25 May 2012

Ancestry adds UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893

Spending so much time investigating Ancestry's extended probate registers for England and Wales, posted on Wednesday, meant I overlooked a posting about UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893. At 4.6 million records it warrants your attention.

It's a miscellaneous collection from the London Metropolitan Archives, not just for London. I found records for Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Black Country ancestors.
Poll books list those who actually cast a vote, and the person(s) they voted for. Only
freeholders and those who owned property above a certain value were entitled to vote. You may find the voter's occupation given -- weaver, smith, etc.

I'm told this is another product of Ancestry's proprietary technology for computer indexing formatted documents, previously used to compile the US directory collection.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The sad thing about this collection is the huge number of transcription errors, particularly the names of landlords where, if the first word of the address is on the same line as the name in the original the name becomes the surname and the first word of the address becomes the first name, e.g. John Smith, Bemerton becomes "Bemerton John Smith" with "John Smith" appearing as the surname in the index.