Friday, November 20, 2015

England and Wales Electoral Registers, 1832-1932, at Findmypast

Each week, Findmypast releases a number of new databases - some large, some small, and mostly for the British Isles.  I don't always look at them because my English ancestors left in the years before 1856.

Today's press release is New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, November 20, 2015 and can be read at

One of the new databases added is the England and Wales, Electoral Registers, 1832-1932.  This is a browse image collection - there is no name index.  The description of this collection is:
"Browse through nearly 10,000 volumes of England & Wales electoral registers containing 5.4 million images and approximately 220 million names. The collection was recently made available online for the first time in association with the British Library and includes parliamentary registers, burgess rolls, parochial registers and county council registers. Electoral Registers are lists created annually of people who are eligible to vote and include their reason for eligibility, such as their residence or ownership of a property. Browsing the registers is a fantastic way to learn more about the history of your home or local area. 
"The period covered by The England and Wales Electoral Registers 1832-1932 includes some of the most important events in history of British democracy and demonstrates how the British electorate changed during the 19th and early 20th centuries: from the vote being extended to working class men and the reform of representation up until women’s suffrage."
I wanted to see if there were listings for my Rich and Richman families in Hilperton in Wiltshire in the 1840 to 1870 time period.

Here is the starting page for the England and Wales, Electoral Registers, 1832-1932.  I put in the county of Wiltshire and selected 1860 plus/minus 20 years:

I clicked the blue "Search ..." button and the results were:

There were 31 matches.  The first Wiltshire register listed is for 1861.  I clicked on the camera icon for that register and saw the front page of 116 pages for the Northern Division of Wiltshire:

The next page was an index of the parishes for the different polling districts.

Hilperton was in thel ist for the Melksham Polling District, and was on page 79 of this register.  I found it on image 81:

There is no mention of the Rich surname and only one mention of the Richman surname:

No.  2847
Name:  Richman, John, jun.
Place of Abode:  Hilperton
Nature of Qualification:  freehold houses and garden
Street, lane, etc.:  Hilperton Marsh lane

I can see how this record can be very useful - a researcher could follow a person from parish to parish or street to street over a number of years.  However, the lists I saw are in alphabetical order so a researcher cannot determine who the neighbors might be.

John Richman, jun. (1816-1884) is the son of my 3rd great-grandparents, John Richman (1788-1867) and Ann Marshman (1784-1856).  I believe that his father, John Richman (1788-1867) resided on the same property, although he is not listed on the register above.  This may be the location of the house of my ancestor, John Richman where his children were born.

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