On Friday April 1st I visited Manchester Central Library to spend some time accessing the 1921 census from Find My Past free of charge and here are some notes which I hope are helpful if you wish to do the same (and avoid paying £2.50 a time to access a transcript or £3.50 to access the original record).

  • It is now not possible to take your own computer and access the records from the Library network. You need to use one of the many computers available in the Library.
  • In order to access a computer, you need a Manchester Libraries card. There is an online form to complete which you can complete at home or when you get to the Library. You then need to provide ID showing your address (e.g., driving licence).
  • Your card will have a 14 character code and you will need to choose a 4 digit PIN. You need to enter both of these when you start to use the computer. You will be given 2 hours access time though if the Library is not busy you can ask for more. So, it is a good idea to do some preparation beforehand so you know who you will be searching for.
  • If you use one of the computers in the MLFHS (Manchester Local and Family History Society) section of the Library there is a helpdesk staffed by volunteers to help you if you need it. There is also an instruction sheet for accessing the 1921 census available from the Library helpdesk.
  • Once logged on you then see the Welcome Page and you need to click on Family History and Local Studies
  • This brings up the access to Find My Past which you need to click on (see attached sheet)
  • On the Find My Past page scroll down and access the 1921 Census.
  • In order to save your records, you will need a data pen (memory stick) or you can print out the record for 20p per A4 black and white sheet. Alternatively, you can e-mail it to yourself but ensure you have your password to access your email service.
  • To save a transcript as a pdf document go to Print and choose Save as pdf. To save a record you can download it and then save it but I found it easier to choose Print and Save as pdf as before.

Richard Vickery April 3rd 2022