Findmypast has just made available the so-called 1939 Register. You can search the index for FREE though it does cost (separate from any other Findmypast subscription or pay option) to access the actual data and related information.
This is an important record because the 1931 census of England and Wales was destroyed by fire in 1942, there was no 1941 census taken and the 1951 census survives though won’t be available until 2052 due to the 100-year closure rule established after the 1911 census.
This is personally interesting for me as this is the first time my mother would show up with her parents as she was born in 1937. I did search on my grandfather, when I couldn’t find my mother, and found the household. Interestingly, the household is shown with the head of household (my grandfather -- John R Fountain), 1 other (should be my grandmother) and 1 locked individual (should be my mother). This is because the listed individuals have to have surpassed the one hundred year and one day mark in order for the information to be made public. Since exact birth dates are part of the collected information, as individuals achieve this milestone, their information will become available.
In my case, since my mother is deceased, there is “supposed” to be a mechanism available where if I provide proof that she is deceased, access can then be granted. As soon as I know more about this option, I’ll add that info to this post. Once I unlock my mom, I’ll then go looking for my then still-living great grandparents and other family members.
Want to learn more about these records and their digitization? Check out these resources:
+ BBC Magazine article, Plugging genealogy's 30-year gap
+ Introducing the 1939 Register, video from Findmypast on the digitization process
+ Introductory video on using the database from Findmypast
+ Facebook Page for 1939 Register (a convenient platform to use to get questions answered)
+ General information about “The 1939 National Identify Card” via 1911Census.org.uk
Did you make a great find?
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