The British government created the register to record information about citizens as of Sept. 29, 1939, as WWII broke out in Europe. It was used to issue identity cards and ration books, and later formed the basis of National Health Service records.
The register contains an individuals’ full name, addresses, date of birth, sex, marital status and occupation, and also notes changes of name.
The 1.2 million digital images in the 1939 Register collection will become searchable on findmypast.co.uk within the next two years. Information about living individuals, however, will be kept closed for 100 years from their year of birth, or until proof of death has been authenticated.
Learn how to locate the place your English ancestors came from with our video class Hedgerow Genealogy: A Three-Step Strategy for Finding English Origins, presented by English genealogy expert J. H. Fonkert.