Poll Books & Electoral Registers
What are Poll Books and Electoral Registers?
Poll Books give names, addresses, occupations and show how people voted in the election. The Poll Books available on TheGenealogist pre-date the census records and go back as far as the 1700s, making them a valuable resource for family historians.
Before the Reform Act of 1832, there were no fixed rules of who could vote and it largely depended on the traditions within your local area. After 1832, any (male) householder whose town property exceeded an annual value of £10 became eligible to vote. In 1867 this was decreased to £4 and also included lodgers who paid more than £10 per year in boroughs. By 1884, 59% of all adult males were now able to vote.
Once the secret ballot was introduced in 1872, how a person voted was no longer available to the public and poll books were no longer necessary. Electoral Registers, which were first introduced in 1832 became the predominant record of voters, containing details of everyone who qualified to vote, their address and details of their property which enabled them to qualify (before 1918).
The father of the famous Brontë sisters is recorded in the 1835 Poll Book for West Riding, Yorkshire. To read more about this, take a look at our article 'Tracing the Brontë Family in Yorkshire' in our featured articles section:
The following Poll Books are currently available on TheGenealogist with Personal Plus, Gold and Diamond Premium subscriptions:
Norfolk 1806 Poll Book
Norfolk 1817 Poll Book
London, Westminster 1774
London, Westminster 1818
London, Westminster 1841
Suffolk 1710 Poll Book
Suffolk 1790 Poll Book
Yorkshire, York (County) 1807
Yorkshire, West Riding 1835
Yorkshire, Kingston-upon-Hull 1835
Yorkshire, York 1868
Electoral Register available for London 2005.
Diamond Premium subscribers also have access to the following:
East Somerset Electoral Registers 1832
West Somerset Electoral Registers 1832
Dorset Absent Voters 1918-1919
Maidstone Register of Electors 1905
Norfolk East 1865 Poll Book
Northumberland, Newcastle upon Tyne Poll Book 1774
Register of Voters for South Devon 1865-1869
Swindon Voters 1915
Hampshire, Winchester Register of Electors 1929, 1934 & 1939
Yorkshire, Kingston-upon-Hull Poll Book 1868
Worcestershire, Register of The Electors (Western Division) 1832-3
Queensland Electoral roll 1900
America, Electors of Chillicothe, Ohio - Nov 1892 & Apr 1893
To view a full and up to date list of all our Poll Books & Electoral Registers please see http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/nameindex/ai_content.php?type=diamond&show_cat=31#includes
How to: Using the Poll Books & Electoral Registers
The Poll Books and Electoral Registers are located on your Search page under 'Poll & Electoral Records'. Both the Poll Books and Electoral Registers can be accessed in book format. The Poll Books are also available as Transcripts.
To access the Printed Books for Poll Books and Electoral Registers, select ‘Electoral Registers’ from the drop-down box:
You’ll then be taken to a list of available counties. Some counties and also all international registers are only available within the Diamond Premium subscription (see Diamond Content). Select your preferred county/country then choose a volume from the next page or to search all counties please use search boxes for surname and forename on the right.
Once you have selected a county you can click on a book title to open that specific book and browse through the pages via the Bookmarks. Or if you wish to Search the Yorkshire only Poll & Electoral Books please use the Search boxes on this page:
- Use the navigation links to browse backwards and forwards through the book
- Bookmarks are available to jump directly to other sections of the book
The Poll Book Transcripts are available to Diamond subscribers. Select ‘Poll Books’ from the drop-down box and you’ll immediately be taken to the main search page.
The transcript records provide both standard and advanced search options.
Enter your search terms, then click ‘search’ to submit. Scroll down the page to view the results directly below the search box.
Many of the transcripts also provide access to the original page. Where available, select the icon on the right hand side to open the page in the Adobe Image Viewer
How to: Using the London 2005 Electoral Roll
The Electoral Roll for London 2005 can be found on your Research View page under 'Poll & Electoral Records'. Select this from the drop-down box to continue to the main search page.
The standard search allows you to enter the name of the person and an address if known.
Changing to the advanced search allows you to also enter a town, postcode and district to help narrow down your results.
Your results will be listed with details of name and district. To view the complete record, select the 'Full Details' link on the right of each entry.