England, London Electoral Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England, London Electoral Registers, 1847-1913
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
London,  England
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Record Description
Record Type Electoral Registers
Collection years 1847-1913
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
London Metropolitan Archives


What is in This Collection?

This collection contains electoral registers captured at the London Metropolitan Archives. The records contain lists of names and addresses of registered voters. The register of persons entitled to vote at any election of a member to serve in parliament, or to serve on the county council of the county of London. The records cover the years 1847 to 1913.

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. Before 1884, the registers are arranged by polling district and then alphabetically by surname. After 1884, they were arranged by polling district and then by street. Most of the registers have been published.

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.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, London Electoral Registers, 1847-1913.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Electoral registers may contain 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.

Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of Person
  • Date of record

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

  1. Select Browse through images
  2. Select City/Borough
  3. Select Record Type, Date Range and Volume to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Titles may be clues to property ownership, occupations, rank, or status within the community
  • 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

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times
  • Check for variant spellings of the names

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in London.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"England, London Electoral Registers, 1847-1913." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. London Metropolitan Archives, London.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.