Royal Dispensation

Brief Overview

A letter of royal dispensation for Carl Iversen and Oda Petersen.

2008-117-Gift of Grace Johnson.

Share this Resource

Resource Categories

Primary Sources

A letter of royal dispensation or Kongebrev was issued in connection with a dispensation from existing rules such as in connection with a change of name or a marriage.

Before a marriage could be contracted it was neccesary that both parties prove that they were of age, not too closely related and had had the bans read. If any of these requirements were not met they needed to have a letter of royal dispensation which could be optained at a price. Such a letter was also neccesary if the couple wished to get married outside their home parish.

Carl Iversen was about to immigrate to America and had no time to wait for bans. For the sizable sum of 33 kroners he therefore optained this letter of royal dispensation which allowed him to marry his Oda Kristine Petersen whithout waiting for the bans to be read and in a private residence, not a church.

The royal dispensation was issued on October 16th 1920 and the marriage was performed on October 23rd at the Roskilde Cathedral. To see the marriage certificate click on marriage certificate in the menu.

Carl Iversen arrived in New York on November 9th, 1920. He was followed by Oda on February 16th, 1921. She arrived in Boston. Both entries can be seen in the passenger lists available on