Monday, 2 November 2015

1939 Register

Today, Monday 2nd November 2015, is one those momentous days in family history as it sees the release of the 1939 Register. this was the register of everyone in the county on 29th September 1939

We all know that the 1921 census will not be released until 2022 (i can't wait) and after that we have a problem with a generation gap till the 1951 census.  The 1931 census was destroyed by fire in WW2 and there was no census in 1941 so this is the nearest to a census that we are likely to get.

What will you see - well there is plenty of information if the look below the search screen om the site listed above. but you will have to be patient as the data has been redacted and only information on people born over 100 years ago are visible. Mind they have said that they will be releasing updates regularly to include those that reach that magic age.

Peter Calver of Lost Cousins (his newsletter is one of the best in family history it comes out about every two weeks and includes lots of useful information, details of the latest special offers from the likes of Ancestry and findmypast and lots more.) has just created a new website on the 1939 Register and already in the first day contains some useful tips. follow this link

As the register was kept up to date till the 1990's it often contains details of maiden names (or married names - depends on the way you look at it) sometimes it will contain the date of death. it will also details what their job was as well as comments like "ARP Warden"

I need to go and talk to my mother because she wasn't with her parents in London and I suspect was staying with family members in Gloucestershire.

As far as the Halstead's are concerned I do not intend to rush into getting lots of entries - mainly because of the costs involved. There are over 2,600 entries visible and the details are in the following table

Surname, no of entries, number born before 1860
HALSTEAD             2306            60
HALSTED                139              1
HOLSTEAD             208              3
ALSTEAD                86                1
OLSTEAD                10                none

name as a first name, no of entries
HALSTEAD             44
HALSTED                1
HOLSTEAD             4
ALSTEAD                none
OLSTEAD                none

One point that has been noted is what appears to be a large number of transcription errors however these are not the fault of findmypast but appear to have been made by the enumerator creating the entries from the original schedule (unfortunately they do not survive)

If you do look up the details of a Halstead family I would be extremely grateful if you could let me have the details so as to save me looking again at that one. you can email me at

John Hanson

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