1939 Registre England and Wales, - what are closed records ?

+4 votes
I am looking at the 1939 England and Wales Register for my family in West Derby, Liverpool. Does anyone know why, across 3 lines it says: "This record is officially closed"  ?

Image :

in The Tree House by Joann Hanmer G2G6 Mach 1 (12.0k points)

4 Answers

+4 votes
Probably because the person is either living, or deemed to be living.  They won't open the record without some evidence of death.
by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
+5 votes
Yes, that could be why. Though, The persons I am pretty sure that it is, are children of Sarah and Joseph, and born between 1910 and 1913. They would be 105-108 years old of still living !  How old do people have to be before they open the records ?
by Joann Hanmer G2G6 Mach 1 (12.0k points)
+4 votes
In general because the person is under the age of 21.
+4 votes

Any record for a person born less than 100 years ago is likely to be closed for privacy reasons. The exceptions are if the person died before 1991 which is when the register ceased to be used by the NHS or if someone has submitted evidence of death to have the record opened. If you think you know who someone is and have a death certificate for them you can make a submission to have the record opened. That process is free if you do it through findmypast and costs a small fee if you do it directly through the National Archives. FMP opened about 35000 more records a couple of weeks ago. The FMP version of the register is updated regularly with newly opened records. Nobody knows yet what process Ancestry will have for keeping their version up to date with openings. 


by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (634k points)
It was through Ancestry i saw it, so what you're saying makes sense. Thanks.
That's the official ruling.

My parents were both children at the time of the 1939 register.

My father's 1939 entry (he was born in August 1928) is visible on Ancestry. He died in 2016.

My mother's (born 1929) died 2013 is not. Her sister  also died in the same year (though in another country so records won't link)  is also not visible.

Interestingly these records were  revised over time .

My paternal  grandmother's entry has the  surname of her second husband  written in  green (married 1968 )

My 'step' grandmother was single in 1939,  became my grandfather's 2nd wife  in 1944 and then after his death remarried in 1966. Both these later names and dates are entered in green on the 1939 register.

Possibly my  father's entry was opened in error.  He also has green annotations (indecipherable to me codes), they are dated 1958 which, I think, is the date he left the Royal Marines Perhaps  someone took it to be a death date (??)

His  brother is also visible with no annotations and he certainly  died in 1976. (no annotations)
The annotations are from the days when the register was used as the basis for NHS records. The logic behing the opening is that when they are sure they have a death record that relates to an entry they will open it.
There must be a subsequent NHS register  for future genealogists .My old NHS  number was the same as my birth certificate number but it changed  sometime in the last 20 years.(don't know when as I was in France )
The National Health Service information would not normally be made available for genealogists. They moved over to computerised record systems when they stopped using the 1939 register as the basis.

Not sure records would have been computerised until  much later.I would think it was when they introduced the new numbers. The old and new numbers are obviously linked somewhere.It took days for me to get new number on return.For my husband, far longer but he has a British Overseas birth cert and then had services medical care. He never had an old NHS no.

I suspect that there will be an NHS  register available from 2039 2048 linked to birth, marriage and death certs but it originally would have been updated manually.

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