1921 Census UK: How people from Portsmouth can access their family history as new documents published online

STEP back in time by visiting your ancestor's past in the newly published 1921 Census.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 4:32 pm

The UK National Archives has published the census to show what life was like in England and Wales 100 years ago.

The archives have spent the last three years conserving and digitising more than 30,000 volumes of the original documents.

On June 19, 1921, 38 million people in England and Wales took part in the Census, with the information now available in person and online.

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The 1921 Census shows many notable figures including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Many notable figures have been named in the Census including Captain Sir Tom Moore, who was no more than one years old at the time of the Census, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who worked as a GP in Portsmouth in 1882.

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The Sherlock Holmes author was also the first goalkeeper at what is now Portsmouth Football Club but in the census, his registration district is named as Uckfield in Sussex.

Here is everything you need to know about the 1921 Census of England and Wales:

What does the 1921 Census show?

In England and Wales, a census is recorded every 10 years, with the first official Census carried out in 1901.

The 1921 Census shows viewers great detail about what life was like 100 years ago.

Many participants of the Census used the records as a means of protest following the end of the First World War three years prior.

Historian and broadcaster professor David Olusoga said: ‘I think it shows a snapshot of a country in absolute trauma, a country in the midst of trying to recover from what was the biggest rupture in its history.”

Among those whose Census return underlined the hardship suffered by the working classes was James Bartley, a father of three young children from Sussex, who wrote: ‘Stop talking about your homes for heroes and start building some houses and let them at a rent a working man can afford to pay.’

The 1921 Census includes great detail on places of work, employers, and industry for the first time.

This means that names such as Rolls-Royce, Selfridges, and Sainsbury's now appear on the documents.

How can I view the 1921 Census?

If you wish to explore your family history, the 1921 Census is available via the Find My Past website.

Viewers will need to create a free account to access the website but there is a small fee to view the census.

The website states that it costs £2.50 for every record transcript and £3.50 for an original record image.

The fees cover the cost of digitising and transcribing the records which are from the National Archives.

The digital images of the 1921 Census are free to view at the National Archives at Kew, the Manchester Central Library and the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

How do I navigate the Census?

Once you have created an account on Find My Past, you can search the 1921 Census to view old family records, information on businesses, or even details of famous individuals.

Click the 'search' option at the top of the website and select the 1921 Census.

Then you can use the Census search form in a variety of ways including birth years, addresses, locations, names, or even employers.

The results will then appear, showing you a list of those who have matched your search criteria.

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