03 April 2020

Findmypast adds HUGE England & Wales Electoral Register Collection

116 million names have been added to this flagship British Library collection available only online at Findmypast.

Aside from the first and last name you can limit the search by year
constituency, polling district or place, additional keywords, county and country — despite the title there is no content for Wales.

The information is given in PDF documents searchable using keywords and wildcards.
Electoral registers were compiled annually so there's fine resolution in finding the movement of those qualified. People are added as they become eligible. Cryptic annotations, like J after a name, are explained in a help section on electoral register codes. J means the person was eligible for jury duty.
According to FMPs A-Z of record sets there are 123,349,314 electoral register entries between 1920 and 1932. 

While the franchise was restricted for prior years FMP comments that registers with the richest information for researchers were those issued between the 1885 redistribution and the First World War. They are also the most complex with several sequences representing the different franchises within registers for the same polling area. The different franchises are the reason for the extra information. Voters listed at their residence with a business franchise will have their business address also listed; those with a lodger’s franchise will have their weekly rent, the number of rooms rented and the name of their landlord, or more usually landlady, listed.

Use these registers in combination with census records and city directories.

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