Sunday, 7 February 2010

1939 National Registration - Northern Ireland request

Following the recent release of the 1939 National Identity Register census details for England, Scotland and Wales by the National Health Information Centre and the General Register Office for Scotland, I decided a couple of weeks ago to make a Freedom of Information application to the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland to see if equivalent records could be released in the last part of the United Kingdom still to make provision, in this case for an entry concerning my grandparents, who resided at Greencastle in Belfast. I made the application online, as directed on the PRONI Freedom of Information details page at

I have since had the following response:

Thank you for your enquiry requesting information on residents at [address].

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland will be responding to this request under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Due to the sensitive nature of the information contained within these records, they are closed. Although PRONI does possess the National Identity Registers for Northern Ireland, we have a duty under the FOI Act to consult with the functionally responsible authority before any information can be released.

This search may take longer than usual as the archive in question is extremely large, is completely uncatalogued and is stored in our offsite storage facility. As the hundreds of volumes do not have an index, a manual search will have to be conducted on a page by page basis for the information requested. Consequently, this request will take considerably longer to process than normal routine queries, so we ask for your patience. However, a search of the archive is due to begin and I shall be in touch with you in due course.

With the same law successfully providing access to records on mainland Britain, this is a potentially promising response. Further details as they come!

Scotland's Greatest Story

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