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 the 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.

One of the 39 historic counties of England, Cheshire is a coastal county in northwestern England which shares its western border with Wales. For a list of the parishes which historically made up this county with links to more information about each of them, see the Cheshire Parishes page.

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 the Collection?

Before beginning a search in these records, it is best to know the full name of the individual in question, as well as an approximate time range for the desired record. When entered into the search engine on the Collection Page, this information provides the quickest, most reliable path to finding the correct person. Of course, other information can be substituted as necessary.

Search by Name by Visiting the Collection Page

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page to return a list of possible matches. Compare the individuals on the list with what is already known to find the correct family or person. This step may require examining multiple individuals before a match is located.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the wiki article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

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

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference; see below for assistance in citing this collection.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in other records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century Cheshire are the England Census, Civil Registration, and Cheshire Parish Records.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives.

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

  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names. Transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record; also, it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name. See Abbreviations Found in Genealogy Records for examples of common abbreviations. Note that some women reverted to their maiden name when their husband died, and therefore could be buried under their maiden name.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches.
  • Search the records of nearby localities. 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

Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer back to information that has already been discovered; proper citations are therefore indispensable to keeping track of genealogical research. Following established formulae in formatting citations also allows others to verify completed research by helping them find and examine records for themselves.

To be of use, citations must include information such as the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records, if available. The following examples demonstrate how to present this information for both this particular collection as well as individual records within the collection:


Collection Citation:

"England, Cheshire, Register of Electors, 1842-1900." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, Record Office, Chester.

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, Cheshire, Register of Electors, 1842-1900.

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.