Today at RootsTech, the British Isles genealogy giant, Findmypast, announced that it will help The National Archives (UK) to digitize and bring online the 1921 Census of England and Wales.
According to a company press release, “The project will see Findmypast capture digital images and transcribe the records in a way that will enable family historians across the globe to conduct meaningful searches of these important records when they are opened for the very first time.”
You’ll have to be a little patient. The records won’t be available online until January of 2022. But they’re coming, and they’re crucial for researching relatives in this time period and place.
I caught a moment to chat at RootsTech with Alex Cox of Findmypast about the 1921 census announcement. In this quick video clip, he shares his excitement and a little more backstory about the census that captures the “birth of modern England.”
What’s in the 1921 Census of England and Wales?
Detailed information pertaining to nearly 38 million people was captured in the 1921 census. “It provides greater detail than any previous census as, in addition to the questions asked in 1911, the 1921 returns also asked householders to reveal their place of employment, the industry they worked in and the materials they worked with as well as their employer’s name,” states the Findmypast release.
“Those aged 15 and older were required to provide information about their marital status, including if divorced, while for those under 15 the census recorded whether both parents were alive or if either or both had died. The 1921 Census also included detailed questions on education, and was the first in which individual householders could submit separate confidential returns.”
Findmypast will digitize this data from over 20,000 original bound census volumes. The National Archives describes this as their most significant digitization project yet. Certainly, it’s a key time period for those tracing relatives in England and Wales. You’ll see a snapshot of their lives just after the first World War. You may perhaps find ancestors on the move during a period of increased migration. With the exception of the 1939 Register, no national census-like record collection exists for England and Wales from 1911 until the 1951 census.
Get a headstart on your British genealogy research with this independent study course.