Thursday, 24 April 2008

Voters Lists Online

The May issue of Ancestors Magazine has an article "Reading the Rolls" by Tony Abrahams on British voters lists. It deals particularly with the lists at the Midland Historical Data Archive for which Abrahams is responsible.

British voters lists from 2002 onward are available digitally at www.192.com. Searching earlier lists is a real chore, unless you have a full address, as they are not organized alphabetically by name.

Even finding the lists takes a bit of searching. You can find post 1947 and a few earlier voters lists at the British Library. More complete collections are often held locally and may be identified by searching www.familia.org.uk for the location of interest.

You would think voters lists would be a prime target for the large commercial genealogy database companies such as ancestry.co.uk and findmypast.com. This would be true especially for the years after 1928 when all adults where enfranchised and other sources are lacking.

As is often the case a local initiative shows the way, in this instance indexed Birmingham Electoral Rolls for 1912, 1918 (Absent voters), 1920,1925,1930 & 1935 at www.midlandshistoricaldata.org. They can all be searched by name, by address or both, and viewed by pay per view or subscription. Prices are here.

Canadian voters lists are also difficult to work with. Library and Archives Canada holds federal voters lists of the Office of the Electoral Officer for Canada (RG 113) from 1935 to 1983. As in the UK they are arranged by the name of the electoral district. Within the electoral districts the lists are further arranged by polling station.

LAC has the voters lists on microfilm. Find the film number on the list here.

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