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1921 Census (England/Wales)

It may be Nollaig na mB├ín in Ireland today but it’s genealogy Christmas in England and Wales.

The 1921 census has been exclusively released on Findmypast. It was taken in June of that year. This census was the first after World War I and saw some slight changes to format notably:

  • Employer’s name and place of work
  • Reformated the fertility questions asked previously (now asked of men, widows/widowers)
  • Age in years & months (allowing you to establish a more precise date of birth for searching)
  • Whether their parents were alive or dead.

For those of us in Ireland, we’ll have to wait for our own 1926 Census release. You can sign the petition for early release here.

In the meantime, it is worth reviewing your family tree to check for anyone who might have been in the UK for work in this period. I’ve already found my great-great grandfather, Michael Joyce, in Liverpool. He was staying at a hotel, so I suspect was there for business. His fellow hotel occupants included a fine range of travellers from Spain, the USA and Peru!

Like previous releases of the UK census, this one is pay-per-view. You do get a small discount if you’re already a Pro subscriber on Findmypast. However, costs will mount up. Here are my top tips for successful searching!

  • Make a list of who you want to search for before you go near the site.
  • Prioritise direct ancestors or people who you are most interested in.
  • Find the person’s full name, date of birth, place of birth and where they likely were in 1921.
  • Don’t pay for the transcription – it does not include the image. Pay for just the image. The address of the return is on the back page, which you can find in the extra materials. Screenshot below.
  • Make use of the advanced search to filter results. Especially useful with common names.
  • If you know the address of a family, use the search for that instead.
  • If you are able to go the National Archives at Kew, then you can have free access, along with Manchester library and the National Library of Wales. For more details, see here.

Extra materials section to find the address on the 1921 Census

Happy Searching!


This article contains some affiliate links, which means I get a tiny commission if you click the link. It changes nothing about your interaction but helps support my research & blog.

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