances. Besides, he must be encouraged, without prejudices to use during enumeration all possible diligence, and is warned to take care of that business with all possible exactness, because in the contrary case, if the lists are not filled as commanded, he must expect to obtain the same returned from the Department of Finances for correction and filling of missing information.]