How to prepare for the 1921 Census for England and Wales


09 December 2021
On 6 January 2022, family history enthusiasts from across the world can look forward to finding out about their ancestors in England and Wales in 1921. Helen Tovey, Family Tree editor, shares her top three tips to help you prepare for this massive record release.

When is the 1921 Census released?

The 1921 Census for England and Wales will be released online on 6 January 2022 and will be available at FindMyPast.

Read on to find out how to prepare yourself for this huge record release, which comprises the details of 38 million people.

1. Assess your family tree

Assess your family tree for the period, and refresh yourself as to what you already know about your family at the time. Do you know a rough location(s) in which you might expect them to be living at the time? Do you have an idea of those family members who may be alive at the time? Ensure you have their bookend dates of birth and death recorded on your tree.

2. Find your family in 1911

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Have you found all those family members on the 1911 Census? Finding their 1911 Census entries will give you a useful starting point, and you can compare how their lives might have changed in the intervening decade.

3. Explore the electoral registers

Explore the electoral registers. In 1921 the adult population was still a long way off being fully eligible to vote. Three years earlier, the 1918 Representation of the People Act had extended the vote to men aged over 21, and to women aged over 30 (with property qualifications, or husbands who had such).

At the same time local government franchise was extended to women over 21, regardless of any property qualification requirements. This is worth remembering when searching electoral registers in the 1920s. Electoral registers usefully provide confirmation of addresses, very often year on year, giving you a clearer idea as to your ancestor’s whereabouts.