Free access to 1921 census in Hampshire County Council libraries and Record Office

Residents will be able to delve into history free of charge from 1 February when the 1921 census becomes available at all Hampshire County Council libraries and the Record Office in Winchester

Jan 27 2023

The County Council has arranged for access to FindMyPast, which holds the latest available census data for England and Wales, and is making it available for no charge. 

Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, Executive Member for Countryside and Regulatory Services said: “The latest available census data offers a fascinating snapshot of life back in the early twentieth century, so I am delighted that we can now offer free access to this information at libraries and at Hampshire Record Office. Through the 1921 census we can get an insight into a time when people were adjusting to life after the trauma of World War I and the aftermath of a devastating influenza pandemic. Through the click of a button, we can search for information about own family members, our street or neighbourhood and this is all now available without charge.” 

Councillor Steve Forster, Executive Member for Education added: “Libraries offer a fantastic environment for researching the newly available census. Not only is access free, but there is a wealth of resources for further exploration and helpful staff who can offer guidance. During the winter months libraries provide a warm and welcoming space that residents may prefer to use while carrying out their investigations.” 

Highlights from the 1921 census 

  • Alice Hargreaves, the inspiration for Alice in ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll, was aged 69 and living with her husband and domestic staff in Lyndhurst. 
  • George Edward Marston, the artist who twice accompanied Sir Ernest Shackleton on expeditions to the Antarctic, was aged 39 and working as an art teacher at Bedales School in Petersfield. 
  • Flora Thompson, the author who wrote Lark Rise to Candleford, was aged 42 and living in Liphook. 

The 1921 census is particularly important because the 1931 census records were destroyed in the Blitz and no census was taken in 1941 because of the Second World War, so it is the last census release until the release of the 1951 census, which is due in 2052. 

How to access the 1921 census 

The 1921 census results offer detailed information on population and households in England and Wales and, due to privacy laws, the data is only opened to the public after 100 years. The 1921 census is available following an extensive digitisation project by family history website, FindMyPast. For free access, people can visit their local library or Hampshire Record Office where census records can be viewed from the FindMyPast website without charge.  

Some information from the 2021 Census data for Hampshire is available on the County Council website.