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1939 Register

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  • 1939 Register

    1939 search result.jpgThe National Registration Act 1939 established a National Register which began on 29th September 1939. The data collected was used to produce up-to-date population statistics and identification cards as well as helping to administer conscription. The following year, when rationing was introduced, the register was used for the issuing of ration books and at a later date, after the war, it helped in the creation of the National Health Service.

    The Register is an important set of records for genealogists. In the absence of the 1931 and 1941 census, and having to wait until 2022 until the release of the 1921 census, the 1939 Register bridges the gap and provides valuable information to family historians.

    The following information is included in the Register:
    • Address
    • Schedule number
    • Sub number
    • Surname
    • First name
    • OVSPI (for institutions only: Officer, Visitor, Servant, Patient, Inmate),
    • Sex
    • Date of birth
    • Marital status
    • Occupation

    Like the census, people were recorded at the address where they were on 29th September, even if it was not their normal abode.

    The Register contains details of the civilian population of England & Wales. It does not include data from the Isle of Man, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Channel Islands. The Register did not record details of anyone in the armed forces, therefore British Army barracks, Royal Navy Stations and Royal Air Force stations are not recorded. However, members of the armed forces who were on leave on the day the register was taken are included, as well as civilians on military bases.

    The Register has been digitised and was made available on Findmypast

    Example of unlocked household transcript:

    1939 household transcript.jpg

    Example of 1939 Register

    1939 register image.jpg

    (source: www.findmypast.co.uk)

    When viewing the household transcription, a "make a request" icon is available (bottom right of transcript box). This can be used for:


    Information relating to individuals living in Scotland at the time of the 1939 register is available from the National Records of Scotland

    Information relating to individuals living in Northern Ireland at the time of the 1939 Register is available from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

    See also:Useful links:

    Back to Research Guides
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