The 1921 census records for over 200 National Trust properties are now free to search.


The 1921 census for England and Wales was released on family history website Findmypast on 6 January 2022.

The record collection is only available to Findmypast’s ‘Premium’ subscribers.

However, Findmypast has now made the 1921 census records for over 200 National Trust properties free to search on a new hub on the website.

Findmypast has announced a new partnership with the National Trust to research the stories of ten properties using the 1921 census and other family history records.

Activities for the partnership will begin in July at one of the properties, Quarry Bank, a former cotton mill in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

Activities will be held at nine further properties during the national Heritage Open Days festival in September.

The 1921 census records for the National Trust properties are free to view, although users will need to register for an account on the Findmypast website.

Many of the free 1921 census records reveal a ‘Downton Abbey’ lifestyle of English country homes inhabited by wealthy and powerful families along with their servants.

One of the census records, for example, is that of Cliveden in Buckinghamshire. At the time Cliveden was owned by Waldorf Astor of the wealthy American Astor family. His wife Nancy Astor, also in the records, was elected as Britain’s second woman MP, and first woman MP to take her seat, in 1919. The records also record the couple’s two youngest children, Michael and John, as well as a cast of over 50 servants.

Some of the National Trust properties, however, were inhabited by middle or working-class families at the time. Quarry Bank, for example, had just five residents – Alexander Greg, age 55, who gives his profession as ‘Manufacturer (Plain Weaving Cotton)’, his wife Harriet, a guest and two servants. Another location in the records is the Old Post Office in Tintagel, which in 1921 was inhabited by the caretaker Thomas Brown, age 75, and his wife Lydia, age 78.


Rosemary Collins is the features editor of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine