Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Looking for my great grandmother in September 1939 ............ a unique set of records go online

Now next Monday will be a lot more interesting because Findmypast  has put the 1939 Register online*

Nana and grandad circa 1930s
The Register contains the names, addresses and occupations of everyone in England and Wales in 1939 and was used as the basis for rationing, identity cards and the National Health Service just under a decade later.

That in itself makes it a very important document but more so because it will be another six years before the 1921 census is published.

Added to which there is a gaping hole in what will be available given that the 1931 census was destroyed and the 1941 census was never taken.

Great grandmother Eliza and a policeman, 1894
And that will be important for me because after nearly a decade I have gone back to looking for my immediate family and in particular my great grandmother.

Eliza Boot was born in 1872 and had five children but never married their father.

They were a colourful pair, having once been fined for fighting with a policeman in 1894 and eventually separating in 1902 with Eliza retuning north to Derby to have her last child in the workhouse.

The surviving four children spent time in institutions and was migrated to Canada as a British Home Child.

And apart from a few fragmentary references and her death certificate I have very little else to go on.

Nana in Derby, 1930
Her medical records have long since been destroyed and her National Insurance records cannot be accessed, so just maybe the 1939 Register will reveal something to fill the gap between an address in a street directory in 1925a comment in a letter in 1941 and the official record of her death.

We shall see.

And if she continues to fall though the net there will be mother, uncle Roger and Nana and granddad in Derby and dad who by 1939 had migrated south from Gateshead to London.

So I travel in hope because there are 41 million lives recorded in the register.

Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson

* Monday November 2 2015, the 1939 Register will be made available online for the very first time, only on findmypast,

No comments:

Post a Comment