Information pertaining to ancestors with a Danish connection.
The Danish East India Company was established in 1616 and a Danish settlement was established at Tranquebar in 1620. There was also a Danish settlement at Serampore near Calcutta. These settlements were more important for the missionary activities carried on there than for commerce. They were perhaps the first perceptable cultural impingement of the Protestant West on India.
In June, 1801 the Danish were defeated at Tranquebar by the Scots Brigade and in 1845 the whole Danish colony was sold to England. This ended the Danish presence in India.
Peter Rasmussen of the University of Copenhagen wrote a term paper in 1996 about the Danish East India Company 1616-1669, refer External links below. This is very interesting and has a number of references at the bottom for those who want to pursue the subject further.
The article "The Danes at Serampore", by F.B.Bradley Birt, Calcutta Review, No. 295, January 1919, (New [2nd] Series Volume 25), pages 92-118, is available online, see below.
For church and others records relating to Tranquebar, see the Fibiwiki page Tranquebar
Thomas M. Robertson has kindly extracted from the Calcutta Annual Directory and Calendar of 1813 all the names of Danish residents of Serampore.
BACSA has published the following books which shed some light on the Danish presence in Asia :
- Memoirs of an Adventurous Dane in India : 1904-1947 by August Peter Hansen, 1999
- Protestant Cemetery in Bangkok by Justin Corfield, 1997. There are a lot Danish folk buried in this cemetery, as there was a substantial group of Danes who came to Thailand to train the Police and Customs Services. See Thailand.
The 1834 census of Tranquebar is available on FamilySearch digitised microfilm. It is on two rolls on microfilm #39091 and #39092, catalogue entry, which are available on your home computer, but you must be signed into FamilySearch.
The Register af Blanketregnskaber 1800-1847 is available as digitised FamilySearch microfilm, available for viewing on your home computer. The microfilm description is "Register of applications pertaining to civil records including special burials, marriages without banns, divorce petitions, nonprobate will actions that should normally have been handled through a higher authority. Includes the various estates and baronies on mainland Denmark, and then the Danish possessions, Iceland, Faroe Islands, West Indies and Tranquebar, India." . The records for Trankebar appear at the end of the list, microfilm 382501, DGS 7751337, catalogue entry.
- "Tranquebar: The Danish East India Company 1616 - 1669" by Peter Ravn Rasmussen. scholiast.org, now an archived webpage. Revised and reworked from what was originally a term paper written at the University of Copenhagen in spring 1996.
- Uno-Barner Jensen has created an impressive website which reflects his extensive research into the subject of coins of the Danish East India Company. It also has pages on the history of Tranquebar and many beautiful photos of the Danish churches there. The website is available in Danish and English, both now archived.
- The Danish Factory in Calicut 1752-1796 by Maddy. historicalleys.blogspot
- There is a Timeline of Danish India on the WHKMLA website in the section relating to Danish India, now archived webpages.
- Robert Ivermee on Hooghly: The Global History of a River Live History India Book Club. Contains a YouTube video (50 minutes). Includes discussion about the Danish in Bengal.
- Danes in India did not intermarry much with local Indians, according to "Beyond "Cotton Mary": Anglo-Indian Categories and Reclaiming the Diverse Past" by Adrian Carton The International Journal of Anglo-Indian Studies Volume 5, Number 1, 2000.
- Denmark includes Danish Word List and Danish Handwriting Guide Family Search (LDS) Wiki
- The Genealogy page from the Danish State Archives. It includes a Handwriting Guide, with link to a genealogical dictionary.
- Rudy Schmidt’s Danish/English Glossary of Causes of Death and other Archaic Medical Terms, now archived.
Historical books online
- "The Danes at Serampore", by F.B.Bradley Birt, Calcutta Review, No. 295, January 1919, (New [2nd] Series Volume 25), pages 92-118 Archive.org, Digital Library of India Collection. Note however, that it is in the volume which is catalogued as 1918. This volume has title page and contents pages for 1918, but articles for 1919.
- Page 95 c 1712 the Danes were "supplied with wives from home and disdaining to form alliances with the women of the country".
- John Company at Work: a study of European expansion in India in the late eighteenth century by Holden Furber. 1970 reprint of 1948 original edition. Archive.org Lending Library. Includes the English, French, Dutch, and Danish East India Companies.
- "Early Trade Relations between Denmark and Siam" by His Highness Prince Dhani Nivat and Major Erik Seidenfaden page 1 The Journal Of The Siam Society 1939 Vol XXXI Archive.org.
- A History of India (Volume Two) (1978) by Percival Spear p.68