Thursday, 27 June 2013

PRONI clarifies 1939 National Register application process

After PRONI's user forum meeting last week in Belfast (see I mentioned that the archive had slightly changed its procedures with regard to applications to the 1939 National Identity Register, the emergency wartime census carried out in September 1939 which is not protected by a 100 year rule. I made the first successful application to this a couple of years ago for my grandparents, which proved a useful process in that it confirmed my grandfather's job in Belfast in 1939 but also his date of birth, for which there had been a slight question mark, but which was resolved from a record informed by my grandfather himself.

PRONI has now issued new guidance on the application procedure at I'd like to once again publicly thank PRONI for its efforts in cataloguing the 750 books that comprise the collection, as it was something of a headache for them - last week at the meeting it was mentioned that there was absolutely no rhyme nor reason as to how they were compiled, with in some cases records from Derry appearing a few pages after Down, for example, amongst other bizarre orderings - something which has genuinely perplexed staff as to how they were originally compiled. Unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, there is no charge for access to these records at present, you simply make a request using a Freedom of Information application. For a country where the survival rate of censuses is not great, this is a hidden gem no longer hidden.


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see Time to smash a few brick walls...!

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