The 1921 Census for England and Wales has been released today – Thursday 6 January 2022 – by Find My Past and is available to researchers on a pay-per-view basis even if they are already Find My Past subscribers.
The 1921 Census was scheduled for 24 April but, due to strikes and civil unrest, finally took place on Sunday 19 June 1921. The whole population – including all those on the road – had to try and complete their forms by the following day. Enumerators were responsible for visiting those living in vans, tents or houseboats, while the police had the right to wake anyone living rough.
The following are locations of potential interest for those with Romany, Showfolk or other Traveller ancestors. They are places and/or important events in the calendar that Travelling people might have been attending around 19 June 1921, such as pleasure fairs, horse fairs, race meetings or their regular mid-Summer camping grounds. It should be noted that they may have been travelling to or from them so consider routes in between. As it was close to Midsummer’s Day, many other celebrations or other traditional feast days, such as St John the Baptist, would have been held around the same time.
Berkshire: Ascot – Royal Ascot
Cambridgeshire: Cambridge – Midsummer Fair
Cheshire: Chester: Midsummer Fair or Watch/Tattenhall
Cumbria: Appleby – Horse Fair
Derbyshire: Osmaston: Encampment
Kent: Herne Hill – Charity Event for Kings College Hospital
Lancashire: Blackpool – South Shore/Bolton – Wakes/Oldham – Wakes
Lincolnshire: Horncastle Horse Fair/Threekingham – Stow Green Fair
Northumberland: Gosforth: Racecourse – Pitman’s Derby/Newcastle: Town Moor Festival or Hoppings
Surrey: Battersea, South London – Encampment
Sussex: Crowborough – Alderbrook Road, Jarvis Brook – Encampment
Warwickshire: Shipston-on-Stour – Horse Fair
Wiltshire: Trowbridge – Flower Show Field
Worcestershire: Bromsgrove – Feast of St John the Baptist/Droitwich – Wake Fair/Kidderminster – Fair/Pershore – Fair/Worcester – Cherry Fair
Yorkshire: Halifax/Mexborough – Feast/Penistone.
Renfrewshire: Greenock: Showground, Princes Pier – Wilmot’s World Fair/Port Glasgow – Fair
Selkirkshire: Selkirk: The Haugh – Common Riding Holidays.
Carmarthenshire: Llandeilo – Fair.
Our thanks to RTFHS member Chy Hersey for researching the above list and for writing this article. Our thanks too to Graham Downie and Stephen Smith of the Showmen’s Guild for help in compiling this calendar.
If you have additions or corrections to make, please let us know so that we can share the information with others. Please contact the RTFHS at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if your ancestors were in Scotland on Census Day in 1921, we understand that you should be able to access their records online in the second half of 2022.