England, Cheshire, Register of Electors (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England, Cheshire, Register of Electors, 1842-1900 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Cheshire,  England
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Location of Cheshire, England
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Record Description
Record Type Register of Electors
Collection years 1842-1900
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Cheshire Archives and Local Studies


What Is in This Collection?

This collection consists of electoral records from the county of Cheshire for the years 1842-1900.

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 covered only about 7 percent of the population. By 1867, they covered about 11 percent. Until 1918, the registers list only men because women were not allowed to vote. Until 1971, the registers listed only those 21 years of age or older. If an individual’s name did not appear in the register, he or she could not vote.

Registers have been published annually with few exceptions from 1832 to the present. 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.

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

The following list indicates potential information provided in these records. It must be remembered that every record may not provide all the listed information, as record-keeping practices varied greatly over time.

Electoral registers may include:

  • Given name and surname of each voter
  • Place of abode (residence)
  • Nature of qualification (what qualified the individual to be included in the register)
  • Name of property or street
  • Sometimes handwritten notes may have been added, giving such information as who the person voted for, when the voter died, or the removal of the voter.

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching, it is best to know the following information:

  • Name of the person
  • Date of the record

As you search, compare your results with this information to find a match.

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches


What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking for, What Now?

  • Copy down all the information in the index entry.
  • Cite the record; see below for help citing records in this collection.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the estimated age given in a marriage or burial record to calculate an approximate year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • If in the appropriate period, use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in civil records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century England are the England Census and Civil Registration records.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • When looking for an individual with a common name, look at all the search results before deciding which is the correct person. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to help with this decision. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
  • Try variations of given names and surnames. An individual might appear under a different name in a record for a variety of reasons:
    1. An individual might have been listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name.
    2. Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as scribes heard them. Pay attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try spelling variations that could have that pronunciation.
    3. Some women returned to their maiden names after the death of their husbands.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of results which can then be examined for matches. Try expanding the date range as well; this is especially useful in searching baptismal records, as it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth.
  • Search the records of nearby parishes. While it was uncommon for an individual in this period to move more than about 20 miles from their place of birth, smaller relocations were not uncommon. For this particular collection, this step may require finding records in the bordering English counties of Lancashire to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire or Shropshire to the south, or in the Welsh counties of Denbighshire and Flintshire to the west.

For additional help searching online collections see FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

Citing This Collection

Proper citations make it easier to get back to sources that you have found, so citing sources properly can help you keep track of research. Correct citations also allow others to check completed research by giving them a way to find and examine records for themselves.

Below are the proper citations to use for this whole collection as well as for individual records within it:

Collection Citation

"England, Cheshire, Register of Electors, 1842-1900." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, Record Office, Chester.

Record (or Index) Citation

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, Cheshire, Register of Electors, 1842-1900.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.