Since my last post there has been another weekend of free access to the 1939 Register. I’ve enjoyed having free access and found quite a few new records to add to my collection. I’ll be sharing some of them here.
I haven’t done too much research to my husband’s family tree yet but I did discover where his paternal grandparents were living in 1939 – 44 Lawrence Avenue, Walthamstow, London.
Stanley Kearney’s occupation was a Transmission Valve Glassblower whilst his wife Emma did unpaid domestic duties. I think they had two children at home but these records are currently closed as they are both living.
I love that the page has been annotated with little snippets of information relating to war work. Sadly there are no additional facts for me.
A few days ago I received an email from Ancestry about free access to the 1939 Register. I was pretty excited about this as it gave me an opportunity to find out a bit more about where family members were living at this time.
Due to a severe lack of time I only managed 2 searches! Life has been pretty busy lately which means I hardly get any time to carry out any new research. However, I did find two records which add to building up the picture of my family.
The first was of my maternal grandparents, Lawrence and Kathleen Winchcombe. His occupation is given as Aircraft Fitter whilst her occupation was listed as unpaid domestic duties.
They were living exactly where I knew they would be but I was still glad to be able to add this record to my collection.
I was recently sent a code to unlock a household record for free from the newly released 1939 Register at Find My Past. I would love to explore the 1939 Register but the cost of accessing the records has put me off. I understand that people invest a lot of money in digitising records and need to make money but I just don’t have any spare money for accessing these kinds of records at the moment.
Anyway, thanks to my free credit I was able to access one record. But which record to choose? I opted for my paternal grandparents as 1939 was the year before my father, their only child, was born. I knew they moved to Swindon at some point around this time so was interested to see where they were living.
I searched for my paternal grandmother – Viola M Young. Her first name is quite unusual so she was easy to find and according to the site was living with her husband – Henry H Young in Southampton. I used my code to see the relevant page of the 1939 Register.
They were living at 170 The Broadway, Portswood Road, Southampton. As well as their dates of birth, the fact they were married, the 1939 Register gives their occupations. My paternal grandfather was Manager, Wine, Spirit and Beer Retailer. This record has been transcribed as Retired, but I think it says Retailer so have submitted a request to amend their record.
My grandmother has her occupation listed as Unpaid domestic duties.
It was really interesting to find this record but I don’t think it was worth the money that Find My Past are currently charging to access the records. Hopefully they will become cheaper and I will be able to use it soon.
British-owned online family history world leader DC Thomson Family History (who own findmypast) and The National Archives have today announced a joint project to make records of 40 million civilians held in the 1939 register available online. Once digitised, it is estimated that the collection will comprise almost 1.2 million scanned full-colour images of documents covering the entire civilian population of England & Wales at the outbreak of the Second World War.
The 1939 register was taken on 29 September 1939 by the British Government and recorded personal details of individuals in order to issue identity cards and ration books. It later formed the basis of the National Health Service’s records. When complete, the 1939 register will be fully searchable online for the first time, opening up the past to a new generation of family and social historians, just as the 1911 census did on its release in 2009.
The records contain the address, full name, date of birth, sex, marital status and occupation of individuals, as well as changes of name. Although the Register is literally within living memory for many people, information about living individuals will be kept closed for 100 years from their year of birth, or until proof of death has been authenticated.
From today, anybody interested in being kept informed about the project can register at www.1939register.co.uk.
Mary Gledhill, Commercial Director, at The National Archives, added: “The National Archives is delighted to be working with DC Thomson Family History to open up this unique record collection to the world, allowing history enthusiasts to discover more about the people at the outbreak of the Second World War. In the absence of a 1931 and 1941 census, this collection is all the more valuable to family historians trying to trace their ancestors.”