Find out how to search the 1939 Register, one of the most important documents in modern British history, only available on Findmypast in association with The...

The 1939 Register is one of the most comprehensive surveys ever taken of the population of England and Wales. The Register acts like a census of the population on the brink of World War 2, and like a census, can tell you where members of your family were, who they lived with, and what their occupations were.

Censuses are an invaluable aid to researching your family history, and give a great snapshot of your family, and indeed the country, at a specific point in time. They are taken every 10 years, and are only opened up for public viewing 100 years after they were made. This means that the last census available to search is the one taken in 1911, so the 1939 Register is a great way to "bridge the gap" between now and then.

You can search the Register for family members or to find out who lived in your house on the eve of war. You can even find out what the most popular occupations and surnames were in the area you come from, and see how they compare with other localities. It contains the details of over 41 million people, all collected over the course of a single day

The following video will give you an insight into how the 1939 Register works and help kick start your search.

Get more information on this fantastic new record collection.

Explore Britain in 1939. Search the 1939 Register today.