The clock is ticking… there’s just days now until the 6th January when we can access the 1921 census and it’s an important census for several reasons. There will not be a further census release for another 30 years as the 1931 census was destroyed in a fire and no returns were taken in 1941 due to World War Two. The 1921 census was the first since the First World War, so sadly many of our ancestors died during the conflict. In 1911 the length of a marriage was recorded with the total number of children born and the number still living. In the 1921 census records only the number of children or stepchildren in a family are recorded and how many of them were still alive. For children under 15 an additional question asks whether their parents are still alive. Other information given on the sheet is around occupations with the industry of employment and material worked with where appropriate and for the first time divorce was recognised as a marital status on the form. In addition it was the first time the RAF staff were included in their overseas stations.
So, who will you be looking for in 1921? It might be the first census that allows you to find out information about an ancestor you remember quite well. I will be interested to see where my Grandmother was living in 1921 since leaving a children’s home in 1915 and her marriage in 1925.
In order to view the census you will need to have a subscription to Findmypast, the chosen partner of The National Archives for the project. In addition you will have to pay £2.50 per view for the record transcript and £3.50 for an image of the original record. Whilst Findmypast justifies these fees by saying it covers the cost of transcription and digitisation of the census, it means we might have to consider rationing our viewing which is a shame. No doubt the fees will be dropped at a later date and it may prevent the site crashing which happened within hours of the 1911 census being released ten years ago.
The 1921 census for Scotland will be released later in 2022 and there is no return for Ireland as the Civil war was taking place at the time.
Here’s hoping we all find something that takes our genealogy projects a little further.