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Fort Dansborg.jpg
Presidency: Madras
Coordinates: 11.03°N 79.84°E
Present Day Details
Place Name: Tharangambadi
State/Province: Tamil Nadu
Country: India
Transport links

Tranquebar is a coastal town about 100km south of Pondicherry, formerly in the Madras Presidency. In the Danish era it was an important port.

Spelling Variants

Modern name: Tharangambadi


Founded by the Dutch East India Company, Tranquebar was a Danish colony from 1620 until 1845, when it was sold to the British. The Danish built Fort Dansborg in 1620 as the governor's residence.

Online Records for Family History

  • The original records for Tranquebar are housed in archives in Denmark.
  • Tranquebar Registers. Organised by P S Ramanujam 2013. Containing Zion church Registry 1767-1845, transcribed from microfiche at the National Archives in Copenhagen, (a copy of the original documents in India) which has “reorganized chronologically Heiberg’s transcriptions of Zions Churchbooks”. Also contains Census for Tranquebar 1790 and 1834 from the Danish National Archives. National Museum of Denmark, now an archived webpage. Mainly in Danish, but some English description.
Believed to contain the marriage records published in 1935, refer Historical books online, below.
  • FamilySearch/LDS film no 128836 catalogue entry covers registers of baptisms , marriages and burials of both the Jerusalem and Zion churches of Tranquebar during the period 1707-1818. These records, which were taken from the original records at Landsarkivet, Copenhagen, have now been digitised, and may be viewed on your home computer. Note: See "Tranquebar Registers" above which probably contains this information
  • Some details are held in a card index compiled by Kay Larsen – which up to at least the early 1980s was housed in the Rigsarkivet in Copenhagen. This index, comprising handwritten personal data searchable by name , can now be found on Dansk Demografisk Database Danish Demographic Database., part of the Danish National Archives. For more details see Kay Larsen's Introduction which contains abbreviations used, and an alphabetical list of the names (in Danish, but Google Chrome will translate the pages)
  • FamilySearch/LDS film no 382501, the very last film in a series "Blanketregnskaber 1800-1847" with catalogue entry is titled "Trankebar, India: Ansøgningsbilag og Regnskaber" 1844. "These records contain applications and permissions for civil authorities to handle special matters such as, burials, probates, marriages and divorce decrees, etc." This film has now been digitised, and may be viewed on your home computer.

Other Records

  • Some records can be found amongst those of the Madras Presidency – more particularly after 1845 when the colony came under British control.
  • LDS films no 39091-39092 which covers 1834 census of Tranquebar (these films are in Danish and can be accessed as above, see "Tranquebar Registers" )
  • List of marriages registered in the Danish church register of Zion church, Tranquebar, 1767-184 by Knud Heiberg, published 1935, from records in Madras. (In the UK , this title is available in, at least, both the British Library and Society of Genealogists . See "Tranquebar Registers" above which appears to contain this information, and Historical books online, below).
  • BACSA holdings at the British Library under references Mss Eur F370/1358A & B comprise The Tombs in the Danish Graveyards in Tranquebar Photocopies of Danish registers compiled by Rev Knud Heiberg following a survey in Mar 1935 and translated by Poul Beckmann, 2006. This information, (but in Danish) is probably available in "Tranquebar Registers" above
  • Tranquebar cemeteries and grave-monuments by Karin Kryger and Lisbeth Gasparski (Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture 2003). A copy is also held as part of the BACSA holdings at the British Library under ref - Mss Eur F370/1358/C . " The graveyards covered are Zion churchyard, New Jerusalem Church and churchyard, the cemetery at the Town Gate (Landporten), the Old Cemetery in Nygade, the Roman Catholic burial ground near the Town Gate, and the graveyard at Bethlehem Church, Poreyar, about one kilometre from Tranquebar. The book is liberally illustrated with historical picture-maps, old plans, and survey drawings, as well as a delicious array of photographs, monuments , memorials , and mural tablets ..." [1]


  1. Review in BACSA Journal “Chowkidar” Spring 2004

External Links

Historical books online