Monday, 16 November 2015

Ivalls in the 1939 Register

Information from a register of people living in Britain on 29 September 1939 has recently been made publicly available on the website Findmypast.

Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. The British government needed information on its population to issue identity cards, plan mass evacuations, establish rationing, organise conscription and co-ordinate other wartime provisions. They employed 65,000 enumerators to visit every house in England and Wales and list 41 million people by household. Each person’s record contains their name, full date of birth, address, marital status and occupation.

When the NHS was founded in 1948, the register became the core of the NHS Central Register. Women’s surnames were updated when they changed as a result of marriage.

Under Data Protection legislation it is illegal to publish personal details relating to living individuals. Therefore the Information Commissioner has decided that the records of people born less than 100 years ago must be closed and so these entries are blacked out. Because the register was used by the NHS until the early 1990s many deaths up to this date were noted, allowing those records to be opened. The details of 28 million people can be seen at present.

There are 57 open records of people with the surname Ivall in 26 households on the 1939 register. It is quite expensive to view records from the 1939 register online from home, but it is free at The National Archives at Kew. I recently went there and looked up all of the open Ivall records. If you want me to send you details of any of them, please send me an email at 

I have added additional information from the register to biographies on the Ivall blog and also updated my family tree on RootsWeb. To view a list of Ivalls in it, go to

Update. As at 19 Jan 2017, there were 76 open records with the surname Ivall in the 1939 register. 

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