THE 1939 REGISTER
The 1939 Register, taken on 29 September 1939, provides a snapshot of the civilian population of England and Wales just after the outbreak of the Second World War.
The records were used to produce up-to-date population statistics and identification cards and, once rationing was introduced in January 1940, to facilitate the issuing of ration cards. Information in the Register was also used to administer conscription, and to monitor and control the movement of the population caused by military mobilisation and mass evacuation.
The 1939 Register is a useful resource for family, social and local historians. As the 1931 census for England and Wales was destroyed by fire during the Second World War and no census was taken in 1941, the 1939 Register provides the most complete survey of the population of England and Wales between 1921 and 1951.
Whilst the 1939 Register is not a census, it is arranged along similar lines and includes similar, if less detailed, information.
The records are available to search at a cost from the website Findmypast.