Introductory User Guide to the 1921 Census: 4 top tips

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10 January 2022
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Want to know how to find your ancestors on the 1921 Census for England and Wales? Read on for expert tips...

The 1921 Census for England and Wales was released online by FindMyPast and the National Archives on 6 January 2022.

In this special feature Jen Baldwin, genealogist and northern America content manager at FindMyPast shares here top tips for using the 1921 Census.


QUICK LINK: Explore the 1921 Census in depth with Family Tree's three-part celebratory census conference


At the 1921 Census Conference event (6 January) Jen Baldwin provided an introductory user guide to researching with the 1921 Census on Findmypast. We would like to share four of the tips with you to help your census search.

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1921 Census search tips

1. NOTE THE ‘WHERE’ SEARCH BOX: From the basic search bar note that you are entering their ‘Birth year’, but for ‘Where’ you are entering the location that you expect them to be in the 1920s (not their birth place). Remember to explore ‘Find an address’ and ‘advanced search’.

2. WHAT DOES THE TRANSCRIPTION INCLUDE?: The transcript includes all the fields on the original census expect for the tally of children (on the far right of the form) and the number of rooms (recorded on the bottom left-hand side of the form).

3. EXPLORE THE ‘EXTRA MATERIALS’: Be sure to explore the ‘Extra materials’ (these items are included in your purchase of a census image). This includes maps, plans of division, the front of the census book, and the front and back of the census form. The front of the census form is where you are most likely to find the address and it is usually the image subsequent to the household image. The address is also included in the transcriptions.

4. INVESTIGATE THE CODES: if the full address is not provided (e.g. county omitted from the original) use the census codes to verify further location details. 

How do I access the 1921 Census for England and Wales?

At FindMyPast

  • Requires you to set up an account, but a subscription is not required.
  • You will need to pay to access the transcriptions (£2.50) and the original images (£3.50).
  • These charges apply to subscribers and non-subscribers, however Pro Subscribers do receive a 10% discount off the charges.

The census may also be accessed free of charge at three archive hubs: The National Archives, Kew; The National Library of Wales, and Manchester Central Library, supported by the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society and the Archives+ Team.

Register today for Family Tree's three-part celebratory census conference