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Free Online Access to the 1921 Census of England and Wales at Manchester Central Library

Manchester Central Library was chosen as one of two regional hubs to offer free online access to the 1921 Census of England and Wales.

Visitors to Manchester Central Library can access the 1921 Census of England and Wales via the Findmypast website for free. Access at the Manchester Central Library, on St Peter’s Square, Manchester, will be supported by the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society helpdesk and the Archives+ Team.

The 1921 Census

The first census of modern times, almost within living memory.

The complete returns for the 1921 census were published online on Findmypast web site on 6th January 2022.

Although originally scheduled for 24 April, threatened industrial action resulted in it being postponed until 19th June 1921. This delay created some problems since it resulted in the census being taken when many people were away from home on holiday.

The  household returns provide detailed information on close to 38 million individuals and contains more detail than previous censuses. It includes all  the questions asked in 1911, but additionally includes the place of employment of those in work, the industry they worked in and their employer's name. In addition to asking whether an individual was single, married or widowed, the further category of divorced was included. For the first time there were also questions about levels of education.

Learn how M&LFHS are celebrating the 1921 census

"The 1921 census is a landmark event for family historians, capturing life just after the trauma of the first world war. Find out how this census can help you to find a new generation of your family."

1921 Podcast

In this one off 1921 podcast special by the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society we hear about what to expect from the 1921 census, listen to music of the era and hear some voices from the past describing life during this period. David Govier of the North West Sound Heritage Archives tells us about the 'Unlocking our Sound Heritage' project and more!

Get the podcast from Spotify   
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One Family's Life in 1921

A radio play by Jenny Roche.

It's 1921. A coal miner and his family discuss some of the issues of the day.


Census Substitutes: Electoral Registers

Even before the 1921 census is released, you can often find out who was living at a particular address - at least some of  the adults - by using the 1921 electoral register. Here's how to do it.

Census Substitutes: Trade Directories

Trade directories were published more-or-less annually and can show where your ancestor lived and carried out his business. Learn more about this useful resource.

Pit Ponies

Census Substitutes: School Registers

If you are fortunate enough to find records of your ancestors in school registers, you may be able to expand your knowledge of both the individual and their family. Here's how...

Pit Ponies

Alfred G. Buckham

Learn about Alfred G. Buckham, a pioneer aerial photographer

Pit Ponies

Pit ponies were widely used in coal mines in 1921 and their welfare during the proposed industrial action was the cause of some concern. Learn more from this short presentation.

Findmypast and the 1921 Census

The full returns for the 1921 census became available on the Findmypast web site on 6th January 2022.

CLICK HERE to find out more about Findmypast and the 1921 census or use the Affiliate form below to search the census now.