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Record Keeping - WWII National Identity Cards & Ration Books

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Record Keeping - WWII National Identity Cards & Ration Books

Postby PeterProg » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:02 pm

Hi

I am researching a distant relation from the first half of the twentieth century, an interesting if rather shady character with a minor and not particularly successful career as a petty con-man. He just about managed to keep one step ahead of the law most of the time, but was inclined to change his name periodically in the interests of keeping a low profile. It does make tracking his movements quite tricky!

However, despite his best efforts, I have found him and his wife in the 1939 Register living in Kent, but then lose track of them again until they appear in the Electoral Rolls in Oxfordshire in 1948, using the same names. They were not at their former address in Kent in 1945-48 (per the electoral rolls), and were definitely not in Oxfordshire until 1948. But another relative did meet with them in 1944 in central London - so they must have lived in, or reasonably close to, London during the War years.

I am trying to discover where exactly they may have lived at this time period - 1939-1948.

Courtesy of their appearing in the 1939 Register, they must have been issued with National Identity Cards and Ration Books and, I assume, been required to register a change of address when they moved from their address in Kent. I assume that this 'change of address' record would have been managed and maintained by the relevant Government Ministry at the time.

I would really appreciate any advice on whether such 'change of address' or similar records in respect of National Identity Cards and Ration Books might have been kept, and if so where they might be accessed. Really hoping that such a record might allow me to pin down their whereabouts during the War years.

Thanks
Peter
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Re: Record Keeping - WWII National Identity Cards & Ration B

Postby phsvm » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:21 pm

Why do you say they were definitely not in Oxfordshire until 1948?

You mentioned that he (ad presumably his wife) changed his name at times so how do you know he didn't use another name during the missing years? I guess that even if his papers/ration book were in one name he could have used a slight variation of it day to day.

If you give his name it might help.
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Re: Record Keeping - WWII National Identity Cards & Ration B

Postby coopernicola » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:59 am

May be worth a search in local newspapers, even though you say he was good at avoiding the law, there may be some information to be gained.
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Re: Record Keeping - WWII National Identity Cards & Ration B

Postby maxine tallon » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:07 am

one of my husbands relatives was using another name up to 1939 even registering her first two children in that name but in 1939 she changed back to her birth name and used it throughout the war years changing back to the assumed name after the war, so I am assuming she had to provide some form of identity document in her birth name to be registered and get a ration book.

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Re: Record Keeping - WWII National Identity Cards & Ration B

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:38 pm

PeterProg wrote:... I would really appreciate any advice on whether such 'change of address' or similar records in respect of National Identity Cards and Ration Books might have been kept, and if so where they might be accessed. ...


According to Audrey Collins of TNA
Changes of address were recorded on cards at the local National Registration Office, and the local Food Office (they were initially separate, but were later amalgamated) while registration and rationing were in force. The National Register was updated only with the information that someone had moved to a new district. Their index card in the local office would be placed in a 'dead' file, and their details passed to the new district, where a new card would be created for them.


Although Audrey says that "The National Register (i.e. the 1939 Register) was updated only with the information that someone had moved to a new district", I'm unsure exactly where that update was made. Certainly in later years, when the data was NHS data, the change of district was recorded on the legendary right-hand page (of which we see only the first column).

My best guess is that address change data from the local National Registration Office was all destroyed, and that inter-district address change data is on the right-hand page which is not, and may never be, visible. (The situation may change in 2039 but many of us won't know).
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Re: Record Keeping - WWII National Identity Cards & Ration B

Postby ianbee » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:35 pm

AdrianB38 wrote:My best guess is that address change data from the local National Registration Office was all destroyed, and that inter-district address change data is on the right-hand page which is not, and may never be, visible. (The situation may change in 2039 but many of us won't know).

Peter Calver got a look at the right hand page on his own entry from the NHS Central Register
https://www.lostcousins.com/newsletters ... ws.htm#NHS
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Re: Record Keeping - WWII National Identity Cards & Ration B

Postby PeterProg » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:23 am

Thank you everybody for the replies and the wealth of useful information. My roguish forebear was at his peak in the first twenty five years of the century, but seems to have settled down to the straight and narrow by the 1940s. So while he saw plenty of newspaper coverage earlier on, he disappears from newspaper view from around the early 1920s.

My source for locating them post War is the Electoral Registers. That is how I know the couple moved to Oxfordshire from 1948 - but they were definitely not there in 1945 to 1947. Nor were they at their old '1939 Register' address in Kent between 1945 to 1947. Neither the Kent nor Oxfordshire Electoral Registers are online, but I have been fortunate that fellow researchers have very kindly done look-ups for me.

I have not found them in any of the Electoral Registers for the 1945 to 1947 time period that are currently online, but I suspect they will be there in one of the county registers somewhere just outside London that have yet to be digitised.

That is why any change of address information that could be gleaned from surviving records would do the trick. If I could even just identify the county were they were based in say 1945, I could almost certainly track them in the relevant Electoral Register.

I will follow up some more on those suggestions. Even if the National Identity Card change of address data was destroyed long since - seems likely unfortunately - the 'right hand page' of the NHS register might be enough to tell me the county they were based in during and straight after the War. Against that though, this was just pre-NHS, so the information may not be there.

I guess the logical step is to request access to their Register 'right hand page', though I know I am up against it.

Fingers crossed and thanks again to all.

Peter
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Re: Record Keeping - WWII National Identity Cards & Ration B

Postby phsvm » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:38 pm

My source for locating them post War is the Electoral Registers. That is how I know the couple moved to Oxfordshire from 1948 - but they were definitely not there in 1945 to 1947.


Sorry to disgree with you but you don't know for sure they weren't in Oxfordshire then. All you do know is that they don't APPEAR on the electoral roles. It may be that for some reason they chose not to register.

I did suggest, in an earlier post, tht you provided a name so others can be of more help. You haven't done so and maybe there's a reason for that but there will be limited help others can give it we don't know who we're looking for.
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