England Norfolk Register of Electors (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.


Record Description

This collection will include records from 1844 to 1952. Registers have been published annually with few exceptions from 1832 to the present.

Most of the registers have been published. Before 1884 they are arranged by polling district and then alphabetically by surname. After 1884 they were arranged by polling district and then by street.

In 1832, the Reform Act created electoral registers. These registers recorded individuals who qualified to vote in the national elections for representation in parliament. The qualifications changed over the years. There were also electoral registers that covered local elections. Boroughs of large cities had their own electoral registers and their own qualifications for being listed in the registers. In 1878 boroughs combined their registers for the national and local elections. Other places combined their registers by 1885. Registration was suspended, and no electoral registers were created during the World Wars: 1916–1917 (1915–1917 for Scotland) and 1940–1944.

In the early years, registers included only about 7 percent of the population. By 1867 they included about 11 percent of the population. Only men are listed until 1918 because only men could vote. Until 1971 the registers listed only those 21 years of age or older.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952.

Electoral registers were created to determine who could vote. If an individual’s name did not appear in the register, he could not vote. The government required the keeping of electoral registers, and the reliability of the information is high with respect to the place of residence and the name of the individual.

Record Content

England Electoral Register.jpg

Electoral registers usually contain the following information:

  • Township of registration
  • Full name of voter
  • Voter's place of residence (abode)
  • Why qualified to vote
  • Name and location of property
  • Sometimes handwritten notes were added and give such information as for whom the person voted; notation of death, or if the voter was removed from the register

How to Use the Records

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname (prior to 1918 only men are listed), some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

Search the Collection

To search by index:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Division"
⇒Select the appropriate "Year" which will take you to the images

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

Using the Information

  • By following your ancestor through the electoral registers, it is possible to determine how long the person remained at a particular residence and to help establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the residence to locate your ancestor in the census and church records.
  • Use the location of the land and the information listed under the “nature of qualifications” to locate land tax assessments and probate records.
  • The name of the property may also be a clue to the occupation or sect. Occupations can lead you to church or military records.
  • Watch for titles as they can be clues to social status, occupations, sect, or other family members with the same name.

It is often helpful to extract the information on all individuals with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related. Be sure to extract all individuals before you look at other records. This can help you identify related individuals to look for in other records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The residence or abode may be different from the location of the property so your ancestor may be found in records of another locality.
  • Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even a county.
  • Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family.
  • When you have located your ancestor in the registers, compare the information to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
  • Carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
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Don't overlook FHL Place England, Norfolk items or FHL Keyword England, Norfolk items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see England Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace. Record Office, Central Library, Norwich.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952.

Image Citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952.


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  • This page was last modified on 26 May 2015, at 08:51.
  • This page has been accessed 9,372 times.