Searching the 1939 Identity Card Register for England & Wales

The 1939 Register, the details from the registration for National Identity Cards in 1939 in England and Wales are available only at

Searching the database is free but if you want to look at the details for a household then you either need an annual subscription or you have to "unlock" the record using credits that you purchase from Findmypast. You will need 60 credits to view the details for one household, that is details of all the people that were registered at that address. Credits cost £6.95 for 60 credits, £24.95 for 300 credits or £54.95 for 900 credits although findmypast subscribers should have been sent an email with a 25% discount code on 300 credits.

The register was compiled on the night of Friday 29th September 1939 and the following details were recorded for each person:

You can see a copy of the form that householders had to complete here.

As mentioned above, it is free to search the register and to preview the transcript that includes the person's name, year of birth, town and county of residence. In addition, you’ll be able to see how many other people lived in the house at the time and how many of them are closed due to being born less than 100 years ago and who died after 1991. This will help you to confirm if you've found the right person and you can then choose to unlock the record which will give you all of the additional information such as address, dates of birth, occupations and marital statuses of everyone that lived there, as well as the original record image. The search form looks like this:

(image courtesy findmypast)

The 1939 Register search screen allows you to search by a number of different criteria including:

The ability to specify the name of someone else living at the same address will be useful if you are looking for someone with a common name and you know the name of, for example, a spouse or parent.

The search will also enable you to find out more information about a person by adding extra information to the search and seeing if the person is still in the search results list. For example, if you have found the entry for a person but you don't know whether they were a widow or widower, repeat the search with Widowed in the 'Marital Status' box. If the person still appears in the list of results then you know they were widowed on the date that the information was collected; if they no longer appear then try Married in the 'Marital Status' box and so on.

You can also search the 1939 Register by address, perhaps useful if you are interested in the history of a house.

(image courtesy findmypast)

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