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The Kofoed-Family of Bornholm


compiled by:

Norman Lee Madsen


The Kofoed-family pedigree according to Christopher Giessing

Christopher Giessing’s 1786 pedigree of the Bornholmer Kofoed-family is the earliest published genealogy on this family. Based in part on information derived from General-Major Laurids de Thurah’s history of Bornholm published in 1756, Giessing relates that a Mads Jensen Kofoed of Hasle is the earliest known Kofoed on Bornholm; whom Giessing states lived at Lille Haslegård, and was a Borger (burgher - a citizen licensed to engage in business as a merchant or tradesman in a township) in Hasle.


Giessing relates that the Danish Noblemen with the “Koefoed’er” emblem were of mingled blood with the Normans, those people who had occupied Normandy. He relates further back: to when William the Conqueror, in 1063, went from Normandy to England, there was among the Norman nobility who followed him, one man with the name of Arnfred Kofod.  Also, on an English monastery list are several Danish names: Erik, Oluf, Svend of Essex, Ospern and Arnfred Kofod.  It is related that the Scottish king, Macbeth, agreed to hide Ospern in Scotland, and that Svend became part of his royal staff. Arnfred Kofod became a faithful servant of King Edward; Giessing notes, however, that it would be impossible to establish any link between this man and the Bornholmer family of the same name.


The Giessing pedigree states that Mads Jensen Kofoed of Hasle is the father of Jens Kofoed (1481-1519).  Giessing relates that a “Vabne-Brev” (Arms-Letter) granting noble status to Jens Kofoed (1481-1519) was issued on June 14, 1514 by Archbishop Byrge of Lund, in Skåne province (then part of Denmark), granting the “ufri, og en Almues-Mand” (un-Free, and Common-Man) “Jens Koefod” noble status for “haver ladet sig finde udi denne Tog og Feide, som en Brav og Tapper Helt, til at slaa paa Vores og Riigens Fiender, og forsvaret Vores Land” (having taken upon himself in this Campaign and Feud, like a Worthy and Courageous Hero, to strike upon Our and the Kingdom’s Enemies, and defend Our Country). It describes his newly issued coat of arms as: “Et blaat Spende udi et rødt Feldt, og to Horn oven i Hielme” (A blue Chevron upon a red Field, and two Horns upon a Helmet). It also charges Jens Kofoed, his children, and descendants to defend against those who would attempt to “Rov og Bytte” (Rob and Pillage) the crown’s property.


According to Giessing, Jens Kofoed is the father of Mads Kofoed, mayor of Rønne in 1552, and Oluf Kofoed, also mayor of Rønne. Further, that Mayor Mads Kofoed is the father of Hans Kofoed of Kyndegård in Nyker; and that Mayor Oluf Kofoed is the father of Chief Justice Jens Kofoed, also of Kyndegård.


As you will see below, Giessing’s version of the early Kofoeds on Bornholm was picked up and repeated by Julius Bidstrup a hundred years later. However, less than 20 years later J.A. Jørgensen rejected Giessing’s pedigree as false, as he believed that the 1514 letter of ennoblement was a forgery. Twenty-five years after that, Dr. M.K. Zahrtmann would also reject the earlier pedigrees of Giessing and Bidstrup, as did Jørn Klindt in 1979.


The Kofoed-family pedigree according to Julius Bidstrup

Julius Bidstrup picks up from Giessing’s pedigree, dividing the family into two lines: family A (from Rønne) and family B (from Østermarie).


In "Familien Koefoed A" (published in 1886) Julius Bidstrup relates that from 1496 through 1514 a Jens Koefoed went into the service of Archbishop Byrge of Lund, who conferred on him the privileges of noble title for "mandighed, forstand og udviste meriter" (faithful service, manliness, intelligence and displays of merit). According to Bidstrup, Jens Koefoed was married to a Johanne Thygesdatter, with whom he had two sons, both of whom became mayor of Rønne: Mads and Oluf, and that Jens and Johanne had three daughters who died as children: Karen, Margrethe and Johanne. Further, that their son Mads Koefoed is the father of Hans Koefoed (died 1623) of Kyndegård, who had six children: 1. Mads Koefoed (died 1646), 2. Claus Koefoed (died 1657), 3. Jacob Koefoed (died c.1646), 4. Oluf Koefoed (died 1641), 5. Peder Koefoed (died 1648), 6. Karine Koefoed (died c.1640) married to Mads Koefoed from Østermarie.


Julius Bidstrup states in “Familien Koefoed B”(published in 1887) that Peder Koefoed (1548-1616), the forefather of the Østermarie branch of the family, was probably the son of Mads Koefoed, the above mentioned mayor of Rønne in 1552; and further, that his brother was Esbern Koefoed, who was the mayor of Rønne from 1590 until 1623. Julius Bidstrup related that by the altar of the now demolished Østermarie Church there was a gravestone with three copper plates, the first with the initials “P.K.”, for Peder Koefoed, which depicted his emblem: et koben (a cow-foot). The second plate was engraved “E.H.G.D.” for: Elsebeth Henning Gagge’s Daughter; her vertically divided emblem depicted a halv kaggehjul (half mill-wheel) and a sparre (chevron). The third was engraved “I.P.H.D.” for: Inger Peder Hansen’s Daughter; her emblem depicted what Bidstrup described as looking like a kindben (cheek-bone). Bidstrup related that Esbern Koefoed made use of the cow-foot image in 1595; and that from then on the cow-foot was used repeatedly by this branch of the Koefoed-family; among them Peder Koefoed’s grandson Poul, the mayor of Svaneke, who in 1673 used a seal with the cow-foot image in the arms, above which sat a tiny, not too martial-looking helmet sprouting three flowers, and the initials “P.K.F.M.” for: Poul KoeFoed Madsen.


The Kofoed-family pedigree according to J.A. Jørgensen

Extracted from “Væbnere, Adel og Frimænd på Bornholm”, by J.A. Jørgensen (Rønne, 1905):

We shall now try to examine, how it conduct oneself with the so-called native Bornholmer noble-family.  The forefather, from whom Bornholmers through the centuries have believed - a belief different from that of the author, especially from that of Laurids de Thura, have done their best to confirm - to be: Jens Madsen Koefoed, born 1481, died 1519. This man went into the service of Archbishop Byrge in Lund, who had ennoblement-privileges and thus ennobled him for his faithful service. The letter, which Byrge is said to have issued, is re-printed by Laurids de Thura, but it is just a transcript.


This ennoblement letter reads as follows:

Wii Byrge med Guds Naade Erke-Biskop i Lund, Sverrigs første og Pavens Legat, Giøre witterligt, at vi af wor synderlige Gunst og Naade have taget annammet og undfanget, og nu med dette Wort Vabne-Brev tage annamme og undfange Os Elskelige, Jens Koefod, hans Hustru, Børn, Hion, Tienere og Godts, rørendes og urørendes, udinden vor Biskopelige Hegn, Vern, Fred og Beskiermelse, besynderligen at ville handthæve, forsvare og Dagtinge til ald Rette; Og saasom bemelte Jens Koefod, der hidtil har været ufri, og en Almues-Mand, haver ladet sig finde udi denne Tog og Feide, som en Brav og Tapper Helt, til at slaa paa Vores og Riigens Fiender, og forsvaret Vores Land; Saa have Vi hannem for saadant hans tro Tieneste og Tapperhed bevilget og samtykt, saasom Vi og hannem med dette Vort Vabne-Brev, bevilge og samtykke, at hand derefter skal være en fri Adelsmand, og haver derfor givet hannem dette paateignede Adels-Vaaben som er: Et blaat Spende udi et rødt Feldt, og to Horn oven i Hielmen; Hvilket Adelige Vaaben, hand, hans Børn og Afkom, skulde nyde og beholde, og skal hand, hans Børn og Efterkommere, saafremt de sig saaledes forholde, som han før dennem giort haver, naar noget Rov og Bytte efter Krigen deeles, tage lige Lod af det bedste, som andre Rigens Adelsmænd. Thi forbyde Vi Vore Biskopper, Ridder, og andre Adelsmænd, udi Vore Lande, fornefnte Os Elskelige Jens Koefod, paa saadan hans Adels Frihed at hindre, eller udi nogen Maade Forfang at giøre. Til ydermere Stadfæstelse, have Vi ladet hænge Vores Secret her neden under dette Ao. Dni. MDXIIII den XIIII Dag Junii.


Bricka has in his above-mentioned treatise in Historisk Tidsskrift (5 R. 4 B.) informed that besides this transcript there are two others, however by no means written like Thura’s, inserted in Langebeckske Diplomatorium in the Geheime-archive. At the bottom of the one of these is the following information in a hand other than that of Langebeck: “Origin of this, and also for the Gagges and Bagges, is approximately from 1691 or 1692, then the freedom of any of the estates on Bornholm is disputable, delivered by Sir Albert Hartvigsen to the deceased Mr. Chief Justice Parsberg”, but Langebeck has subsequently added: “Style of this ennoblement letter seems somewhat dubious. At the least, whoever has copied it from the original, did not know how to correctly read the old style handwriting”. Bricka subsequently gave himself over to closely examining the ennoblement-letter, which Archbishop Tue had given to Oluf Bagge, and a better man to undertake such a critical examination cannot to be found. Results thereof were that he declared Jens Koefoed’s ennoblement-letter a forgery from the last half of the 17th century. Therefore this item was utterly taken out of the realm of history and likewise out of Bornholm nobility. There was however something else which attracted Bricka’s attention and necessitated additional investigation. A son’s son of the supposed by Byrge ennobled Jens Madsen Koefoed, Jens Koefoed of Kyndegård, was appointed in 1588 as chief justice of Bornholm, and a royal proclamation, which confirmed his appointment, names him: "Our Man and Servant", a designation which by custom was only used for true noblemen.


Let us now move on, to the Byrge issued ennoblement-letter as a forgery, on which the family Koefoed cannot build their supposed nobility; thus one must seek other places to find something, but then there is Chief Justice Jens Koefoed, called “Our Man and Servant” and therefore must be a true nobleman. However, he did not leave behind a child and thus it ends there, and so however one turns it about the outcome is the same, namely that the family cannot be reckoned among the nobility. However, we are left with a fundamental question: how did it come to pass that Chief Justice Jens Koefoed was designated “Our Man and Servant”. For no ennoblement-letter for him is known. But if, despite all doubt, there is foundation to his grandfather’s supposed nobility, then the descendants of his father’s brother, Mads Jensen Koefoed, and included among those Jens Pedersen Koefoed, Bornholm’s Liberator, must be of the nobility. However, it appears not to be the case, as close members of his succeeding family never denoted themselves as nobility, nor were denoted as such in letters and documents. Some of these named themselves freemen, among them the chief justice, Jens Koefoed, “Our Man and Servant”. Bricka searches to clarify the designation “Our Man and Servant” as being produced by mistake in the Chancellery, which at that time was not in the greatest order. But here it must be recognized that there was a rule that only true noblemen could become chief justices, as emphasized by Bricka; except that he then remarks: “however, possibly with the exception of Bleking, Bornholm and Møn”. However, it must be remarked upon that Chief Justice Jens Koefoed had already made use of the Koefoed chevron emblem, which is described in the supposed ennoblement-letter. This image is to be found on his gravestone, which lay in the chancel inside Rønne Church after his and his wife’s death.


On this stone was carved the following inscription:

"Ligger begrafvet vnder denne Steen Erlig oc Velbyrdig Mand Jens Koefoed til Kyndegaard som døde An. 1625 9de Febr. : Ligger oc begrafvet vnder denne Steen Erlig oc Velbyrdig Frue Fr. Anna Spendt Jens Koefoeds Frue døde paa Kyndegaard 1618 vdi November Maaned". (Buried beneath this Stone is the Honest and Well-Bred Man Jens Kofoed of Kyndegård who died in the Year of Our Lord 1625 on the 9th of February : Buried beneath this Stone is the Honest and Well-Bred Lady Mrs. Anna Spendt, Jens Kofoed's wife, who died at Kyndegård in 1618 in the month of November).


Underneath this was carved the Koefoed emblem with a spænde (sic, = buckle; s.b. sparre = chevron, Norman Madsen) and Anna Spendt’s emblem of a tophue (polish cap, a.k.a. skull-cap or yarmulke) in the shield. Therefore it appears undisputable that the Koefoed’s emblem, in the exact form described in ennoblement-letter, had been held and used by Jens Koefoed, who was chief justice from 1588 to 1620 and died in 1625. This makes the matter of the ennoblement-letter completely incomprehensible, for if one agrees with Bricka, that it is in fact a forgery from the last half of the 17th century, then how can the coat of arms described in the ennoblement-letter have been used long before that time, and who gave Chief Justice Jens Koefoed the right to use such a coat of arms?


However the case may be: even had the Koefoed’s ennoblement-letter been genuine, noble status would have been forfeited with unfree marriages before 1660.


The often mentioned Chief Justice Jens Koefoed was no doubt married to a noble lady, Anna Spendt, and Jens Pedersen Koefoed’s 2nd wife, with whom he had 3 children (besides the 20 children he had with his 1st wife), was of Skånsk nobility. If the case were otherwise, no noble woman would have married anyone of the Bornholmer Koefoed-family. Bricka’s often mentioned thesis in Historisk Tidsskrift (5 R. 4 B.) ends with an examination of how the false ennoblement-letter was created, and evidently charged Jens Pedersen Koefoed with having a part in the forgery, a rather large accusation which gives one pause for thought, but no proof is provided. It is highly probable that Jens Pedersen Koefoed would have wished to be a nobleman, however throughout his entire life he never denoted himself as such, and then after his death in Østermarie Church there was hung an epitaph, on which he is simply referred to as “Velædle og Mandhafte” (Very-Noble and Manly) and his first wife as “Ærlig, Dydig og Gud Elskende” (Honest, Virtuous and Pious), while his second wife is described as “Ærlig og Velbyrdig” (Honest and Well-Bred). Therefore: Jens Pedersen Koefoed and first wife are denoted as middleclass citizens, his second wife on the other hand as noble. Here we have a man, Jens Pedersen Koefoed, who had never done anything to have himself perceived or recognized, neither in life nor in death, as noble; and thus, evidently, cannot have considered the Koefoed-family as noble.


For a long period of time, yes, I dare say even up until to our time, it was a deep-rooted faith on Bornholm among all the Koefoeds that they were able to trace their pedigree back to Jens Madsen Koefoed, who in 1514 was ennobled by Archbishop Byrge, indeed are nobles, even those who were, for example, only labourers, smallholders, fishermen and the like, and to persuade them of the opposite would have been close to hopeless; however, now without any doubt all thoughts of nobility are gone from most of them, and it is now possible to calmly discuss with several of those of rank in this large family, whom have been called noble Koefoeds in contrast to peasant Koefoeds, that there is an entirely different lineage, for they had and have the name in common and with the passing of time it does not matter.


The Kofoed-family pedigree according to Dr. Marius Kristian Zahrtmann

In 1931 Dr. Marius Kristian Zahrtmann wrote down his research and theories on the Kofoed-family roots; Jørn Klindt would later include Zahrtmann’s article in his book “På spor af de første Kofod’er” in 1979. His research uncovered some much need documentary evidence on the earliest Kofoeds on Bornholm. The evidence for these early Kofoeds can be found in the Danish archives, and date from the time in which they actually lived – unlike the information on the earliest Kofoed generations provided by Christopher Giessing.


On July 12th 1510 a treaty was signed with humiliating conditions: 4,000 gold coins - a huge sum of money, and 8,000 measures of pure silver. Also, three hostages were given over until the debt was fully paid, they were: Pastor Peder Laurentsen of Ibsker parish, “Peter Kovoth” (Peder Kofoed) and Jens Skaaning. The island’s noble Chief Justice, Oluf Ottesen (Uf), acted as the representative for Bornholm, since the Commander of Hammershus was still hiding in the fortress! On July 16th 1510, Peder Kofoed can be found as an under signer with power of attorney on the subsequent Løftebrev (promise-letter) to the Lübeckers; his signature comes after three clergymen and the chief justice. In documents from 1522 and 1532 he can be found acting as the mayor of Rønne.


Dr. Zahrtmann provides us with further documentation on the second recorded generation of Kofoeds on Bornholm:


1.        He informs us that a Hans Kofoed paid a severe fine in Vestermarie parish of 15 Mark for a tenant offence in 1543.


2.        It is also in 1543, when a group of Lübeck and Danish commissionaires were appointed to settle a dispute regarding money owing to Lübeck by some Bornholmers, that the first mention of Poul Kofoed can be found. Various meetings were held around the island to settle the matter. The farmers from Østermarie and Ibsker parishes that were involved met at "Pavell Köfföthes" (Poul Kofoed’s) farm in Østermarie parish. At that time he was not signing documents for the parish, but six years later in 1549 "Powijl Kaafodt" was the Sandemand (Reeve) for Østermarie parish. In 1550 he participated in the establishment of the first Latin-school in Rønne. In 1554 he appears again in his position as "Sandemand" for the Eastern District of Bornholm (Østre Herred, consisting of: Østerlars, Østermarie, Ibsker, and Svaneke); that same year he is known to have undertaken a journey to Lübeck. Dr. Zahrtmann believed that he may also be same person as the "Povl Hansen" who, in his capacity as Herredsfoged (Bailiff) for Eastern District, conveyed on August 11th 1559 a lawsuit from Commandant Sveder Ketting to the Herredagen (High Court) in København; base on this Zahrtmann thought that perhaps Poul Kofoed was the son of a Hans Kofoed, however this seems unlikely.


3.        1548 finds Mads Kofoed as the husband of Gunhild Uf.  Mads drowned during a wintertime journey to København in 1552.


And on the third generation of Kofoeds:


4.        In 1569 Esbern Kofoed owned “Kofodsgaard og Skov i Vestermarker Sogn”; this same farm later came to be known as Frigård, 15 Vdg. Vestermarie (see below).


5.        On December 4, 1570 Peder Kofoed, owner of the Freeman’s estate “Kyndegaard i Nøkker Sogn”, issued from Hammershus legal evidence in the Chief Justice’s place. On September 6, 1572 he was among the group of 17 men who met with the Royal Commissioners, who came to Bornholm to examine their claims to Freeman status. And on October 18, 1575 he participated in a boundary establishment in Nyker parish.


6.        Hans Kofoed, as the owner of Heslegård (21 Vdg.) and Knæbjerghus, both in Østerlars parish, participated in the above-mentioned Freeman status meeting in 1572. In 1586 he is recorded as living in Rønne, and in 1590 and 1608 as the owner of the Freeman’s estate Blykobbegård in Nyker parish. Zahrtmann informs us that in 1595 he used the gavlsparren (chevron) in his seal, and that according to Rasmus Ravn, the rector for Rønne from 1632-54, he was the brother of Jens Kofoed of Kyndegård.


7.        The above mentioned Jens Kofoed, as owner of “Frigaard i Vestermarker Sogn” (previously owned by Esbern Kofoed), also attended the meeting of 1572.


However, as Jørn Klindt observes below, Dr. Zahrtmann went beyond the facts with his interpretation of the facts by presuming that since in the 1600s the given names Peder and Hans often change from father to son, therefore one can extend this custom down into the dark 1500s - a period in which there is little documentation to speak of. Using this method Dr. Zahrtmann concluded that Hans Kofoed (-1572-, died 1623) of Blykobbegård, must be the son of an undocumented Peder Kofoed, who must be the son of Hans Kofoed (documented between 1525 and 1543), who must be the son of the Peder Kofoed known to have been living in Rønne in 1510, 1522 and 1532.


The Kofoed-family pedigree according to Jørn Klindt

Jørn Klindt states that the factual findings of Dr. Zahrtmann are always correct - however one can differ with his interpretations of the facts! Klindt states that the idea that the names Hans and Peder alternated over several generations is too perfect, for at least 2 out of 3 children died before reaching adulthood in those days; so it was impossible to guarantee that a Hans or a Peder would carry on the family name.


In his book “På spor af de første Kofod’er” Jørn Klindt (published 1979) writes:

“The first time we find the Kofod surname on Bornholm is at the beginning of the 1500s, carried by one of the island’s leading men. Although the Jens Kofod of 1514 was declared to be a fraud around 100 years ago, at the same time “Peter Kovoth” (Peder Kofoed) of 1510 was discovered! But where did these Bornholmer Kofods hail from? Was the first Kofod a Bornholm peasant having merited knighthood after fighting valiantly in Denmark’s wars against the Hanseatic League? This was the conclusion of early researchers from around 1700. Maybe he came from an old Bornholm Freeman-family who had adopted the name Kofod on account of their emblem depicting a cow’s foot? This was the supposition of Bornholm historian Dr. M.K. Zahrtmann. Or maybe he came from across the sea: a skilful adventurer bringing his Kofod surname with him? This is the presumption of my book.”


Klindt relates that it is thought that the immediately preceding ancestors to the Kofoeds of Bornholm originated from the area around Hamburg, in the Duchy of Holstein. In 1286 there is mention of a knight, Albertus Kofod; the Holstein'er family attained the right to be armigerous and held various titles of knighthood. Every couple of generations the family rose in status to near nobility, only to then descend the social ladder; they never broke into, and then maintained, noble status. The surname Kofoed stems from “KoFod” which means cow’s foot. The origin of the name is not known, however the hypothesis has been put forward that the original Kofod had some sort of physical deformity, such as a clubfoot. It seems that one branch of the old Bornholm Kofoed families used the cow-foot as their emblem; from obvious association with their name, rather than through their connection to the Duchy of Holstein.


According to Jørn Klindt it was the so-called “Østermarie branch” (a.k.a. Julius Bidstrup’s “Familien B”) of the Kofoed-family that adopted the image of the cow-foot around the year 1595. But the cow-foot was not the preferred emblem for the Kofoeds, but rather a very old armorial image: - the sparre (chevron) was the most widely used. Notably by the so-called “Rønne branch” (a.k.a. Julius Bidstrup’s “Familien A”). First used by Chief Justice Jens Kofoed (c.1541-1625) of Rønne. Followed by his half-brother Hans Kofoed (c.1550-1623) of Blykobbegård, who used the chevron in his seal in 1595 and 1608. Hans Kofoed’s eldest son, Mads Kofoed (c.1582-1646) “af Eskesgaard” also used the chevron in 1608.


Jørn Klindt states that in Holstein in the late-1200s and early-1300s there can be found record of a number of Kovot (Kofod) men: Albertus (-1286-), Henrik, Didrik, and Bertold. In the mid-1300s: Hasse, Johannes and his son Markvard (-1370-1378-), Frederik, Conrad, Michael Kovot of Lübeck, and two other Johannes. In the mid-1400s there were a number of Hanseatic traders: Henrik Kovodt (-1466-1515) and Hans Kovoet (-1481), both of Lübeck (and possibly brothers?), Hans Kovoth (-1484-) of Wismar, and Jasper Kovot (-1523-1526-). The Hans Kovoth who died in 1481 is known to have had five children: Jochim, Grete, Engel, Anna, and Hans (born circa 1481). In the early-1500s one of the Kofoed-family Hansa traders is known to settled on Bornholm: Peter Kovoth (Peder Kofoed), as a merchant in Rønne in 1510, and from 1522 until 1532 as the mayor.


According to Klindt the next generation of Kofoeds on Bornholm were:


1.        Hans Koofodt (Hans Kofoed) paid a severe fine in Vestermarie parish of 15 Mark “for Margrete Iffuers horeri” (for Margrethe Iver's adultery). As the entry is not dated, it can only be dated to the Lübeck period of occupation, specifically the period 1525 to 1543 in which Berendt Knop was their bailiff. It is not clear if Hans Kofoed participated in this offence, the matter might have involved a relative, dependant, or an employee; nor is it even stated where Hans Kofoed was living! It is possible that he was living in Vestermarie parish.


2.        Matthias Kofoedt (Mads Kofoed), of Rønne, mentioned in 1547 as married to Gunhild and as having died in 1552. The Freeman’s meeting of 1572 led to two of the newly appointed freemen had an important mission to Lübeck the following year. On September 6, 1573 King Frederik II wrote a letter to Lübeck stating that “vore undersaatter brødrene Peter og Jens Kofoth” (our citizens, the brothers Peder and Jens Kofoed) have applied to Lübeck’s government for verification of their vital statistics, so as, among other things, they are free to serve their King - who then requests the Lübeck council to give sympathetic consideration to their case and verify their births in Lübeck’s records. We often find such vital statistics proofs attached to the documents in probate court cases, they were actually signed by the parish elders before the church parish registers (kirkebøger) came into use. They were especially essential if disagreement arose among the heirs. In the Lübeck registry for 1573 we find the following entry: Kofoedt, Matthias, dead before 1573 on Bornholm, his wife: Johanna; their children: Peter, Jens, Boel - married to Oluf Bagge; Anneke - married to Michael Abraham. The reason that the family is registered in Lübeck exactly in 1573 is of course the application the brothers made that same year for their vital statistics.


3.        Pavell Køfføth (Poul Kofoed) of Østermarie parish is mentioned in 1543, and later Powijl Kaafodt is mention as Sandemand (reeve) in 1549, and finally in 1553 as being the Herredsfoged (bailiff) for the Eastern District.


Klindt provides the further information on the third generation:


4.        On the 31st of May 1563 the war started up with a terrible sea battle off the Rønne shoreline. Later that same year the Danish-Lübeck fleet, under the command of Peder Skram, patrolled the sea between Bornholm and Øland - wherein, as was the custom, they went ashore and requisitioning heavy taxes. Amid all the skirmishes the Swedes of Øland trapped a small Bornholmer fishing boat. The Lübeck commander of Hammershus, Sweder Ketting had also been taken prisoner the Swedish Admiral, Jacob Bagge; who urged his prisoner to write a letter to his superior officer at Kalmar Castle to suggest an exhange of the four Bornholmer fishermen with four Swedish prisoners on Bornholm. In another letter sent at the same time to the Swedish king, he writes: “We are treated well - but for God’s sake give the Danish prisoners humane treatment - some are of the nobility and respected men.” We find that one of the Bornholm fishermen (the ship’s captain?) was named Æsbiörnn Kofoth (Esbern Kofoed). It isn’t known if Esbern Kofod ever returned home. Dr. Zahrtmann thought that he must be identical to the Esbern Kofod who was a customs officer and later mayor of Rønne until 1623. Klindt could not find any other justification for this hypothesis than the fact that they were both seamen; if Esbern, for example, was 20 years old when taken prisoner in 1563, he would still have been in the office of mayor at age 80 - which seems unlikely. Age-wise a more probable connection is that of the Esbern Kofod, who in 1569 lived at Kofodgaard (later known as Frigård, 15 Vdg.) in Vestermarie.


5.        The eldest of Mads Kofoed’s sons was Peder Kofoed. On December 4, 1570 Peder Kofoed “til Kyndegaard in Nøkker Sogn”, issued from Hammershus legal evidence in the Chief Justice’s place. On 6 September 1572 he was among the group of 17 men who met with the Royal Commissioners, who came to Bornholm to examine the claims to Freeman status. And on October 18, 1575 he participated in a boundary establishment in Nyker parish. He is thought to have died before 1583. On a chalice given to the church in Rønne in 1569 can be found the bomærk (estate-mark) inscribed “P.K. 69”. [Which is probably that of this Peder Kofoed, given his family connections to Rønne (i.e. he was born there, and his father was the town’s mayor). – Norman Madsen]


6.        Jens Kofoed took over Kyndegård after his brother Peder Kofoed’s death, as in 1583 he is connect to that farm. Jens Kofoed was appointed as Chief Justice for Bornholm in 1588, and held the position for over 35 years. He was married to Anna Spendt, who died in 1618. In 1594 the couple presented a chandelier to Nyker Church, which bears their våbenskjolde (arms). Jens Kofoed’s arms contains a gavlsparren (chevron), which is the first time this image is to be found used by a member of the Kofoed-family. Anne Spendt’s arms depict a tophue (scull-cap). Jens Kofoed died on February 9, 1625, and as he had no living, direct heirs at the time of his death, the four sons of his brother Hans Kofoed, and a certain Albert Hansen - on account of his wife Karina Michelsdatter, were made heirs to his reportedly large fortune. For who else was there left in 1625 to inherit? His brother Peder had long since died. His sister Boel’s children with Oluf Bagge had left the island. His sister Anneke had married a Michael Abraham, a common Bornholm name, and so a daughter from their marriage would have been known by the patronymic Michelsdatter, which leads us to Karina being Jens Kofoed’s niece.


7.        Hans Kofoed, as the owner of Heslegård, 21 Vdg. a fri vornedegård (freehold farm), and Knæbjerghus, both in Østerlars parish, participated in the Freeman status meeting in 1572. In 1586 he is recorded as living in Rønne. As the owner of the Freeman’s estate Blykobbegård in Nyker parish in 1608 he signed himself as Hans Kofod. Klindt informs us that Bornholm’s first historian Rasmus Pedersen Ravn (1603-1677) named him as being the brother of Chief Justice Jens Kofoed.


8.        From the earliest records on Peder Kofoed, of Koefoedgård in Østermarie, inform us that he was a tax-paying farm-owner without the Freeman privileges his relatives around Rønne enjoyed. Peder Kofoed fathered five children in his first marriage, to Elsebeth Gagge: one son and four daughters; she and all of their children died in 1585. After Elsebeth Gagge died he inherited her property, as she left no male child to inherit her property. The properties were the 14, 16, 17 and 25 Vornedegårde (copyhold farms) in Åker parish. As Elsebeth Gagge’s status was that of a Freewoman it was necessary to obtain Royal permission to keep the farms. This was granted to him by Royal decree on July 3, 1598; however, this did not make Peder a Freeman, but he did obtain something equally as good: The King’s decree of 1598 gave him the right to own those farms “as free as anyone else on Bornholm owned his farm”. Christian IV’s brother-in-law, the Holstein Duke Johan Adolf, a well educated and enlightened nobleman, visited Koefoedgård in 1602 together with five squires and their entourage: “as many as could be seated around four long tables”. Although the affair totalled a hefty 22 Rigsdalers, Peder Kofoed could not but praise God for his good fortune in making the acquaintance of such an important and influential man. Towards this end, he shared the cost of manufacturing a magnificent new bell dedicated to the church in Østermarie in 1604. It is one of two bells that ring for the people in Østermarie to this very day. It was unthinkable to have Koefoedgård converted to frigård (freeman’s farm) status; however, as it was now established that Peder had the right to own Freeman’s property, it was possible to obtain land already designated as such. Finally in 1606 he got the opportunity to buy the Freeman’s estate of Baggegård in Klemensker parish. Now Peder Kofoed “af Baggaard” could met on equal footing with the other Freemen of Bornholm.


9.        In 1584 Esbern Kofoed was the Kongelig Tolder (crown appointed customs officer) of Bornholm, with a yearly payment of 2 barrels of butter. At the same time he was a Rådmand (alderman) in Rønne, as can be seen by the fact that he was one of the delegates from all over Denmark were sent to Lund, in Skåne province, to elect Prince Christian’s (IV) as heir-apparent on July 20, 1584. Records from this time tell that the following delegates were sent to represent the citizens of Rønne: “Michel Herttuig, Borgemester, Esbern Kofod og Claus Kamitz, Raadmænd.” He became mayor of Rønne in 1590, a position which he held up until 1623. We can see that the seal he used in his official duties as mayor displays the same cow-foot image as that used by Peder Kofoed (1548-1616) of Koefoedgård, 23 Slg. Østermarie; thus it is thought that he is the brother of Peder Kofoed.


10.     From the same time period as the above Mayor Esbern Kofoed, there is mention of another “Esbern Kofoed af Poulsker”, who in 1608 was the son-in-law of the Freeman, Jørgen Pedersen of Eskesgård. Esbern and his wife Elline owned three farms: one in Poulsker, one in Egeby in Åker, and one in Nyker. Klindt doesn’t know if this Esbern is the same person as the above mention Mayor Esbern Kofoed.


Jørn Klindt informs us that the Kofoed'er spread east from the Hamburg area to Lübeck, Wismar, etc. along the north Baltic coastline of present day Germany and Poland. They also spread up the Jylland peninsula into Schleswig and Denmark.


The Kofoed-family pedigree according to Sigvard Mahler Dam

In the 1980s and early 1990s Sigvard Mahler Dam published a number of articles of genealogical interest concerning the history of Bornholm and Skåne, some of which sheds some light on the early Kofoed pedigree.


In his article “Landet Borringholm” (published in SAXO, 1989) he informs us that a case was put before the "Landsting" (Senate) in Åkirkeby on May 22, 1522. The details were discussed, witnesses were heard, and finally a document was drawn up and sealed by the most important officials on Bornholm: 1. the Commander of Hammershus, Niels Ibsen; 2. Jørgen Hals' step-brother Chief Justice Oluf Ottesen (Uf); 3. Jørgen Gagge, who had been made a Freeman 20 years previously and was an illegitimate born member of the Gagge-family of Skåne; 4. Hans Borgeby of Bierregård; 5. Anders Kos (of Kåsegård) in Ibsker parish; 6. and the invaders from Lübeck, Peder Kofoed, 7. and Morten Lassen, both mayors in Rønne; 8. Lauritz Jul from an old and distinguished family and a bailiff in Østermarie parish; 9. Hans Pedersen from the same parish, who later married Jørgen Hals daughter; 10. and finally the document was signed by the bailiff for Åker parish, Peder Munck.


Later in 1547, Mogens Uf, living in exile from Bornholm, came to blows with his own family and took them to the highest court in the land.


In the original old Danish: “Mogens W til Odersbiergh citat hustru Gunildt, Mattis Kofoedt paa Bornholm med deres medarvinger for noget jordegods som de gør dem forhindring paa smst. efter Oluf Tuesens død smst.” (Mogens Uf of Odersberg complaint against Gunhild, wife of Mads Kofoed of Bornholm, and their co-inheritors over some properties and their impediment to these same properties after Oluf Tuesen’s death regarding these same places.)


The case concerns Mogens Uf’s inheritance from his mother (through his deceased father, Oluf Tuesen), against Gunhild, who must be a descendant of his mother’s brother, Oluf Ottesen (Uf). Gunhild’s husband, Mads Kofoed, sailed to København on behalf of his wife and her (under-aged) co-heirs. Mads won the case and returned home able to keep the deeds to the farms contested by Mogens Uf. But in 1552 Mogens Uf is back again to haunt Gunhild’s family:


“Oluff Hansz paa sine egne og metarfvingers Otte Persz arfvinger vegne, beretter at Mogens W forfølger dem for noget jordegods og skifte, og de have forfulgt sagen og bragt den for Rigets Kantsker, og til den ende afsendt Mads Kofoedt med deres breve og beviser, men han er drunknet paa veien og Brevskaberne forkomne, hvorfor det paalægges landsdommeren Hans Reymer, at han er dem behjælpelig til endnu engang at faa beskrevet hvad der er gaaet for sig i sagen.” (Oluf Hansen on his own and his co-inheritor’s [of Otte Pedersen] behalf, relate that Mogens Uf prosecuted them over some properties and inheritance, and they have pursued the matter and brought it before the Crown’s Chancellor, and towards this end sent Mads Kofoed with their documents and evidence, but he drowned on the journey and the documents were lost, wherefore the matter was imposed upon Chief Justice Hans Reymer, that he is to assist them once again to provide the required documents for himself on the subject.)


Mogens had sued Oluf Hansen (Uf) and Otte Pedersen’s heirs for some property and Mads Kofoed had again been sent to København with documents. Sadly, Mads drowned underway and the documents were lost. This proves that Oluf Hansen Uf was one of the under-aged heirs represented by Mads Kofoed in 1547. And that in 1552 Oluf Hansen Uf was now above the age of majority, and was know representing his co-inheritors in the matter: the widow Gunhild (his sister?) and his (still under-aged) brother Peder Hansen Uf.


In “Landsdommer-Patriciatet på Bornholm”, part 1, (SAXO, 1987) he informs us that the island’s chief justices were ranked among the nobility (only in the 1650s do we first see a chief justice of common heritage) and what is more: they formed a local upper-class which inter-married. We can trace from the earliest known chief justices up to Mads Kofoed who died in 1646. Some of the justices could even trace their ancestry back to the commanders of Hammershus in the Middle Ages.


In this same article Sigvard Mahler Dam also informs us of his opinion of J.A. Jørgensen’s article “Væbnere, Adel og Frimand på Bornholm” (published in Rønne in 1905), stating that it is hopelessly out of date; the author did not even try to document family relationships, the only family researched by him is the Kofoed-family, and his family tree is incorrectly written down. Not a milestone in Bornholm’s historical literature! His opinion of “Bornholms Frimænd” by M.K. Zahrtmann (published in “Bornholmske Samlinger”, volume 16, Rønne, 1920, pages 120-159), is a bit better, although it is still out of date. Some of the “Væbnere” (Arms Carriers) have been incorrectly documented, something easily avoided if the author had checked their seals. Stating that Zahrtmann insisted that it was impossible to trace a Bornholm officer-family over three generations, which Mr. Dam considered to be nonsense. He had a very high opinion of Jørn Klindt’s book “På spor af de første Kofod’er”, calling it excellent.


Mr. Dam relates the following in “Landsdommer-Patriciatet på Bornholm”, part 2 (SAXO, 1987):

In 1558 the freemen had complained that they were being required to pay land-tax even though they, as nobility, were entitled to tax free estates. To this end, on the 30th of March 1558 Jacob Borneholm and Truid Myre were sent to København carrying the letters of complaint. Although Jacob Iversen had been active in public affairs for many years exactly when he became chief justice is not known; however, on the 5th of September 1572 Jacob Iversen Landsdommer is recorded as having passed a sentence in Rønne regarding an inheritance – a case wherein he had a number of distinguished royal envoys as co-justices. The following day a Landsting took place in Åkirkeby. After the regular out door Ting meeting, the envoys asked the Freemen to join them for a private meeting inside the church. At issue were the Lübeck bailiff’s doubts about the freemen’s claim to noble status, and his hints that they were just ordinary peasants. Thus all the Freemen, lead by Jacob Iverssen Landsdommer were requested to show up on the following Saturday with proof of their nobility. Contrary to the opinion of latter historians they must have convinced the envoys, as on the 9th of September the freemen were granted the right to gather shipwrecks from the beaches, hunt in the woods, as well as given full authority over their servants – a great victory for the Freemen.


Jacob Iversen must have died within the following year. His emblem is unknown, as is his family origin: we do not know of any Iver who could be his father. As a rule, people with the name Jacob were called Jep or Ib on Bornholm, so when we see the spelling “Jacob” passed down in later chief justice families (i.e. Clausen/Køller and Kofoed) it is possible that Jacob Iversen might be an uncle of Christen Clausen (Køller), whose son later became a chief justice.


Jens Kofoed and his older brother Peder were present at the church in Åkirkeby in 1572 when the king’s envoys gathered all the Freemen. Peder Kofoed presided at court in Hammershus on the 12th of April 1570 in the chief justice’s place, and a promising future career as chief justice was ended by his early death in the 1570s. Peder and Jens, and their two sisters, Boel and Anneke, were the children of Mattis Kofoed (Mads Kofoed) and Johanne. Mattis Kofoed married a second time, to Gunhild (Chief Justice Peder Hansen’s sister) and they had a son, Hans. This relationship to the Uf-family can be seen in the Kofoed-family’s newly acquired emblem which, like the Uf-family, display’s a chevron. Previous to this the Kofoed’s had been using a simple seal (depicting a cow’s leg), but from that point onwards they rose steadily in importance. An imaginative person in the Kofoed-family fabricated a letter conferring nobility, which supposedly had been issued by the archbishop of Lund in 1511 – seemingly inspired by the similar (but genuine) letter of nobility issued to the Bagge-family. Oluf Bagge was married to Jens Kofoed’s sister Boel. The Rønne branch’s emblem was inspired by that of the Uf-family, but it was quite unheraldic in the choice of colours: a blue chevron on a red field; with two white vesselhorns on the helmet.


My own take on the Kofoed-family pedigree

Recent historians (namely Langebek and Bricka) note that this document shows signs of being a later forgery, stating that the language used doesn’t appear to be that of the early 1500s, but rather that of the late 1600s. Some even go so far as to speculate that Elisabeth Akeleye (1654-1739) instigated the fabrication of this forged document! One supposes this was done on behalf of her husband Jens Pedersen Kofoed (1628-1691), the famous “Liberator of Bornholm”, and their children.


Some of the Kofoeds who settled in Bornholm eventually attained the status of Frimænd, this meant that they were Freemen and had no over-lord except the King of Denmark, and thus were of the minor nobility. It should be noted here that the Frimænd were not of the social class of the true titled nobility (i.e. Duke, Count, etc.), but rather were landed gentry. There is no evidence that the first recorded Kofoed on Bornholm (Peter Kovoth) was a Freeman, although as the Borgmester (mayor) of Rønne he must have been a Borger (burgher - licensed tradesman and citizen) in that township. It seems likely that he emigrated circa 1500 to Bornholm from Lübeck, which had long-standing trade interests on Bornholm. Neither do we have any evidence on the family relationship of the three men (Hans, Poul and Mads) from the second generation, although it seems likely that they were the sons of Peter Kovoth. Nor do we have any evidence that the three were Freemen; just the suggestion that if they weren’t, then Poul and Mads must certainly have verged on borderline Freeman status.


1.      Of the three, the one we know the least about is Hans Kofoed. All that can be said of him is that he lived sometime between 1525 and 1543, probably in Bornholm’s Vester Herred (Western District), possibly in Vestermarie parish, or even Rønne. One of the two Kofoeds from the third generation who are never mentioned as being Freemen is Rasmus Kofoed, who in 1576 owned Kildegård, 16 Slg. Pedersker. There is no evidence by which we can place Rasmus in the Kofoed family tree. We do know that there is a third Selvejerbonde (freehold peasant farmer) branch of the Kofoed-family (the Vestermarie branch? or Familien C?) which never attained Frimand, nor Borger status until well into the 1700s; the certain forefather of which is Oluf Kofoed of Engegård, 35 Slg. Vestermarie, in 1598. There is no direct evidence, however it is very likely that Oluf Kofoed’s is the father of Mogens Kofoed, who must have inherited Engegård, as we find him living there in 1632 and 1662. The same can be said of Oluf Kofoed (c.1630-1676), whose family we know about because his daughter Kirstine died childless. Her probate reveals that he had six children: 1. Mogens Olufsen Kofoed (c.1657-1711), 2. Karen Olufsdatter (c.1659-1735), 3. Kirstine Olufsdatter (c.1662-1708), 4. Gundel Olufsdatter (c.1666-1706), 5. Jens Olufsen Kofoed (c.1670-1701, the heir to Engegård), and 6. Jørgen Olufsen Kofoed (c.1675-c.1680). Possibly Rasmus is the son of Hans Kofoed, and father of Oluf Kofoed of Engegård in 1598? There are three other Kofoeds from 1598 who might also be the sons of Rasmus: 1. Lasse Kofoed of Piberegård, 36 Slg. Klemensker; 2. Niels Kofoed of Hakonsgård, 39 Slg. Vestermarie; and 3. Jørgen Kofoed of Elisegård, 31 Slg. Vestermarie. Note that three of these four men lived in Vestermarie parish!


2.      Poul Kofoed was most certainly not a Freeman; however, he did hold high offices on Bornholm: in 1548 and 1554 as Sandemand (Reeve) for Bornholm’s Eastern District. I doubt that the Poul Hansen who was District Bailiff in 1559 was in fact Poul Kofoed, as it appears to be out of character for the male members of Kofoed-family from the first few generations to completely drop the use of the Kofoed surname in favour of a patronymic surname. In fact none of the male members of the Kofoed-family during the first four generations are ever recorded as using a patronymic; probably a throw back to their non-Scandinavian roots. Poul’s son Peder Kofoed (1548-1616) was not officially recognized as a Freeman until his 1606 purchase of the Freeman-estate of Baggegård in Klemensker. Poul Kofoed's date of death is not known, however we can deduce that he must have died between 1554 and 1606. The second of the Kofoeds from the third generation who is never mentioned as being a Freeman is Poul Kofoed’s other son, Esbern, who lived in Rønne between 1584 and 1623, and was mayor of that town from 1590. We can see that the seal he used in his official duties as mayor displays the same cow-foot image as that used by Peder Kofoed (1548-1616) of Koefoedgård and Baggegård. While Peder Kofoed had attained Freeman status, none of his five sons attained that status and the Freeman’s estate Baggegård was sold by his heirs to Mathias Putkammer in 1626. Thus Freeman status for this (Østermarie, Family B) branch of the family was just a fleeting 10 years!


3.      Mads Kofoed was first married circa 1540 to Johanne, the mother of his two eldest sons: Peder and Jens (and possibly Esbern); her patronymic was possibly Jensdatter. Sigvard Mahler Dam has written that she might be the daughter of Freeman Jens Hansen Myre. Or possibly her family had a connection to Kyndegård in Nyker - the same farm that her sons Peder and Jens later owned? His second wife, Gunhild Hansdatter (Uf), was definitely a Freeman’s daughter; and mother of the youngest son: Hans. All three sons (Peder, Jens and Hans) are all recorded as being one of the 17 men in attendance at the meeting in 1572 which established who on Bornholm was allowed to call himself a Freeman; all three of them owned Freeman-estates. Mads Kofoed’s daughter Boel was married to a Freeman, Oluf Bagge, who also attended the 1572 meeting. Yet another Esbern Kofoed is known to have owned a frivornedegård (free-farm) in Vestermarie parish (namely Frigård, 15 Vdg.) in 1569; this same farm later turns up under the ownership of Mads Kofoed’s grandson Oluf, the heir to Blykobbegård. Yet Esbern is not named as one of the 17 Freemen of 1572; is this because he was not a Freeman or because he had died in the intervening 3-year period? Possibly this Esbern is a son of Mads Kofoed who died young and childless before 1572; this would account for his farm ending up in the ownership of Oluf Kofoed (c.1593-1641) of Blykobbegård. Some members of this (Rønne, Family A) branch of the family were recognized as Freemen from at least 1572 (and possibly as much as 30 years earlier) up until the end of the Freeman era.


The Bornholm Freemen were not able to keep pace with the development of the nobility in the rest of the country because they were prohibited from founding dynasties with counts and barons. The frigårdene (free-farms) could no longer keep their distinct status, and with the death of the last of last of the Bornholmer Freeman in the late-1600s this classification disappeared, to be swallowed up among the freehold farmers. Here I must make a distinction between a coat of arms (which the nobility used), and the segl (seal) used by a Frimand (a minor noble, in fact landed gentry), and even by a simple Borger (burger - a licensed tradesman).


What, if any, seal the first known Kofoed (Peter Kovoth) used is not known. Neither do we know if any of the next generation of Kofoeds (Hans, Poul, Mads) used a seal. It is with the third generation that we begin to see the use of these seals. The two sons of Poul Kofoed (-1543-1553-1572-) of Koefoedgård in Østermarie, are known to have used the Ko Fod (cow-foot) seal: Esbern, during his time as mayor 1590 through 1623; and the cow-foot image was used in 1616 on Peder’s gravestone in Østermarie Church. Similarly, the other Kofoeds that we see in the third generation, Esbern Kofoed (-1569-) of Frigård, 15 Vdg. Vestermarie, and Rasmus Kofoed (-1576-) of Kildegård, 16 Slg. Pedersker, are not known to have used a seal; which would seem to place them with the Selvejerbonde (freehold peasant farmer) third branch of the family.


Two of Mads Kofoed’s sons, the half brothers Jens Kofoed (-1572-1573-d.1625) of Kyndegård in Nyker, and Hans Kofoed (c.1550-1623) of Blykobbegård in Nyker, are both known to have used the sparre (chevron) image in their seals. Possibly their father, Mads Kofoed, adopted this image around the time of his marriage to Gunhild Hansdatter (Uf), as the chevron is the image used by the Uf-family. Jens Kofoed is known to have used the chevron in 1594, while Hans, and his son Mads, both used the chevron in 1608.


Hans Kofoed’s grandson Hans Kofoed Olufsen (c.1625-1694) is known to have combined the chevron and the geddekæft (pike’s jawbone, a.k.a. hummerklo or lobster-claw) in his seal. Which is why in “Over hals og hoved”, Sigvard Mahler Dam (published in SAXO, 1991) speculates that Hans Kofoed Olufsen (died 1694) is the grandson of Jørgen Pedersen (died 1588) of Vellensgård in Nyker; and thus a descendant of his so called Bjergegård-familien.


The First Six Generations of Kofoeds on Bornholm

The following is my version of the first six generations of the Bornholmers bearing the family-name Kofoed, based on my interpretation of the documented evidence provided by the above mentioned researchers combined with my own personal research.


The first documented Kofoed generation on Bornholm:

[1] Peder Kofoed (-1510-1522-) emigrated from Lübeck to Rønne circa 1500, was mayor of Rønne in 1522.


The second documented Kofoed generation:

[2] Hans Kofoed (lived between 1525 and 1543), possibly lived in Vestermarie parish? {probably the son of [1] Peder Kofoed?}

[3] Poul Kofoed (-1543-1553-1572-) of Østermarie parish {probably the son of [1] Peder Kofoed?}

[4] Mads Kofoed (-1547-died 1552) of Rønne – a Freeman? Married to Gunhild Hansdatter (Uf), a Freeman’s daughter {probably the son of [1] Peder Kofoed?}


The third documented Kofoed generation:

[5] Rasmus Kofoed (-1576-) of Kildegård, 16 Slg. Pedersker {possibly the son of [2] Hans Kofoed?}

[6] Esbern Kofoed (c.1545-c.1630) of Rønne in 1584, and mayor in 1590 until 1623, possibly co-owned Brandsgård, 14 Slg. Knudsker, in 1626, 1627 and 1628 – seal: used the cow foot image in 1590 {son of [3] Poul Kofoed}

[7] Peder Kofoed (1548-1616) of Koefoedgård, 23 Slg. Østermarie – became a Freeman in 1606, the cow foot image used on his gravestone {son of [3] Poul Kofoed}

[8] Peder Kofoed (c.1541-c.1579) of Kyndegård in Nyker – a Freeman in 1572, estate-mark: used “P.K. 69” on a chalice in 1569 {son of [4] Mads Kofoed}

[9] Jens Kofoed (c.1543-1625) of Kyndegård in Nyker – a Freeman in 1572 and 1608, seal: used the chevron image in 1594 and 1608 {son of [4] Mads Kofoed}

[10] Esbern Kofoed (-1569-) of Frigård, 15 Vdg. Vestermarie – likely a Freeman, married to Elline Jørgensdatter, a Freeman’s daughter {probably the son of [4] Mads Kofoed?}

[11] Boel Kofoed (c.1545-after 1573), wife of Oluf Bagge of Baggegård in Klemensker {daughter of [4] Mads Kofoed}

[12] Anneke Kofoed (c.1547-after 1573), wife of Michael Abraham {daughter of [4] Mads Kofoed}

[13] Hans Kofoed (c.1550-1623) of Blykobbegård in Nyker – a Freeman in 1572 and 1608, seal: used the chevron in 1595 and 1608 {son of [4] Mads Kofoed}


The fourth documented Kofoed generation:

[14] Lasse Kofoed (-1598-) of Piberegård, 36 Slg. Klemensker {possibly the son of [5] Rasmus Kofoed?}

[15] Oluf Kofoed (-1598-1611-1627-1628-) of Engegård, 35 Slg. Vestermarie {possibly the son of [5] Rasmus Kofoed?}

[16] Niels Kofoed (-1598-1611-1627-1628-) of Hakonsgård, 39 Slg. Vestermarie {possibly the son of [5] Rasmus Kofoed?}

[17] Jørgen Kofoed (-1598-) of Elisegård, 31 Slg. Vestermarie {possibly the son of [5] Rasmus Kofoed?}

[18] Poul Kofoed (c.1586-after 1620) of Stralsund in Pomerania {son of [7] Peder Kofoed}

[19] Oluf Kofoed (1588-1636) of Rønne, and from 1623 of Ystad in Skåne {son of [7] Peder Kofoed}

[20] Peder Kofoed (c.1589-1637) of Malmö in Skåne {son of [7] Peder Kofoed}

[21] Jørgen Kofoed (c.1592-c.1641) of Slagelse {son of [7] Peder Kofoed}

[22] Boel Kofoed (-1625-1662-), wife of 1. Claus Hartwig, 2. Christen Laursen, of Rønne {daughter of [7] Peder Kofoed}

[23] Elsebye Kofoed (-1625-), wife of Niels Berildsen of Gadebygård in Østermarie {daughter of [7] Peder Kofoed}

[24] Anne Kofoed (-1625-), wife of Jens Pedersen Spager of Lille Spagergård, 40 Slg. Østerlars {daughter of [7] Peder Kofoed}

[25] Mads Kofoed (c.1600-1646) of Koefoedgård, 23 Slg. Østermarie {son of [7] Peder Kofoed}

[26] Esbern Kofoed (-1608-) of Frigård, 12 Vdg. Poulsker {possibly the son of [9] Jens Kofoed, or [13] Hans Kofoed?}

[27] Mads Kofoed (c.1582-1646) of Vellensgård in Nyker and Eskesgård in Pedersker – a Freeman in 1608, seal: used the chevron in 1608 {son of [13] Hans Kofoed}

[28] Claus Kofoed (c.1586-1657) of Vallegård, 15 Vdg. Nyker, and Ladegård, 50 Slg. Klemensker {son of [13] Hans Kofoed}

[29] Jacob Kofoed (c.1590-1646-49) of Kyndegård in Nyker – a Freeman {son of [13] Hans Kofoed}

[30] Oluf Kofoed (c.1593-1641) of Blykobbegård in Nyker, and Frigård, 15 Vdg. Vestermarie – a Freeman {son of [13] Hans Kofoed}

[31] Peder Kofoed (1598-1648) of Rønne – a Freeman, estate-mark: “P.K.” in 1624 {son of [13] Hans Kofoed}

[32] Karine Hansdatter Kofoed (c.1600- c.1640), wife of [25] Mads Kofoed {daughter of [13] Hans Kofoed}


The fifth documented Kofoed generation residing on Bornholm:

[33] Rasmus Kofoed (c.1596-1662) of Nørregård, 49 Slg. Vestermarie {possibly the son of [15] Oluf Kofoed, or [16] Niels Kofoed?}

[34] Arist Kofoed (-1640-) of Hakonsgård, 39 Slg. Vestermarie {possibly the son of or [15] Oluf Kofoed, or [16] Niels Kofoed?}

[35] Peder Kofoed (-1636-) of Loftsgård, 23 Slg. Vestermarie {possibly the son of [15] Oluf Kofoed, or [16] Niels Kofoed?}

[36] Mogens Kofoed (-1632-1662-) of Engegård, 35 Slg. Vestermarie {probably the son of [15] Oluf Kofoed}

[37] Peder Kofoed (c.1622-1687) of Svaneke – used the cow foot image in 1672 {son of [25] Mads Kofoed and [32] Karine Hansdatter Kofoed}

[38] Johanne Kofoed Madsdatter (-1648-), wife of Mogens Ibsen {daughter of [25] Mads Kofoed and [32] Karine Hansdatter Kofoed}

[39] Poul Kofoed (c.1630-1680) of Svaneke {son of [25] Mads Kofoed and [32] Karine Hansdatter Kofoed}

[40] Hans Kofoed Madsen (1634-1704) of Koefoedgård in Østermarie {son of [25] Mads Kofoed and [32] Karine Hansdatter Kofoed}

[41] Elsebye Madsdatter Kofoed (c.1637-1672), wife of Andreas Thiesen of Svaneke {daughter of [25] Mads Kofoed and [32] Karine Hansdatter Kofoed}

[42] Elsebeth Madsdatter Kofoed (c.1607-1676), wife of Jep Svendsen {daughter of [27] Mads Kofoed}

[43] Jørgen Kofoed (c.1610-1650) of Eskesgård, Propr. & 9 Vdg. Pedersker - a Freeman in 1650 {son of [27] Mads Kofoed}

[44] n.n. Madsdatter Kofoed (-?-), wife of Bendt Hansen of Hasle {daughter of [27] Mads Kofoed}

[45] Mads Kofoed Madsen (c.1615-c.1660) of Eskesgård, Propr. & 9 Vdg. Pedersker – a Freeman in 1655 {son of [27] Mads Kofoed}

[46] Martha Madsdatter Kofoed (c.1617-c.1670), wife of Claus Hartwig of Baggegård in Klemensker {daughter of [27] Mads Kofoed}

[47] Hans Kofoed (c.1620-1654) of Vellensgård in Nyker – a Freeman {son of [27] Mads Kofoed}

[48] Kirstine Clausdatter Kofoed (-1650-1681-), wife of Rasmus Andersen Bleking, clergyman for Vestermarie {daughter of [28] Claus Kofoed}

[49] Jens Kofoed (c.1625-1657) of Store Almegård in Knudsker {son of [28] Claus Kofoed}

[50] Mads Kofoed (c.1620-1654) of Kyndegård in Nyker {son of [29] Jacob Kofoed}

[51] Peder Kofoed Jacobsen (c.1635-1684) of Skovgård, 28 Slg. Nyker {son of [29] Jacob Kofoed}

[52] Mariche Olufsdatter Kofoed (c.1617-1670), wife of 1. Niels Nielsen, 2. Peder Ibsen, both of Åker {daughter of [30] Oluf Kofoed}

[53] Elsebeth Olufsdatter Kofoed (c.1619-1703), wife of 1. Jens Juul, 2. Peder Olufsen, both of Åker {daughter of [30] Oluf Kofoed}

[54] Kirstine Olufsdatter Kofoed (c.1622-1703), wife of Niels Terchildsen of Nørre Mulebygård, 26 Slg. Nyker {daughter of [30] Oluf Kofoed}

[55] Mads Kofoed Olufsen (c.1623-1701) of Pindeløkkegård, 67 Slg. Vestermarie, and Baunegård, 61 Slg. Åker {son of [30] Oluf Kofoed}

[56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen (c.1625-1694) of Ladegård, 50 Slg. Klemensker – a Freeman, seal: chevron over a pike’s jawbone {son of [30] Oluf Kofoed}

[57] Claus Kofoed (c.1635-c.1660) of Blykobbegård in Nyker {son of [30] Oluf Kofoed}

[58] Elsebye Pedersdatter Kofoed (c.1622-after 1658), wife of Jens Anskarisen of Rønne {daughter of [31] Peder Kofoed}

[59] Kirstine Pedersdatter Kofoed (c.1625-1704), wife of Andreas Rosman of Rønne {daughter of [31] Peder Kofoed}

[60] Mads Kofoed Pedersen (c.1626-1677) of Rønne {son of [31] Peder Kofoed}

[61] Hans Kofoed Pedersen (c.1627-c.1678) of Rønne {son of [31] Peder Kofoed}

[62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen (1628-1691) of Hasle, and Maglegård, 5 & 15 Vdg. Østermarie –"Liberator of Bornholm" {son of [31] Peder Kofoed}

[63] Claus Kofoed (c.1630-?}, a Captain in Brabant {son of [31] Peder Kofoed}

[64] Jørgen Kofoed (c.1632-after 1685), a Probate Notary (Skifteskriver) for Hads district in Jylland {son of [31] Peder Kofoed}

[65] Karine Pedersdatter Kofoed (c.1632-1692), wife of Willum Clausen Kelou of Rønne {daughter of [31] Peder Kofoed}

[66] Boel Pedersdatter Kofoed (c.1637-?} {daughter of [31] Peder Kofoed}

[67] Peder Kofoed (-?-), possibly of Rønne? {no documentation – possibly a son of [31] Peder Kofoed?}


The sixth documented Kofoed generation residing on Bornholm:

[68] Niels Kofoed (-1658-1662-) of Kærbygård, 8 Slg. Knudsker {possibly the son of [33] Rasmus Kofoed, or [34] Arist Kofoed?}

[69] Arist Kofoed Rasmussen (c.1641-1691) of Pedersker parish {probably the son of [33] Rasmus Kofoed?}

[70] Oluf Kofoed (c.1630-1676) of Engegård, 35 Slg. Vestermarie {son of [36] Mogens Kofoed}

[71] Jacob Kofoed (c.1659-1732) of Svaneke {son of [37] Peder Kofoed}

[72] Karen Kofoed (c.1669-1709), wife of [76] Morten Kofoed {daughter of [37] Peder Kofoed}

[73] Hans Kofoed (c.1672-1706-) of Frederiksborg {son of [37] Peder Kofoed}

[74] Elsebeth Pedersdatter Kofoed (c.1675-1758), wife of Lieutenant Tyge Friderich Stibolt stationed on Christiansø {daughter of [37] Peder Kofoed}

[75] Johanne Elisabeth Pedersdatter Kofoed (c.1679-1762), wife of 1. Jørgen Ancher, 2. Peter Magnussen Langhorn {daughter of [37] Peder Kofoed}

[76] Mads Kofoed (c.1663-1736) of Svaneke {son of [39] Poul Kofoed}

[77] Morten Kofoed (c.1665-1750) of Svaneke {son of [39] Poul Kofoed}

[78] Mads Kofoed Hansen (1657-1735) of Store Almegård in Knudsker {son of [40] Hans Kofoed Madsen}

[79] Karen Kofoed Hansdatter (c.1658-1695), wife of Matthias Carlsen {daughter of [40] Hans Kofoed Madsen}

[80] Johanne Kofoed Hansdatter (c.1659-1738), wife of [86] Hans Kofoed {daughter of [40] Hans Kofoed Madsen}

[81] Claus Kofoed Hansen (1663-1743) of Maglegård, 5 & 15 Vdg. Østermarie {son of [40] Hans Kofoed Madsen}

[82] Kirstine Kofoed Hansdatter (c.1665-1703), wife of [120] Hans Jensen Kofoed {daughter of [40] Hans Kofoed Madsen}

[83] Poul Kofoed (1674-1734) of Rønne {son of [40] Hans Kofoed Madsen}

[84] Jørgen Hansen Kofoed (c.1677-1737) of Koefoedgård, 23 Slg. Østermarie {son of [40] Hans Kofoed Madsen}

[85] Kirstine Jørgensdatter (c.1640-1688), wife of Oluf Andersen {probably the daughter of [43] Jørgen Kofoed}

[86] Jacob Kofoed (c.1645-after 1670), sold Frigård, 4 Vdg. Nyker, to his sister in 1670 {son of [43] Jørgen Kofoed}

[87] Anne Jørgensdatter Kofoed (c.1650-1706), wife of 1. Esper Pedersen, 2. Lars Hansen, both of Frigård, 4 Vdg. Nyker {daughter of [43] Jørgen Kofoed}

[88] Mads Kofoed (c.1640-1697) of Pedersker {son of [45] Mads Kofoed Madsen}

[89] Hans Kofoed (c.1642-1697) of Eskesgård, Propr. & 9 Vdg. Pedersker {son of [45] Mads Kofoed Madsen}

[90] Jens Kofoed (c.1654-1717) of Kildegård, 16 Slg. Pedersker, and Ågård, 2 Vdg. Pedersker {son of [45] Mads Kofoed Madsen}

[91] Karen Kofoed Madsdatter (c.1657-1727), wife of 1. Arist Olufsen, 2. Jens Olsen {daughter of [45] Mads Kofoed Madsen}

[92] Berild Kofoed (c.1658-1740) of Bjerregård, 38 Slg. Poulsker {son of [45] Mads Kofoed Madsen}

[93] Kirstine Hansdatter Kofoed (c.1649-1727), wife of 1. Hans Jensen Sode, 2. Albert Hartwig {daughter of [47] Hans Kofoed}

[94] Margrethe Jensdatter Kofoed (c.1654-1737), wife of 1. Morten Pedersen, 2. Matthias Anthoni Raff, of Kolding {daughter of [49] Jens Kofoed}

[95] Margrethe Pedersdatter Kofoed (c.1670-1741), wife of Hans Andersen {daughter of [51] Peder Kofoed Jacobsen}

[96] Dorothea Pedersdatter Kofoed (c.1674-1696), wife of Peder Hansen Rytter {daughter of [51] Peder Kofoed Jacobsen}

[97] Ole Kofoed Hansen (1657-1658) of Åkirkeby (out-of-wedlock son of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[98] Oluf Kofoed Hansen (c.1663-1694) of Frigård, 15 Vdg. Vestermarie {son of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[99] Claus Kofoed (c.1667-1714), stationed on Christiansø {son of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[100] Jens Kofoed Hansen (1670-after 1694), abroad in 1694 {son of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[101] Sidsele Hansdatter Kofoed (c.1674-1714-55), wife of Hans Larsen {daughter of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[102] Margrethe Hansdatter Kofoed (c.1676-after 1742), wife of Jørgen Jørgensen {daughter of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[103] Peder Kofoed Hansen (c.1678-1738) of Lille Risegård, 16 Slg. Nyker, and Rønne {son of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[104] Matthias Kofoed Hansen (c.1681-after 1694) {son of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[105] Jørgen Kofoed Hansen (c.1682-after 1694) {son of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[106] Hans Kofoed Hansen (c.1684-1743) of Store Myregård in Åker {son of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[107] Jacob Kofoed (c.1687-1727) of Ladegård, 50 Slg. Klemensker {son of [56] Hans Kofoed Olufsen}

[108] Peder Madsen Kofoed (c.1670-1685) of Rønne {son of [60] Mads Kofoed Pedersen}

[109] Absalon Kofoed (1648-1699) of København {son of [61] Hans Kofoed Pedersen}

[110] Peder Kofoed (c.1650-1724) of Drammen in Norway {son of [61] Hans Kofoed Pedersen}

[111] Christopher Kofoed (c.1653-after 1690) of København {son of [61] Hans Kofoed Pedersen}

[112] Hans Kofoed (1655-1729) of Store Myregård, 10 Slg. & 2 Vdg. Nylars {son of [61] Hans Kofoed Pedersen}

[113] Elisabeth Hansdatter Kofoed (c.1659-1707), wife of Michel Hansen Storch {daughter of [61] Hans Kofoed Pedersen}

[114] Maren Hansdatter Kofoed (c.1660-1745), wife of Hans Christensen Piil {daughter of [61] Hans Kofoed Pedersen}

[115] Holger Kofoed (c1663-1752) of Trondheim in Norway {son of [61] Hans Kofoed Pedersen}

[116] Margrethe Jensdatter Kofoed (1654-1692), wife of 1. Niels Christensen, 2. Hans Olufsen {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[117] Sidsele Jensdatter Kofoed (1656-1711), wife of 1. Hans Isachsen, 2. Hans Jensen {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[118] Elisabeth Jensdatter Kofoed (1658-1719), wife of 1. Hans Kjøller, 2. Jens Olufsen, 3. Jeppe Erichsen {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[119] Anne Jensdatter Kofoed (1658-1687), wife of Lorentz Tyrwaldt {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[120] Peder Jensen Kofoed (1660-1676) {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[121] Sander Jensen Kofoed (1661-1664) {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[122] Magdalene Jensdatter Kofoed (1663-1690), wife of Christen Nielsen {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[123] Hans Jensen Kofoed (1664-1741) of Sjælegård, 22 Slg. Østermarie, and Kofoedgård, 57 Slg. Vestermarie {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[124] Barbara Jensdatter Kofoed (1665-1681) {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[125] Sander Jensen Kofoed (1666-after 1703), abroad in 1703 {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[126] Jørgen Jensen Kofoed (1667-1709), stationed on Christiansø {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[127] Ditlev Jensen Kofoed (1668, died between 1690-1703), in the East Indies in 1690 {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[128] Christian Jensen Kofoed (1669-1670) {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[129] Charlotte Jensdatter Kofoed (1669-1671) {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[130] Kirstine Jensdatter Kofoed (1670-1709), wife of Peter Thiesen of Svaneke and Nexø {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[131] Christense Jensdatter Kofoed (1670-1670) {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[132] Matthias Jensen Kofoed (1671-1741), stationed on Christiansø {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[133] Christian Jensen Kofoed (1672-1675) {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[134] Karen Jensdatter Kofoed (1675-1715), wife of Jørgen Jensen Smed of Rønne and Arnager {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[135] Johanne Jensdatter Kofoed (1675-1727), wife of 1. Anders Pedersen Fyhn, 2. Jochum Sørensen {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[136] Peter Jensen Kofoed (1676-1677) {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[137] Margrethe Elisabeth Jensdatter Kofoed (c.1681-1762), wife of 1. Laurits Sørensen Borringholm, 2. Peder Andersen {daughter of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[138] Gabriel Jensen Kofoed (c.1683-1690) {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[139] Christian Jensen Kofoed (1689-1690) {son of [62] Jens Kofoed Pedersen}

[140] Hans Pedersen Kofoed (c.1657-1737) of Rønne {probably the son of undocumented [67] Peder Kofoed?}



Contact me at: Norman Lee Madsen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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