Findmypast is a searchable online archive of over 10 billion records featuring everything from parish and school records to censuses and from migration records to military collections from across the globe. Library subscriptions are available to either the British or World editions, and both include  access to the 1939 Register.

About the 1939 Register

The 1939 Register is one of the most important British documents of the 20th century. It is the only surviving overview of the civil population of England and Wales spanning the period 1921-1951 because the 1931 census was destroyed during an air raid on London, and the 1941 census was never taken.

Consisting of 7,000 volumes containing over 1,200,000 pages, the 1939 Register lists the names, addresses, marital statuses, occupations and more of over 41 million people in Great Britain and Northern Ireland on National Registration Day on 29th September 1939.

Findmypast is also working in partnership with the British Library on an important project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive. The result is the British Newspaper Archive, another fantastic resource for Public Libraries which is also available through JCS.

Click here to learn how Public Libraries can access the 1921 Census.


  • Findmypast World Edition: provides access to over 13 billion records from Britain, Republic of Ireland,  Australia, New Zealand, The United States, and Canada and is currently the fastest growing archive available. Findmypast contains the largest collection of Irish records anywhere online many of which are exclusive to Findmypast.
  • Findmypast Britain Edition: provides access to millions of records from England, Scotland and Wales


“Findmypast is one of our most popular online resources…everyone at JCS made the transition from our previous supplier seamless and trouble-free, with their efficient, helpful and friendly service.” Helen Towers, Reader Development and Stock Manager, Cumbria Library Service

“We were delighted to subscribe to Findmypast with the savings made possible by the JCS Welsh Libraries consortium…and it’s now our most popular family history resource” Hywel Jones, Gwynedd Library Service

“We were already subscribing to Findmypast at the National Library and found it to be a very popular resource. When JCS suggested the Welsh libraries form a buying group we were quick to respond so we could benefit from the consortium discount. The JCS team was extremely helpful and made the whole process simple and straightforward.” Robert Lacey, Acquisitions Librarian, National Library of Wales

Access options

IP Authentication

To find out more about how the different access options work please see our General Access Information.

Information sheets

If your library has subscribed to Findmypast, your patrons can register for their own private account in order to save and view their research history. You can download and print this  instructional one-sheet to help your patrons register.

Usage statistics

Usage statistics are available, please request them via JCS


What is the 1939 Register?

The 1939 Register is the only surviving overview of the civil population of England and Wales spanning the period 1921-1951. This is because the 1931 census was destroyed during an air raid on London, and the 1941 census was never taken.

What information is listed in the 1939 Register?

The 1939 Register contains names, dates of birth, addresses, occupations, marital statuses and occupations of more than 40 million people.

Why are some records in the 1939 Register officially closed?

Individuals’ records remain closed for 100 years from their date of birth (100-year rule). Records remain closed for people born less than 100 years ago until proof of death is verified. As more records become open as a result of the 100-year rule, more records will become available to search and view online at Findmypast.

How do I start building my family tree?

Select ‘My Family Tree’ from the top of the website, then clicking on ‘Create a Tree’.

Your tree will begin with you as the tree owner. You can then start to add names to your tree by clicking on Add Partner, Add Child, Add Mother/Father or Add Sibling. After you have added the details to your tree click on ‘save’.

Can I search other trees on Findmypast and share mine with other people?

Your tree can be shared with other registered users of Findmypast. You can do this when looking at your own tree and sharing the URL in the address bar of your browser. It can only be viewed by another Findmypast user who is signed into their account.

Your family tree has privacy controls that you can use to prevent it being shared or made public for other people to see this content if you wish. To ensure the content remains private, go to the ‘Tree settings’ option in your Family Tree and untick the ‘Public tree’ box.

Can I make a copy of my tree/export a gedcom file?

Once logged into your account, go to the ‘Family tree’ options on the top left of this page, then select ‘View all trees’ and select ‘Export tree’. The tree will then prepare for downloading. When your tree is ready to export, click on ‘Download tree’.

I already have a gedcom/digital copy of my family tree – can I upload it to Findmypast?

Yes, you can upload any gedcom file that you have which contains your family tree.

To do this, you just need to go to the ‘My Family Tree’ link at the top of the website then click on ‘Create a Tree’. You will see a link which says ‘Import a tree’. When you click on that link, you will have the option to upload your gedcom file from your PC to your Findmypast account.

How do I add photos to my tree?

You can upload a photo to an individual person’s profile on your tree by first clicking on their name and then ‘profile’ link.

Next, click on the ‘media’ link and then ‘add media’.

Finally, you choose which file/photo you would like to upload from your computer and it will take a few seconds to upload.

Can I add living relatives to my tree?

Information stored in your family tree will, in almost all cases, include personal information about other people that are still alive.

You should always seek permission from people who are living before you make their personal information available in your tree, or anywhere else online.

How do I search the records?

You can add as much or as little information as you like when searching for someone. In order to get better results, keep your search as broad as possible.

You can narrow down your search using the options under ‘Refine your search’ on the left hand side of the page.

What record types are available?

Users can find records within the following categories:

  • Birth, marriage, death & parish records
  • Census, land & surveys
  • Churches & religion
  • Directories & social history
  • Education & work
  • Institutions & organisations
  • Military, armed forces & conflict
  • Travel & migration

What are Findmypast ‘Hints’?

Hints are potential record matches to the people on your tree. A link to Hints appears as an orange circle containing a number which appears next to a person’s name on your family tree.

When you click on the orange number icon, you will be taken to see any Hints that have been suggested for that person.

Hints are based on a number of factors, including names, date and place or births, marriages and deaths.