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In the top right hand corner of each page of the 1939 register is a a pair of numbers recording the Registration District and sub-district for that page. As has been commented on in a previous question it is relatively easy to find the name of the district from the number using the 1931 census reports available at histpop.org.

However, there were many new districts created in the 1930s that don't appear in the 1931 census e.g. Ince in Lancashire and Wednesbury in Staffordshire. These generally appear in the 1939 register as a number of the district they were formed out of together with a letter, so Wednesbury is 371a formed out of the Registration district of West Bromwich (371).

My question is does anyone know of a definitive source of Registration district names mapped to numbers in 1939. I have asked both the GRO and FindMyPast to no avail.

  • A good question. From the TNA page : "The final arrangement of the Register was not by Registration District, as in a census, but according to the boundaries of local government units ... who maintained and updated information in the register." So is it possible that definitive subdistrict lists are (or were) held only at local government or registrar level? – AndyW Mar 29 '18 at 16:05
  • Histpop isn't working for me at the moment so I can't check for myself so please excuse what is probably a dumb question. Have you checked Histpop for similar reports for 1951? I get the impression from what I can see that it doesn't go that far, but for reasons of pedantry, I'd just like it confirmed. It is an interesting question. I'd previously only thought of the 4-letter ED code. Don't know if the RD-SubD provides a finer level description or what. – AdrianB38 Mar 29 '18 at 18:28
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    @AdrianB38 - Histpop's wobbly ZX81 server was up for long enough for me to check, and 1931 is the last England data set. The few more recent sets are Irish. – AndyW Mar 29 '18 at 19:20
  • Thanks @AndyW - that was my suspicion but pedantic double checking occasionally pays off. – AdrianB38 Mar 29 '18 at 19:41
  • I had thought of looking at 1951 census summary reports, but I havent been able to find any examples online. I know that Cambridge City library had copies when I lived there more than 20 years ago, but Cambridge is now a long way away. – Paul Mar 29 '18 at 20:48

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