The 1939 Register is now freely searchable to subscribers of Find My Past. This is more like it! Now it's great fun and already I've added some information to my family records. Previously the Register was only searchable on an expensive pay-per-view basis with attendant risk of wasting a lot of money if you weren't certain you'd located the correct record for your own family history. The inclusion of the 1939 Register in the annual Find My Past subscription eliminates the risk and is much, much better.
The Barratts of Wakefield
The first 1939 Register record I've unlocked today is for my great grandparents, Thomas Barratt (1881 - 1949) and Harriet Barratt (1882 - 1947). I already have plenty of information about them so I was unwilling to pay-to-view the record as I didn't expect it to tell me much.
However I've now got the exact date of birth for Harriet and for three of her daughters which I didn't have before.
The record told me that Thomas was employed as a labourer in a brickyard which I already knew from the marriage certificate of one of his daughters. But I didn't know that:
Edith Barratt (1909 - 1966) was employed as a nurse in a mental hospital.
Mary Barratt (1915 - 1987) was employed as a bottler in a brewery. I knew she worked in a brewery but didn't know exactly what she did there.
Dorothy Barratt (1923 - 1941) was employed as a spinner in a worsted mill.
Mary's surname in the 1939 Register has been amended in green ink to Garthwaite. This was a CR283 amendment which is the reference number of the form used for a change of surname. The entry was amended in 1984.
I knew that Mary had married a Norman Garthwaite later in life but had no information about this so I went on the trail.
Norman and Mary were married in 1970 when she was fifty five years old and he was sixty two.
Norman was a widower and his first wife, Phyllis, had died in 1963. Norman was a brewer and his first wife's parents owned the brewery. Presumably this was the brewery where Mary worked as a bottler and presumably that's where they met.
Norman died in 1980 and Mary died seven years later. I found these photos on the Geograph website of the beautiful Georgian house where they'd had a flat.
Horace Ashworth (1905 - 1984)
I didn't unlock my grandparents record when the 1939 Register was pay-per-view as I didn't think it would contain much new information. This turns out to be true except I now know my grandfather, Horace Ashworth (1905 - 1984), although employed as a railway fireman had passed to become an engine driver. Also the record states that he worked for the London Midland Scottish Railway which I've always presumed but never had any proof of before today.
Rose Joseph (1888 - 1969)
I started checking some of my husband's ancestors and had a really good hit for his great aunt, Rose Joseph (1888 - 1969). In 1939 Rose was employed as a waitress in Blackpool and she lived at Lancaster Avenue. Visiting her in Blackpool in 1939 was her sister, Leah Bernstein (1879 - 1971). By 1939, Leah was widowed and living on her "own means".
Sarah Starling (1857 - 1946)
I also found Michael's (my husband) great grandmother living in her son's household at 35, Chapman Street in Stepney, East London. Sarah Starling (1857 - 1946) was "incapacitated" although she lived for a further seven years and survived the Blitz. The record gives a more precise birth date for Sarah which was 25th February 1857.
I've also hit on about forty records in the 1939 Register that are not connected to my family history in any way but I needed to check to make sure. That was 100% cost prohibitive on a pay-per-view basis so, as you can imagine, I'm delighted the Find My Past people have decided to include the 1939 Register in the price of the annual subscription.
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I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK