The history of Danish last names is fascinating and full of interesting stories. Denmark has one of the oldest systems of surnames in the world, with records dating back to the 12th century. Prior to that time, people were simply known by their given name, or by a nickname.
The first recorded Danish surnames are those of noblemen and women, who began using them around the year 1100. By the late Middle Ages, most Danes had acquired a surname. The practice then spread to the peasantry, and by the 16th century it was quite common for all Danish families to have surnames.
There are three main types of Danish surnames: patronymic (based on one's father's name), matronymic (based on one's mother's name), and occupational. Many Danish surnames are patronymic, such as Andersen (son of Anders) and Hansen (son of Hans). Matronymic surnames are less common, but they do exist; some examples include Jensdatter (daughter of Jens) and Mortensen (son of Morten). Occupational surnames are also found in Denmark, often denoting an individual's trade or profession; examples include Smith and Baker.
Over time, many Danish surnames have undergone changes in spelling or meaning. This is due in part to the various dialects spoken throughout Denmark, as well as to the influence of other languages such as German and French.
Here is a list of Danish last surnames for better understanding.