The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Family History

1939 Register of Engand & Wales

In December 1938 it was announced in the House of Commons that in the event of war, a National Register would be taken that listed the personal details of every civilian in Great Britain in Great Britain.

At the outbeak of war on 3 September 1939, a massive administrative task was undertaken whereby forms were isuued on 29 September 1939 to more tha 40 million people.

The Register was to be a critical tool in coordinating the war effort at home. It would be used to issue identity cards, organise rationing and conscription.

Later it was also used in the founding of the NHS.

The 1931 Census returns were destroyed during an air raid in London and the 1941 Census was never taken. So the 1939 Register is one of the most important British documents of the 20th Century.

The Register has been transcribed and as with all registers, the quality of the information relies on the accuracy of recording and writing of the enumerators and the quality of the transcription, e.g. Joan Hughes the woman aviator appears in Ancestry as John Hughes. One Brecht was recorded as Brekt. Though the Register is not governed by the Census Act, records of young people born 100 years and one day after September 1939 have been redacted as "officially closed". The Register does at least indicate how many young people were living at each residence.

After the Register was taken, various amendments were made and various notes added.

Despite its shortcomings it is a very useful source and I traced 30 or so records in the name of Brecht/Brett with the record of 8 young people redacted.

Brecht/Bretts in the 1939 Register

I did not trace every Brecht/Brett.

Colin Bower
11 June 2018

 
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