Tuesday, 14 December 2010

When is a census not a census

Much has been made of the release of the 1911 UK Census. There is, however, a much later “Census” that you can obtain information from, at a cost, so long as the person you want information on is dead.

On 29 September 1939 a National Registration of the civilian population of England and Wales was taken in order to issue identity cards as a result of outbreak of World War II. Members of the Armed Forces were not listed as they had already been called up for military service.

The National Registration Act 1939, which covers the registration is not a census and is therefore not subject to the 1920 Census Act. The register contains personal details including name, date of birth, occupation, marriage status and address.

The information in the register is of interest because the 1931 census has not survived and a census could not be carried out in 1941.

The cost of an application for information is £42 and this will not be refunded, even if the search is unsuccessful.

The register is maintained by the National Health Service Information Centre. Full information on how to apply for information, and the terms and conditions applicable can be found at:

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