1939 Register - now online

Discussion in 'Research Material' started by Red Goblin, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Same here now you mention it - I can find neither of my late parents in there. My paternal granddad may be but the preview shows a redacted person where there ought to be none and doesn't generally match the number of cohabitants I expect. Knowing their database is so unreliable completely undermines confidence in picking between whatever results are returned - so, as far as I'm concerned, 'neither use nor ornament' as it stands with their apparently-poor QA, Micky Mouse design philosophy and greedy fee structure ! I'll wait until I can explore it more freely on ALE (Ancestry Library Edition) ...

    PS: Just watched video (next post) reminding me about searching by address - the very trick I needed to confirm my aforesaid (1894-1964) granddad's household and the fact that someone has managed to mistranscribe his (1898-1978) wife's final surname :rolleyes: (incidentally no maiden name apparent as an additional cross-check). My (1925-1984) uncle is also there - but not his (1923-1992) sister who I presume to be the person redacted for no reason I can fathom !

    Even sillier, for multi-occupancy situations, is that it disallows precision:
    • It will accept street name as, say, "Wiggly" - but not "Wiggly Gardens" nor "Wiggly Gdns" to perhaps distinguish from a "Wiggly Avenue" or other like-named source of confusion
    • Putting the (known) house number in either the 'Street' or 'Place Keywords' field and leaving all personal name fields blank returns zilch
  2. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    What have you discovered in the 1939 Register? Let us know in the links below, or by tweeting with the hashtag #eveofwar to add to our gallery.
  3. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    I had a problem finding my elder brother's name on the register. He was born in 1934 and died in 2012.. Then I read that the register was only maintained until 1991. FMP have still to update death records from 1991 The following is taken from FMP web page

    Closed records
    Owing to privacy regulations, we can’t show you the personal details of people in the Register who were born less than 100 years and a day ago and are still alive. In your results, you will see that some records are marked as ‘officially closed’.
    The Register was updated until 1991, meaning that anyone who was born less than 100 years and a day ago but died prior to 1991 will have their record opened automatically. If the person died after 1991, we can accept scans of death certificates as evidence of death. If you feel that a record is officially closed erroneously, you can submit a request along with evidence of death to have that record made available to view. This process is free for Findmypast subscribers, but a purchase will still be necessary to view the record.
    In order to submit this request, select ‘Close an open record’ if you’re a Findmypast subscriber or ‘Ask TNA to open a closed record’ if you’re not. The process takes a few days, and we destroy any digital copies we have of certificates soon after receiving them

    The Register has proved useful to me as it has confirmed where my parents were living at that time

  4. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Glad you found a silver lining and thanks for clarifying that Diane - another 'gotcha' they apparently chose to keep under their hat to hide the fact that we're now expected to lobby for such arbitrarily-individual releases with the added expense of furnishing proof for each. Still, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" as they say ... nor, it would now appear, an untainted expensively-bought one !

  5. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    I totally agree. I certainly won't be buying any records. Luckily I have the confirmation I was looking for, from the preview.

  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    so if you chuck cash at it you get the required info?

    or not?
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I guess as with Ancestry it will be up to the subscribers and not the FMP team to correct all their annoying errors. As with my birth cert on Ancestry, apparently Solihull (where I was born) is in the county of Yorkshire according to the Ancestry team :ewink:

  8. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    It's rubbish! I have wasted an hour, putting in my own name, my parents name, our address at the time; my grand parents, their address and an aged aunt, who lived on a farm in the wilds of south Dorset. In each case 'No Results' so I won't be wasting money on that.
  9. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    FMP should have made it clear that is a person is still alive or died after 1991, their name will not appear on the register. It would have saved a lot of people a lot of time and agro.

    If I wanted to "open" all the members of my grandmother's household I would have to provide them with 3 Death Certificates which I am definitely not going to do.

    There also seems to be a lot of errors in transcribing the names. Though that could be due to illegible handwriting.

    All a bit of a damp squib!
  10. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    @ Clive: To get my granddad's whole household record, for instance, I'd need to spend £16.25 - i.e. FMP's £7 fee + £9.25 for my aunt's death certificate ... with no guarantee, I might add, that she's the redacted person. And if my nan & uncle had also (entirely possibly) lived beyond 1991, the extra £18.50 would bump that up to £34.75 - and all presumably dumped on us due to cutbacks preventing continued maintenance of the Register.

    @ Roy: Agreed but, as has already been pointed out, you'd need your own death certificate to sort out the first of those redactions ... and I suspect you're not itching to earn one ! I'm rapidly getting surer of my impression that FMP bit off more than they could chew and ended up botching the job in their haste to make a fist of it. And the real tragedy is that it typically costs more to rectify a bad job than it would have cost to do properly in the first place - Ancestry therefore being best advised to index FMP's hopefully-OK scans from scratch.

    @ Diane: FMP love hiding key info from plain sight - e.g. causing me to reply,
  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Thanks Steve for all the updates

    And Roy ditto
  12. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Being timed before 03:00 yesterday, I don't know why my RSS reader didn't pick up at least the first of these - I suspect due to a huge delay between the claimed release time and when it actually went live - but here's today's haul all supporting yesterday's bunfight:
    (currently with 37 comments you may care to read by following link)​
    (currently with 3 more comments ...)​
  13. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Still can't find either my father at Newmarket or his father in Durham, though I've found my Granddad's partners entry with one of the children he had to her.

    Right now I'm putting it down to transcription error, but have asked FMP on their Facebook page to clarify the handling of data for those serving in the Merchant Navy at the time.

    I know those in the Armed forces are not likely to be found if they were enlisted by Sept '39, but don't know if the same rules applied to the seamen at that point.
  14. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    The script behind my post 56 ...
    ... may answer your seafarer question - follow the link, hit the 'Transcription' (sic) tab and thus absorb the salient points in your own time ... but, on second thoughts, heck why not just paste the whole lot right here so I may also highlight the 'seaman' lead-in for you ?!
    As far as any further data-handling queries go, I'm inclined to think - certainly if you find yourself getting nowhere with FMP - you'd be better off addressing them to TNA as being ultimately responsible as the Crown's representative in these matters. As far as I'm concerned, FMP are effectively bringing them into disrepute and the more we take out concerns to them the more likely they'll twig to doing something constructive about it. "The buck stops here" and all that ...

    Interesting you should mention FB again - one of the commentators on the first article above, like me w/o a FB a/c, was moaning about only being allowed to comment by that means (she luckily able to use her husband's a/c in order to make her point). The blinkered managerial mindset that tars all their users with the same 'FB membership' brush is absolutely symptomatic of FMP's abject failure to currently satisfy more discerning of their potential customers IMHO.

    Talking of comments, BTW, there was another about paying to view a household - only to find it split across 2 pages and not being allowed to see the rest of it on the following page. The official reply supported his/her expectation but these 'smoke & mirrors' PR wallahs aren't technically authoritative and it only goes to further show me, as a retired IT pro suspecting this to be yet another sad case of the old 90% rule*, how flaky their web implementation really is !

    Finally, IIRC on the mistranscription problem, aren't we more likely to suffer that in this record set than in most others ? Firstly it wouldn't at all surprise me if handwriting skills had generally declined from Victorian copperplate standards and then I seem to recall we're here dealing with books completed 'in the field' in sometimes badly-lit ad hoc deskless circumstances - rather like this release, all done in rather a hurry at far shorter notice in comparison to the censuses that preceded it. The 1911 census may have been written by a greater variety of hands but most of those hands were trained in Victorian schools and almost invariably used in comfortable home circumstances. Prior censuses to that usually involved enumerators transcribing their own field notes in similarly-optimal circumstances - they being in a far better position to reinterpret their occasional sloppiness when filling in the final return sheets in a much fairer hand intended for other eyes. I'm undoubtedly exaggerating these factors to make my point but, put together with the probability that cost cutting resulted in the employment of staff not up to the task of interpreting often hastily-written scrawl largely featuring names beyond the scope of regular spell-checkers, the scope for error grows alarmingly !

    * i.e. 'Sturgeon's law' - "90% of everything is crap" - rather than the IT industry's own '90-90 rule'. The way I usually explain it, as adapted in programming circles, is that 90% of the code in a good program is merely there to deal with the 10% of times when events don't pan out as usual. A program without this vital 90% will therefore seem to work OK 90% of the time ... so it's easy to spot where, in the minds of non-technical bean-counters, the temptation lies to cut development time & costs !
  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  16. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Sorry, just letting off more pent-up steam there :D
  17. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Thanks Steve, I'd forgotten that part about seamen, mind you it was a while since I read through it. I'll give FMP their due. They are quite quick on Facebook to reply to general enquiries.

    I'm merely speculating that my granddad was merchant navy at that point. I have no proof of service in '39 though I have his seaman's pouch which has service recorded in the 40s. I'll leave it in FMP hands now that I've provided his death certificate from 1960. From what I've read TNA is going to charge for any enquiries.

    I'm just sad that this collection is nothing like near finished and the enumerators handwriting has baffled the transcribers. There are entries where an initial has been given for both christian and surname followed by question marks. I'm even beginning to doubt if middle names have been transcribed in full, if provided by the individual in '39.

    This data could have been an absolute gem to genealogists and had hoped it may have been beneficial for those seeking extended family members for the fallen to have them remembered. Not going to be many of us alive in 2051 when the next English/Welsh Census from 1951 is released. Such a shame the 1921/31 census were damaged.

    I'm grateful the Scottish '21/31 census will be available in years to come. Just hope I'm around to see their release in 2021 & 2031.
  18. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Yes, I saw that comment, "The link to TNA says I must pay £25 for each proof of death I submit" and since I also gather FMP oblige non-subscribers to go that way it seems I must bump up the overhead for each from £9.25 to £34.25 - escalating Diane's triple-lock example to nearly £110 in all ... way OTT for one household record :eek: ! In that vein from the same source, I also liked, "At least Dick Turpin wore a cloak and mask when robbing people blind."

    NB: The 1921 census is still safe & sound by all reports ! We only lost the 1931 for England & Wales - incidentally, whoops, in the town where I was born :whistle: - so I've no reason to be jealous of you in just over 6yrs time !
  19. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    I did the initial search on FMP and found my Dad's name shown living in the Scunthorpe area, in a household with two others. Although a Londoner by birth, he was living and working in that area when called up in July 1940. He was lodging with his Employer and wife (Fred & Ellen Kitchen, also from London), the two people not listed.

    The Scunthorpe address is on his army service records, so I know where he lived already. The FMP result confirmed he was there in Scunthorpe when the 1939 register was compiled. Although Dad passed away in 1992, he was born over 100 years ago, so appears on the Register. So do Fred & Ellen Kitchen. Luckily this has cost me a big fat zero.

    When Dad returned to the UK in 1946, he had a Dutch wife. They returned to live with the same Employer, back in South London. Mum had calling cards printed with this new address, so I've seen this house.
    Owen and CL1 like this.
  20. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Tip: Visit the YouTube source pages for yet more (non-Facebook) comments ...
    Edit: Corrected wrong video link for 3rd article

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