When will the 1921 census be released in Scotland?

The 1921 census for Scotland was released on ScotlandsPeople, the pay-per-view website of the National Records of Scotland, on 30 November 2022. Records cost 6 credits to view (£1.50), with 30 credits for £7.50 being the smallest number you can purchase.

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The 1921 census of England, Wales and Scotland was conducted on 19 June 1921. (There is no 1921 census for modern-day Northern Ireland as Ireland was caught up in the Irish War of Independence at the time). The census records for Scotland are held separately to those of England and Wales. Census records can only be released 100 years after the original census due to privacy laws. ScotlandsPeople originally announced that they would release the census records in summer 2021. However, on 18 June 2021 they announced that the release had been postponed to “the latter half of 2022”.

The contract to transcribe the 1921 census for Scotland was not awarded until 25 January 2022, when it was awarded to Queen’s University Belfast. The contract, which is worth £438,366, includes the option for two six month extensions at the discretion of the purchaser.

What is the 1921 census?

The 1921 census is a complete survey of the population of England, Wales and Scotland at the time. A full census of the population had been carried out every ten years since 1841. The 1921 census is particularly important because the 1931 census records were destroyed in the Blitz and the 1941 census was not carried out due to the Second World War (although the 1939 Register is available as a substitute), meaning there will be no more census releases until the 1951 census is released in 2051. The 1921 census records show the impact of the First World War and the Spanish flu pandemic on the population. As well as recording each individual’s name, address and profession, they are more detailed than any previous census records. For the first time, entrants were required to put their age in years and months, not just years, and were asked the name of their employer and their place of work. Records for children state whether the child had both parents alive, one parent alive or both parents dead, and records for adults provide the opportunity to state whether they’re divorced as well as single, married or widowed.

When was the 1921 census for England and Wales released?

The 1921 census for England and Wales is available on Findmypast
The 1921 census for England and Wales is available on Findmypast

The 1921 census for England and Wales was released on 6 January 2022. Unlike the 1921 census for Scotland, the records were transcribed and published by commercial family history website Findmypast.

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

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