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  1. #1
    Brick wall demolition expert!
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Lancashire
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    3,034

    Default Electoral Registers

    Ancestry acquired in September Pembrokeshire Electoral Registers 1740-1978, and this has led me to make some interesting discoveries about my family and history in general.

    I've discovered that some of my ancestors had voting rights in the 1830s through occupying land, and this led them to be included on "The list of persons entitled to vote in the election of a knight of the shire for the county of Pembroke in respect of property situate in the parish of xyz". There were a couple of different parishes involved.

    One of them had a "lease for lives" of his land; and for this one I have managed to find his death, but based on these records he was alive in 1836. I know he was dead by 1841 because of the census showing his wife as a widow. Another one was a tenant farmer, my gt gt grandfather, was a tenant farmer paying in excess of 50 per annum rent, so it must have been quite a lot of land.

    Another discovering was that ladies had the vote in local elections before universal sufferage, not something I knew previously, but perhaps I should have done. In case there are others who are as ignorant as I:
    "Until the 1832 Great Reform Act specified 'male persons', a few women had been able to vote in parliamentary elections through property ownership, although this was rare. In local government elections, single women ratepayers received the right to vote in the Municipal Franchise Act 1869. This right was confirmed in the Local Government Act 1894 and extended to include some married women. By 1900, more than 1 million single women were registered to vote in local government elections in England."
    I suspect the last bit must include Wales as all legislation at that time applied equally to Wales.

  2. #2
    Brick wall demolition expert!
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    3,034

    Default

    Further to my original post I have now been going through them in more detail, and have found my grandfather on what was called the "Absent Voters List".

    Absent because he was in the army. The list not only gives his home address, but also his service number and his rank and regiment.

    I thought that might be quite useful pointer to any one who has struggled to find service records for their WW1 relatives, as most were destroyed. i.e. Try and find the electoral registers for where you think their home was, and see if that record repository has Absent Voters Lists.

    For WW2, there seems to have been a separate list called Service Register, but that does not give any service details unfortunately.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks Megan! That will be useful.

  4. #4
    Starting to feel at home
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    85

    Default

    Thank you, Megan. I can see that I will be searching those lists at the weekend. With all my Welsh Thomas, Jones, James and Williams ancestors, I need all the help I can get to find the right ones!

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