England, Norfolk Register of Electors (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952 .

Record Description

This Collection will include records from 1844 to 1952.

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

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 included only about 7 percent of the population. By 1867 they included about 11 percent of the population. Only men are listed until 1918 because only men could vote. Until 1971 the registers listed only those 21 years of age or older.

For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page

Registers have been published annually with few exceptions from 1832 to the present.

Electoral registers were created to determine who could vote. If an individual’s name did not appear in the register, he could not vote.

The government required the keeping of electoral registers, and the reliability of the information is high with respect to the place of residence and the name of the individual.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Great Britain Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, Norwich and Yarmouth in Norfolk. England, Norfolk register of electors. Norfolk and Norwich Record Office, Norwich, Norfolk, England.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The key genealogical facts found in the England, Norfolk Register of Electors collection usually contains the following information:

England Electoral Register.jpg
  • Township of registration
  • Full name of voter
  • Voter's place of residence (abode)
  • Why qualified to vote
  • Name and location of property
  • Sometimes handwritten notes were added and give such information as for whom the person voted; notation of death, or if the voter was removed from the register

How to Use the Record

To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select the County ⇒ Select the Division ⇒ Select the Year which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

To find your ancestor in the registers you need to know the following:

  • Name of ancestor (prior to 1918 only men are listed)
  • An approximate residence

When you have located your ancestor in the registers, compare the information to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

Carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

For example:

  • By following your ancestor through the electoral registers, it is possible to determine how long the person remained at a particular residence and to help establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the residence to locate your ancestor in the census and church records.
  • Use the location of the land and the information listed under the “nature of qualifications” to locate land tax assessments and probate records.
  • The name of the property may also be a clue to the occupation or sect. Occupations can lead you to church or military records.
  • Watch for titles as they can be clues to social status, occupations, sect, or other family members with the same name.

It is often helpful to extract the information on all individuals with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related. Be sure to extract all individuals before you look at other records. This can help you identify related individuals to look for in other records.

Some other helpful tips to keep in mind are:

  • The residence or abode may be different from the location of the property so your ancestor may be found in records of another locality.
  • Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighbouring towns, or even a county.
  • Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Norfolk Record Office

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952," digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 19 March 2011), Norfolk > Norwich > 1892 > image 3 of 885; William Ribbons, 1892; citing England, Norfolk, Register of Electors, Norfolk Record Office, Norwich, England.

FHL microfilm.