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1939 Register: The Perfect Place to Start Your British Family History

The Findmypast team
18 December 2017

In this exclusive and educational webinar, Alex Cox, our webinar host, Andrew Marr and Audrey Collins will provide you with the search skills you will need in order to find out what your relatives were up to in 1939

Here, we explain exactly what the 1939 Register is and why it is so significant for family research. You'll get all the hints, tips and tricks you need to be able to explore the Register and realise why it really is the perfect place to start your British family research.

Throughout the webinar, viewers put their questions to our team of in-house experts. Alex answered a select few live on air which you can watch on the video. Here's the best of the rest.

1. Does the Register indicate where children might have been evacuated from as part of the Pied Piper Evacuation Scheme?

Many children who were evacuated are still redacted, so while name searches will reveal, some others will not be able to be discovered just yet.

2. Apart from servicemen and prisoners, who else might have been excluded from the 1939 Register?

Mercantile marines and fishermen on short-term voyages who landed in port after registration day might be excluded along with those on medium to long-distance voyages.

3. Why do we have to produce a death certificate to declare someone is over 100 years old?

The provision of a death certificate is as evidence of death, not that the person is over 100 years of age. The record of a person born more than 100 years ago should be opened by default. It's only persons who would be under 100 years today for whom evidence of death is required. The death certificate is required because of personal privacy and confidentiality restrictions around the data.

4. When the information was collected in September 1939, was the information collected on cards or straight into the book?

You can see a sample of the forms that were filled in by the householders here.

5. Was working in a glass works (Pilkington's St Helens) a restricted occupation?

It would depend on what the glass works were manufacturing, or if the factory was requisitioned for war work.

6. Do you know when we might be able to view the register for Scotland?

It is held separately for Scotland so you'd need to ask the National Archives of Scotland/NRS.

7. Why do you not have a general comment on the transcription error form so that we can report e.g. that someone is in the wrong household; or that the address for the whole household needs to be fixed?

The Report Transcription Errors link is at the bottom of the transcription. You can send us corrections for each line.

We apologise for the end of the video cutting off suddenly. We had a technical hiccup. If you want to view the short Evacuees video Alex mentions, here it is:

In 1939, over 800,000 families were forced to send their children away just to keep them safe from the imminent outbreak...

Posted by Findmypast on Monday, December 4, 2017

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