England, Cheshire, Register of Electors (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: England, Cheshire, Register of Electors, 1842-1900 .
This collection will include records from 1842 to 1900.
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 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.
Registers have been published annually with few exceptions from 1832 to the present.
Electoral registers were created to determine who could vote. If an individual’s name did not appear in the register, he or she could not vote.
Since the government required the electoral registers, the reliability of the records would be high with respect to the place of residence and the name of the individual.
The registers are arranged in columns and give the following information:
- 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 to Use the Records
To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:
- Name of ancestor
- Approximate year and place of birth
Search the Collection
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 look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.
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Using the Information
The electoral registers may help you determine the residence of an individual and how long that person lived there. You may also be able to determine your ancestor’s social status and to locate other records in which that person might appear.
Related Wiki Articles
- Electoral Rolls or Registers in England
- FamilySearch's Resources for Britain and Ireland
- Poll Books in England and Wales
Contributions To This Article
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Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "England, Cheshire, Register of Electors, 1842-1900." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace. Record Office, Chester.