The 1939 Register

The 1939 Register is one of the most important contemporary documents available to genealogists (Family Historians).

Talk overview

During my new, engaging family history talk I explore:

+ Why is this one of the most important contemporary documents?

+ What are the key differences between the UK Census and the 1939 Register?

+ How can you access the 1939 Register and use it effectively?

+ What are the major pitfalls to avoid?

+ Why can’t I find the person I’m looking for?

+ How can I see my record?

These and many more questions will be answered.

If your venue has Internet access bring your Laptop, iPad or tablet along and find your 1939 ancestors.

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Who was responsible for The Register?

Sylvanus Percival Vivian, Registrar General for England & Wales (between 1921-1945), was the driving force behind the creation of the 1939 National Register. He also organised the 1921 & 1931 UK Census


What was recorded?

For each individual the following details are included:

+ address
+ schedule number
+ sub number
+ surname
+ first name(s)
+ role (for institutions only – Officer, Visitor, Servant, Patient, Inmate)
+ gender
+ date of birth
+ marital status
+ occupation


How to access the 1939 Register for England & Wales

The 1939 Register was released in November 2015 and can be accessed on the following websites (correct August 2018):

+ Transcriptions without images are on

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Ration Book 1939

Ration Book


Find out more in my talk:

+ What was the 1939 Register?
+ What was recorded?
+ How did The Register come to be developed?
+ Qualifications for an enumerator
+ How to access the 1939 Register for England & Wales
+ How the register differs from other censuses
+ How to search the 1939 Register
+ Pitfalls to avoid when searching
+ Unusual finds
+ The NHS
+ Why can’t I find the person I’m looking for?
+ Who should I be looking for?
+ Identity cards
+ Top tips
+ Summary
+ Extra Information
+ How can I see my own record?

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Robert Parker is a Genealogist and Trainer, based in Kent. He delivers courses, guidance, talks and research services for those interested in tracing their ancestors. See for his 5 steps to discovering your ancestors. Contact Robert to discuss your requirements without obligation.

What stories might your ancestors tell?

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