Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Political Persuasions

What were the political opinions of your ancestors? Unless there are specific records that say "I voted for Roosevelt" or "I voted for McKinley," or family stories that "Grandma was a Prohibitionist," we really don't know.

But there are some records that state a political persuasion - a party label or similar. I have several pages from biographical sketches in county or local histories that say "Mr. Smith was a strict Republican" or similar.

For researchers with ancestors that resided in California, there are voter registration records available in repositories. For instance, the San Diego Public Library has them from 1866 to 1909. The San Diego Genealogical Society has published the registers for 1880 to 1887 in their publication, Leaves and Saplings.

http://www.ancestry.com/ has these Great Registers of Voters available from 1900 to 1968 (note that not all years are included). My San Diego area ancestors, and their voter registration records, include:

1902:
Henry A Carringer, age 48, resided 30th and Watkins.

1912:
Henry A. Carringer, male, carpenter, resided 2105 30th Street, Republican.
Mrs. Della A. Carringer, male, housekeeper, 2105 30th Street, Republican.
Lyle L. Carringer, male, student, 2105 30th Street, Republican
Mrs. Abbie A. smith, housekeeper, 2105 30th Street, Republican.

1914:
Lyle L. Carringer, student, 2105 30th Street, Republican
Henry A. Carringer, millman, 2105 30th Street, Republican
Mrs. Della A. Carringer, housewife, 2105 30th Street, Republican

Charles Auble, painter, 767 14th Street, Republican
Mrs. Georgia Auble, housewife, 767 14th Street, Republican

1916:
Mrs. Georgia Auble, housewife, 2140 F Street, Republican

1918:
Mrs. Abbie A. Smith, 2105 30th Street, housewife, Prohibition.

Mrs. Georgia K. Auble, housewife, 2100 First, Democratic

1924:
Lyle L. Carringer, office work, 2130 Fern Street, Republican
Mrs. Emily K. Carringer, housewife, 2130 Fern Street, Republican
Mrs. Georgia K. Auble, housewife, 2130 Fern Street, Republican

Henry A. Carringer, carpenter, 2105 30th Street, Republican
Mrs. Della A. Carringer, housewife, 2105 30th Street, Republican
Mrs. Abbie A. Smith, housewife, 2105 30th Street, Republican

1926:
Lyle L. Carringer, clerical, 2130 Fern Street, Republican
Mrs. Emily K. Carringer, housewife, 2130 Fern Street, Republican
Mrs. Georgia K. Auble, housewife, 2130 Fern Street, Republican

Henry A. Carringer, mechanic, 2105 30th Street, Republican
Mrs. Della A. Carringer, housewife, 2105 30th Street, Republican
Mrs. Abbie A. Smith, housewife, 2105 30th Street, Republican

1928:
Mrs. Abbie a. Smith, 2115 30th Street, housewife, Republican.

1930:
Lyle L. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, clerk, Republican
Mrs. Emily K. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, housewife, Republican
Mrs. Georgia K. Auble, 2130 Fern Street, housewife, Republican

Henry A. Carringer, 2115 30th Street, aviation mechanic, Republican
Mrs. Della A. Carringer, 2115 30th Street, housewife, Republican

1934:
Lyle L. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, bookkeeper, Republican
Mrs. Emily K. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, housewife, Republican
Mrs. Georgia K. Auble, 2130 Fern Street, housewife, Republican

Henry A. Carringer, 2115 30th Street, mechanist, Republican
Mrs. Della A. Carringer, 2115 30th Street, housewife, Republican

1936:
Lyle L. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, office work, Republican
Mrs. Emily K. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, housewife, Republican
Mrs. Georgia K. Auble, 2130 Fern Street, housewife, Republican

Henry A. Carringer, 2115 30th Street, retired, Republican
Mrs. Della A. Carringer, 2115 30th Street, housewife, Republican

1942:
Lyle L. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, office work, Republican
Mrs. Emily K. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, housewife, Republican
Miss Betty V. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, student, Democratic
Mrs. Georgia K. Auble, 2130 Fern Street, housewife, Republican

1944:
Lyle L. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, office work, Republican
Mrs. Emily K. Carringer, 2130 Fern Street, housewife, Republican
Mrs. Georgia K. Auble, 2130 Fern Street, housewife, Republican

There may be records for other years that were not digitized or indexed, or indexed wrongly. It's not clear to me if the voter registrations were published every two years. Were my families not registered in the years that are not included above?

As you can see, you can use these records to track the residence of your ancestors, and their occupations. All of the information above matches what I knew, from family papers and city directories, about these families. Of course, not all city directories are digitized and online, so these voter registration records provide an excellent finding aid and directory substitute.

I am not surprised by the overwhelming Republican persuasion in my Carringer ancestors. They were very tolerant, enterprising, responsible, penny-pinching and self-sufficient throughout their lives. You get a steady dose of those views in my Della's Journal series (week 52 is here).

My mother, Betty V. Carringer, married in 1942 to Frederick W. Seaver. There are no listings for them in 1944 and later in the Ancestry records. However, I'm pretty sure that they voted Republican every year from 1944 on. My mother's favorite politician was Richard Nixon. This rubbed off on me, of course. Barry Goldwater, in 1964, was my first vote for President.

3 comments:

Improvedliving said...

well politics is all about persuasion

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lyn said...

My first time to vote was in 1964 and our two votes canceled each other out. I was also voting in San Diego - I had just moved there and lived in an apartment on Trojan just south of El Cajon Blvd.

Amy said...

My great-grandfather was always moving, probably to hide from his debts and the law. The California voter records have helped me track him all over the state.

For some reason, Riverside County voter records aren't in the Ancestry file.