The 1939 Register is of huge importance to the family historian. As you will know, the census of England and Wales is taken every 10 years and published 100 years later. The next scheduled release will be the 1921 census, expected to be available in 2022.
The next census to become available following the 1921 census will be the census of 1951. This is because the census of 1931 was destroyed during the war and there was no census taken in 1941. This means that there would be a significant gap in the records available to family history researchers if not for the 1939 Register.
The 1939 Register was taken as war became inevitable so that the British government could plan for the conflict as well as manage identity cards and ration books for the civil population.
The 1939 Register was taken over just one weekend and provides the following information:
Dates of birth
If a member of the armed services or reserves
Findmypast has partnered with The National Archives to make this information available and is currently completing the digitisation of the 40 million entries of the register. It will be published online this autumn.
To find out more, including the publishing date, please sign up here.