Friday 11 May 2018

Free access: Ancestry releases 1939 National Register

Click for larger view of sample
The 1939 National Register of England and Wales is now available on Ancestry. To launch the collection, it can be searched and viewed free of charge until Sunday, 13 May.

The National Register was compiled on 29 September 1939, just after war had been declared, and is the only complete online record of the population of England and Wales after 1911. It contains the names of more than 45 million people, arranged by address, along with their date of birth and their occupation. Any official voluntary war work is also noted. Some images have been redacted to protect the privacy of those who may still be alive.

It was previously online only via FindMyPast, but Ancestry has now created a fresh index to the images. Unlike Findmypast's version, this index includes information from Column 5 of the original form, which identifies those who were resident in hospitals, asylums or prisons with the letters O, V, S, P and I, standing for Officer, Visitor, Servant, Patient or Inmate.

You can learn more about the 1939 Register, and find out about the off-line 1939 Register for Northern Ireland (and Scotland), at my website,